Do you suffer from an oily scalp?
With so many women complaining about their scalp being too greasy, we all must be doing something that is causing our hair to become oily too quickly. So, what exactly is triggering the problem? Having an oily scalp myself, I decided to investigate my own daily routine and determine whether I am doing anything that is contributing to my scalp’s excessive oiliness. I have rounded up the top 10 common mistakes a lot of people make and solutions that will help you skip hair washes and enjoy cleaner hair for longer.
10 common mistakes that lead to a greasy scalp
1. Facial oils and creams
2. Oily hands
3. Excessive hair touching
4. Naturally oily skin
5. Oil based makeup
6. Dirty hair brushes
7. Not brushing your hair with the right tool
8. Washing hair too frequently
9. Not washing hair properly
10. Too much hair product
Facial oils and creams
If you’re moisturising your face and neck twice daily, congratulations, you’re on the right path to ageing gracefully. However, if your fringe is touching your forehead and your hair is touching the side of your face, then the oil that might be still sitting on your skin, will only end up on your hair follicles. Determine whether you are using too much oil or cream and reduce the amount accordingly. Make sure that the face cream that you are using is completely absorbed without leaving any residue. If you put too much moisturiser on, grab an oil absorbing wipe and dap it all over your face so that any excess oil is soaked up.
Do you wash your hands after you apply facial and body oils? This is a very common mistake that many of us do without realising. As soon as you touch your hair, the oils sitting on the palm of your hands will very conveniently attach itself onto your hair strands, making your hair feeling greasy very quickly. Always wash your hands after applying face and body oils. You only need a small amount of cream when using hand moisturisers and make sure that it is completely absorbed. If you have cream and oil residue left on your hands, then you need to reduce the amount.
Excessive hair touching
If you have the hands in hair syndrome then this could be one of the main reasons why your hair is oily. Excessive hair touching will not only make your hair oily but you are also adding dirt onto your clean hair. The solution? Stop touching your hair! Easily said than done, right? I know this from personal experience as my hands are constantly touching my hair without realising. Fiddling with your hair is not only time consuming but you’re making your hair oily and murky at the same time. The hands in hair syndrome is highly addictive and it’s very hard to completely stop. Put your hair up in a ponytail, in a bun, half of your hair up or clip the sides of your hair.
Naturally oily skin
If you have very active sebaceous glands on your face then these oils will very likely end up on your hair as well, unless you put your hair up in a ponytail or in a bun. Suitable facial products for oily skin will help control and reduce the size of the oil glands and pores on your face. There are also oil absorbing sheets and wipes that can be used to instantly soak up any excess oils during the day without smudging makeup. These wipes can be easily carried in your handbag and are excellent at removing extra oils whilst on the go.
Oil based make up
Oil based make up applied on an already oily skin is not a good idea. This will only make your skin look shiny whilst the extra oils can get easily attached to your hair follicles if the hair is worn down. Make sure that the makeup you are using compliments the type of skin you have and is of good quality whilst using a reputable brands such as MAC, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay and Benefit. Check out the Look Fantastic website for all your hair and makeup needs.
Dirty hair brushes
When was the last time you washed your hair brush? Brushes tend to gather loose hair, oils and dirt and you can notice this build-up on the bristles even after just one use. When brushes are not cleaned, some of the oils and dirt trapped in the bristles will end up back onto your clean hair. How frequently you need to wash your hair brush depends on the type of tool you’re using, how many times you brush your locks and how oily your scalp is. Cleaning your hair brushes is quick and very easy to do and I would recommend doing this every few days to weekly. Firstly, remove any hair and dirt trapped in the bristles, then fill a small bowl with warm soapy water. Soak the brush bristles in the bowl and leave in for about 15 minutes, then remove and towel dry.
Not brushing your hair with the right tool
If you would like to start skipping hair washes and enjoy a less greasy scalp, you need to invest in a good boar bristle brush. For a more detailed post on why boar bristle brushes are so beneficial to your hair, click on the link. Boar bristle brushes help distribute your scalp’s natural oils from root to tip, whilst trapping dirt and excess oil. You will notice a build-up on the brush’s bristles pretty much straight away so make sure that you clean your boar bristle brush frequently, click on the following link to read and find out more on how to clean your boar bristle brush effectively. So instead of reaching for your shampoo, start brushing your hair more frequently and ensure that you cover each strand from root to tip.
Washing hair too often
Our natural oils on our scalp help condition the hair and protect our locks from getting too dry. When hair is washed too frequently, follicles start to appear dryer and more brittle due to the sebum no longer being present to protect and moisturise our hair. In the meantime, the sebaceous glands on our scalp start producing more sebum to replace the oils that have been removed. Instead of distributing the scalp’s natural oils by using a suitable hair brush (Learn how a boar bristle brush can help distribute your scalp's natural oils) many of us tend to reach for the shampoo and wash this natural conditioner away. This is a vicious cycle that many of us face and find difficult to stop. Aim to wash your hair once to twice a week maximum. Skip hair washes more often by brushing your hair from root to tip using a boar bristle brush. The bristles in a boar brush are amazing at trapping dirt and excess oils whilst distributing your natural hair oils evenly which help condition your tresses.
Not washing hair properly leads to a build-up of either hair products or hair sebum. Make sure you give your hair and scalp a good cleanse by using two rounds of gentle shampoo. Too much hair conditioner can also make your hair feeling greasy. All you need is a small amount, take your time to towel dry your hair and apply the hair conditioner from the mid-section of your tresses and away from your scalp to the tip of your locks. Leave in for at least 5 minutes and then wash off.
Too much hair product, such as hair spray, gels and even dry shampoo will lead to a dirty scalp and hair. Make sure that you don’t overdo it with hair products as these may also lead to dry and brittle hair follicles. Too much hair oil can also lead to a greasy scalp, ensure that this is only applied to the mid and end sections of your hair, always avoid the top section and scalp area.