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Oily scalp


Waking up in the morning with an oily scalp and greasy hair can be irritating. A bit of oil in the scalp which is actually sebum that your hair naturally lets out, is normal. But then dealing with greasy hair every day and even when you shampoo your hair can be annoying. Besides, it creates itchy oily scalp, dandruff, and sometimes seborrheic dermatitis, a condition which inflames and irritates the scalp.  

Even though an instant solution like shampooing your hair could seem like a savior, overdoing it to get rid of the extra oil can harm your scalp. Your hair has natural oil in it, which maintains the natural growth and health of your hair - too much of it can cause irritation and can be challenging to manage. 

Before you dig in to find out effective solutions as to how, to begin with, an oily scalp treatment, it is important that you know the reasons for oily hair and scalp.

We highlighted the reasons for the oily scalp in this blog and have put together effective treatments and home remedies to get away with an oily scalp. Read on to find out!

Reasons for oily scalp

Your scalp has tiny pores that produce a natural oil called sebum. These small pores are situated beneath the sebaceous glands. When these sebaceous glands become overactive, the scalp becomes oily. Although sebum production is essential for healthy hair, overproduction of sebum can give you greasy hair. 

The oil in your hair is your body’s natural defense mechanism – to protect the hair on your scalp.

This natural oil gets mixed up with sweat and dirt and coats your scalp. You may also see them over the top of your head, which is pretty normal and, for instance, unavoidable. 

A normal routine could be to wash your hair often to maintain the usual hygiene of your hair. You can begin with shampooing your hair with a mild shampoo. But then some hair types are prone to oil build-up and can be really stubborn. Overexposure to heat and other elements outside, intense exercise, and humidity can also lead to oiliness of the scalp.

While there could be so many reasons behind an oily scalp, we shall take a look at the factors that can possibly contribute to excess oil on scalp-

  • Genes

Genes or genetic factors have a lot to do with your hair and body. If your parents have oily scalp, there is a possibility that you too might have it. 

Stress is also a reason for an oily scalp. When you are too stressed out, the sebaceous glands in your scalp may become overactive. It results in oily secretion in your scalp hence making it oily.

  • Over-washing of your hair

When you shampoo more than is required, your hair and scalp is stripped of their natural oils. To compensate for this, the scalp produces more oil that results in an oily scalp.

The hair care products that you use also play an important role in maintaining the health of your hair. Using shampoos that are harsh to the scalp and hair can damage the protective layer of the hair. To repair the damage done, the sebaceous glands produce more oil, hence making your scalp oily.

  • Diet

A healthy diet is responsible for healthy hair and scalp. If your diet contains a lot of carbs, it may disturb the normal oil balance in your scalp, making the sebaceous glands overactive. It results in an oily scalp. 

  • Hair type

Straight hair is prone to an oily scalp, so, if you have straight hair, you are more likely to have an oily scalp. Because in straight hair, the hair shaft doesn’t have any texture or wave to it, which is why the oil slides down directly and collects all over the head. Also, if you have undergone hair smoothening for men, where your hair texture has been changed to straight, you are likely to see excess oil on your scalp. 

  • Conditioner

Using too much conditioner to your hair can also result in product build-up and an oily scalp. When using a conditioner, be mindful of using it on the ends of your hair. 

Treatment for oily scalp

Keep track of how often you shampoo

Your hair is more likely to get oily, the more you wash it. It is also essential to keep your scalp clean and free of excess oil. Shampoo your hair at least 3-times a week. It will help you keep the grease out of your hair and remove excess debris. 

That said, avoid overdoing it. You don’t want to irritate your scalp or dehydrate it.

Shampoo your hair the right way

Take a small dollop of shampoo and begin massaging it on your scalp. Ensure not to scrub your scalp with your fingernails as it may damage your hair’s natural barrier. You also don’t want the natural moisture to go away. Apply the shampoo to the scalp alone and avoid the ends. The ends will anyways get cleansed when you rinse off the shampoo. 

However, if you are not using herbal shampoo, it is always best to dilute it with some water before you shampoo. 

Choose a shampoo meant for oily scalp and hair

Just like your skin, your hair needs are unique. Not all hair is equal so investing in a shampoo meant for oily scalp makes sense. While choosing your shampoo, read the labels for ingredients such as

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Sodium sulfacetamide
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole
Rinse thoroughly after shampoo

The chemicals present in the shampoo and conditioner can create build-up if not washed properly. After shampooing and conditioning, you need to rinse your hair thoroughly to wash away any product build-up that may be there. It will prevent you from getting a greasy scalp and feeling heavy on your head. 

Wash your head post-workout

After a workout session, your scalp becomes sweaty. This sweat, when it stays longer on your scalp, can feel heavy and cause itchiness. So get rid of oily scalp; you need to wash your head after a good exercise. It helps you wash away the oil and the sweat from the scalp, keeping it clean and fresh. 

Clean your hairbrush and comb regularly

As much as it is essential to keep your hair clean, it is equally important to keep your hairbrush and comb clean. Your hairbrush carries all the oil, dirt, and residues from your hair, and when you comb your clean and fresh hair with it, you are transferring all the dirt and residues to your hair, hence making it greasy will end up having an oily scalp. 

Home Remedies for oily scalp

There is no doubt that excess oil on the scalp and greasy hair are annoying. But thankfully, we have an effective scalp treatment for oily scalp. These oily scalp remedies are effective and easy to try. Let’s take a look at some of them-

Apple cider vinegar

Every time you shampoo and condition your hair, there is a small amount of product build-up in your scalp. Should you ask how to get soft hair, it is the condition that does the trick after you shampoo because it has many chemicals that make your hair frizz-free and shiny. 

However, too much conditioner can make your hair look limp and weigh down, making it appear flat and, in some cases, give you an oily scalp. The use of apple cider vinegar helps remove product build-up, and balance the pH level of your scalp. 

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil smells great and has antibacterial properties that help in maintaining a healthy scalp. Moreover, it removes greasiness and relieves you of dandruff and excess oil. Just add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo. Massage your scalp and rinse.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel in the purest form is very effective in removing oil and greasiness from the scalp. This shrub has medicinal properties that can close the oil-producing pores and eliminate itchiness on the scalp. 

Witch hazel is available in essential oils, which you can add to your shampoo. It is the best oil for oily scalp. You can also purchase shampoos that have extracts of witch hazel.


Along with what you apply on the surface, you must feed your body with a healthy diet. There is certain food that can actually aggravate your scalp. You should avoid fried foods or food with excess oil, too much dairy products, sugary food, and fatty meat at large. Include more vitamins in your food. Certain vitamins are good, but too much consumption can cause an oily scalp. For instance, vitamin D deficiency hair loss can be effective, but too much of it can cause greasy hair and scalp.

Home remedies

There are certain home remedies for oily scalp and dry hair that you can try as well. 

  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon juice works wonders in removing excess oil from your scalp. Squeeze out the juice from two lemons and add a cup of water. Apply this to your scalp and roots and leave for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

  • Tomato hair pack
  • Take a ripe tomato and blend it. Add a cup of fuller’s earth or Multani mitti and mix. Next, apply this to your hair and leave for about 30-minutes. Wash off with cold water. You’ll love the results. It also conditions your hair, making it soft.

    Oily scalp is one of the most common hair-related problems. If you are bothered with an oily scalp that doesn’t seem to go, you can try out these home remedies. You can also try an Ayurvedic head massage that will help your scalp and hair. Another effective way to treat this issue is using natural hair products. Traya is a natural hair care brand that offers a wide range of hair care products that cures hair-related issues

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