We’ve all heard the advice; don’t wash your hair everyday! Well for some of us, it’s not that simple is it? If you have oily skin, you probably also have an oily scalp that makes your hair greasy, faster than normal. We can’t change our genetics, some people produce more oils than others, it is what it is, but you can take some measures to help your skin produce less oil and control buildup.
1) TRY A NATURAL REMEDY
Using some of these home remedies as a rinse once a week, before shampooing and conditioning can help balance your scalp’s PH level which reduces build up and slows oil production. Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), lemon juice or baking soda by diluting them in water, rubbing into your scalp and letting the solution set for a few minutes (use each individually to find what works best for you – don’t combine these ingredients into one mixture). Black tea is supposed to be another home remedy that acts as an astringent and tightens your pores, reducing buildup and oil, however I would be careful if you have lighter or colored hair. Just as tea can stain your teeth, I would think this may cause a bit of discolouration to your hair as well.
2) DON’T STRIP YOUR HAIR
As we’ve mentioned in other posts, when you use harsh shampoos to strip the oils from your scalp (or face) your glands go into overdrive to reproduce the oils you just took away. The more gentle you can be when it comes to shampooing, the better. Try an organic shampoo to skip the harsh chemicals you’ll find in most hair care brands and try not to wash and repeat. Unless you have a LOT of build up, once is usually enough when it comes to shampooing and will help leave some of your scalp’s protective oils in place.
3) DON’T HAVE HOT SHOWERS
We’re not suggesting you switch to cold showers but if you tend to have the temperature really high when showering, try turning it down a bit. Hot water will also strip oils from your skin and scalp, drying it out, and you guessed it…..putting those oil glands into overdrive. Not only that, hot water will open up your hair’s cuticles leaving the strands dry and frizzy. Cold water will help your strands retain moisture and will close up those cuticles leaving you with smoother hair. The best method is to use lukewarm – warm water while shampooing and and if you can, turn the temperature down to get cool or cold water for rinsing your conditioner out.
4) CONDITION THE ENDS ONLY
I personally never add conditioner to my scalp. One; I want to keep as many chemicals as possible away from my scalp, two; I like thicker moisturizing conditioners and although they’re great for my ends, I don’t want them to weigh down my roots and three; my scalp does not need any help with moisturizers, the natural oils it produces is quite enough. Apply your conditioner a good 3 inches down from your roots or try my technique if you have longer hair; apply it to the ends only and then twist your hair up and squeeze the excess conditioner onto the upper portion of your strands. This helps the more concentrated conditioner soak into the ends first and the watered down conditioner get applied to the rest.
5) WEAR A BANDANA TO BED
If you’re like me, the part of your hair that gets greasy the quickest is along the hairline. That’s due to the oil on your face. When you toss and turn during the night, all those fine hairs along your hairline rub up against your face and more oil is transferred, Loosely tie your hair in a bun or braid and use a bandana or even a fabric headband to keep those strands tucked away from your face.
6) DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR HAIR
Your hands have natural oils in them as well and the more you play with your hair or flip it from one side to the other, the more oil you’re adding. Try to style your hair after showering and leave it be after that. A light brushing will help distribute the oil down your strands but overdoing it will stimulate those oil glands, encouraging them to produce more.
7) GIVE BABY POWDER A TRY
We know there are lots of different dry shampoos on the market to help control oil between washing….and we’ve tried a LOT of them. Nothing compares to the results we get from talcum powder though. You do have to be careful with darker colored hair as the white powder will be more noticeable but if you use it lightly, it’s a strand-saver. Although I’ve never tried it (since my hair is lighter) you can try adding cocoa powder to your baby powder to darken the color a bit. I actually don’t sprinkle the powder directly on my hair; I hold the bottle upright and close to my strands, then squeeze the bottle so that only the fine dust comes out. If it’s a new bottle, you may need to take some of the baby powder out so you can get some more airflow in there and you don’t end up squeezing blasts of powder out.
8) USE DRY SHAMPOO WHEN HAIR IS FRESH
Dry shampoo or baby powder can be used as a preventative measure as well. After styling, or before bed, I like to put some around my hairline where my hair gets greasy the fastest. I don’t have any scientific proof to back up this claim but I notice a difference and my brain likes to think that the oil will be soaked up by the powder first, instead of it going straight onto my strands.
9) GO EASY ON THE PRODUCTS
If you can, try to stick to the ends of your strands when it comes to styling products, or better yet, skip them altogether. The more you apply, the more build up you’re creating which is obviously going to require you to wash your hair sooner. Everyone is different but I personally find that styling products don’t do much long term. Hairspray will give me volume for the first 20 minutes but then I’m just left with weighed down hair that’s sticky. I like to use a dry shampoo (Kevin Murphy FRESH.HAIR or Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray are my favorites) when styling as it serves dual purposes; keeps my hair looking fresh from the start, as mentioned above, and it also thickens up my strands to give me some more volume.
10) DILUTE YOUR SHAMPOO
They say you can train your glands to produce less oil over time by not washing everyday. I personally cannot attest to this because I haven’t been able to do it consistently. I’ll go 4 days without shampooing but on the weekends, I might shampoo Friday and Saturday if I’m going out both days and want to feel fresh. But a trick you can try to ease into shampooing less is to water down your shampoo. You may even be able to get away with just rinsing your hair under water and gently rubbing your scalp. Personally, I need a little bit of shampoo to get the heavy oils out so on the days that I feel I want fresh hair but shouldn’t necessarily be washing it just yet, I put a little shampoo in the palm of my hand, cup my hands and put them under the water, rub my hands together and apply the shampoo to soaking wet hair. This gently cleans my hair without going all in.
What you put in your body plays a big factor as well. If you suffer from oily skin, take a look at your diet; if you’re eating lots of fried, greasy foods, that’s going to take a toll on your outer appearance. I know we all love fast food, chips, pop and ice cream, but we should enjoy them in moderation. Drink plenty of water and make sure you’re getting lots of fruits and vegetables; I promise you’ll notice a difference in your skin.