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How To Reduce Sebum Production on Scalp



Sebum is a natural oil that is secreted to nourish the skin, keep it moisturized and protected. It is an oily and waxy substance and is made up of lipids such as triglycerides, cholesterols, and fatty acids.

Sebum is secreted from the sebaceous glands which are present all over the body. They are often around hair follicles though they exist independently as well. The highest concentration of sebaceous glands is present on the face and the scalp which can lead to scalp buildup and scalp acne. Palms of the hands and soles of the feet are the only areas of the skin without sebaceous glands.

Sebaceous glands on scalp helps in moisturizing the hair and maintaining its natural shine. However, an excess of sebum can cause oily scalp resulting in oily hair, scalp acne, and dandruff. These may lead to hair loss. If you are looking to find how to reduce sebum production on scalp, read further to know.

Is Sebum Production Bad for Your Scalp?

Before we decide how to reduce sebum production on scalp, let's understand its functions. Sebum is good and essential for hair. The sebum produced in the scalp keeps the hair shaft nourished and moisturized, it also offers protection. The main functions of sebum are listed below.


Sebum lubricates the hair and prevents friction damage. Sebum is responsible for the moisturization and softness of the skin. A decreased production causes dry scalp issues. 

Moisture retention

The sebaceous glands that secrete sebum on the hair prevents the moisture of the hair from escaping through the cuticles. It also does not allow excessive moisture from the air to enter the hair. Thus, it keeps the moisture content of the hair balanced.

Protects from sun damage

Sebum transports vitamin E over the skin. Vitamin E prevents free radical damage by protecting against UV damage caused due to sun rays.

How Does Excess Sebum Affect Your Hair?

Balanced sebum production is essential for the health of the hair and the scalp. If there is an increase or decrease in the production of sebum, hair health is adversely impacted which leads to something called scalp buildup. 

  • Excessive sebum on the scalp can result in clogging of the pores on the scalp (scalp buildup). Clogging triggers a variety of problems. 
    • The supply of nutrients to the hair follicle from the bloodstream may get blocked. 
    • The clogged pore can also lead to bacterial infections and dandruff. 
  • Dried or hardened sebum can be a site for secondary infections.
  • All these factors increase the possibility of hair loss. Secondary infections further aggravate it. In rare cases, it can also cause pimples on the head and on the scalp.

As per Ayurveda, excessive sebum production or scalp buildup is due to a dosha imbalance caused by aggravated Kapha dosha. This imbalance causes oily scalp, oily dandruff, and other associated conditions. In further sections we will look at how to reduce sebum production on scalp.

Also Read: Dosha, Ayurveda and You 

Herbs to Reduce Excess Sebum in Your Hair

How to reduce sebum production on scalp? First, let’s look at some simple instructions.

  • Wash your hair at least twice a week to reduce this scalp buildup.
  • Try air drying instead of using a heat blow dryer.
  • Try to find the root cause of excessive sebum production.

There are many herbs in Ayurveda that pacify the aggravated kapha dosha responsible for excessive sebum production in the body. Here we look at some of these herbs that can help when trying how to reduce sebum production on scalp.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Triphala

Triphala is a combination of amla, bibhit, and haritaki. It balances all the three doshas in the body. Amla nourishes the scalp and bibhit soothes the excessive sebum production. Due to its antioxidant nature, Triphala also inhibits the growth of bacteria in the clogged pores.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Chitrak

This is known to pacify Kapha dosha by improving digestion and removing the toxins that cause Kapha dosha imbalance.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Moringa

Moringa pacifies aggravated Kapha dosha and also balances Pitta dosha levels in the body. It prevents the sebaceous glands from excessive secretion of sebum.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera clears the sebum blockage in the pores making nutrients available to the hair follicles. Along with treating excessive sebum production, aloe vera also keeps the scalp free from infections due to its antibacterial nature. 

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a Pitta-Kapha pacifier and can help control excess production of sebum in the scalp. It also improves blood circulation and removes the toxins that cause hair loss, promoting better hair growth thereby reducing the excessive scalp buildup.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Punarnava

Punarnava is very effective in pacifying aggravated Kapha dosha. Its frequent use can lower sebum production. It also has an anti-inflammatory nature that keeps the scalp cool if there is a problem with scalp acne or dandruff due to excessive sebum production.

Also Read: Foods to Reduce Hair Loss

Ayurvedic Shampoos & Oils to Reduce Sebum in Your Scalp

Various Ayurvedic preparations of oils and shampoos can help you when looking for how to reduce sebum production on scalp. These Ayurvedic Shampoos and Oils are very helpful in treating seborrheic dermatitis.

How to reduce sebum production on the scalp using Ayurvedic essential oils.

As per Ayurveda, the herbs used in the oils below balance the aggravated Kapha or Pitta dosha which may be responsible for the excessive sebum production. 

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Amla Oil

Amla naturally hydrates the scalp. This prevents the need for sebum production. Amla also removes the build-up in the clogged pores that happens because of excessive sebum. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it is also able to keep infections away which might happen in the clogged pores. 

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties which help in preventing infections. It calms the scalp and pacifies the overactive sebaceous glands. 

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is very effective in treating problems caused due to an oily scalp. By regulating the sebum production in the scalp, jojoba oil is useful in treating problems such as scalp acne and dandruff.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Neem Oil with camphor

Neem pacifies Kaphs dosha and Pitta dosha and thus helps in regulating the overproduction of sebum. Its antibacterial properties prevent bacterial infections from developing in the clogged pores. Along with camphor, neem oil is a very effective remedy for fighting dandruff caused due to excessive sebum.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Sesame Oil

Along with being an excellent Kapha dosha pacifier, sesame oil also promotes hair growth. Thus, along with fighting excessive sebum production, it also prevents hair loss in parallel which is, in turn, caused as a result of hyperactive sebaceous glands.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Patchouli Oil

Patchouli oil balances all three doshas. It is thus a suitable remedy for calming excessive sebum production and preventing issues related to oily scalp.

How to reduce sebum production on the scalp using Ayurvedic Shampoo.

Here we look at a few simple Ayurvedic shampoo preparations using herbs that can be used to reduce sebum production on the scalp. 

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Reetha and Shikakai

Reetha and shikakai are an ideal remedy for washing an oily scalp. They have a Kapha pacifying nature and are used to regulate the sebum production in the scalp. Rich in nutrients promoting hair growth, this combination has been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. You can boil reetha and shikakai in water and mash them into a paste. Apply this paste on the scalp and wash after leaving for 30 minutes.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Green Tea

Green tea has flavonoids. These compounds prevent inflammation and skin irritation. You can wash your hair with green tea 2 to 3 times a week. This will help in the reduction of sebum production. It will also pacify accompanying conditions such as dandruff and greasy scalp.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Henna

Henna has conditioning and oil-controlling properties, you can make a paste of henna leaves or powder with water and add a little coconut oil to it. Apply this on the scalp and wash after 30 minutes. This will reduce sebum production and also help with dandruff.

How to reduce sebum production on scalp using Methi, Triphala, and Hibiscus leaves

The ingredients in this combination prevent excessive secretion of sebum. These ingredients clean the scalp and promote improved blood circulation. This strengthens the roots and makes the hair grow faster. You can soak the methi seeds overnight and make a paste with Triphala and hibiscus leaves the next morning. Apply this paste to the scalp and wash after 30 minutes.

Can Diet Affect Sebum Production?

What you put into your body directly affects the health of your hair. While A well-balanced diet ensures perfect hair health, Certain foods have a direct impact on sebum production and acne. A diet that is rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals keeps hair health in check and improves the blood circulation in the scalp. Such improved circulation regulates the production of sebum and reduces overproduction. This is an ideal solution to how to reduce sebum production on scalp.

You can keep the following pointers in mind regarding your choice of food if you are looking at how to reduce sebum production on scalp.

  • Avoid oily and fried food to prevent excessive sebum production.
  • Foods that are very sweet or very salty aggravate Kapha dosha causing excessive sebum production.
  • Cold beverages should be avoided. You should have beverages either hot or at room temperature.
  • A wholesome and fresh meal that is easy to digest should be consumed.

To regulate excess sebum production on scalp, your diet must be Kapha dosha and pitta dosha pacifying. The below selection should help you decide on a balanced diet plan if you are looking at how to reduce sebum production on scalp.

Vegetables To Reduce Scalp Buildup:

Include vegetables such as Lettuce, Cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, beetroot, mushroom, celery, and green beans in your diet.

Fruits To Reduce Scalp Buildup:

Coconut, Avocado, pomegranate, apple, mangoes, and peaches should be included in the diet to keep sebum production in check.

Cereals To Reduce Scalp Buildup

Include Millets, oats, muesli, corn, and brown rice in your meals.

Spices To Reduce Scalp Buildup

Ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. Incorporating these spices in your cooking food can help in reducing excess sebum production on scalp.

Meats To Reduce Scalp Buildup

Include eggs and chicken and your diet and avoid red meat

Here's How Traya Can Help

At Traya, you can find the root cause of all your hair problems. The root cause as well the diagnosis and treatment are done making use of the best dermatology practices and proven Ayurvedic treatments. The unique and holistic approach of combining Dermatology, Ayurveda, and Nutrition can give a wholesome solution to your problem of excessive sebum production on scalp. We suggest you get a hair diagnosis today on the Traya website online and let us deliver the best treatment for how to reduce sebum production on the scalp.

We hope that you have been able to figure out how to reduce sebum production on scalp and are ready to apply the remedies discussed here. How to reduce sebum production on scalp may be the end goal but the journey starts from identifying the root cause and your hair by taking the free hair diagnosis now.




  • Why does my scalp produce so much sebum?
  • Excessive sebum production could be happening due to many reasons. Hormonal medicines often increase sebum production. Also, improper scalp hygiene and consuming food with a high glycemic index (such as white rice and white bread) can trigger excessive sebum production. It could also be due to the natural imbalance of doshas in your body caused due to an aggravated Kapha dosha which could be the natural condition of your body’s life energies.

  • How can I remove sebum from my scalp naturally?
  • Washing the hair with a herbal or Ayurvedic shampoo can easily remove the excess sebum naturally. You can unclog the clogged pores by using warm water and shampoo.

  • How can I naturally slow down sebum production?
  • Usage of ayurvedic oils discussed above should help in naturally reducing sebum production. A balanced diet too further helps this natural slowing down of sebum production. The diet is also discussed above.

  • How do I control oil production on my scalp?
  • Keeping the scalp clean and washing your hair when needed (at least twice a week) should be able to clean out the grease and oil from the scalp. Using Ayurvedic oils and shampoos along with a balanced diet can help in the control of oil production on your scalp.

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