Remedies for Greasy or Oily Hair

No one likes their hair to look stringy and greasy. If your hair is extra oily though it can be difficult to avoid having your hair look that way. This is a guide about remedies for greasy hair.
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January 8, 2009 Flag
2 found this helpful

I have always had oily hair, but in the last several months the oiliness has just gotten worse and worse--to the point that I could wash it as usual and it would be extremely oily only a few hours later.

I tried several different things, lemon juice and a water solution being one, and then my mom and grandmother and I were talking and it was decided among the three of us that Dawn dish washing liquid might work wonders. And it surely has.

I wash my hair with Dawn dish washing liquid. I think I paid about $1 and some change at Wal-mart. Anyway, I wash it twice with Dawn dish washing liquid and then with the shampoo of my choosing. I have found it to be extremely helpful and you can tell a big difference in what it's done for my hair.

This may sound totally silly, and maybe it is, but if it works then so be it, I'll continue to use it for sure. Using Dawn is definitely much better than having really oily hair.

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By Shanda from Millers Creek, NC

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Anonymous Flag
May 28, 20160 found this helpful

Yes it is. But be careful you don't wash the natural oils out. My young granddaughter had very oily hair, I used dawn & the clarifying shampoos. After a time I noticed her hair becoming dull. She had no shine left. I used a brush with bristles, instead of a vent brush to brush her hair after that. It brought the shine back, with the natural oil that comes from the pores in your scalp, but not Xtra oily. Then used clarifying shampoo 1x wk. Cheap dollar store clarifying shampoo is fine. May need more applications for an adult.

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December 2, 20160 found this helpful

Never thought of this but it makes sense. Trying this tonight! I need help, I got 12 inches cut off and ever since it has been so oily that I'm embarrassed.

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October 28, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about using dry shampoo. There are times when you can't get your head wet, but it really needs to be cleaned.

Woman holding a lock of hair in one hand and dry shampoo powder in the other

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September 20, 2011 Flag

Instead of baby powder I use scented dusting powder as I don't really like the smell of baby powder! You can also combine using powder to de-grease hair with the modern dry shampoo sprays. This will help you get over the residue on your scalp, which often necessitates you washing your hair soon after a powder dry shampoo. This will make the commercial dry shampoo spray last longer, as you will need less.

By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful

Using powder to de-grease your hair. Be it with baby power or dry shampoo is not a good idea. This makes your hair more greasy (reaction of scalp). If you want to stop your hair greasing, you must supply grease. I mean that once a week, massage olive oil on your scalp, about two spoonfuls. Put a towel around your head for at least one hour then shampoo with a mild one.

After a month (or so...) of this treatment, your hair will stop to grease by itself progressively. Then you will have to do this only once per quarter.

Using powder....have you noticed that you loose some hairs more than usual?

Olga (from France)

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September 15, 20140 found this helpful

I agree with this and I like the Avon fragrance powders. They are cornstarch based and come in very nice different scents.

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August 17, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

Mix the equivalent of the juice from 1 lemon with 1 cup water. Pour through your hair, and then rinse with warm water.

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August 16, 2011 Flag
2 found this helpful

Put baby powder in your hair and then brush it out. I suggest brushing it out outside or in your shower for easier clean up.

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August 24, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

I was raised partly by a grandmother and she was very thrifty with everthing. She taught me many easy solutions to all kinds of problems.

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May 3, 2012 Flag
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Why when I wash my hair, the next day it's oily and dirty looking like it hasn't been washed in days?

By Peggy

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May 5, 20120 found this helpful

I have extremely oily hair too. If one doesn't have this problem, there is absolutely no way to properly relate to it. Some things that I've been told make me laugh at people's ignorance of the problem--talk about trying to cure cancer with a band-aid and thinking it will work!

Definitely do not wash or rinse your hair in hot or even very warm water; use only cool or cold if you can stand it. Brush your hair before washing it; it will distribute the oils, making it easier to get them out. Forget advice about not washing your hair every day--they simply do not understand the problem.

Use a clarifying shampoo and switch shampoo every 2-3 days -for some reason this helps. Occasionally wash your hair with dawn dish soap to strip the oils from it. Do not let people tell you that stripping all the oil from your hair is bad for it, again they do not understand the problem.

When your hair is this oily, the oils are right back. I never condition my hair (it is never dry); I also never have split ends or problems others have. Never use a hair/blow dryer, they stimulate oil glands to produce more. The same with hot rollers, curling irons, or anything hot that goes near the scalp. Let your hair dry naturally.

I occasionally rinse with a vinegar rinse to cut the oil and restore the pH. A lemon rinse will dry the hair somewhat so it isn't too oily, but will also dry the ends, so be careful about this. If you have soft water at home, it will exacerbate the problem; hard water is better for extremely oily hair.

Always wash your hair in the morning or right before you go out, not at night before you go to bed--oils will build up during the time lapse. I find that dry cornstarch works wonders for dry shampoo, much better than baby powder or anything else I've tried, but works best on lighter colored hair.

You can't go without washing your hair, but cornstarch is a great way to touch up the oiliness so it doesn't look so bad--dust it on with a puff and brush it through, keeping it away from the scalp (don't want to go out with a white scalp).

Lightening or dying hair may help cut some oiliness, at least temporarily. If possible, keep you home cool--sweating makes things so much worse. Unfortunately, when the problem is this bad, it is hormonal and usually cannot be corrected and must be lived with. Change pillowcases daily, or at least every few days. Wash combs and brushes often too. These can redistribute oils onto your hair.

If the style suit you, cut your hair short so you can wash it often - long hair takes a lot longer to dry naturally. Wash your face often and use blotting papers to keep the oil under control and so it won't wick onto your hair - unfortunately, most with this problem have fine, limp hair that really seems to soak up oil from the skin. Eat a good diet with little junk food - diet may make your problem worse, but maybe not.

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May 6, 20120 found this helpful

I've oily hair. I simply use menthol shampoo from head and shoulder. It works perfectly for you. Anyway, its quite an affordable option, you may want to give it a try. Good luck.

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April 23, 20150 found this helpful

No matter how frequent you wash your hair, it will still be oily. Reason being that you have a naturally oily scalp. This means your sebaceous glands are over productive. Unfortunately this is the case with certain people like yourself and I too have a problem with oily hair. I'm a hairdressing student and I have learnt that if you want to rid your hair of all the unwanted oil, the best thing is camomile, mint and lemon.

These three ingredients are meant for oily hair so I suggest that you buy a shampoo and conditioner with a base containing one or more of these ingredients. That should definitely do the trick. I recommend trying head and shoulders citrus fresh or purchasing professional products from your salon.

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February 7, 2008 Flag
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How do I remove oil from hair without washing?

Moni from Hyattsville, MD

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April 28, 20080 found this helpful

I have tried baby powder but it has always been hard to tell if it is visible so if you use it don't go over board and try to comb throughly.

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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

This may sound dumb or strange, but I did an experiment thoroughly finger-rubbing my scalp. The fingers appeared normal, but when I rubbed them together a certain way, MANY thick brown chunks of oil (which looked more like eraser bits) formed and fell to the ground. I repeated until it diminished, which meant that I removed most oil. And others said that they barely smelled anything anymore, something not possible when water interferes (indeed, water is lubricating and doesn't allow for this effect of transferring to your fingers).

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February 1, 20090 found this helpful

Usually, oily hair means you have a either:

a) bacterial-fungal infection on the scalp

b) an extremely oily or high-fat content diet

c) a sweaty scalp

For a), you need to see a doctor and ask for NIZORAL prescription. It is an anti-fungal/anti-dandruff shampoo which is medicated to help the process of killing bacteria.

For b), some people may not realize but everything has oils in it. If you change diet and it persists, refer to a).

For c), if your scalp/head sweats a lot chances are you'll notice oily or greasy-hay-hair. This is due to a lack of proper shampooing and conditioning of the scalp. If you don't clean enough you'll end up with these problems. Each person is different, so diagnose yourself - NOT other people.

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April 8, 2013 Flag
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My husband has extremely oily hair. He can shower and by the end of the day, it is totally oily. Is there any kind of shampoo that can counteract this or any other solution?

By Elaine

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April 11, 20130 found this helpful

The detergents in shampoo strip all the oil from your husbands hair and scalp. His scalp overcompensates by overproducing because the natural oils have been stripped away. I would try going no poo, it's where you don't use shampoos or conditioners, you use baking soda to wash and then vinegar to rinse, or baby shampoo. Something more gentle. Just Google no poo and you will find a ton of info about it.

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May 13, 20150 found this helpful

When I began puberty, I turned into a grease ball. My mother was 'old school' and insisted that hair only had to be washed once a week. For three years I was teased and shunned because of my oily hair.

So I have to disagree with the suggestion that people with oily hair are 'washing their hair too much'. It's body chemistry, diet, and hormones. I'm 44 and I still need to wash my hair daily.

There are a couple of tricks that I've found that do help.

1. Use either a clarifying shampoo or a volumizing shampoo daily.

2. Instead of conditioner, try a vinegar rinse. (1 C. white vinegar with 2 cups COLD water. The white vinegar has the same pH as the Apple Cider and leaves less of a smell.) Don't rinse it out. There is no need. Just flip your hair over, dump the vinegar all over your scalp and let it fall all the way through to the ends last thing before you get out of the shower and towel dry.

3. If you have long hair and you must condition it, be careful to keep the conditioner off your scalp. I made it a point not to allow conditioner above the level of my earlobes. (Within an hour, the higher hair would be 'conditioned' with my natural oils anyway.)

And here's an odd suggestion for women. Get a very good professional perm.

Now that my hair is curly, I still need to wash it daily; but it looks fantastic all day and into the night. Curly hair seems to absorb the oils much better than straight - which just wicks the oil right down the shaft.

For men with very short hair, here's your weird tip. Once your hair is dry, give your head a light spray with spray-on deodorant. The same things in the deodorant that stop your armpits from sweating will slow down the grease production on the scalp (It may take some experimentation that works best for your hair).

I wish all of my fellow 'oil producers' good luck! It's a frustrating problem to live with.

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May 13, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with 'Pepper'. I dissolve baking soda with hot water and add it to a bottle of shampoo that is partially used, so there is room to add the soda solution. Usually about 2 tablespoons of soda with 1/4 cup of water works for me. I shake the bottle of shampoo to distribute the soda a bit (it tends to settle at the bottom) when I wash my hair. Now when I get a bit warm, my scalp doesn't smell... so embarrassing.

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December 12, 2013 Flag
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I take a shower everyday, but my hair always looks greasy/oily. What can I do?

By Marta G.

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December 14, 20130 found this helpful

Try to find a shampoo that has NO added conditioners. Unless your hair is damaged, you do not need a conditioner. Conditioners, (back in the day we called them "cream rinse") just weigh your hair down, and can feel greasy.

Also, don't massage your scalp. This brings oil to the surface. Don't use a brush that stimulates your scalp. Use warm, not hot water, as hot water can stimulate the oil glands as well.

Hats, for some reason, can make the hair feel greasy. Some people just have more oil in their scalp and skin than others. If this is you, be glad, as you won't get wrinkled as fast as others. :)

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December 14, 20130 found this helpful

First thing is to stop washing your hair every day. This stimulates the oil glands then when you brush it the oil is spread throughout the hair. The longer you can leave it the better it will get. Start by washing every second day then add an extra day as you can. Use a very mild shampoo then rinse with lemon juice. Leave it in your hair for as long as you can then rinse.

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June 22, 20160 found this helpful

You can still shower everyday, but don't shampoo and condition your hair every time you shower. This helps because the shampoo strips your hair of oils making your glands produce more(or even overproduce) oils making your hair greasy again, but when you just rinse it cleans unnecessary oils of you hair! Really hope this works!

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August 26, 2011 Flag

When I was younger I stayed with my grandma, due too a bad winter storm we were snowed in and ran out of shampoo. We used the original green Palmolive dish washing liquid, it made our hair soft, clean, and grease free for several days.

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August 16, 2011 Flag

We used to do with my bedridden grandmother. Sprinkle a little baby powder or even better, a bit of cornstarch in her hair to refresh it. Then brush it briskly to remove the oils with the powder being brushed out.

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October 27, 2010 Flag
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I have extremely oily hair with dandruff and it is falling out. What can I do?

By Suhani from Punjab

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October 29, 20100 found this helpful

Try using Pure Emu Oil. Be sure that it is 100% pure and from Australia as its potency depends upon how it is made. You can massage it into your hair and scalp before bed and wash out in the morning. Good luck to you.

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Anonymous Flag
October 29, 20100 found this helpful

Diet, age, genetics and hot/humid weather have a lot to do with oily hair and dandruff (and oily skin in general). I also want you to know that every single human being looses up to one hundred hairs every day and that is completely normal!

When you wash your hair don't scrub your scalp hard but rather just hard enough to get the scalp and hair clean. Scrubbing the scalp vigorously stimulates the oil glands. Try to avoid foods with saturated fats and sugar as much as possible too. :-)

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November 8, 20100 found this helpful

Chemicals can cause all kinds of problems. You might try using a J R Liggett's shampoo bar. I just discovered these, although they have been around for centuries. These contain no chemicals at all. They do contain lye which simply bonds all soaps, and you can make your own just like body soap if you choose to do so. I wanted to try them before I wanted to make some, so my health food store ordered some in. Saved on S&H from buying from the site.

They have all kinds of them, and while you might not like the way your hair feels, (I didn't) after washing, it will dry beautifully. This is because it does not strip the oils from your hair (result will be no dandruff!). I think you are dealing with a chemical problem which is why I am making this suggestion. There are other chemically made shampoo bars which will simply cause the same problem you are having. Do check them out, and good luck to you!

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