Whether your hair is coarse or fine, curly or straight, when dealing with oil, it's easy to get frustrated and feel helpless. No matter how much you wash or what products you use, it seems to always be there when you want it least.
First off, it's important to know you're not alone. According to James Corbett of the James Corbett Studio in NYC, oily hair is caused by sebum production in the scalp. Sebaceous glands found under the surface of the skin produce sebum, a natural oil that keeps skin and hair smooth, supple, and shiny. It is our body's natural hair conditioner which gives it elasticity and makes it stronger and shiner. Unfortunately, our scalp produces too much.
Sebum comes to the surface of the skin through tiny holes called pores, which are also where individual hairs grow. There can be a number of reasons for this: diet, hormones, stress, wrong choice of hair-care products, etc. Corbett reminds us that even though hair comes from the scalp, excess oil is many times an internal problem that we can try to manage externally and internally, with the tips listed below.
Taking a supplement with saw palmetto extract has been shown to balance sebum production.
Herbs like rosemary, eucalyptus, and sage act to reduce sebum buildup and promote more body. This helps since volume counteracts oily hairs tendency to stick to the scalp and look even more greasy than it might actually be.
"Beer can be excellent for the hair," Corbett says. According to him, using beer to wash hair was very popular some time ago. Widely used back in the '50s and '60s, beer lost some of its popularity with the advancement of beauty products. It works as a deep cleaner for the hair and helps to give it body.
After shampooing, put it in the hair and let it sit for five minutes, then rinse. "Lemon juice can also work, but I prefer beer," Corbett admits.
Sulfates: Do or Don't?
"Sulfates are this season's trendy leave-out ingredient in foods and beauty products, but if you need more cleansing, it is better to have them," advises Corbett. Shampoos like Neutrogena Clean Shampoo still contain sulfates and will wash away dirt without removing vital moisture.
Open Your Fridge
Adding Arm & Hammer baking soda with your daily shampoo once every two to four weeks works to cleanse extra oil.
"What causes some people to produce more sebum than others is not always known," says Corbett. He notes that even problems which seem the same may have different causes. "Trial and error and finding what works for you" is the best bet. And if all else fails, it might be best to consult a doctor or dermatologist.