A Guide To Managing Oily Hair: Shampoos, Treatments And Tips

If you have oily hair, you know that it can be frustrating to cope with. Oily hair can leave your hair feeling greasy and weigh it down, making it difficult to style and maintain a healthy appearance.

Oily hair may be challenging, but it’s not impossible to manage. With the right shampoo, care routine and oily scalp treatment in Singapore, you can improve the feel of your hair. Before we get into that, let’s look at just what oily hair is and the main culprits behind it.

What Is Oily Hair?

Oil is a normal part of the functioning of your scalp. Oil, or sebum as it is also known, is produced by the sebaceous glands on your scalp. Sebum is necessary for the health of your hair, keeping it moisturised and preventing it from becoming dry and brittle.

However, when your sebaceous glands are overactive and produce too much sebum, it can lead to oily hair. This is when your hair can feel like it’s heavy and flat.  Oily hair can also cause product buildup(shampoo and other substances applied to your hair), dead skin cells and sweat.

What Causes Oily Hair?

Oily hair is a common problem that can be attributed to a variety of factors. While some people may be genetically predisposed to producing more oil on their scalp, environmental and lifestyle factors can also cause oily hair.


Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, can affect sebum production. During these times, your body’s hormone levels can fluctuate, increasing sebum production and oily hair.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can play a role in causing oily hair. For example, living in a humid climate like Singapore’s can cause your hair to produce more oil, as the moisture in the air stimulates the sebaceous glands. Similarly, using styling products that contain heavy oils and silicones can weigh the hair down, leading to an oily appearance.


Lifestyle factors can also contribute to oily hair. If you do not wash your hair regularly, you may accumulate excess sebum on your scalp. Similarly, using harsh shampoos and hair restoration products in Singapore can strip your hair of its natural oils, causing your scalp to compensate by producing more sebum.


Genetics may be a factor in sebum production, as some people are naturally prone to producing more sebum than others. This means that if your parents have oily hair, you may be more likely to have oily hair as well.

Shampoo Ingredients That Help Manage Oily Hair

People with oily hair and scalp should look for shampoos containing surfactant ingredients, which are substances that reduce surface tension when added to liquid. They deeply clean the scalp, removing dirt, sebum, sweat and other impurities. Common surfactant ingredients in shampoos include:

1. Lauryl Sulphates

Lauryl sulphate is a cleaning agent in many personal care and cleaning products. It can be synthetically made or derived from natural sources such as coconut oil or palm kernel oil. As a surfactant, it creates foam and traps oil and dirt in the hair to be rinsed away with water.

2. Sulfosuccinates

Sulfosuccinates provide mild cleansing and rich lather without stripping the hair’s moisture. They are commonly found in cleaning products such as bubble baths, shampoos and toothpaste. Sulfosuccinates are also used in cleansers for babies and sensitive skin due to their gentle properties.

You may also want to try shampoos that contain natural ingredients for their astringent properties and other benefits. Such ingredients include tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. They can help control oil production on your scalp, leaving your hair looking and feeling healthy.

1. Tea Tree Oil

According to studies, tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria and fungi that are responsible for itchiness and dandruff. A common ingredient in shampoos, this essential oil makes an excellent cleaning agent while soothing the scalp.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help balance the pH levels of the scalp and control oil production. It is also effective at cleansing the scalp of buildup.

3. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help remove excess oil from the hair and scalp. It is also a soothing agent that can ease the irritation of the scalp.

4. Sea Salt

Sea salt can help remove excess oil from the hair and scalp, and can also provide a natural exfoliating effect to help remove dead skin cells and buildup. They also contain minerals like magnesium and potassium that can boost your hair’s volume and texture.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can provide a deep clean for oily hair. It gently cleanses the hair shaft and removes extra sebum. Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can also calm an irritated scalp.

6. Green Tea

Green tea has been proven to lower sebum production on the scalp. It is a safe and effective way to control oil without causing irritation.

7. Peppermint Oil

Besides helping control excess oil and soothing itchiness on the scalp, peppermint oil has also been used as a natural remedy for hair loss.

8. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil has astringent properties that can help control oil production in the scalp.

Tips On Washing And Managing Oily Hair

A proper hair care routine is essential in the management of oily hair. Apart from selecting the right shampoo, following a routine will ensure that your oily hair and scalp receive the care that they need.

1. Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day

Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, which can cause the scalp to produce even more oil. Try washing your hair every other day or every two days to help control excess oil.

2. Use a Clarifying Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo removes excess oil and product buildup from the hair and scalp. This shampoo should be used once or twice a week to help control oily hair.

3. Use a Scalp Exfoliator

Exfoliating your scalp can be beneficial for the health of your scalp. A gentle scrub can provide a deeper clean, sloughing away the accumulation of dead skin cells, buildup and excess oil. Exfoliation should be done no more than once a week to avoid stripping the scalp dry and overproducing sebum.

4. Choose a Lightweight Conditioner

Your hair strands need caring too. Be sure to choose a lightweight conditioner and only apply it to the ends of your strands. Avoid applying conditioner on your scalp.

5. Use a Leave-in Conditioner

A leave-in conditioner can help provide moisture to the hair between washes, without making it greasy. Look for a lightweight leave-in conditioner designed for oily hair.

6. Avoid Using Hair Products with Silicones

Avoid using hair or styling products that are greasy or loaded with silicone, as these can contribute to oily hair. Silicones add shine and smoothness to your hair but they can build up on your scalp and make it look oily.

Instead, look for hair products that are specifically designed for oily hair and avoid applying them to the scalp. Apply them to your hair.

7. Try a Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo can be your quick-fix saviour. It is useful for instances where you need to look good quickly. A dry shampoo can instantly absorb oils and give your hair a cleaner appearance.

It also helps that most dry shampoos are lightly scented to freshen up your hair. Do note that you will need to wash them off the next day to prevent any buildup of residue on your hair.

8. Avoid Touching Your Hair

Styling and touching your hair frequently can stimulate your oil glands, so avoid running your fingers through your hair or playing with it.

Recommended Treatments For Oily Hair

You may also want to consider adding these gentle and natural remedies to your hair care routine to better control your oily hair.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse

Apple cider vinegar can be an effective scalp cleanser and help control oil. Mix two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water. After you have washed your hair with a shampoo, cleanse your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. You can do this two to three times a week for your oily hair.

2. Aloe Vera and Lemon Rinse

Aloe vera and lemon are natural astringents that can help remove excess oil.To benefit from these remedies, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one to two tablespoons of aloe vera juice. You can use the mixture to rinse your hair after shampooing. You can do this once a week for oily hair.

3. Epsom Salt Mix

Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which some evidence suggests can reduce scalp inflammation and absorb excess sebum. There are also studies that disprove its efficacy. How effective it is may vary according to people.

Try this remedy to see if Epsom salt is effective for you. Combine two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt with your shampoo and wash your hair with the solution. Then let your hair sit for two to three minutes before washing it.

Professional Treatments For Your Oily Hair

While having oily hair can be difficult, it can be made more manageable with a good shampoo, a proper hair care routine and some home remedies. If you have a hair care routine and have tried these treatments to no avail, then it is time to visit a scalp and hair care specialist. You may have a more severe condition which we can help identify and address.

TrichoLab is a hair growth and scalp treatment specialist in Singapore. We use our holistic medical expertise, scientific research and the power of natural ingredients to restore the health of your hair and scalp.

Our treatments for oily scalp and hair are non-invasive and require no downtime. TrichoLab offers several treatments for oily scalp, including our Sebum Control Treatment and Salicylic Acids Peel to exfoliate, remove buildup and nourish your scalp. We will assess your condition before recommending the right treatment for you.

For more information on our treatments or solutions for other scalp problems, contact us today.

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