How does oily hair and scalp develop?
Oily hair and scalp can be a common issue. Sebum, which can make the scalp or hair appear greasy, is produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands are located next to our hair follicles. Since they have no exit of their own, the sebum reaches the surface of the skin across the hair follicles.
The sebum has important functions, it protects our skin from germs and water loss and keeps it smooth. If the sebum is overproduced, oily scalp and hair appears.
Causes of oily scalp and hair
There are several possible causes for oily scalp and hair. Some of these cannot be changed, such as the hereditary predisposition or hormone fluctuations, which occur during puberty or pregnancy. Other factors that cause an oily scalp and hair can be caused by a hectic daily routine or diet and the wrong care for the scalp and hair. The last point can be easily corrected with a daily routine.
In reality, synthetic shampoo works in a similar manner to the way that harsh cleansers function on our skin – your shampoo strips the natural oils from your scalp which means the sebum glands in your scalp compensate by producing natural oils at a faster rate. Your hair then gets oily quickly and you need to shampoo your hair again to get rid of that
greasy feeling. It’s an ongoing cycle that plays perfectly into the hands of the shampoo
Tips for oily hair:
Wash your hair in the morning: The sebaceous glands are active at night. At night, we move our heads around on our pillows. This distributes sebum making hair look greasier more quickly.
Reduce heat. Heat stimulates sebaceous glands. When showering be sure the water is lukewarm and your hair dryer on the lowest level or preferably air dry your hair.
Use a brush instead of a comb. A brush distributes sebum better than a comb.
Avoid wearing hats for too long. This prevents the oxygen from reaching your scalp. As a result the scalp can react with an overproduction of sebum.
Apply conditioners and hair masks only to hair strands— avoiding your scalp.
Use the right shampoo. If you have oily hair, your shampoo doesn’t need any heavy ingredients like oils or butters. These ingredients weigh down hair, making it look greasy. If you wash your hair every day, use a mild shampoo, otherwise you may wash off too much sebum and the scalp will react by producing even more sebum as a protection (vicious circle).
I formulate a liquid shampoo and conditioner combo that is beneficial in helping with oily scalp and hair. Another option that works wonders for oily scalp and hair is my Blue Tansy + Bamboo Shampoo Bar. These formulas are plant-based, contain no SLS or synthetic silicones. All of these formulas are helpful with oily hair along with thinning and fine hair types.