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How to Treat Oily Hair & Scalp

Providing care to an oily scalp can be difficult. We run through recommended techniques, products and advice on oily hair treatments so you can achieve balanced, healthy hair.

Good hair days have the power to make us feel like our best selves. When it comes to our hair though, things don’t always go to plan. Waking up to an oily scalp is super frustrating and can affect your overall confidence. There are several factors that contribute to an oily scalp (spoiler: it’s not just genetics), but the good news is that an oily scalp can be managed with the right products and routine. To understand why oily scalps occur and the habits and products you should avoid, as well as the right routine to keep oiliness at bay, look no further than our helpful guide below.

What Causes an Oily Scalp?

It’s a common misconception that oily scalps can only be the result of genetics or long waits between washes. While those sources can definitely contribute to oiliness, our scalp’s moisture level is also affected by our lifestyle, environments and even changes to stress levels. Scalps, like the rest of the skin on our body, produce a natural oil called sebum. Sebum is the way our body keeps skin moisturised and hydrated, but we can sometimes produce an excess amount of it, leading to oiliness. An excess amount of oiliness can be caused by changes in hormones or medication, stress, over-washing hair, and even hair styling routines. Funnily enough, sebum can also overproduce when we’re dehydrated, making dry climates another factor.

How to manage your oily hair & scalp

The way that you wash your hair can also lead to dreaded greasiness. Frequent washing can strip your scalp of its healthy oil levels and put its sebum production into overdrive. Alongside this, too much shampoo and not enough rinsing can clog your hair with any oil that your product may contain. Knowing how to treat an oily scalp is simpler than you might think. If you feel defeated by onsets of oiliness, we have you covered. Read on below for our easy-to-follow oily hair and scalp treatment.

Pay attention to the frequency you wash your hair

Frequent washing can reduce your scalp's healthy oil levels and put sebum production into overdrive.

Alongside this, too much shampoo and not enough rinsing can clog your hair fibres with leftover product.

We recommend washing your hair no more than 2-3 times per week to avoid affecting with your scalp's natural oil production and increasing the greasiness of your scalp.

Use hair products for oily hair

When you are experiencing oily hair and scalp, one of the best methods to balance oil production is by using specially formulated hair products for oily hair. These products are designed to help gently cleanse away excess oil without drying to create a healthy, balanced scalp environment.

Focus on your scalp when washing

Like the other areas of skin, our scalps are prone to becoming itchy, dry, sweaty and sensitive. When washing your hair make sure to massage your scalp firmly but gently. This will encourage dead skin cell exfoliation (goodbye dandruff) and promote the healthy circulation of blood. Doing this will also allow your product to be as effective as possible. After a few minutes, rinse all of your product out so that there is no residue left behind.

Pro tip: When washing hair, use a specialised shampoo for oily hair. These shampoos are designed for the unique concerns of oily hair, and help to balance and cleanse the scalp without dehydrating hair.

Clean your hairstyling tools

Oil and hair products can build up on straighteners, curling irons, brushes and rollers. You should remove the hair from your brushes and combs once a week, and soak them in a gentle cleanser to rid them of oil. To clean your heated tools, wipe them down regularly with alcohol rubs.

Avoid touching your hair

We hear you – playing with hair is a subconscious habit that’s hard to break. It’s important that you try though, as twirling, scratching and running your hands through hair will transfer the oil from your fingers and palms onto those precious locks. Keeping your hands off is one of the best things you can do for your hair health, so do whatever you can to remember.

Change your pillowcase regularly

Oil as well as bacteria and pollutants brought in from outside build up on your pillowcase. Make sure to wash your pillowcase around once a week. This is especially important for those with acne-prone skin, as oily materials can also aggravate the state of skin.

Use a scalp cleanser

Using a scalp cleanser can help detox excess oils by gently cleansing and purifying the scalp. Our Spécifique Argile Équilibrante Hair Cleanser Clay Shampoo is formulated with amino acid and kaolin clay to remove scalp impurities, excess oil and product buildup without being over-drying.

Don't forget to hydrate your lengths

If you have oily hair, you may shy away from hydrating hair products to avoid adding to your oily hair problem. However, to avoid an oily scalp and dry ends, it's important to hydrate your lengths.

Adopt a lightweight hair mask like the Spécifique Masque Rehydratant Hydrating Mask to provide your ends with essential hydration without oiliness.

Don't rely on dry shampoo

Having an oily scalp may makeover-using your dry shampoo way too easy. While dry shampoo is perfect for refreshing oily hair in between washes, it should not be used as a substitute for washing hair.

In fact, over-using this product can result in a build up of product at the scalp, increasing scalp oiliness.

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