What Causes Oily Hair and How to Fix It
One of the most difficult issues we have with our hair is the overproduction of oil. This overproduction can cause our hair to feel and look stringy and limp. Each hair follicle in your head is the cause of this oil production. The sebaceous glands are what helps keep our hair and skin both protected and lubricated.
The hands and bottoms of our feet are the only places on our body without these glands. The face and scalp have the highest concentration of sebaceous glands. Sebum is the name of the oily substance, which does great things for our body, but production can get out of control. Pimples are one of the consequences of overproductive sebaceous glands; oily hair is as well.
There are several different causes including diet, hygiene, and genetics. An underlying sickness can be the cause as well.
There are certain people that are more likely to get pimples and oily hair. Both men and women, who have fine hair, will typically have more oily hair. The reason for this is that there are more hair follicles per square inch, which means more sebaceous glands, leading to oily hair. Fine hair will typically go limp faster than thicker hair as well, making scalp disorders visible more quickly.
Many people will think that washing their hair more often will help. However, this does the exact opposite. Scalps that are devoid of oils will cause the glands to start producing more. Weather often plays a role in dry scalp, such as exposure to extreme heat or cold, wind, and sun.
Not washing your hair often, enough can also cause problems. Bacteria and other toxins will build up and cause scalp irritations. This will result in more sebum being produced. Infections and fungi can ensue if this is left overtime.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition where greasy hair comes with thick scales that look like dandruff. This can be a sign of serious illnesses such as Parkinsonís or HIV, so you should seek medical attention if this occurs.
Getting Rid of Oily Hair
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your oily hair is not the result of an illness. Once that has been determined, a few simple lifestyle changes as well as use of products available will help clear up oily hair.
Water! Hydration is extremely important and most people do not drink enough daily. Drinking water will help keep your scalp and skin full of moisture and keep it healthy. Remember: dry scalps produce more oil.
Avoid Junk Food: Junk foods and foods high in grease have been shown to increase the production of oily hair. However, avoiding all fat and oil is not the answer, as our bodies need fatty acids to function properly. Olive oil, nuts, fish and fruit are full of the healthy fats your body needs.
Vegetables! Whole grains and plenty of vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. These will give your body the nutrients it needs to work properly and look beautiful.
Exercise! Increase your heart rate every once in awhile. When you exercise on a regular basis, your circulation is increased and more oxygen goes to your cells. This increased amount of oxygen benefits your whole body, including your scalp.
When you wash your hair, it is important to make sure you do not dry your scalp out. Mild shampoos and very little stimulation are key to calming down your sebaceous glands. Several specialty shampoos available can help with oily hair. However, when trying a new shampoo, purchase a trial size bottle first and see how your hair and scalp react to the product. Another choice is baby shampoo with a couple of drops of tea tree oil.
Washing your hair everyday will not help. In fact, this can make the problem worse. Instead, you should wash your hair every other or every third day. When washing your hair, focus more on the hair than the scalp and do not rub the scalp if possible. Clearing shampoos will typically work better as a rule. Opaque shampoos will typically contain more ingredients and can make your hair even more oily.
Use lukewarm water to rinse your hair thoroughly. Make sure to get all of the shampoo out of your hair as leaving some behind can irritate your scalp and hair.
For people with short hair, conditioner should be avoided. For longer hair, only use conditioner on the bottom half of your hair and do not rub it into the scalp.
A dry shampoo can lower the oily look of your hair in between washing. Equal parts baking soda and cornstarch mixed together makes a cheap dry shampoo. Simply sprinkle it on your head and brush it out.
Avoid brushing your hair to much. Brushing can agitate the scalp and cause it to produce more oil. Combs and brushes should be sanitized at all times.
Tea tree oil is one of the best natural products to use for oily hair. Rosemary, stinging nettle, and sage have also been reported to have great results. To make this treatment for your hair gather two tablespoons of the dried plants and add to a liter of boiling water. Steep the plants for around 30 minutes and cool. Use this on your hair as a rinse. Aloe vera is another option to use on your scalp. Mint, lemon, and lemon oil can be added to shampoo and used as well.
Using Oil to Fight Oil
Since dry scalp is one of the main causes for oily hair, keeping your scalp moisturized is a way to get rid of it. Two times a month, use a hot oil treatment for your scalp. There are tubes available for use, or you can use olive or coconut oil you may have in your pantry. Make sure not to overheat the oil, it should be just above body temperature.
A combination of a good hair care regimen with a healthy diet can lead to beautiful bouncy hair, without all the oil.
Photo: Alon Za/Shutterstock
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