Oily hair - causes, treatment and home remedies

Oily hair - causes, treatment and home remedies

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If our hair hangs in strands and shines oily, we quickly have the image of the uncultivated. Someone with greasy hair is considered to be a person who does not take care of his personal hygiene or his life, lies on the sofa and does not wash.

Hair is thread-like protein molecules and consists of keratin (like nails). They develop in the hair follicles of the skin, arrange themselves in spindles and harden. Hair fibers exist on millions of these spindles, plus fats and water. The coat of each hair forms a layer of horn scales. Hormones, diseases, medication and nutrition influence the structure of the hair.

However, the hair itself is neither healthy nor unhealthy, because it consists of dead matter. Vitamins and minerals affect the scalp where the hair grows, not the hair itself.

The sebaceous glands

The sebum glands release sebum through the scalp to the hair and thus protect the hair and scalp to a certain extent. If the sebum becomes too much, the hair becomes greasy. This can actually be due to a lack of care, because if we don't shower for weeks, normal hair becomes greasy. However, many people's sebaceous glands produce too much of a good thing, some people have more of these glands from birth, others change hormones, and others have fine hair that looks greasy faster.

Teenagers are particularly affected, and twice. On the one hand, the “good looks” play a special role in puberty, and some young people download their insecurities onto their classmates: those who sweat a lot see themselves branded as “puma”, those who suffer from acne are called “crumble cakes” and those who are greasy Hair has similarly unsightly nicknames. At the same time, hormone emissions in this phase of life increase sebum production. Not only pimples, but also greasy hair is a problem for young people.

Treatment for fatty hair

Those who tend to greasy hair usually try to get the sebum under control by washing their hair frequently. Unfortunately, this usually does not lead to the desired result. The more often the sebum is washed out, the more the glands produce.

Dermatologists therefore advise, even if it is difficult not to wash your hair for a few days so that the glands calm down.

It is also wrong to take a hot shower in the evening and wash your hair. The heat activates the glands, which also release more sebum at night anyway. It is better to wash your hair in the morning with lukewarm water.

Frequent brushing is also not advisable: it distributes the fat in the hair that collects on the scalp. Baby powder and dry shampoo, on the other hand, work effectively: they absorb the sebum.

Which shampoo for oily hair?

If you suffer from oily hair, you should avoid rinsing and do not use shampoos that contain oils and fats. Healing earth or clay rinse work in a similar way to shampoo and also absorb fat.

The method, however, is more important than the shampoo: you should not massage the shampoo into the scalp, as the massage inspires the glands.

The choice of shampoo does not play the role that advertising suggests. Oily hair is not a hair problem but a skin problem. The focus is therefore not so much on hair care, but how we deal with our scalp.

Anti-fat shampoos contain many surfactants and are also mild, so they don't dry out the scalp, which would provoke it to produce more sebum.

Folk medicine knows extracts from chamomile, rosemary, yarrow and horsetail to prevent greasy hair. Medicinal shampoos with tar help if the greasy hair is a real problem. Shampoos with seaweed, nettle or horsetail extract are also recommended. Silicones, however, have a moisturizing effect and should therefore be avoided.

Home remedies for oily hair

1) Lemon juice removes sebum from the scalp.

2) Apple cider vinegar regulates the pH value, gives the scalp vitamins and minerals.

3) Black tea and mate contain tannic acid, which curbs excessive sebum production.

4) Oat and corn flour absorb the fat like baby powder.

5) Yogurt also prevents the scalp from becoming greasy.

6) We apply clay powder, mixed with water to a paste, on the scalp and leave it on for 15 minutes. The porridge absorbs the fat and the skin becomes less greasy. We rinse the earth with lukewarm water.

Healthy eating

If you naturally have more sebum glands in your scalp, you can't change that. But if the hormone level, stress or malnutrition is responsible for the overproduction of sebum, a balanced diet helps: lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Caution with hairstyles

Those who shave their heads no longer have problems with oily hair. However, it doesn't have to be that radical, smaller tricks already help: Short haircuts have the advantage that they can be washed and blow-dried faster.

Topping hair increases the distance between the hair and the scalp and thus the distance to the sebum. Perms and dyes dry out the hair. Fatty hairs even have an advantage here: While people with dry hair make such hairstyles supple with oil, the sebum does this on its own with oily hair.

Gel in the hair or hair sprays make a virtue of necessity. The wet or lacquer look appears so wanted.

People with greasy hair should wear this openly: braids, braided hair, ponytails and other hairstyles where the hair is close to the head ensure that they come into direct contact with the sebum.

If you suffer from greasy hair, you should also not wear tight-fitting hats. First, those affected sweat underneath, and second, they press the hair onto the scalp.

Fat from the outside

Sometimes the fat does not come from the sebaceous glands of the scalp, but from outside. We constantly run our fingers through our hair, we sit in a greasy kitchen or we sleep on a sweaty pillow. Then it is time to change this behavior. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Conrad Hermann; Ute Trinkkeller: Dermatology and Medical Cosmetics: Guide for Cosmetic Practice, Springer, 2015
  • Ralph M. Trüeb: Hair: Practice of Trichology, Springer, 2003
  • NA Galewsky; NA Mayr; NA stone: hair and hair floor sweat glands · sebaceous glands, Springer, 1932
  • Sabine Ellsässer: Personal hygiene and cosmetics: A textbook for PTA training and advice in pharmacy practice, Springer, 2008
  • Martina Kerscher: Dermatocosmetics, Springer, 2009
  • Mary Pfahl: The great home remedy guide: 70 simple home remedies for various ailments, neobooks, 2015

Video: 5 home remedies for oily and greasy hair and scalp. How to treat an oily scalp (November 2022).