Oily hair can be a persistent and frustrating issue for many. The struggle to maintain a clean and fresh look often leads to a cycle of constant washing and styling, which can cause damage to those precious locks. Before we look at ways to control oily scalp in this article, we’ll demystify the causes of oily hair, explore the impact of overwashing, then offer you some guidance on managing an oily scalp effectively. We’ll also share some non-invasive oily scalp treatments you can consider in Singapore.
What is the main reason for an oily scalp?
The primary culprit behind an oily scalp is the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands.
Sebum, a natural oil produced by the skin, is essential for maintaining healthy hair, providing it with moisture and protection. However, when these glands produce an excess amount of sebum, it results in an oily scalp and hair.
Several factors can contribute to this overproduction. Genetics play a significant role; some people are simply predisposed to having more active sebaceous glands. Hormonal changes, particularly those related to puberty, pregnancy, and menstrual cycles, can also affect sebum production. Stress, diet, and even environmental factors can influence the oiliness of the scalp.
Why is my hair greasy after one day?
One common misconception about oily hair is that it requires frequent washing, or it needs to be washed everyday. In reality, overwashing can exacerbate the problem.
Washing your hair too often can strip it of its natural oils, triggering the scalp to produce even more sebum to compensate for the loss of what it thinks are protective oils. In fact, every time you wash your hair, the scalp receives the signal to produce more sebum. Wash your hair too often, and you can end up mis-signalling the scalp to go into increased sebum production mode.
The cycle of overwashing and increased oil production creates a challenging situation for those with naturally oily hair. While initial overwashing can temporarily reduce oiliness, it ultimately leads to a rebound effect, where the scalp produces more oil after each wash.
Apart from the direct impact of overwashing, other factors contribute to the quick oiliness, such as:
- Type of hair products e.g. heavy conditioners especially if used near the scalp
- Certain styling products known to contribute to scalp buildup
- Hair texture e.g. curly hair. In curly or coily hair types, the oil from the scalp has a challenging path to navigate to coat the hair evenly, often resulting in oil accumulation at the scalp. This uneven distribution can give the appearance of oilier hair compared to straight hair types, where oil can more easily travel down the hair shaft.
How often should I wash my hair if I have an oily scalp?
There seem to be some differences in how different ethnicities should approach hair washing frequency. The optimal frequency for washing hair varies from person to person, depending on their scalp condition and lifestyle.
For those with an oily scalp, washing every other day or every two days might be sufficient. However, the best way to figure out the best frequency for yourself is to monitor how your scalp and hair responds to a certain intensity of washing, before increasing or decreasing the frequency of washing.
Other than seeing increased sebum production, some signs that you might be overwashing your hair include increased itching and flaking of skin from the scalp, as well as dry or brittle hair.
Undergoing a good oily scalp treatment
For those seeking professional help, TrichoLab offers a range of treatments for oily scalp conditions. These treatments are designed to balance sebum production, cleanse the scalp, and provide long-term relief from oiliness.
All our treatments for oily skin begin with a thorough scalp analysis. This important first step helps us understand and assess the current state of the scalp, allowing us to recommend the most appropriate treatment for each person’s unique scalp condition.
Hydra Balancing Scalp Treatment
An inflamed scalp is one outcome of sebum overproduction. The buildup of oil can cause scalp irritation, redness and inflammation of the hair follicles. In this case, it makes sense to soothe the skin and rebalance the scalp.
The Hydra Balancing Scalp Treatment uses blue light therapy, which has gained some attention in the treatment of inflamed scalps.
The mechanism behind blue light therapy is centred around its ability to penetrate the uppermost layer of the skin. This penetration can have various beneficial effects, including reducing inflammation, which is a common issue in scalp conditions.
By calming inflammation, blue light therapy can create a more favourable environment for hair growth. It’s also thought to aid in managing the scalp’s oil production, which can contribute to healthier hair growth.
Combined with exfoliation and a calming serum, the Hydra Balancing Scalp Treatment helps to balance out sebum in the scalp.
Salicylic Acid Peel
Sebum overproduction can sometimes also lead to seborrheic dermatitis and product build-up on the scalp, which can cause itching and discomfort. To counter this, a salicylic acid peel treatment can possibly provide relief.
Salicylic acid works as a chemical exfoliant that can effectively remove dead skin cells, debris, and excess oil that contribute to an oily scalp. Oil clogs pores, whereas salicylic acid dissolves any accumulation of oil and other debris, dislodging any possible blockages in the pores.
The acid does not directly provide any sebum control function, but its exfoliation and pore unclogging effects contribute to a more balanced oil production. A cleaner scalp and less congested pores means less stimulated sebaceous glands, and reduced oiliness.
Oily Scalp Treatment
For those who have no specific needs, but want to begin controlling the secretion of sebum at the scalp level, an oily scalp treatment can do the job.
This treatment uses a mix of different techniques. Opening up the pores with gentle steaming, the treatment then goes into exfoliation using papaya and pineapple enzymes, before shampooing and scalp soothing is done. This treatment also uses green tea extract to help further reduce scalp inflammation.
Non-invasive oily scalp treatment in Singapore
Assessing oily hair and scalps requires skills and techniques that need to be customised to individual patients. If you need help in dealing with oily hair, our trichology-trained professionals can build a suitable treatment plan just for you.
TrichoLab will provide the necessary diagnosis and treatment to alleviate your oily hair concerns. Book an appointment with us today!