The Best Way to Care for Oily Hair | How To Manage Greasy Hair

By Concern

How To Manage Greasy Hair

18 January 2018
oily hair
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Junior Editor,

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Before joining the team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

What makes hair oily?

When we describe hair as oily, it can sound as though the strands themselves are guilty of producing oil. However, Quist says the term “oily hair” actually refers to the oil produced by your scalp.

When we talk about ‘oily hair,’ we are referring to the amount of natural oil that is noticeable on the scalp...Sebum is constantly being produced, which helps to keep our hair and scalp hydrated and moisturized. When our scalp produces an excessive amount of sebum, we get ‘oily hair.

Carly Quist

Everyone’s scalp produces sebum, but not everyone has oily hair. What determines whether or not you have dry, normal, or oily hair? Quist says there are a few key factors that contribute to the overall look and feel of your locks.

“A few key factors that contribute to this issue include...shampoo overuse, product buildup, and environmental [factors],” she explains.

If you’ve never had oily hair before, it can be really easy to dismiss this information as something that doesn’t apply to you. However, it is completely possible for one person to experience having dry, normal, and oily hair throughout their lifetime because so many of these key factors are ever-changing.

What is the cardinal rule of caring for oily hair?

The cardinal rule of caring for oily hair is the same rule for all hair types: A proper routine is key. Quist says the crux of a proper hair care routine for oily hair is a combination of the right products and techniques.

“When applying the shampoo, I like to make sure it is evenly distributed on the scalp, and every inch is properly cleansed. Generally, our nape and temple area do not get cleansed correctly, leaving the oils to remain there,” Quist says. “Next, I like to do a thorough rinse of both the shampoo and conditioner.”

Your hair care routine isn’t the only thing you should pay attention to when dealing with oily locks. Quist says how you handle your strands can sometimes contribute to further oiliness.

“In between washes, it is important to touch your hair as sparingly as possible,” she explains. “Our hands naturally produce oil which can easily transfer to our hair if we are playing with it throughout the day.”

What should you absolutely not be doing?

Quist says people often make two key mistakes when it comes to caring for oily hair: conditioning too much and using dirty hair brushes.

“One of the largest mistakes we make is the amount of conditioner used and the application technique. I always suggest adding an almond size amount of conditioner to the mid-lengths down to the ends for the best results.”

If you deal with chronic oily hair, be sure to keep your hair brushes and combs squeaky clean.

“Just like our makeup brushes, hair brushes require cleaning on a regular basis. Buildup of product, hair, and dust will transfer onto the hair, making it feel dirty again.”

Lastly—this one should be a no-brainer—avoid applying moisturizing or oil-based products directly to your scalp. Instead, Quist suggests focusing on adding products at the mid-lengths all the way down to the ends.

What kinds of products are best for oily hair?

There is no one-size-fits-all haircare routine for ladies with oily locks. While purchasing products for your hair type and texture is important, when dealing with oily locks Quist insists how you apply the products is key.

“Less is more! I would start by applying smaller amounts of the product and see how your hair reacts. If your hair seems to play nicely with it, you can then add more as you go.”

If you follow these simple steps, you can help conquer your greasy locks in no time.

If we had to rank hair woes, oily hair would be up there with frizz, split ends, and dandruff. The thing about oily hair is, it creeps up on you. You can leave your house in the morning with a flawless blowout and your locks are greasy by 4 p.m. Sometimes it seems like no matter what we do, there’s no way to cope with oily strands.

We knew there had to be a better way. We sat down with Carly Quist, Kérastase tech artist and brand ambassador, who revealed everything we’ve ever wanted to know about greasy hair.

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