While all of us want hair that shines, none of us want hair that appears to be saturated-especially when we didn't go for the wet-look that morning. Oily hair can feel hard to manage, but it doesn't have to be! To learn more about oily hair and how to manage it we reached out to an expert, hairdresser and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist Travis Parker.
What Causes Oily Hair?
"Each hair contains its own sebaceous gland that produces an oil-or sebum-that helps to hydrate the hair by keeping it healthy and smooth," Parker explains. However, due to a number of reasons including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, unhealthy eating habits, medications, or improper hair care, your sebaceous glands can kick into overdrive causing an excess of oil. One of the most common causes of oily hair is actually surprising: over-washing. By over-washing your hair you can dehydrate the scalp. When the scalp thinks it's lacking moisture, the sebaceous glands overcompensate and produce more, causing you to wash even more and continue the cycle.
Is There a Difference Between Oily Hair & Greasy Hair?
"Generally speaking, oily hair is related to over-active sebaceous glands and this is visible at the scalp only. Greasy hair, however, is typically related to the strands of hair themselves. This can be caused by the oil pushing further over the hair strand attracting dust, debris, and the buildup of other product being used on the hair," Parker shares.
Caring for Oily Hair
Take a look at the products you have in your shower, are they formulated for oily hair? If not, it's time to upgrade. "A person with oily hair should absolutely use a shampoo specifically created for this type of hair and on a daily basis. The incorrect product-no matter what it is-may further contribute to the problem." Parker says. "Use clarifying and oily hair shampoos and stay away from oilier products in general. Hair should be rinsed with cool water helping to cut down on natural oil production."
If you thought you should skip conditioner, think again. Conditioner is a necessary step in any healthy hair care routine, but, when you have oily hair, you simply have to use it a different way. "Putting conditioner directly on, or close to your scalp can weigh your hair down," Parker shares. "Apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends, not your roots."
While dry shampoo can be used as an alternative to your daily shampoo, Parker warns not to rely too heavily on it. "What you must remember is that we are trying to remove all buildup not contribute to it," he says.