Of all the hair types to fake, dare we say full hair is the least difficult to pull off—major props to Volume Spray and Thinning Hair Supplements for changing the thin hair game. Yet when hair falls flat as a result of excess grease or oil, salvaging any ounce of oomph is out of the question. *All oily-haired girls nod* With the help of Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder of organic skincare line Shiffa, we're helping re-write that tragic story to have a slippery-free ending. Start with our Oily Hair Supplements then take note of Dr. Lamees' advice on how to test for oily hair, the dietary changes that could potentially reduce oil, and more tips on cutting grease, ahead.
1. Do a Hair Test
A great test to see if you have oily hair is to take a strand of hair, drop the hair into a glass of water. If the hair floats, it means it’s either healthy or a bit oily, but if it sinks to the bottom, it means it’s dry.
2. Skip the Sugar
In a lifetime, your hair can change over the years, so you might have had an oily scalp in your youth, but find that as you age it becomes less oily. You can be genetically prone to an oily scalp, just like some people get acne while others do not. However, external factors like hot temperatures, humidity, and exercise (especially if you sweat) can contribute to the oiliness. At the root of the problem could also be hormones, certain medications, and diet, especially one that is heavy on the refined sugars. Oily-haired girls should cut out excessive carbs, refined sugars and perhaps even diary—these tend to cause an oily scalp as well as oily skin.
3. Make Small Dietary Changes
Eat foods rich in Vitamin B (which helps regulate the amount of sebum produced), like fish, lean meats, poultry, beans and leafy green vegetables. I find green tea, zinc, and a combination of B Vitamins (such as B6 and B2) helps. We can sometimes help make our hair and scalp less oily with diet, but if you are prone to an oily scalp, don’t get disappointed if the new diet doesn’t produce as much of a change as you would like. We should try to do what’s best for our bodies while still accepting our bodies (and scalps) as they are.
4. Wash Every Day, If You Need To
It depends on the degree of oiliness and the type of shampoo used, but usually I like to have my clients start by washing their hair every other day with OUAI Clean Shampoo (it's gentle on the hair and doesn’t strip the moisture or color). Most find this to be enough, but if you feel your hair is still oily then try washing every day, but shampoo it only once. It’s a myth that shampooing your hair every day will make it oilier—as long as you use the right product. Avoid any products that contain excessive oils or weigh down the hair. Anything that is harsh and causes excessive dryness and irritation to the scalp should also be avoided.
5. Use a DIY Scalp Scrub
The best way to maintain good scalp health is to clean it frequently. You would never skip washing your oily skin for days—the same applies to hair. A simple DIY scalp scrub I like includes some brown sugar, freshly squeezed lemon, and a few drops of olive oil. You can add a drop of tea tree essential oil too if you have an itchy, dandruff-y scalp.
6. Comb, Don't Brush
Brushing your hair is something you need to do (otherwise you get tangles!). However, it is the type of brush or comb you use that really makes a difference in your scalp and hair. For oily-haired clients, I recommend a double dipped wide-tooth comb (or any wide-tooth comb with smooth edges, to not tear your hair). Regular brushes tend to make my hair more oily (yes, I am an oily-haired girl myself).
7. Be Patient
Your period can contribute to oily hair, and it usually does, because it’s hormone related. There is usually a hormonal surge just before your period and this can contribute to an oily scalp. Try using a dry shampoo if the oiliness is excessive, otherwise this excess oiliness only lasts for a few days.