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Oily hair woes

Roanna Silveira

Greasy hair can spoil anyone’s look. But why are some people more prone to this? Perpetually oily hair is caused by scalp issues or by poor maintenance of one’s hair.

The body produces natural oil called sebum. When one’s body overproduces sebum, it manifests as oily skin or oily hair when produced in the scalp. Excess sebum production may be due to various reasons. This may be hereditary or due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or puberty. Seasonal changes and climate can factor into it. Travelling to a place with a different climate can also have an impact. Finally, lifestyle – diet and hair care – can also affect oil production.

How to prevent oily hair

Over washing: Do not over wash your hair. If you remove all natural oils from the scalp, it produces excess oil to make up for the lack of moisture. Don’t wash more than once a day. Try to reduce the number of times you wash per week. Slowly it cut down from every day to alternate days to three times a week. If done slowly, the body will adapt and reduce oil production.

Use cold water: Don’t wash your hair with hot water as it can stimulate the sebaceous glands which produce oil. Rinse your hair after conditioner with cold water to close the cuticles of the hair.

Choose the right products: Choose a shampoo and conditioner which work for your hair type. So don’t choose a smoothening shampoo as this will just make your hair seem greasier. L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Clay Shampoo has three types of clays which draw out oils and impurities and help keeps hair oil-free and clean for longer. The conditioner of the same range is light and conditions the ends well without weighing the hair down like some other products.

Use a gentle shampoo so that all the oils are not stripped from the hair. Occasionally, use a shampoo that contains salicylic acid to deep cleanse the scalp. Try a product with tea tree oil to reduce oil.

Do not apply conditioner to the scalp. Only condition from mid-shaft till the ends of your hair. Use a small coin-sized amount of conditioner for long hair and a pea-sized amount for short hair.

Don’t apply greasy gels and mousses to the hair as this will weigh it down. Avoid products which add shine to the hair because it will make oil-prone hair look greasy.

Avoid products with silicone or oil as it will weigh your hair down.

Avoid touching your hair: Touching the hair will transfer oils from your fingers to the scalp, increasing the grease there. This applies to the face as well. Stop touching your face!

Don’t brush too much (or too little!): Over brushing stimulates sebaceous glands so they will produce more oil. Brushing too little will result in oil building up on the scalp and not being redistributed.

Wash your combs and brushes: Every week, soak your brushes and combs in warm soapy water for half an hour and wash them. This will remove any old oil which could then be redistributed through the hair.

Use dry shampoo: When you’re cutting down the number of hair washes through the week, your hair will begin to look greasy by the second or third (or even first) day. Dry shampoo will help that. Spray this on your roots in sections and massage it in. Then style it as usual. If you don’t have a dry shampoo at hand, try using cornstarch instead. One can use dry shampoo occasionally; don’t use dry shampoo every day as it can block your hair follicles.

Avoid heat: Avoid using straightening irons, curling wands, blow-dryers, etc. Heat stimulates oil production. Also, straighteners spread oil throughout your hair making it limp and greasy. Try to let your hair air-dry naturally. Invest in a microfiber towel which will absorb more water from your hair, letting it dry faster.

Use a clarifying shampoo or treatment: In spite of washing your hair regularly, build-up of product and oil can occur in the hair. Use a clarifying shampoo or treatment twice a month to remove excess grease from the hair. Don’t do this too often as clarifying shampoos strip all oil from the hair, thereby stimulating higher sebaceous gland activity.

Increase your vitamin B intake: Vitamin B, especially B6 and B2 can help control sebum production. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins B.

Change your hairstyle: If you have long hair, throw it in a different do to disguise that second-day greasiness. Try a messy bun, braids or updos. You could also pull it back in a slick ponytail. A scarf or headband can disguise greasy roots in no time.

Try these tips to get a gorgeous, soft, grease-free mane!

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