As the years go by, I’ve noticed a change in my hair. If I wash my hair daily, it gets a little too shiny near my scalp. I’m talking about oily hair from excessive production of sebum, a complex mixture of oily lipids naturally produced by the body to moisturize our skin and hair.
The role of shampoo is to “remove just enough sebum to allow the hair to appear clean and leave behind enough conditioning agents to leave the hair soft, shiny, and manageable,” according to an article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. Finding this balance can be tricky—if I shampoo too often, my hair becomes dry on the long ends, full of static, and oily near the scalp. When I ease up on my washing frequency and use natural formulas enhanced with essential oils, my hair stays shiny (not greasy) and manageable, without excessive flyaways.
So, I’ve been experimenting, and finally found a routine that leaves my hair soft, clean, and manageable without the unexpected shine that can make my hair look dirty:
Wash with Quality Shampoo
I try to pick out hair care products that have a limited ingredient list. Artificial fragrances aren’t necessary and alcohol-based ingredients are overly drying. I rotate between a handful of formulas and brands every few weeks to give my hair a break. My favorite shampoo is infused with tea tree oil and peppermint essential oils.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says tea tree oil can be effective against acne (which is spurred by excessive oil production in your skin) and dandruff caused by a bacterial skin infection, making it a popular ingredient in oily hair care products. Peppermint oil is known to help regulate the pH of your scalp, keeping both oily hair and dry scalp issues to a minimum.
Incorporate Rinse-Only Days
To keep oily hair away, I don’t shampoo daily. Instead, I rinse my hair with clear warm water for a few days in a row and leave it at that. I will use shampoo, however, if I’ve been in a dusty, dirty environment or if my scalp is sweaty. Since opting for a few rinse-only days, my hair isn’t producing as much sebum to make up for the natural oils being stripped away from shampooing too frequently. My hair looks healthier!
Experiment with Conditioner
When my hair feels dry on the ends, I’ll wet my hair with water, apply conditioner, then rinse. I’ll skip shampoo because sometimes it over stimulates sebum production. The conditioner treatment leaves my hair soft and manageable without any greasy strands. Just be sure to choose an oily-hair formula.
Use Spray-in Natural Oils
Finally, I fight oil with oil. I’ve recently started applying a fine mist of pure argan oil to the lower half of my damp water-rinsed hair. After air-drying my hair, my tresses have a natural sheen without my scalp appearing greasy. This technique seems to be the perfect way to calm frizzy hair between shampoos.
What are your favorite oily hair remedies? Hop on Twitter and let us know by tweeting @TomsofMaine (and maybe show us your great hair selfie!).
Image source: Angela Tague
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.