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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Remedies for Oily Hair
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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.

By Shanda from Millers Creek, NC

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

By Marta G.

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

Soak your hair in a small basin of water with 1/4 cup cider vinegar, or put the concoction in a spray bottle, and spray on your hair. Then wash it out with warm water.

These remedies also help control nasty shampoo buildup.

By Rhonda L. from Charlotte NC, Upstate South Carolina

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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.

By Ann from PA

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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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I have extremely oily hair with dandruff and it is falling out. What can I do?

By Suhani from Punjab

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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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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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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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To keep oily hair under control, I use a clarifying shampoo every other time I wash my hair. I always follow a thorough rinsing with a mixture of one quart water and 1/4 cup cider vinegar.

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A quick temporary fix to greasy hair is to just sprinkle a bit of baby powder or talcum powder in it, and fluff it through. It will buy a bit of time until the hair can be washed!

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Hair gets greasy when shampoo is too hard. To solve this problem, just give your hair the oil it needs:

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I have a 12 year old daughter with long hair that is greasy the next day after she washes it. We have tried stopping all conditioners and even washing her hair with Head and Shoulders. So far that has dried her hair and made it frizzy.

I'm looking for a good product either natural or store bought to help her with this greasy hair problem. It would make my teen happy if you have got a good idea. Please send it on we would appreciate any help.

By ScrpBkBon from Cincinnati, OH


Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

It sounds like she just needs to wash it every day. If it is really, really long, she could just wash the hair against her head, (and not wet the pony tail). This is what a friend of mine used to do. Also, if she uses conditioner, she can only condition from the pony tail down. (02/18/2010)

By Jilson

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

I totally disagree with Jilson (about washing her hair everyday, I think her idea about not washing the ponytail is good). Your daughter needs to do the opposite (wash her hair less often!) because the more you wash your hair (or your face) the more your body rebels and makes even more oils. Ask any doctor! This is the first mistake people with acne or oily hair make, they wash their face or hair too often which makes their body make even more oils!

  1. Try this for at least 2 weeks (a month would be a better test):


    Wash her hair no more than 2 times a week and if her hair gets dirty during the off (non-shampooing) days, use a quality dry shampoo to get rid of the oil. If her hair is light colored, she can simply use any baby or talcum powder (being careful not to inhale the powder). Just sprinkle the power or spray the dry shampoo into her hair then brush out the excess powder with a clean, dry brush. This will soak up the excess oil. Keep the power or dry shampoo away from her scalp, use only on the hair.

  2. If she feels like she really needs to wash her hair she can clean her hair by combing a cheapie conditioner through her hair over and over in the shower, then rinse thoroughly. This works because oil removes oil (as most mechanics know) and at the same time the conditioner won't damage her hair like shampoo can. The trick is to do a great job rinsing the conditioner out and be sure to comb or massage the conditioner into the scalp to help remove the scalp oil which could back-fire in her case. It can't hurt to try this. I have very dry, frizzy hair and I've been washing my hair with conditioner for over 30 years and gets perfectly clean. I only use shampoo once every week or two.

  3. She can also try using original amber colored Listerine on her hair and scalp. Don't use any of the other flavors of Listerine because the mint and orange flavors have a sweetener added. Lots of people use Listerine for fungus infections (body and scalp) and also for dandruff, so I see no reason she couldn't give this a try. If this was me, I'd put the Listerine into a spray bottle, then spray it on the scalp and hair, then brush it through her hair, then towel dry her hair really well. This may not work for her problem, but it sure works great for dandruff (because the eucalyptus and menthol in the amber colored Listerine kill fungus which is what causes most dandruff).
After she tries this for 2 - 4 weeks, write me here on ThriftyFun and let me know how it worked for her. (02/18/2010)

By Cyinda

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

As someone who's had oily hair since the age of 11, the answer is simple: Wash it every day. People shower every day, so why not wash your hair while you're in the shower, right? :-)
At your daughter's age, it's especially important to include daily hair washing as part of her routine, because the oil from hair can get onto the face, creating problems or potential problems with acne.

Please don't use harsh shampoos like Head and Shoulders however, that's for dandruff, not oily hair. A nice, mild shampoo is sufficient.

And while you don't want her loading up on conditioner, it's important to use a conditioner especially made for oily hair. Even oily hair can be damaged by lack of conditioning, especially if your daughter blow-dries her hair.

Shampooing every day will not damage hair. What will damage it is trying to find something that will keep her hair clean and non-oily for days. Because a product like that would be way too harsh, anyway.

Cyinda's advice, while well-intentioned, could do a lot of damage. Listerine is way too astringent for use in hair. Combing conditioner through it will only add to the oiliness. Powder and/or dry shampoos are a disaster for oily hair, as I found out the hard way when I was 11. There's a reason people wash their hair every day; it's good hygiene, and it works. :-) (02/19/2010)

By WildIrish

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

I came across a new movement to "not" shampoo hair and use a baking soda rinse, followed by a rinse of plain water, and I like it. My hair is a little oily, but if you brush long hair every day, it distributes oil along shaft from scalp area so that moderates oil.

The soda rinse is made by 2-3 tablespoons in glass of warm water, make sure glass is actually plastic for safety, rub into scalp and massage through hair just as if it were shampoo, then rinse. Hair feels clean, has shine, and looks good. Once in a while use a plain shampoo, like Suave which has been watered down, like 1 tablespoon in glass of warm water. I shampoo about every 4th time. Sometimes just rinsing hair with warm water helps, because what you are rinsing out is the sweat of the day, dust, etc. (02/19/2010)

By PIKKA

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

We use vinegar as a rinse. Works well, and any type of vinegar will work. It is the perfect ph, so won't dry out your hair. It is also a natural antibody fighter, so will also work against any blackheads and such. (02/21/2010)

By mom-from-missouri

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

I'm 36 weeks pregnant, because of my pregnancy I have had extremely oily hair. I would wash it one day and the next it would be oily again. I did some research on the problem and found that many people recommend using tea tree Oil in their shampoo. I tried it, and sure enough it worked. My hair was silky, shiny, soft, and definitely not oily. You can find tea tree oil at pretty much any store. I myself went to Walgreen's and got a small bottle of it for nine dollars. I also bought a little re-usable lotion/shampoo bottle which I put a mixture of shampoo and tea tree oil. When you do mix the oil and shampoo, you only need a tiny amount of the tea tree oil for it to work. I hope this works for you. (02/22/2010)

By EeshieKing

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

I have very oily hair as well. I wash it most days.
But, when I need to go a day without washing, I use a little baby powder. I have dark hair so I have to be careful not to use too much. If you use a little around the roots as soon as you get your hair dry and then the next day use a little more, it works quite well. Just use a little, comb it in, then use a little more. It helps absorb some of the oil. Has really saved me on camping trips! (02/22/2010)

By cdoss

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

She should be washing her hair every day because of oils caused by puberty which can also affect her facial skin as previously mentioned (this can happen at menopause, too), but the trick for the scalp to not overly produce oils is using a mild shampoo and "do not scrub". Scrubbing actually stimulates the scalp oil glands!

Simply apply the shampoo to the entire scalp and gently wash the scalp with fingertips and then work the lather through the rest of the hair. A vinegar rinse is a good idea too and she should indeed use conditioner because her hair is long, and especially if she blows it dry, but just don't apply the conditioner to the scalp.

Baby powder, talcum power, or baking soda gently brushed through the scalp area will help to keep the oiliness from being noticeable on days there simply isn't time for a shampoo.

This advice is from a former pubescent and thereafter over thirty years as a hairstylist as were my parents before me ;-) (02/22/2010)

By Deeli

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

As a person who has had extremely oily hair her entire life, I too disagree with Cyinda. Have her wash her hair every day. I've found that switching shampoos every two weeks makes a difference for me. And yes, some shampoos cut the oil better than others. Also, tell her to never wash or rinse her hair in hot water; the cooler she can stand it, the better for oily hair. Hot water opens the oil ducts; cool water closes them.

I do not use a blow dryer either; the heat from it stimulates the oil glands. Ditto for hot rollers, curling irons, etc. I allow my hair to air dry. Between shampoos, I brush cornstarch through my hair. I've found that it absorbs oil better than other powders. I also used to rinse my hair with lemon juice. It may be drying to some, but my oily hair could handle it. (02/23/2010)

By susanmajp

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

Tell her to try Aussie's Cleanse and Mend Shampoo, it is formulated to dry out greasy roots while maintaining moisturized ends. Another tip is that when you do condition your hair, only apply conditioner to the hair that falls below your ear lobes, our scalps make more than enough oils to keep our roots moisturized.

Another thing would be to stay away from shampoos with sodium laureth sulfate, which is the ingredient in shampoo/face washes that strips dirt and grim from the hair/skin. This often makes our scalp over produce oils in order to compensate for the stripped moisture. (02/26/2010)

By abrupt_silence

Solution for Extremely Oily Hair

Thanks to everyone who had suggestions for my daughter. So far this week she has has had her hair cut to a more manageable length and she has been using a clarifying shampoo and a good conditioner only for the ends of her hair. Last week she tried Suave for a double shampoo and a cool water and white vinegar rinse. She has also changed her habits of needlessly scrubbing her scalp. She even stopped blow drying and has gone to a wide toothed comb. I appreciate all your kind advice and thanks again :)

Bonnie (02/26/2010)

By ScrpBkBon

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My handicapped sister has hair that is far more oily than any I have ever seen or heard of. It's a terrible problem and even washing every day doesn't help much.

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Health & Beauty Beauty Hair Tips Oily HairAugust 14, 2011
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