Oily hair is the worst. It’s something that you’re supposed to leave behind in your teenage years, along with acne, inappropriate crushes, and bad grades. But what if you’re like me and outwardly look like a teenager in an adult’s body? (Just to clarify – I don’t look young – although I did get ID’d for paracetamols at Sainsbury’s the other day – I just never managed to shed the acne and grease like most of my friends). Well, the internet has a vast range of solutions. Most of these don’t work – and neither does dry shampoo (FML), but there are a few things that have proven to be somewhat effective. These are described below.
Eat a Balanced Diet
I know, I know, you’ve been told numerous times that if you stopped eating so much chocolate, you’d have a glistening head of hair, but that doesn’t explain why Sandra from work is able to eat ten Creme Eggs a day and still look fabulous (hint – it’s probably a wig). In all honesty, I’ve found that when I do track what I eat, I do start to notice a difference in both my hair and complexion. It’s not enough to cure it for good, but it gives me an extra 12 hours between washes.
According to a study I found online, when you eat a load of carbs or fatty foods, your sebaceous glands go into overload and produce way more sebum than you need. Calorie restriction, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. While this doesn’t sound like much fun, eating a more Mediterranean style diet with healthy fats, fish, and fruits and veg could help. Plus, it’s delicious.
Shampoo More Often Using the Right Shampoo
The internet – and my mum – like to claim that washing your hair daily increases oil production. I don’t know how true this is, but I do know that on those days when I really just can’t be arsed to have a shower, my hair goes downhill fast – and I’m not prepared to wait it out for a week (or longer – how long do these things take?) in the hopes that my scalp will suddenly think, hey she doesn’t need all this oil anymore. Seriously – even if I’m knocked out and in a coma, someone had better be visiting me daily and washing my hair as although my mind won’t wake up, you can bet my hair will still continue to be a pain in the ass.
So what’s the solution? Shampoo as often as you need to. For me this is once a day, for you it may be every 2-3 days. You don’t need to condition your hair with every wash – and if you do, you should avoid conditioning the scalp – but shampooing is important. I’ve tried absolutely tons of hair care products over the years, including those specially designed for greasy hair. The best ones I’ve found that work are Tresemme (the deep cleansing version in particular) and the Aussie Mega shampoo. Better yet, both of these are on the cheaper end of the market – which you need if you need to wash as often as me.
Use an Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment
I’m with you – I don’t particular want to smell like a fish and chip shop either – but according to this recipe, adding lemon to your hair treatment will disguise the smell while also working wonders on your hair.
So how does apple cider vinegar work? Well it kills bacteria and fungus, which apparently is common in the scalps of those with oily and irritated hair. All you need to do too, is dilute some vinegar with water, add it to a nozzled bottle and spray it on your scalp. Applying this solution a couple of times a week has led to a drastic improvement for some people, and is definitely worth a try if you’re at your wits end.
Or Try Egg Yolks
Another perhaps desperate strategy, but one that has proven effective is egg yolk. Because eggs have a high sulphur content, they are a great solution for treating oily hair and dandruff. The protein in them can also help your hair to look shinier, as it will work to strengthen and soften it, leading to a healthier looking appearance.
You can use the egg yolks on their own, or you can mix them with tea tree oil or honey to make a thicker solution. Add the mixture to dry hair and leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing thoroughly. This solution can also help with acne for the same reasons above.
Clean Your Styling Tools
Whether you straighten, curl, or just brush your hair in the morning, it’s important to regularly clean the tools you use on your hair. Your tools won’t just be covered in the oil from your scalp, but they can also be full of styling products and general gunk that won’t do your hair any favours. Use a gentle soap or a shampoo when cleaning them, and make sure to clean your brushes of any loose hair once a week.
Not only will cleaning your tools help your hair, but it will ensure they last longer as well.
The important thing to remember is that oily hair should improve the older we get (and I keep telling myself the same about acne as well!). While it may be a complete pain to deal with now, in the future, we should have a healthy head of hair that is the envy of all our friends. Or at least we can dream, right?
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