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Oily Hair Care 101—Transforming Your Hair and Scalp

beautiful keratin treated hair
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Oily hair doesn’t make life easy. In addition to its appearance, excess sebum on the scalp can suffocate the skin and interrupt the functions of the hair follicle. As anyone who has oily hair knows, it can feel like all you do is shampoo. But washing your hair more often might not be the best answer, and in fact can make the problem worse.

The good news? With a few changes to your routine and the right products, you can improve both the appearance and the health of your hair and scalp.

What causes an oily scalp?

Sebum secretion is a natural process that protects the scalp and keeps it from drying out, as well as preventing the development of bacteria. When the sebaceous glands over-produce, however, the sebum can clog the hair bulb and weigh down the hair, creating the familiar oily appearance.

Excess sebum production can have a variety of causes. Some of the major ones include over-washing, pollution, hormones, and diet, but Chrissy Kersting, Director of Product Operations at, a Leonor Greyl retail partner, adds, “We often learn that our customers searching for oily hair treatments may simply be using the incorrect products. Things like using a conditioner that is too heavy or applying rich styling products too close to the root.”

It is important to note that some dermatological conditions can also contribute to oily hair, so if the problem persists despite using appropriate products, you might need to seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist.

Should I shampoo more often to get rid of the oil?

While this feels like a natural reaction, it could actually have the opposite effect to getting rid of the oil. “Using a harsh or clarifying shampoo too often in an effort to keep oil at bay can actually strip the scalp of natural oil. Shampooing too often can cause sebaceous glands to kick into overdrive and increase sebum production, making hair look and feel even oilier,” Kersting explains.

Frequent shampooing with the wrong shampoo for your hair can also dry out the lengths, creating opposing problems at your roots and ends.

What is the best way to treat oily hair and maintain both scalp and strand health?

bain ts shampoo on white surface next to bottle

Washing with a shampoo that gently cleans without activating the sebaceous glands can start you on your way. For daily shampooing, Leonor Greyl’s Lait Lavant à la Banane offers gentle cleansing with banana and hibiscus extracts, giving hair softness and shine without taking anything away.

For oily scalps and dry ends, Bain TS shampoo uses sage, linden, and wheat protein to both purify the scalp and hydrate the hair length, without stripping the sebum that should be there. customers love it, too. One five-star review raves, “I am so glad I found this shampoo. It is so frustrating to have an oily scalp and dry ends. Finally, the product I need is on the market… My hair stays and looks healthier longer and it has healthy shine.”

Leonor Greyl’s leave-in Tonique Végétal treatment is enriched with sage and iris extracts to purify, and amino acids to strengthen and fortify hair, giving tresses volume and shine. Used in conjunction with Bain TS, Tonique Végétal offers maximum oil control. A customer says, “I have extremely oily hair and this is keeping my oil at bay. Normally, I have to wash daily, but so far I’m on day 2 and don’t need to wash!”

Leonor Greyl Tonique Vegetal spray bottle with yellow flowers and green branches

Once a week, in place of your normal shampoo, Huile de Germe de Blé helps eliminate excess sebum and conditions your hair. This deep-cleansing treatment leaves hair feeling invigorated and strengthened, with avocado, wheat protein, and vitamin-rich jojoba oil.

Kersting also recommends “limiting how often you touch your hair, making sure you shampoo your roots thoroughly, only applying conditioner on the mid lengths to ends of your strands, and washing your pillowcase often.”

Oily hair happens (to many of us!), but with a few updates to your normal hair care routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your oily, dull, or limp tresses can transform into hydrated, soft, invigorated locks.

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