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Remedies for Greasy or Oily Hair

Category 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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Solutions

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2 found this helpful
January 8, 2009

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.

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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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Anonymous
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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September 20, 2011

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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October 28, 20160 found this helpful

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

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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.

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2 found this helpful
August 17, 2011

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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2 found this helpful
August 16, 2011

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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1 found this helpful
August 24, 2011

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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August 26, 2011

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

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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August 17, 2011

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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0 found this helpful
August 16, 2011

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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August 16, 2011

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

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
May 3, 2012

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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0 found this helpful
February 7, 2008

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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0 found this helpful
April 8, 2013

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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December 12, 20130 found this helpful

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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0 found this helpful
October 27, 2010

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
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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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

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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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

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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