Oil in the scalp is not a bad thing — in fact, it keeps your scalp hydrated, protected, and supports overall hair health. However, too much oil may be a cause for concern, and no one wants a greasy scalp and the issues that come with it. An oily scalp can feel uncomfortable, cause itching, and lead to other conditions such as dandruff, hair fall and infections.
If your scalp feels oilier than it should be, keep reading! Here are common mistakes to avoid when managing an oily scalp.
Contrary to popular belief, washing your hair too often can cause an oily scalp instead of relieving it. Shampooing strips away the natural oils in our scalp. This signals the scalp to make up for the loss of moisture and restore the natural balance by producing more sebum, leading to an oily scalp. The vicious cycle then continues.
Try washing your hair less often, giving your scalp enough time for the natural oils to replenish. Dry shampoos are another viable and travel-friendly alternative — not only do they help extend time before washes, they absorb excess oils and freshen your hair after a workout or a humid day.
2. Harsh products
Using the wrong hair care products can lead to an oily scalp. Harsh products may throw off your scalp’s natural microbiome and strip it of its natural oils, triggering an overproduction of sebum.
Look out for products that contain sulphates, parabens, formaldehydes, silicones, denatured alcohols and synthetic fragrances. Opt for products that do not contain these ingredients, and gentler shampoos that purify and help preserve the natural oils in your hair.
3. Skipping hair conditioners
Don’t skip hair conditioning! Incorporating hair conditioners into your shower routine a few times a week is crucial. It provides your hair with much-needed hydration, protection, and helps balance out your scalp’s natural oils. This is especially true for those with damaged or chemically-treated hair, such as coloured or permed hair, which need a bit more hydration and tender loving care!
The key is finding the right type of conditioner for your condition. Opt for rinse-out conditioners instead of leave-in ones, or lightweight conditioners that are specially formulated to control oil and grease. This lowers your chances of leaving a greasy residue.
Although brushing your hair does give off a glossy sheen and helps distribute oil from your roots to your dry ends, over-brushing stimulates oil production and can cause an oily scalp.
Ideally, brush no more than twice a day, and only when your hair needs untangling or styling. It also helps to use a wide-toothed comb, as these are generally less harsh on the scalp.
5. Excessively touching your hair
Resist excessively running your fingers through your hair and scalp as it can irritate your scalp and stimulate sebum production, causing greasy hair. Our hands also naturally produce oil, which can be transferred onto your hair strands and create an oilier appearance.
6. Using hot water
Try not to take hot showers too often, because they can be damaging to both your skin and your hair. Hot water strips your scalp off its natural oils and dries out your scalp. Your scalp may overcompensate and produce more oil, resulting in oily hair.
Hot water also opens up the hair follicles, making them more prone to dirt and debris. Try showering with cold water once in a while to close the pores in your scalp and lessen frizz.
7. Improper cleansing
Not washing your hair well enough can cause oils, dirt and debris to accumulate on your scalp. Focus on washing your scalp and rinse the shampoo thoroughly. Be careful not to scrub too aggressively, too, or you may irritate your scalp and produce more sebum.
You could also treat your hair to an oily scalp treatment. TrichoLab offers a specialised Oily Scalp Treatment that helps rebalance and regulate sebum levels by gentle exfoliation to remove build-up and thoroughly cleanse the scalp. It also hydrates and nourishes using a series of botanicals and plant extracts.
8. Not addressing underlying causes
An overly greasy scalp may be caused by underlying issues, such as:
- Seborrheic dermatitis — This common fungal skin disease that affects the scalp, triggering inflammation and changes in oil production. Thankfully, this condition can be treated with antifungal creams or medicated lotions and ointments with a visit to your dermatologist.
- Improper diet — A diet high in fatty foods or sugars may lead to increased sebum production and an oily scalp. Certain foods may also cause allergies that, in turn, trigger an inflammatory response that results in excessive oil production.
- Hormonal imbalance — Hormonal fluctuations that happen during puberty, pregnancy or menopause can lead to an overproduction of sebum in the scalp. Medical conditions that cause hormonal imbalances, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or hyperthyroidism can also affect oil production.
- Genetic predisposition — Sometimes, an oily scalp simply runs in the family where one is genetically predisposed to overactive sebaceous glands.
- Medications — Certain medications, such as birth control pills, antidepressants or corticosteroids, may cause increased sebum production as a side effect. Speak with your healthcare provider to explore other medical alternatives for your condition.
- Stress — Stress can also trigger hormonal changes in the body, which, in turn, cause excess sebum production in the scalp.
Managing your oily scalp may require addressing the underlying issues that may be causing the excess oil production.
Non-invasive oily scalp treatment in Singapore
Hopefully, this quick read helped you better understand how to manage oily hair. Greasy hair can be caused by anything from poor hair care habits to hormonal imbalances. Although a greasy scalp is fairly common, it is also completely treatable!
The first step to managing an oily scalp is getting to the root cause of the issue — if you experience a consistently greasy scalp, come to TrichoLab for a thorough scalp analysis and personalised treatment plan. Here, our trained therapists will work with you in creating a treatment plan suited to your hair type, texture and hair concerns.