On a good hair day, when your hair is lush and shiny, you feel undefeatable! It gives you an incredible boost of confidence and you go about your day with a little skip in your step. But just as real as the joy of beautiful hair is, so is the panic of oily scalp and greasy locks. We have all had days when we woke up with hair that looked like it had been soaked in oil. Add to it an important meeting, class or event, and it’s a complete nightmare.

Oily Hair Woes

Oily scalp and greasy hair are common in the summer and monsoon seasons. But over time they cause issues that tend to hamper the health of your scalp and hair. 

  • They make you feel less refreshed even after a shower
  • Accumulation of grime causes an itchy and flaky scalp
  • Greasy hair looks matte and gets easily tangled
  • Such hair is more prone to breakage

Dealing with these issues daily can be very annoying. But it can have more serious repercussions like hair loss as well. To understand how to deal with oily scalp and hair, let’s first understand why you get them in the first place?

What Causes Oily Hair?

Sebum or oil production by the scalp is normal. But if this production is excessive or not regularly cleaned, it can lead to poor scalp and hair health. Here are things you should check for if you are dealing with oily scalp and hair:

  1. Humidity: This is a concern especially in the monsoon when the high ambient humidity causes us to sweat more. The scalp sweats too and grime gets accumulated, making the hair look greasy.
  2. Too Much Shampooing: While your first response to oily hair maybe to wash it, it may not always be a good idea. Excessive shampooing strips your scalp of its natural oils, forcing it to produce more. This, in turn, makes for an oily scalp and grimy hair.
  3. Not Shampooing Enough: This is just as bad for your hair health. When build-up on your scalp is not cleaned often enough, it makes it itchy. Your scalp may start flaking too, causing dandruff. Hair becomes matted, flat and lifeless, breaking easily. Washing hair 2-3 times in a week, depending on hair length and weather is a good rule of thumb.
  4. Condition Responsibly: The feeling of running your hair through silky, untangled hair is unbeatable. But don’t go overboard with your conditioner to achieve it. Too much conditioner makes you scalp sticky and attracts more dirt. It also causes oil to build up.
  5. Clean The Brush: Dirt, dead skin and broken hair get caught up in your hairbrush/comb over time. When you use this unclean brush, the dirt gets transferred to your hair, leaving it dirty and greasy.
  6. Over-oiling: Excessively oiling your hair does not give it time to breathe and also clogs pores on the scalp, which may cause dandruff. Keeping the oil on too long makes the hair and scalp sticky. Dirt and dust sticks and builds up, causing itching and dryness.
  7. Touch Me Not: If you are prone to an oily scalp, fidgeting with your hair, scratching your head, or excessively brushing hair can worsen the situation. Such activity stimulates the oil glands, making your scalp and hair greasier.

10 Home Remedies For Oily Scalp & Hair

Oily scalp remedies need not consist of expensive products. You can reap the benefits of locally available ingredients to whip up natural and gentle oily scalp treatment. Here are 10 ingredients from your kitchen or garden that will help you make easy home remedies for an oily scalp:

1. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel For Oily Scalp

Aloe vera is the holy grail of skin and hair care and is loved for its moisturising effect. 

How To Use It:

  1. Take some natural aloe vera gel and generously apply it as a mask in your hair. 
  2. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing with a mild shampoo. 

Using aloe vera for hair will help moisturise and calm the scalp while helping to get rid of build-up. A moisturised scalp will produce less oil and hair will also look healthier.

2. Cornstarch

Combat Oily Hair With Cornstarch

When you are in a hurry, dry shampoo is one of the best oily hair remedies. But if you do not have it, cornstarch is the next best thing. 

How To Use It:

  1. Rub it into your oily scalp for a less greasy look. 
  2. If you have dark hair, mix it with cocoa powder to prevent a whitish appearance. 

It may sound weird, but you’ll be surprised by how effective it is!

3. Coconut Oil

Treat Oily Scalp With Coconut Oil

You would think that an oily scalp does not need more oil. But the truth is quite the opposite. Regular oiling keeps your scalp moisturised and prevents it from producing extra oil. 

How To Use It:

  1. Gently massage coconut oil onto your scalp and in the lengths of your hair.
  2. You can heat the oil a bit for a calming effect, but make sure to not heat it.

Coconut oil is a light, nourishing oil that will deeply moisturise your hair. Our dadis and nanis have relied on coconut oil to do the trick for generations and now you have more reason to listen to them. 

4. Green Tea

Green Tea For Oily Hair

Green tea is known to reduce oil production and have a nourishing effect. 

How To Use It:

  1. Brew a few tea bags and let it cool.
  2. Then rinse your hair with the brewed water. 

5. Tea Tree Oil

Get Rid Of Oily Scalp With Tea Tree Oil

If your oily hair is caused by dandruff, tea tree oil can help alleviate it. 

How To Use It:

  1. Mix 15 drops of it with 30 ml of light carrier oil (like coconut or almond). 
  2. Massage it into your hair and leave on for an hour before washing. 

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Combat Oily Scalp With Apple Cider Vinegar

This one is a highly recommended hair care ingredient and is helpful for oily hair too.

How To Use It:

  1. Dilute 2 teaspoons of it in a cup of water. 
  2. After you have shampooed your hair, rinse your hair with this mixture. 

It is moisturising, soothing and being rich in acetic acid, helps restore pH of the scalp.

7. Egg Yolk

Treat Oily Hair With Egg Yolk

Egg yolk is rich in protein and fatty acids. It will provide the much-needed moisture to your scalp so it doesn’t over-produce its own. 

How To Use It:

  1. Whip it up in a bowl and apply to the hair as a mask. 
  2. Don’t let it dry all the way. When it is of a gel-like consistency, wash off with cool water.

8. Oatmeal

Oatmeal For Oily Hair

The thick consistency of oatmeal is great for absorbing excess oil from hair. 

How To Use It:

  1. Cook some oatmeal and let it cool. 
  2. Then apply it like a mask and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing properly.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties that are soothing for an irritated scalp. 

9. Curd (Dahi)

Combat Oily Scalp With Curd

Dahi has a cooling effect that soothes irritated or itchy scalp. Plus, it has moisturising properties. 

How To Use It:

  1. Mix a cup of plain home-made curd (dahi) with a teaspoon of baking soda.
  2. Use it as a mask and leave on for 30 minutes before shampooing.

10. Multani Mitti

Treat Oily Hair With Multani Mitti

You may have used it on your face several times, but you will be glad to know that Multani mitti works great for oily hair care too. 

How To Use It:

  1. Whip up a paste that is not too thick, apply like a mask.
  2. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing with cool water.
  3. Shampoo as needed.

The mitti will soak up excess oil and also have a calming effect on the scalp.

Hair Care Routine For An Oily Scalp

When embarking on an oily hair care routine, remember that there are no miracle ingredients. Patience and consistency are essential for good results. So choose ingredients that suit you and stick to a routine for at least 4 weeks before evaluating results. To get you started, here is a model plan with home remedies for oily hair:

DayRoutine
SundayTreat your hair to a deep moisturisation by oiling it with coconut oil. After keeping the oil in your hair for an hour, wash it with a silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. Use a serum that is not oil-based in composition; you can also skip it if your hair gets too greasy
MondayIf your hair feels greasy on a working day, rub in some cornstarch (or dry shampoo) and you will be good to go you do not have time for a full shampoo routine, give your hair a green tea rinse 
TuesdayFollow a lighter shampooing routine; give your conditioner a rest and follow your shampoo with an apple cider vinegar rinse. If you are iffy about store-bought shampoos, you can mix shikakai powder with water to get a paste-like consistency and then shampoo with it
WednesdayMid-week oiling is a great way to maintain your scalp’s oil balance; mix some tea tree oil with a carrier oil and give your head a good massage with it. Keep it on for an hour before washing
ThursdayGo in with another round of tea tree oil treatment If you are pressed for time, apple cider vinegar rinse is also good enough
FridayGo into the weekend with a fresh head! Use an aloe mask in your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes. Follow with a shampoo and conditioner
SaturdayA good day for a mask! Use oatmeal, multani mitti or dahi mask depending on availability and weather. Alternate between masking on Saturday and deep oiling on Sunday—do one of them per week to avoid overwhelming your scalp. Cover your head with a towel or shower cap to prevent the mask from drying too soon

Preventive Measures

  1. Listen To Your Head: If you have an itchy or flaky scalp, don’t ignore it. While it is okay to put your oily hair in a bun when you are pressed for time, doing so regularly can worsen your oily hair problem. So wash your hair when it starts looking too oily. Also, do not postpone washing your hair after a sweaty workout. The build-up will harm your scalp. It is advisable to plan your hair washes around your workout routine.
  2. Understand Your Products: When you are dealing with an oily scalp, make sure to check the ingredient list of the products you use. Silicone is a common ingredient in drug-store shampoos and conditioners. While they are not harmful to overall health, silicones build up in the hair and scalp over time. This makes the hair look greasy even after a wash. The layer of silicone also prevents moisture from penetrating, causing dryness and frizz. Instead, look for sulphates. They are powerful cleaning agents that are gentle on the hair. Not only will they get rid of the silicone build-up, but will also keep your scalp cleaner for longer. However, if they feel too drying for your hair, just look for natural shampoos that have neither of the two ingredients.  
  3. Number Of Washes: In a single wash, do not shampoo your hair more than twice. In your attempt to get it squeaky clean, you will strip your scalp of its natural oils. It will dehydrate and produce more oil to compensate. Your hair will end up looking greasy sooner.  
  4. Gentle Massaging: When massaging in oils, the goal is to invigorate the scalp skin to absorb the oil. But do this gently or you may end up irritating the scalp. Vigorous massaging can also rile up the oil glands and weaken hair, leading to oily scalp hair loss. 
  5. Shampooing With Hot Water: This one is a big no-no. It will dehydrate your hair and scalp, leading to greasiness. Lukewarm or cool water is the way to go. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cleanliness Is Key: Keep your hair and scalp clean with regular washing and oily scalp treatment solutions. Also, clean out your hair implements, like brush, comb, and scrunchies regularly. 
  • Avoid Excess: As a popular Sanskrit adage informs, excess is always harmful. So shampoo regularly but not too often. If you work out or have a schedule that causes oiliness often, use baby shampoo for a quick wash as it is milder. Too much oiling is also not advisable as your scalp needs time to breathe.
  • Experiment: If your scalp feels unclean ever after a wash or the very next day, space out your washes. You could be over-shampooing, causing your scalp to produce excess sebum. Experiment with the frequency of washes in a week. Similarly, if you think your oily hair is due to the products, do experiment with natural and chemical-based ones until you find your right fit.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are home remedies for oily hair safe to use?

A. Home remedies use ingredients that you use daily and are habituated to. So they are safe to use. However, if you are sceptical about an ingredient, it advisable to do a patch test before use.

Q. Is it normal to have oily scalp hair loss?

A. Yes. An oily scalp is the result of an unbalanced scalp environment. This results in weakening of hair, dryness, frizz and increased breakage—all precursors for hair loss. When you use oily scalp remedies, you treat the root of the problem. When that gets better, you will also see a decrease in the hair loss caused by it. 

Q. Which oils are best suited for oily hair remedies?

A. When treating oily hair, you want to use oils that are light and nourishing. Coconut and jojoba are great options. If you have curly hair, argan oil is the best.

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

A law student by day and a creator by night, Anjali Singh specialises in connecting brands to their target audience. This content writer is enthusiastic, self-motivated, and a punctual about her work. She is an avid reader, photographer and a curious foodie.

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