Feeling more and more like grease lightning than a glam goddess these days? This is a common problem, especially in men. Since on average, men are 30% more oily than women, due to testosterone. Hormones are just one of the many factors that stimulate sebum production. Poor diet, dehydration, pH imbalance, poorly formulated hair care products, improper hair care, genetics, climate changes, stress, and medications can also cause oily hair and skin.
Greasy hair is caused by overactive sebaceous glands. Sebum plays a vital role in keeping the hair looking healthy, smooth and protecting it against damage. However, too much can cause the hair to become limp, heavy, and prone to dandruff. Leaving you not looking or feeling your best.
Looking for ways to regulate your oil production? Try incorporating these simple steps into your beauty/wellness ritual, for sexier-looking hair.
1. Eat Plants
When it comes to treating the exterior, it’s always best to start from the inside! Sugar, refined carbs, dairy, and fatty meats can cause excess sebum production. Also, the naturally occurring hormones present in dairy and meat can interfere with the endocrine system and cause hormonal imbalances.
Essential fatty acids, zinc, and foods high in B vitamins are believed to help regulate sebum production. These nutrients can be found in leafy greens, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drink water and herbal teas. If you are dehydrated, your body will try and compensate by producing more sebum in an attempt to self-regulate. Herbal teas can help balance hormones, reduce stress and provide beneficial nutrients that support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
3. Balance pH and Remove Build-up
Applying an apple cider vinegar rinse can help balance pH and remove build-up.
Mix a ½-3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of cold water. Increase mixture if needed but keep that ratio the same. It's important to dilute the vinegar and use cold water to help to seal the cuticle. Apply directly to the scalp let sit for 5 minutes, rinse, shampoo and condition as normal. Use only as needed. Overuse will cause the hair to become dry/brittle and could cause accidental color removal.
Additionally, try using the Awaken or Clarify Set once or twice a week.
4. Avoid Using Products that Leave your Hair Feeling Greasy After Use
To formulate a great shampoo or conditioner, ingredients need to have a high HLB (Hydrophilic–lipophilic balance). This allows the shampoo and conditioner to wash off the hair readily.
Shampoos and conditioners that have a low HLB will leave a greasy residue after washing, compounding the problem.
Avoid too many styling products. They can weigh the hair down and cause build-up.
5. Avoid straightening the hair
Straightening the hair with a flat iron causes the hair to lay close to the scalp, where it is in direct contact with the sebum. This will cause the hair to look greasy faster than it would if it was left to its natural texture.
6. Avoid over-washing and harsh surfactants
This might seem a bit counterintuitive but over washing the hair can cause excess production of sebum.
Also, the type of surfactant (cleaning agent) used in the shampoo is important, especially in shampoo bars since the concentration of surfactant is much higher compared to bottled shampoo. Some surfactants clean too well and excessively strip oil from the hair. In response, the body will produce extra sebum to compensate.
7. Use your products properly
Massage shampoo directly into the scalp in a few different places. Focus only on the scalp as this will help prevent damage to the ends. Give the scalp a good scrub to help exfoliate and unclog pores. You may notice a lack of bubbles the first time you wash; this is because oil reduces any shampoo's ability to lather. Just rinse and repeat. Avoid the urge to overuse the bars to ensure a longer lifetime of the shampoo bar.
The shampoo you want on the roots; conditioner you don’t! Apply conditioner mid-hair shaft towards the ends. Avoiding the scalp is especially important for fine or thin hair. Finer hair tends to get oily and limp faster than coarser hair, so it can easily be weighed down.
Knowing your body and getting the root of the problem (pun intended) will be the most effective way to balance your oil production. If you are looking for fast results it’s always best to consult a wellness or hair care expert.
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Written by Amy Hamilton