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Haircare Hack: How To Make Your Scalp Be Less Oily

Follow these steps to achieve a less oily scalp in no time.

So your scalp is oily AF. It looks like an oil slick no matter how many times you’ve washed it. But that could be exactly why your scalp is greasy – you might be washing it way too often.

The scalp works the same way as your face – over-cleansing strips your scalp of its natural oils, and it needs these natural oils to stay healthy and keep its oil levels balanced. If the natural oils are stripped from your scalp, your scalp will compensate by producing more oil, leading to a scalp that gets greasier even faster.

And when you have an oily scalp, it might feel like your hair, especially at the roots, is oily because the oil gets transferred. But that doesn’t mean you should not wash it at all, because oil build-up also makes hair at the roots greasy. Yes, it’s slippery slope, we know.

But fret not, we have tips on how to deal with it so you can “train” your scalp to be less oily.

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This article first appeared in Cleo Singapore.

We understand that it can be a huge challenge to skip wash days, especially in Singapore’s hot and humid weather. However, skipping wash days can help your scalp feel less dry so that it doesn’t overproduce oil to compensate for the dryness.   If you wash your hair every day, try changing your routine to washing it every other day. And remember, one pump of shampoo is all you need. You might be tempted to use more since you’ve cut down on the frequency of washes, but don’t. Using too much shampoo has the same drying effect as washing your hair too often.   If you’re wondering how one pump of shampoo can cover your whole head of hair, here’s a tip: you should be applying the shampoo on your scalp, not your hair. Make sure you lather and foam it up and apply it to your whole scalp. As you wash it off, the foam will naturally cleanse the lengths. USE DRY SHAMPOO BETWEEN WASHES
Don’t wait until your hair is greasy to use dry shampoo. Before your next hair wash, spray dry shampoo on the areas of your scalp that are more prone to grease. A dry shampoo helps to absorb the grease accumulating on your scalp before your next wash. Make sure to spray at the roots of your hair (not the ends!) so that the product works.   Went to the gym? Having a sweat sesh at the gym means your hair will get oily faster (and will need some freshening up). Lauren Thompson Baxter, stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City, suggested to Runners World to use dry shampoo the night before your workout sesh so that it can help absorb any oil throughout the night.   Try: Batiste Original Dry Shampoo 50ml, $3.90, Watsons USE THE RIGHT SHAMPOO
Look out for shampoos that help with oil control and contain ingredients that do not strip your hair of its natural oils. Some shampoos can be really drying, and can eventually make your scalp feel even more greasy, but this should not be the case if you are using the right one.   Go for formulas that are made from natural ingredients and do not contain harmful ingredients such as sulfate or parabens. Sulfate-free shampoos are free of harsh cleansing agents, while parabens can cause a number of problems for your hair including drying, irritating your scalp, fading your colour, and even hair loss.   Try: Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo 250ml, $36.80, Watsons AVOID OILY FOODS
You are what you eat. In the same way you’d want to avoid oily and fried foods to reduce breakouts on your skin, you’d want to avoid them to make your scalp less oily too. Your scalp also has oily glands, and eating oily or fried foods send oil glands all over your body into overdrive, and this includes those on your scalp. LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PRODUCTS YOU USE
Using hair spray, creams, serums, and other hair products can cause build-up on the scalp, which then leads to excess grease, so it’s best to skip these if you can since you won’t be washing your hair every day.   Product buildup doesn’t only lead to a clogged scalp, but might also cause scalp pimples or acne. After all, the scalp is like our skin, and pimples can form when the hair follicle is clogged with dead skin cells or oil. This can be itchy, red, or painful.   Remember, overusing styling products can irritate the scalp so use them only when necessary, for example on big days, and try to coincide them with your wash days. USE A CLARIFYING SHAMPOO
While you should be limiting your use of products, if you feel like your scalp is feeling clogged up from product buildup, a clarifying shampoo will help to reset your scalp when necessary. Gentle shampoos are ideal for everyday use, but a clarifying shampoo works to deep-cleanse your scalp, roots, and strands when your hair starts feeling heavy. They are like facial exfoliators that give your scalp a good cleanse to remove the impurities and dirt that are clogging up the scalp pores. However, in the same way that you wouldn’t exfoliate your face every day, use a clarifying shampoo only once a week.   Try: Phyto Phytodetox Clarifying Detox Shampoo 125ml, $27.90, Watsons