How to get a handle on oily hair

A little oil is good for healthy hair, but no one wants to look or feel like they’ve dipped their head into an oil slick.

Oily skin and hair are the results of overactive sebaceous glands, which are producing way too much sebum.

And although a little oil can help keep hair smooth and prevent it from drying out and breaking, too much can make it look slick and greasy. It can even lead to dandruff.

Genetics and environment contribute to oil production, but here is what you can do to keep the greasies at bay.

5 reasons you may get oily hair

1. You touch your hair a lot

Touching our hair too much can cause the oils of our fingers to transfer to our hair.

Sure, it’s a small, somewhat unnoticeable habit, but it can take your hair from glossy to greasy in just a few hours.

2. It’s your hormones

Hormones can have a huge effect on your oil production especially when you’re stressed, or during your period.

Your scalp is still your skin, if you’re prone to breakouts during that time of the month, you can expect your scalp to also be producing extra sebum… often resulting in oily-looking hair.

3. You’re brushing your hair too much

A light brushing is great if you want shiny hair, but you can have too much of a good thing. Over-brushing can over-stimulate oil production.

When you brush your hair too much it disperses the oil from your roots to your ends, making your strands look oily. Use a comb instead!

4. Your showers are too hot

Hot showers feel great but they can stimulate the glands that produce sebum, which is exactly what you don’t want.

5. You’re over-conditioning

Not only does this overload your strands, but this can also create more oily build-up. The trick is to apply a small amount of conditioner to the ends of the hair and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle while you’re still in the shower. Finish by rinsing with cool water.

 oily hair treatment

5 ways to help fix oily hair

1. Wash your hair daily

Oily hair should be shampooed every day, but resist the urge to use the strongest lather you can find as detergents can dry the scalp so much that oil production increases to compensate.

Instead, wash with a gentle shampoo one day, and one that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the scalp the next day.

Just like the pores on your face, unplugging the follicles on your scalp can help normalise oil production.

2. Change your cut

Oily hair that is longer than shoulder length can start to separate and look like bad extensions. A slightly layered cut can help.

And think twice about getting a fringe, particularly if you have oily skin – it could lead to breakouts on your forehead.

3. Don’t be too straight

Hair straighteners can make oily hair look oilier. Try lightly teasing your hair at the roots and just under the top layers of hair with a paddle brush.

Or pull hair into a loose low twist – anything too tight will only highlight the grease.

4. Be choosy with your hair products

Thickening spray can be your best friend since its key ingredients counteract greasiness. The best way to apply is to mist it over damp hair, section by section.

Avoid shine enhancers and pomades as they can turn greasy in your hair. (To make hair shine, simply dampen the bristles on a paddle brush and run it from your scalp to the ends.) For curls, rake through a small blob of gel – most contain alcohol, which absorbs some of the oil but still gives you some style.

5. Blot and go

To combat oiliness quickly, spray dry shampoo on a brush and work it in from roots to ends.

In a pinch, you can also use facial blotting papers or translucent face powder at the roots (this is better than baby powder, which tends to clump).

To apply, part hair at the crown.

Then, using a large, clean bronzer brush, dust on some powder and massage into the roots.

Continue patting and applying until you’ve absorbed most the oil.

Written by Nikki Yazxhi.