Oily hair can happen to anyone, but in hot and humid Singapore, it can be even more prevalent. Apart from the weather, did you know that there are other factors that cause oily hair, too? Here’s how you can prevent it and to reverse any oiliness you may be experiencing.
What Causes Oily Hair?
Get to the root of the problem: oily hair usually happens for two reasons – scalp issues or poor haircare and lifestyle habits.
To understand oily hair, you first have to understand the structure of your scalp. Every pore on your skin has a sebaceous gland, including your scalp. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which gives your hair its natural shine. When secreted in a normal amount, sebum is essential for keeping your hair healthy and smooth, preventing hair from dryness and breakage. However, some sebaceous glands produce an excess of oil, which results in oily skin and greasy hair.
Excessive oil production can happen for a few reasons: genetic factors; hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy; or changes in seasons, lifestyle, or climate. Poor diet, improper hair care, and some medicines can also impact oil production.
How to Prevent Oily Hair
You can help prevent oily hair simply by keeping your hands off of it! This goes for brushing your hair as well, as both further distribute grease throughout your strands.
Avoid irritating the scalp. Overwashing or excess scrubbing during shampooing can irritate the scalp, causing more oil. Once you strip your hair of its natural oils, your scalp goes into oil production overload.
Don’t wash your hair more than once a day. Greasy hair is also a cyclical problem as many people try to wash off the oil too often, unwittingly exacerbating the problem.
Use cool water. Rinse your hair in cold water for a minimum of 30 seconds to ensure that all shampoo and conditioner is out of your hair. Hot water stimulates the sebaceous glands, while cold water helps shut them down. Cool water also helps close your cuticle, reducing damage to your hair.
Let your hair air dry naturally, or keep the heat at a minimum, as often as possible. Similar to hot water, hot air can stimulate oil production faster.
Get rid of product buildup. Too much product can also cause buildup on the scalp, leading to excess grease. While you don’t need to stop using styling products altogether if your hair is naturally oily, you just need to know how to choose the right styling products. (More on this later!)
How to Manage Oily Hair
Did you know you can prevent oily hair in the long run? A well-designed care regimen for oily hair begins with a mild shampoo and a careful cleansing routine.
Use a conditioner that doesn’t weigh down your hair. Look out for some ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil that may be too heavy for you. A lightweight conditioner can help replenish and balance the moisture on your scalp without sending it into overproduction mode.
Clarify. You can also try using a clarifying shampoo or treatment twice per month. Despite your best rinsing attempts, your oily hair may be the result of buildup or heavy conditioners. Regardless of the amount of product you use, your hair may be good at holding on to traces of oil.
Avoid conditioning your roots. Focus on your hair ends and avoid the scalp area.
Wash your hair every 2-3 days. Be patient, as you won’t be able to reverse sebum production. Experiment with dry shampoos and hair powders between washes. Some products are designed to help soak up that oil without stripping your scalp of its natural oils.
Consider dietary factors. Your intake of B vitamins directly correlates with your level of sebum production. Make sure you’re getting a sufficient amount of the B vitamins (B2 and B6 in particular) to help combat greasy hair.
If these suggestions don’t improve your oily locks, it may be time to contact a doctor to consider other causes. This is especially the case if excess oil is accompanied by dandruff flakes. Seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis may appear as dandruff at first but will persist despite shampooing.
Need us to help get down to the bottom of your oily hair? Come in for a scalp consultation and scalp treatment – we will help you tackle your oily hair woes.