Many people have oily hair, and it’s a sign of healthy hair. However, some people overproduce this oil (known as “sebum”), leading to bad hair days galore. On top of this, many people over-style their hair, using greasy mousses, gels, and other products that only worsen the situation.
As oily hair looks unwashed, lifeless and dirty, it is important to control this condition so you can look your best. Instead of hiding beneath a hat or pulling your hair into a ponytail at the first sign of greasy strands, you can get rid of this problem with simple home remedies and by making changes to your diet, hair styling regimen, and cleansing regimen.
Causes of Oily Hair
Several factors are responsible for the excess secretions of oil from the sebaceous glands. Some of them are:
- Hormonal fluctuation in women due to menstrual cycle, use of birth control pills, etc.
- Excessive consumption of oil rich food
- Poorly adapted hair care
Symptoms of Oily Hair
The common symptoms of oily hair include:
- Excess sebum production which makes the hair heavy, weak and difficult to manage
- Formation of greasy dandruff which sticks to the sebum forming a layer on the scalp
- Itchiness of the scalp
- Hair loss or progressive thinning of hair
So, it is necessary to avoid the proliferation of sebum into scalp to prevent the damages to the hair and scalp due to the growth of bacteria and fungi. The excessive sebum blocks the hair follicle and disturbs the blood circulation, resulting in weak hair.
Home Remedies for Oily Hair
In order to get rid of oily hair you need to keep the scalp clean. However, shampooing daily is not always a good idea. Chemicals in some shampoos can further aggravate the problem. Fortunately, there are several home remedies you can use to keep the grease in check and keep your hair looking fresh for days.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon is great for different types of scalp and hair problems, including oily hair. Lemon contains many vital vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair. The acidic property of lemon helps balance the pH level of the scalp and controls oil secretion.
- Mix the juice from 2 lemons in 2 cups of distilled water. You can also add 3 teaspoons of honey.
- Apply this mixture on your scalp and hair, massaging it around for a few minutes.
- Leave it on for 5 minutes, and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat three times a week for best results.
2. Witch Hazel Oil
Witch hazel oil is found to be an effective remedy that works wonders on your hair and makes it free from oil.
- Get hold of a bottle of witch hazel oil. Take 4 drops of witch hazel oil and mix it well with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Dab cotton ball in this mixture and then apply this cotton ball on your scalp.
- This will help in reducing the oiliness of the hair. Repeat it three or four times a week or every day for better results.
3. Black Tea
Black tea has an astringent known as tannic acid that helps prevent buildup of excess oil on the scalp by tightening the pores.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of black tea leaves to a cup of water.
- Boil it for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea leaves and allow the solution to cool to room temperature.
- Pour this lukewarm mixture on your scalp and hair.
- Leave it on for 5 minutes, rinse it off, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
- Repeat two or three times a week to get rid of oily hair.
Honey is also found to be an effective home remedy to treat oily hair.
- Take 2 teaspoons of pure honey and to this add one egg yolk.
- Mix it well and allow it to dissolve for 30 minutes.
- Now apply this mixture on your hair properly and massage your hair for a few minutes.
- Leave this mixture on your hair and scalp for 20 minutes.
- Rinse it properly and then use a deep shampoo to wash your hair.
- Repeat this process twice a week to get rid of oily hair.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a very popular ingredient that will help in removing excess oil from hair. It can be used in several ways to get rid of excess oil in hair.
- You can use it by mixing it with water alone. Add one tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and wash your hair thoroughly with this mixture.
- You can also use baking soda with an ordinary shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly with it.
- Use it twice a week to get good results.
Eggs are great for conditioning your hair. Plus, egg whites combat oily hair and egg yolks are packed with protein that strengthens hair.
- Apply 1/2 cup of whisked egg white on damp hair, and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Finally, rinse it off and wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Repeat once every two weeks.
- Beat 2 egg yolks well and mix in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply this mixture on damp hair. Leave it on for five minutes, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Use this treatment two or three times a week.
7. Aloe Vera
One of the best home remedies to treat oily hair is the use of aloe vera gel. You can mix the aloe vera gel with any shampoo to get rid of oily hair.
- In a cup of mild shampoo mix a tablespoon of lemon juice as well as one teaspoon of aloe vera gel that you have taken out from a fresh aloe vera.
- Mix this well and apply the required amount on your oily hair, leave it to react on your hair for a few minutes and then rinse it off completely.
- You can store the remaining home made shampoo in your fridge for about a week and use it every day.
Vodka is an ideal hair tonic that is known to maintain the pH level of the scalp and close the pores that secrete oil.
- Mix one cup of vodka with 2 cups of water.
- Shampoo your hair, and then use this vodka mix as a rinse.
- Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before washing it off with water.
- Use this treatment once week.
Any kind of alcohol or beer gives a drying effect to the hair, reducing the greasiness. The higher the content of alcohol, the better it is.
- Mix 1/2 cup of beer with 2-3 cups of water.
- Rinse your hair with this mixture, which will reduce the greasiness as well as make the hair shine.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is for the do a good job on oily hair. You need to make sure that you only use diluted apple cider vinegar on your hair.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in a mug of water and mix it well.
- Rinse your hair with this mixture and wash it off after a few minutes.
- Repeat this process at least three times a week to get rid of oily hair problems.
11. Yogurt and Honey
Yogurt and honey is an excellent product for all types of hair.
- Mix yogurt and honey properly and apply that on your hair. Let it dry.
- Then shampoo your hair.
- Use this method every alternate day to get the benefit.
12. Fuller’s Earth
Fuller’s Earth also known as multani mitti is nature’s best absorbent and helps majorly in treating oily hair. It also improves blood circulation in the scalp.
- Take 3 tablespoons of fuller’s earth in a bowl and put some water into it in order to make a paste of thick consistency.
- Then, apply this paste on your hair strands starting from the scalp.
- After 15-20 minutes, wash off your hair with lukewarm water.
- Do this once a week ideally to get rid of oily hair.
A fine-grain powder can help absorb oil and get rid of dead skin cells that clog pores.
- Grind and sift 2 teaspoons of dry oats, then moisten with some witch hazel to form a paste.
- Using your fingertips, massage this paste gently into your skin, then rinse it away with warm water.
The acidic nature of tomatoes help balance the pH level of your scalp, which in turn controls excessive oil secretion. Tomatoes also help remove foul odors.
- Mix the juice from one ripe tomato with one teaspoon of fuller’s earth.
- Apply this mixture on the hair and scalp.
- Cover your head and hair with a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash it off using cold water.
- Do this once or twice a week.
How to Prevent Oily Hair
Changing Your Diet to Prevent Oily Hair
Supplement with Vitamins A and D. Like the B vitamins, these help limit sebum production.
- To make sure you don’t overdo (or under-do) the amount, it’s important to check with your doctor before supplementing with Vit A and D (or before beginning a supplementation regimen).
Eat omega-3 fatty acids. These are great for hair health. Fish and walnuts are two good sources.
Get more B2 and B6. These vitamins help the body control sebum production.
- Sunflower seeds are a great source of both vitamin B2 and B6. Other foods that are high in B6 include fish, poultry, red meat, and beans.
- If you’re not getting enough B vitamins from food, you can take an over-the-counter supplement, available at drug and grocery stores.
Consume more zinc. Zinc controls sebum production and can be obtained from red meat and poultry.
Follow a low-glycemic diet. High glycemic foods lead to more insulin in the blood which can lead to greater oil production.
- Avoid foods refined, high carb foods and foods that are high in sugar and opt instead for non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and fruits.
Altering Your Styling Regimen to Prevent Oily Hair
Avoid oil-based products. Styling products with silicone or a high concentration of oil can make your hair look greasy, so read ingredient labels carefully and choose alternate stylers.
Keep heat away from your head. Heat stimulates oil production, so avoid blow drying. It’s also a good idea to avoid flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers if serious oiliness is a concern.
Spray on dry shampoo. These products help to get rid of oiliness at the roots, and they can increase volume. They’re a great option for non-shampoo days.
- Dry shampoo is great for occasional hair help, but you shouldn’t use it every day. It can block hair follicles and make it difficult for the sweat glands on your head to properly do their job.
Touch your hair less. Running your hands through your hair and otherwise playing with your hair spreads oil from the scalp to the rest of your hair. It may also stimulates oil production at the roots.
- Touching your hair is also problematic because it transfers oils from your hands (from things such as lotion or anything you’ve eaten) to your hair.
Modifying Your Cleansing Regimen to Prevent Oily Hair
Wash your hair less often. While it may seem counterintuitive, washing your hair can actually cause excess oil production. One reason is because shampoo strips your head of natural oil, and your scalp reacts by producing still more.
Also, certain shampoos and conditioners, especially those containing silicone, can leave your hair with more oil or oil-like-substances.
- If you’re used to washing every day, start cutting back slowly and skip only one hair washing per week. Eventually move up to not washing your hair for two to three days at a time.
Rinse thoroughly. No matter what products you use, you need to make sure that you are rinsing thoroughly. You should rinse for at least 30 seconds, but the longer the better.
Use the right shampoo. A gentle cleansing shampoo you will help you to avoid the problem of washing away too much oil. It will also prevent your scalp from producing too much oil.
Also, periodically using a shampoo that contains either salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole will deep cleanse your scalp of hair product build-up, which makes for a healthier scalp and less oily hair.
- Shampoos with tea tree oils can be useful because they absorb oils.
Condition the ends only. Keep conditioner away from your scalp, as it can increase oil production. Conditioner is intended to help with the ends of your hair which can become brittle and dry.
- Look for products specially formulated for oily hair and use them sparingly.
- Oral contraceptives and steroids can also lead to increased sebum production.
- For some people, oily hair is caused by a hormone issue. This is especially prevalent with teenagers, pregnant women, or menopausal women. If you think your oily hair is caused by a hormonal issue, talk to your doctor.
- Avoid rubbing your shampoo in too vigorously, as this will further stimulate oil production.