Oily hair - help with oily scalp

How to cope with the problem with the right shampoo

Oily hair man

Oily hair is caused by excessive sebum production on the scalp. Freshly shampooed hair shines oily again after a few hours, looks stringy, weak and unkempt. An undesirable no-go; after all, healthy, well-groomed hair is considered an expression of health and conveys a certain sex appeal. A survey conducted by Reader's Digest asked people what repels them the most. 1st place: body odor, 2nd place: greasy hair1. However, a lack of personal hygiene is usually not the reason for the quickly greasy roots. 

In this article you will learn what causes can be behind oily hair and oily scalp, what you should pay attention to in hair care and which shampoos regulate the sebum production of the scalp. You will receive tips on what you can do yourself if you have an oily scalp and why it is worth taking action. Because what many do not know: an oily scalp can not only promote the development of dandruff, but also hair loss.

Oily scalp: the most common reason for oily hair

The skin on the head has a similar structure to the skin on the rest of the body. The middle layer of skin, the dermis, contains, among other things, the hair roots and the hair follicles, i.e. the skin and connective tissue that envelops the hair roots. At the top of the hair follicles are the sebaceous glands, which regularly secrete sebum into the scalp through the hair duct.

Although sebaceous glands are found throughout the body, most are located on the scalp, approximately 900 per square centimeter. They work exocrine, which means that they release their secretion to the outside. Sebaceous gland cells store fat droplets until the cell is full, bursts and the secretion is transported to the scalp.

Sebum production is important for the scalp, otherwise it would be constantly irritated, extremely dry and could tear. Sebum is important not only to protect the scalp, but also to protect the hair. Without sebum, they would not become supple and lose their shine. Sebum thus protects the scalp and hair from moisture loss and environmental influences.

It only becomes a problem when too much sebum is produced too quickly, which can no longer be absorbed by the scalp. It usually takes two to three days before the hair looks greasy. However, some people notice greasy hair within 24 hours. If the skin is very oily, this is called seborrhea. Increased sebum production can be caused and influenced by individual factors (e.g. hormones, living conditions) or external factors (e.g. climate, environmental influences, etc.).

Causes of oily scalp

The rapid regreasing of the scalp and scalp hair may have genetic reasons, i.e. be hereditary. More likely, however, are hormonal influences. Androgens, i.e. male sex hormones such as testosterone, can be largely responsible for overproduction of the sebaceous glands. This is why male adolescents are particularly affected during puberty.

Heat dries out the scalp, so that the body increases sebum production as a counter-reaction and the hair becomes greasy much faster than normal. This happens, for example, in winter due to dry heating air and in summer due to sun and wind.

Mechanical stimuli do not per se lead to increased scalp oil production, but the sebum is more easily distributed in the hair. Thus, people who frequently wear caps, hats or a baseball cap often suffer from greasy hair. The constant putting on and taking off of the headgear distributes the excessive sebum in the hair.

Hair is also heavily stressed by incorrect or too much care. Dyeing, blow-drying and straightening dries out the scalp, and to counteract this, sebum production is cranked up. Improper diet or stress can also promote the appearance of oily hair.

By the way, straight hair becomes oily faster than curly, because the fat has to travel a shorter distance.
And fine hair looks oily faster than thick, because the same amount of sebum is distributed over a smaller diameter of the hair.

What shampoo helps with oily hair?

When caring for your hair, make sure that you choose products that are tailored to the needs of the scalp. Shampoos that are very moisturizing or have moisturizing properties are not suitable for oily scalps. Shampoos that gently remove excess sebum and other deposits from the scalp and hair are better.

To restore the natural balance of the scalp, the shampoo should not dry out or irritate the scalp but refresh and soothe it.

Shampoo against oily hair

Alpecin Active Shampoo A2 specifically counteracts the rapid regreasing of hair. The patented skin activator helps prevent transepidermal water loss. Bisabolol and allantoin soothe the scalp, have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent itching. The barrier function of the scalp is stabilized. Due to the mild formulation, the shampoo is also suitable for sensitive scalps and does not dry them out even with daily hair washing.

If the natural sebum flow is disturbed, Alpecin Medicinal Shampoo concentrate oily hair can help restore the natural sebum flow. The extract of St. John's wort and the active ingredient salicyl, which is extracted from willow bark, strengthen the skin's defenses. The natural scalp function is thus restored. The rapid after-greasing of the scalp and hair is also counteracted during daily hair washing.

Hair tonic for oily scalp

After shampooing, a hair tonic or scalp tonic can also be applied. This provides a fresh feeling on the scalp, prevents itching and helps with a quickly greasy scalp.

The combined active ingredients in Alpecin Medicinal FRESH of zinc and ginkgo extract promote the skin's metabolism and improve the scalp's natural balance. Menthol additionally provides a pleasantly fresh feeling. The special feature: the scalp tonic can be applied directly to the scalp in the morning and after every hair wash, ensuring a long-lasting feeling of freshness.

Tips and home remedies for oily hair

Hair care oily hair

Besides choosing a suitable shampoo, there are other things you can do to improve the condition of your scalp and prevent the rapid regreasing of the roots.

Properly wash and care for oily hair

  • Frequency: In general, washing the hair every two to three days is sufficient. However, if the scalp quickly becomes greasy and the hair looks stringy, the hair can also be washed daily with a mild shampoo. On days without shampooing, a scalp tonic refreshes and makes the hair feel pleasant.
  • Hair care: It is important that the shampoo has a mild formulation and is suitable for daily use. Otherwise, there is a risk that the scalp dries out and the hair quickly looks dull and brittle.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Hair conditioners should be rinsed thoroughly so that the residues do not deposit on the scalp and clog the sebaceous glands. The hardness of the water also plays a role here. In regions with hard water, hair care products can be rinsed out more easily than with soft water.
  • Water temperature: Regardless of whether the water is soft or hard, it should always be lukewarm. Heat or excessively hot water can additionally stimulate sebum production.
  • Drying: For this reason, the hair should ideally be dried in the air. If you want to blow dry your hair, you should choose the cold setting of the hair dryer or only a little heat.
  • Combing: Use a comb rather than a brush, so that the sebum is distributed less in the hair. If you do not want to do without brushing, you should clean the brush once a week with shampoo. Sebum, dandruff and styling residues are deposited more quickly in the bristles.
  • Hair styling: You do not have to do without styling even with oily hair. However, you should avoid products that contain grease - such as hair wax, gel wax, styling creams or hair oil - if you want to avoid rapid re-greasing.
  • Head massages: Mechanical stimuli in the form of head massages before shampooing can even help the roots to look greasy less quickly. During the massage, the sebaceous glands empty and the scalp is freed from sebum during washing. When washing the hair itself, the scalp should only be shampooed gently so as not to irritate the sebaceous glands again.


Home remedies for oily hair

Oily hair is a problem not only since yesterday. Therefore, some home remedies that can help with oily scalp have also proven themselves:

  • Hair treatment from healing clay: Healing clay has an absorbent effect and helps the hair to degrease. Mix two to three tablespoons with water until a thick consistency is achieved. Apply the mixture to the scalp, leave on for about 20 minutes and then rinse with plenty of lukewarm water.
  • Acid rinse and rinses made from apple cider vinegar or lemon juice: The acid contained in apple cider vinegar and lemon juice has a positive effect on the pH of an oily scalp. Either mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and apply to the scalp - avoiding contact with the eyes, as the acid could irritate them. After about five minutes, the rinse can be rinsed out.
  • Beer rinse: Admittedly, the shower is a rather unusual place for a nice beer. Instead of drinking it, the beer can also be used to rinse the hair. The yeast has a soothing effect on the scalp. Subsequently, the hair is washed with a mild shampoo.
  • Chamomile tea after shampooing: The bisabolol contained in chamomile has a skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory effect. This supports the balance of the scalp. For the chamomile wash, pour 500 ml of hot water over three tea bags and let it steep for a quarter of an hour. When the tea has cooled, it can be poured over the hair and scalp after washing. It does not need to be washed out afterwards.

Oily scalp: Dandruff and hair loss

Dandruff and hair loss

With an oily scalp, the increased sebum production can also cause other accompanying symptoms: Dandruff or even hair loss.

Oily dandruff occurs when microorganisms multiply uncontrollably. The yeast fungus Malassezia furfur feels particularly at home in an oily environment, which can lead to an overpopulation. This is manifested by slightly yellowish, plaque-like dandruff, which tends to stick to the scalp rather than tumble down. Often, oily dandruff is accompanied by itching and redness of the scalp. An anti-dandruff shampoo can help detach the dandruff and counteract new formation.

An oily scalp does not necessarily lead to hair loss, but hereditary hair loss in particular can be exacerbated by this condition. The excessive production of sebum and dandruff can cause the pores of the scalp to become clogged. Disturbed microflora can promote premature hair loss.

To keep hair healthy for a long time, the scalp should be gently freed from dandruff, the sebum secretion should be brought into balance and the hair roots should be supplied with activating vital substances. The Double Effect Caffeine Shampoo was specially developed to combat hereditary hair loss and dandruff. In the first step, it dissolves encrusted horny cells with salicylic acid and piroctone olamines and thoroughly frees the scalp from dandruff. In the second step, the Alpecin Caffeine Complex acts directly on the hair root and, when used daily and left on for two minutes, prolongs the hair's growth phases.

Medicinal FORTE Scalp Tonic is effective against dandruff, greasy hair and hair loss caused by it. It not only gets rid of annoying dandruff, but also reduces scalp itching and soothes irritation. Menthol promotes blood circulation and refreshes. Thymol is a natural component of thyme oil and prevents irritated scalp and skin irritations.

Alpecin products for oily scalp and hair

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  1. Reader's Digest Deutschland: Verlag Das Beste GmbH, , K√∂rpergeruch und fettige Haare gehen gar nicht!  2015