The scalp secretes natural oils so, naturally, everyone’s scalp can get oily. Some oil (or sebum) is healthy and protects and supports healthy hair but an overproduction of oil can be problematic, especially if your hair feels greasy, dirty, and weighted down all the time. In some cases, overly greasy hair can, along with other symptoms, can also indicate a skin disorder.
Let’s explore what causes an oily scalp, how to treat it, and tips on how to reduce an overproduction of oil.
What causes an oily scalp?
One of the amazing properties of Abyssian oil is that it mirror’s the scalps natural oil making it a perfect balancing and hydrating agent for hair, without weighing it down; however, if you find that your hair is limp and greasy, especially soon after washing your hair, you may have an underlying problem.
Four common causes of an oily scalp may be seborrheic dermatitis, skin conditions, forehead acne, or genetics.
- Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff’s most common cause): This condition irritates and inflames the skin and pink, scaly patches or skin develop in areas with oil glands, including the scalp. The main result of seborrheic dermatitis is good old-fashioned dandruff. Doctors don’t fully know what causes dandruff other than being an irregular immune reaction and/or a yeast fungus called Malassezia that lives in the skin’s oil secretions. Dandruff isn’t serious but it can be embarrassing and unsightly for those sufferers. The good news is that Abyssinian oil is naturally antifungal, and dandruff can be remedied with that and/or with multiple home remedies.
- Skin conditions: Red, scaly patches on the scalp may be caused by skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, which are both conditions related to immune dysfunction.
- Forehead acne: When oil and skin cells make their way into your pores and get trapped, you may get acne. Some acne can get infected and bacteria can build up, leading to acne bumps. Excess oil production often causes acne and that can impact the scalp.
- Genetics: How much oil your glands produce and your hair thickness is often determined by your genes.
What if I have an oily scalp and dry hair?
If you don’t have any of the above, you may have an oily scalp with straw-like dry hair and that can be caused by overwashing your hair. Yep! There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to getting clean. You may also be using shampoo with strong surfactants (SLS, SLES) and your natural oils are being stripped from your hair. When this happens, your ends get dry and your body triggers an overproduction of oil in the scalp.
What if I have an oily and itchy scalp?
Oily plus itchy is generally caused by dandruff. You know our good old friend, seborrheic dermatitis.
But if you just have an itchy scalp without the grease it may be eczema and psoriasis as mentioned or an allergic reaction to chemicals in your hair products.
What if I have an oily scalp plus hair loss?
Hair loss and an oily scalp is often a result of genetics and ageing; however, it can also be a pointer for damaged hair follicles and result in clogged pores, which isn’t great for healthy hair growth.
So, how do I fix these problems naturally?
Try natural supplements
Some natural ingredients can work from the inside out to restore your hair and body health.
Fish oil: There’s some anecdotal evidence to suggest a fish oil supplement can help manage dandruff flare-ups, which contribute to an oily scalp. Plus, fish oil is known for its benefits for the immune system and heart health too.
Aloe vera: Aloe is another remedy used to treat dandruff naturally. It controls the inflammation that leads to flare-ups.
Probiotics: Probiotics are another supplement that are used to decrease the body’s inflammation, which can control dandruff flare-ups. There is only some scientific evidence to back up probiotics as a source of treating an oily scalp but it’s worth a try!
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that can control fungal and bacterial buildups that lead to acne and skin conditions. If you dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut, olive oil, or your classic Abyssian oil and mix in a few drops on the affected area it may help cure a dry scalp but won’t necessarily help with excess oil.
Apple cider vinegar: Natural vinegar is well-loved in homoeopathic circles and some say that it’s an effective anti-inflammatory remedy to help reduce oil production and control skin flare-ups but some say that if you have eczema, don’t use this natural acid as it can further irritate your skin. If you want to try apple cider vinegar, add a few drops onto your scalp after washing your hair, leave for a few minutes, and rinse well.
Use a speciality shampoo
If you want to opt for a more conventional treatment option, you can choose a shampoo that is effective against an oily scalp.
We recommend the Sunday Detox Exfoliating Shampoo.