How Do We Get Greasy Hair?
Greasy hair might look unattractive and can be difficult to manage and style. This condition is hard to hide and it is very uncomfortable and frustrating problem for many people.
Sebaceous glands, which are located surround the hair follicles, produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum. Sebum keeps the scalp comfortably moisturized and protects hair shafts from excessive dryness and breakage. If sebum production is too low, the hair becomes dry and brittle.
When sebaceous glands are overactive, they produce more oil than is needed. An excessive amount of sebum leads to oily scalp issues. The warmth of the scalp melts sebum and excess oil passes from the scalp onto the hair shaft, making strands look dirty and flat despite frequent washing.
Oily hair can become a permanent condition that is hard to get rid of. Too much sebum can clog the follicles and cause more serious scalp disorders, including greasy dandruff, and excessive hair loss.
To remove excess oil, you need to degrease your scalp, as an oily scalp inevitably leads to oily hair. It is important to properly stop excessive oil secretion without over drying your scalp.
Why it is Important to Use a Sulfate –free Shampoo?
Most regular shampoos contain sulfates as one of the primary ingredients. Sulfates are inexpensive, yet rather powerful synthetic cleansing agents. They are very effective in removing oils from hair and create a nice, rich lather. However, those grease-cutting detergents are quite harsh and can strip the scalp of necessary natural oils, making a problem with oily hair even worse. Some of those shampoos, when used daily, can actually encourage the oil glands to secrete more sebum to compensate for the loss. Furthermore, synthetic cleansing agents and additives in commercial shampoos may be allergenic or an irritant for some users.
Oily hair requires frequent washing but a very gentle treatment of the scalp. Select a sulfate free shampoo with mild, naturally derived cleansers that will effectively remove excess sebum and impurities without over-stripping the hair and scalp. These shampoos don’t “foam up”, but they really keep hair clean without any side effects.
Sulfate-free shampoos are very helpful in balancing the pH level of your scalp and hair. Proper pH balance of the scalp is necessary to manage oily hair. Synthetic cleansing agents used in most commercial shampoos can strip the scalp of the natural fatty acids and oils, and disrupt the natural pH balance of the scalp and hair.
The Best Washing Techniques for Oily Hair
If your hair is on the oily side, excessive shampooing can hurt rather than help. Too frequent washing may encourage sebaceous glands to increase oil production to make up for the loss. It’s recommended that you wash your hair three to four times every week.
Using the correct shampoo and applying it the right way can help reduce the problem of having oily hair. Use a mild, natural shampoo that is made to work on greasy hair. Select a translucent shampoo and avoid creamy formulas.
Apply your shampoo directly onto the scalp and leave it on for an extra minute or two before rinsing. Gently massage the scalp with your fingertips while shampooing. Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water to make sure that no shampoo residue is left in the hair. These residues tend to collect dirt and oil more quickly, which can weigh down hair even more.
Use a clarifying shampoo once a month to wash away oily residue and impurities and to give your hair a fresh start.
Ingredients in Hair Shampoos that Help Control Sebum Production
Before buying a shampoo for oily hair, you should go over the ingredient list carefully. Ingredients that should be avoided, because they are considered toxic, include: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Diethanolamine, Parabens, and phthalates.
There are several essential oils known for their effectiveness in controlling the glandular production of oil. These oils are often used in hair shampoos to help with greasy hair and scalp problems. These essential oils include tea tree, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, basil, and ylang-ylang.
Rosemary Oil is effective for cleansing excess oils from the scalp and hair and may also help people with dandruff and scalp itchiness.
Lavender Oil has balancing properties and helps balance natural scalp oils. Shampoo containing Lavender helps hair stay clean longer. Lavender oil also calms the scalp, supports hair growth, helps control dandruff, and keeps hair shiny.
Tea Tree Oil gently works to remove excess oil, regulates the production of sebum, treats fungal infections, and helps reduce dandruff.
Peppermint Oil normalizes sebum production, balances pH levels, and stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which helps promote hair growth.
Lemongrass Oil optimizes sebaceous gland function and helps soothe scalp inflammation.
Ylang Ylang Oil slows down sebum production, detoxifies the scalp, helps control dandruff, and promotes healthy hair growth.
Basil Oil helps control the production of sebum, which is the main cause of oily hair.
Use Conditioners Properly
If your hair is very oily, you might not need a conditioner. Keep conditioner away from your scalp and roots, as it can increase oil production and weigh down your hair. Most conditioners contain oils and silicones that will weight your oily hair down and make it look flatter. A conditioner is meant to nourish your ends, which can become brittle and dry. Make sure to rinse all of the product out of your hair. Look for a light-weight, oil-free, and silicone-free conditioner, and make sure that you use it properly.
Avoid using too many styling products because most of those products tend to attract dirt and will make your hair look greasier.
Dry shampoos are very useful for concealing your greasy roots between hair washes. Those products contain a substance which soaks up oils from your scalp and hair, making your style look fresh. These products add volume to flat hair by giving it a lift away from the scalp. Dry shampoos are great time savers because they can make hair look clean and bouncy without a full shower.
Dry shampoos come in aerosol formulas or in the form of a powder. These products continue to grow in popularity since they are inexpensive and easy to use. Although being a great tool to keep hair clean between wet shampoos they cannot completely replace regular shampoos.
If you suffer from greasy hair and scalp, talk to your dermatologist. Your dermatologist can give you a proper diagnosis and suggest treatment options.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Disclaimer: This post/site is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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