A greasy and oily scalp can seriously affect our quality of life. Luckily, we have some tips on how to avoid having to deal with oily hair once and for all!
An oily scalp is a common problem for many people. Not only does it create discomfort, but it can also make our hair look dirty and unkempt — even if we wash it every single day! What’s more, despite the fact that oily hair is often associated with straight hair, common among Caucasians, African-American hair can also get rather greasy.
So, how to tackle this problem? More importantly, how to avoid further complications such as hair loss? Let’s evaluate the causes first and then move on to the main tips on how to keep our hair perfect and clean for longer.
Sebum Overproduction — The Main Reason Behind Oily Hair
A light yellow oily substance, known as sebum, plays an important role in taking care of our scalp and hair follicles. The waxy substance helps maintain the moisture of both the skin and the hair. Sebum is packed with triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, and other useful components that are crucial for maintaining a healthy scalp.
However, when there is too much sebum on our scalp, it leads to overly oily skin — it gets our hair dirty in no time. This condition is known as seborrhoea.
When talking about natural African-American hair, it is important to highlight that there are many factors, both internal and external, that can cause an oily scalp. Some of the main reasons for oily hair are:
Other Reasons for Oily African-American Hair
- Hormonal imbalance
- Hereditary predisposition
- Wrong hair products
- Frequent wearing of wigs, hats, etc.
- Environmental pollution
Aside from factors such as stress and pollution, choosing the right hair products is extremely important. It is also essential to note that not all African-American hair is the same.
African ethnic groups originate from different regions with different weather and living conditions. People of West African descent tend to have kinky hair due to the hot and humid environment in which they grew up. Meanwhile, loose curls are more common among African-Americans originating from cooler climates.
Four Stages of Seborrhoea
Of course, there are different levels of seborrhoea, and in order to treat it correctly, it is important that we identify where we stand.
It is more common for African-American hair to get oily over longer periods of time. Therefore, seborrhoea can be divided into four main stages, depending on how long it takes for our hair to get greasy:
- Simple: hair gets slightly more oily than usual
- Mild: hair becomes visibly greasy 7 or 8 days after washing
- Oily: hair is a greasy mess only 2 or 3 days after washing
- Irreversible: hair looks dirty and greasy the next day
The best way to estimate whether we have the condition and its stage is to closely monitor our scalp for 2-3 days after we have washed our hair.
Tips on How to Fix Oily Hair
If you have established that you indeed do have seborrhoea, don’t fret! There are plenty of ways to fix oily hair, especially if the condition is in its early stages.
Fixing Oily Hair the Natural Way
Mother Nature often has the best answers when it comes to remedies. There are certain natural substances that we can use in order to make our hair less greasy. These three nature’s most famous “cures” have proven to be extremely efficient when tackling oily hair:
- Lemon juice
This citrus is a true wonder when it comes to maintaining a healthy scalp. Lemon juice is used to fix many hair and skin problems and can be applied to different scalp types. Most importantly, the fruit’s acidity is perfect for balancing out the skin’s pH level and oil secretion.
- Aloe Vera
Homemade aloe vera gel can prove effective when battling an oily scalp. Applying a mix of lemon juice and aloe vera gel can significantly reduce the greasiness. All we have to do is leave the mixture in our hair for a few minutes and rinse it out afterward with warm water.
- Mint tea
Mint leaves are widely used to make a type of tea that can help with indigestion. However, as it turns out, mint is also an excellent remedy for oily hair. Rinsing our hair with mint tea can reduce greasiness and discomfort often associated with an oily scalp.
The best part about natural remedies is that they are 100% natural. What’s more, we can use them any time, anywhere, including in the comfort of our own home.
Use the Right Hair Products
African-American hair requires more care than regular straight hair. Therefore, it is important that we use ethnic products designed for such hair type, especially if we are fighting oiliness.
There are two main types of hair shampoo for black hair — moisturizing and clarifying shampoo. The first is a gentle shampoo designed for frequent usage while the second should be used once a month. However, if we are prone to oily hair, clarifying shampoo can be used slightly more often.
Still, it is easy to get carried away when trying to get rid of greasiness. It is rather important not to forget that African-American hair requires extra care. Trying to reduce oiliness doesn’t mean that our hair doesn’t deserve to be moisturized. Remember — conditioning is just as important as shampooing.
Do Not Over-Wash
The greasier our hair gets, the more we will want to wash it. However, over-washing our hair can greatly damage it.
Washing our hair on a daily basis can significantly deteriorate the state of our scalp because we’re rinsing out only the top layers of sebum and drying it out. This, in turn, will send signals to our sebaceous glands, which will then start overproducing sebum, making our scalp even greasier and hair oilier.
Oil-Free Hair = Happy You
Oily hair and greasy scalp can be really annoying. Therefore, it is important to take proper care in order to grow healthy and strong hair, especially when it comes to African-American oily hair.
Tackling this problem is possible by using natural remedies and proper hair products that suit our hair type best. However, if we estimate that our seborrhoea is at an advanced stage, we can always seek out medical attention. A dermatologist may just have the right answer!