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What To Do About An Oily Scalp

When you have an oily scalp, things just seem to get worse and worse. Your hair looks dirty, heavy, and lifeless; your skin can break out, your head itches. Here are some tips to help you refresh your scalp and feel clean again.

Cleanse Your Hair

Start by washing with a sulfate-free, clarifying shampoo in order to remove oils and residues from your hair. Use cool or lukewarm water to wash with; not only does this help close and protect the hair shaft, it soothes your scalp and helps slow down the production of oils. While you’re washing, gently work your shampoo through your hair, but don’t massage your scalp vigorously. Again, you are trying to avoid stimulating your scalp to avoid triggering excess oil production.

Once you’re done use a lightweight conditioner, rinse with cool water, blot and let your hair air dry. Consider using products with tea tree oil, since tea tree is soothing for your skin and helps regulate oil production.

Care For Your Hair

Brush your hair daily to distribute oils along the hair shaft where they belong, rather than letting them build up on your scalp. Try shampooing less often; if your shampoo is too drying, then using it less often can actually help reduce oiliness because your scalp will stop reacting so violently to being washed. If your hair feels very dry and frizzy after washing, this is likely the cause.

Emergency Measures

If you need to degrease your hair in a hurry and can’t take the time to wash it, dust it with a small amount of cornstarch-based baby powder or baking soda. Then brush the powder through your hair with a natural bristle brush. Continue brushing until the powder disappears. It will absorb some of the oil in your hair and temporarily leave it feeling and looking clean and fresh. Note that powdering your hair doesn’t actually remove any of the dirt and oil; it is still in your hair, it’s just absorbed by the baby powder and less visible. You will need to shampoo your hair on your usual schedule.

This technique is also a good way to bridge the gap if you’re trying to wash your hair less often, during the first week or so before your scalp has made the transition. Dry shampooing allows you to feel clean and comfortable without disturbing the delicate chemical balance you’re trying to create in your scalp.

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