Treating Oily and Greasy Scalps
It’s ironic that African American hair, known for being dry and porous, can also produce an oily and greasy scalp. On the one hand you spend so long trying to moisturize your hair by adding oil, but then you end up attempting to treat your scalp for oiliness. Sometimes you can’t win!
What Causes an Oily Scalp?
All over our skin, at the base of hair follicles, are microscopic glands, called sebaceous glands. They produce sebum, a waxy secretion that lubricates our skin, protecting it from drying out. These glands also have a role in our temperature control, with the sebum secreted in hot weather being more liquid, helping to cool the skin’s surface, and in colder weather, thicker to allow for heat retention.
Although they occur all over our bodies, our faces and scalps have a higher number of sebaceous glands. Usually there is a balance between the amount of sebum produced and how much we require. Sometimes, however, our glands produce too much sebum, resulting in an oily and greasy scalp. This can be due to many reasons, including hormones, pregnancy, an unhealthy diet, or stress, but there are some things you can do to treat this issue.
How Can I Treat an Oily Scalp?
Firstly, try and eat a healthy, nutritiously balanced diet. Some experts suggest that refined sugars can lead to an oily scalp, so maybe it’s time to swap sugar for honey. Studies also show that increasing your levels of Omega 3 – found in fish, can reduce sebum production. Zinc, Vitamins B,C and E should be present in a healthy diet anyway, but if you suffer from an oily scalp, it can help if you supplement your diet with a decent multivitamin containing these vits.
My Favorite Multivitamin Supplement
My absolute all time favorite multivit supplement for black hair in general is the The Mane Choice Manetabolism.
This product has been formulated by an acknowledged physician and it contains all the vitamins you need to make your hair as healthy and lustrous as possible: Biotin, Iron and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. You are meant to take it on a daily basis and if you keep at it, you will definitely feel an improvement very soon!
Homemade Solutions for an Oily Scalp
However, whilst a good diet can help to dry out your scalp, it takes time, and you probably want a quick fix now!
Apple cider vinegar can be a great help when treating an oily scalp. Just dilute a couple of spoons in some water and put it into a spray bottle. Add one or two drops of tea tree essential oil and then spray it all over your head, making sure you get right down to the roots. After a few minutes, wash it off. You can do this every few days and should start noticing a real difference.
A dry shampoo can work miracles if you’re in need of an easy overnight treatment.
Mix 2 tablespoons of arrowroot or cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder together. Add a few drops of essential oil – lavender, chamomile, or tea tree are all lovely, but neroli is my personal favorite. Put this powder into an airtight jar, and brush some through your hair, leaving it in overnight, when you need a quick fix.
Another go-to remedy for an oily scalp is egg yolk!
- Gently melt some coconut oil
- Stir in a spoon of honey
- Add a drop or two of tea tree essential oil
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly – you don’t want a cooked omelet on your head!
- Stir in an egg yolk
- Brush it onto your hair, coating every strand and rubbing it into your scalp
- Leave it on for as long as you can, before thoroughly washing it out.
This final treatment is my personal favorite – easy to make, works well and smells delicious!
- Steep some chopped/torn up mint leaves in a cup of hot water for about half an hour
- Strain and remove the pieces of leaf
- Add a few drops of tea tree and rosemary essential oils
- Pour into a spray bottle
- Spray your hair with the mixture at least once a day
If you have any other treatments for oily scalps, let’s share…