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What is Oily Hair?
Your skin is covered in pores, tiny openings in the skin that are found all over the body except palms and soles. Each pore is simply the opening of a hair follicles and each follicle has the ability to grow one shaft of hair, whether that hair is visible or not.
Most of these hair follicles also contain the sebaceous glands.
Humans, in fact, all mammals, have sebaceous glands that secrete an oily, waxy material called sebum that helps lubricate our skin and keep the skin and hair healthy and moisturized.
Sebaceous glands are present all over our body (except the soles of the feet and palms) and are most abundant on the face and scalp. Your hair does not make oil, so when your hair is oily the oil comes from the sebaceous glands on your scalp.
Oily scalp and hair, the result of overactive sebaceous glands, can be frustrating to deal with. You take the time to wash your hair, dry it, and style it, but within a few hours, it can turn flat, limp and often unruly. Oily hair can look and feel greasy and in the worst case scenario, the sebum glands clog the hair roots which irritates your scalp and may cause excessive shedding, hair loss and dandruff.
If you already have oily skin, you are more likely to suffer from oily hair as it is your body’s natural system to produce too much sebum. The causes for an excessive sebum production are heredity, unhealthy eating habits, medications or improper hair care. The sebum production may also vary with the change of seasons, climate changes, hormone fluctuations or longer periods of stress.
Causes of Oily Hair
There are a many things that can affect the production of oil on the scalp, such as physical activity, changes in the weather or environmental pollutants.
People with naturally fine hair tend to get greasy hair faster than those with other hair textures. It has to do with hair density which is how many hairs you have per square inch on your head. Since fine hair has a small diameter, individuals with fine hair have often more hairs per square inch. Since each hair has a sebaceous (oil) gland attached to it, the scalp produces more oils. Other factors include:
- Hair type
- Changing hormones
- Poor hair care routine
- Over-conditioning hair
- Product buildup
- Applying too many products after washing
Symptoms of Oily Hair
There is a difference between having oily hair and hair that just needs to be washed. Oily hair symptoms usually involve the look and feel of your hair. Your hair may look greasy or shiny. It can feel heavy or weighed down and greasy to the touch. Excessively active oil glands can cause the scalp to become itchy and irritated.
Things To Look For:
- Hair feels dirty and looks unhealthy
- Hair looks limp, dull and lifeless
- Hair has no body or ounce
- Hair and scalp feel greasy less than 24 hours after washing
- Hair feels heavy on the head
- Oily hair often means oily skin
- Itchiness of the scalp
- Hair loss or progressive thinning of hair
Secondary Conditions Can Result From Oily Hair
Acne: Greasy hair can increase your chances of developing acne on the areas of skin surrounding the hairline like the temples, forehead, neck, and behind the ears. Check out our Help Me Choose Products for Oily Skin & Acne to learn more.
Dandruff: Greasy hair makes your scalp more prone to dandruff. We shed dead skin cells every day which normally wash away when we shampoo. However, the stickiness created excess hair oil dead skin cells to stay on the scalp and hair and not slough off. To learn more take a look at our Help Me Choose Products for Dandruff page.
Helping with Oily Hair
Use A Gentle Natural Shampoo
Many believe that using an "oily hair" shampoo to dry out an oily scalp will help get rid of oily hair.
However, the synthetic cleansing agents used in most commercial shampoos strip the scalp of natural fatty acids and oils.
The dried out scalp sends a signal to oil glands that it needs more oil. So drying out your hair and scalp simply aggravates the problem by encouraging the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss.
Natural shampoos containing citrus essential oils help balance oil production and are often great for oily scalp. Our Citrus Mint Soapnuts Shampoo Bar is made with soapnuts (aritha) which contain natural saponins (foaming agents) that provide an extra cleaning boost without drying the hair and scalp. Their natural antifungal and antibacterial properties also help with dandruff.
While some believe that frequent shampooing will stimulate the production of sebum, I have not found information to support this unless you are using harsh, drying shampoos. If your hair looks best freshly washed, then wash daily using a gentle and mild natural shampoo, to remove excess oil without over-stripping the hair and scalp.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
When properly diluted an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse helps remove excess oil, scaly build-up and residue to cleanse and clarify the hair and scalp without stripping the hair of its natural oils.
Residue weighs hair down, causes an itchy scalp and attracts more oil and dirt. ACV also has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that help treat dandruff.
We infuse our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with certified organic herbs and organic essential oils that are great for the hair and scalp.
Organic Dry Shampoos are very useful for concealing greasy roots between hair washes.
They work by absorbing excess oils on the scalp and hair so hair has more body, looks cleans and smells fresh.
If you don't have time to wash your hair or your hair does not like frequent washings, dry shampoos allow you to extend the time between washes.
Folks with bangs find they often get oily a few hours after shampooing. A bit of dry shampoo can help revitalize greasy bangs.
While dry shampoo is a great quick fix, people can sometimes use too much, which leads to even more build-up and clogged pores between washings. A little goes a long way so be sure not to overload your hair with dry shampoo. Also, avoid using dry shampoo on oily hair for days and days without washing. The combination of dry shampoo and excess oil and dirt can build up on your hair and scalp. This mess can become difficult to wash out and is not healthy for your scalp.
- Choose the right products for your hair.
- Remember that anything that causes a dry scalp will actually lead to excess oil production.
- Wash hair with lukewarm or cool water. Hot water can cause excess dryness.
- Limit the use of blow dryers, curling irons, and any other hair appliances that generate heat and cause excessive dryness.
- If you need conditioner, avoid the scalp and apply it only on the ends and the body of your hair. Try an apple cider vinegar rinse as an alternative.
- Thoroughly rinse hair after shampooing to help prevent buildup in your hair and can help you avoid greasy hair in the future
- Even with regular washing styling products can build up on the scalp and hair. If you must use styling products, you can make your own natural vinegar hair rinse or baking soda hair rinse once in a while to clarify hair.
- Brush your hair before shampooing. Brushing helps distributes the oils down your strands which may also help your shampoo work better.
- Use a clean hairbrush. Your hairbrush can harbor a build-up of old styling products, old greasy hair, dust, and dirt. So, clean your hairbrush on a regular basis.
Things to Avoid
HARSH DETERGENT SHAMPOOS
Many believe that using an "oily hair" shampoo to dry out their oily scalp will help get rid of oily hair. It seems to make sense.
However, the synthetic cleansing agents used in most commercial shampoos strip the scalp of natural fatty acids and oils. The dried out scalp sends a signal to glands that it needs more oil. So drying out your hair and scalp simply aggravates the problem by encouraging the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss.
EXCESSIVE STYLING PRODUCTS OR CONDITIONERS
Stay away from styling products and excess use of heavy conditioners, especially products containing silicon! They only make a difficult situation worse by weighing the hair down and making it even more oily than before.
PLAYING WITH YOUR HAIR
Touching your hair too often not only transfers oils and dirt from your fingers to your strands, but touching your scalp a stimulate oil production.
Brushing your hair too often during the day can also become a problem. Brushing stimulates oil production, which may lead to a nice glossy look at first, but will lead to a greasy look later in the day. If your hair needs a quick fix, stick to brushing only the lengths and ends.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Natural Shampoo Bar?
Shampoo Bars Are One Of Our Favorite Discoveries!
The wholesome goodness of our handcrafted soap is available for your hair.
Shampoo bars are an all natural conditioning shampoo in a solid bar form. Yes, this is real shampoo in a solid bar. Shampoo bars are not a new idea.
They were commonly used before liquid detergent shampoos and conditions were invented in the 1940s.
Although the process for making a shampoo bar is the same as making soap, our shampoo bar "recipes" are specially formulated with natural plant oils, butters, botanicals and essential oils that nourish your hair and scalp.
Our shampoo bars contain no artificial fragrance, color, preservatives, detergents, alcohol, urea, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, DEA, propylene glycol - or any of the other synthetic hair care additives.
Each of our shampoo bar selections contains a different blend of natural plant oils, essential oils, and herb infused oils. No two recipes are the same.
Which Shampoo Bar Is Best For My Hair?
Everything You Want To Know About Shampoo Bars!
Please read "Everything About Shampoo Bars!"
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What Do Herbs Infused In Vinegar Do?
Why Do We Infuse Herbs Into Our ACV Rinses
Nature's herbs and botanicals have a life force of their own.
The vinegar extracts the healing and soothing phytochemicals from medicinal herbs and botanicals.
Basil, Ocimum basilicum, stimulates hair follicles, increases scalp circulation and promotes hair growth. Basil helps protect hair from breakage, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the roots and it adds luster to dull hair.
Burdock, Arctium lappa, nourishes and strengthens hair follicles, to promote healthy hair growth and improve the condition of hair. It helps soothe irritated scalp conditions, decrease breakage and adds sheen, body & luster. The mucilage in burdock root adds “slip” to hair to make detangling easier.
Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, is nourishing and hydrating, stimulates the scalp and has been used for centuries as a hair growth herb. The silica in horsetail helps to keep hair strong and adds shine and luster to hair.
Lavender, Lavendula officinalis, has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that may help with irritated scalp conditions and hair loss. It helps balance oil production as is a great herb for all hair types.
Nettle, Urtica dioica, stimulates the scalp, improves circulation, helps decrease breakage and promotes body, bounce, and shine. Nettle hair rinses are an old remedy to help reduce hair loss and encourage hair growth. Nettles balance oil production and help with dandruff.
Rosemary, Rosemarinus officinalis, encourages the growth of strong healthy hair by improving blood flow to the scalp. The stimulating and revitalizing properties of rosemary help increase manageability, add shine, and condition the hair and scalp.
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Why Chagrin Valley Organic Vinegar Hair Rinses Better?
When comparing vinegar hair rinse products
and prices please read the label ingredients
Our ACV Rinses do not contain no water they are a pure concentrated vinegar rinse so you can add your own water to create the perfect rinse for your hair type.
- Many vinegar rinses are not concentrates, they are made with water--often as the first ingredient--which means that you are paying for a product that is mostly water.
- Our apple cider vinegar (ACV) finishing rinses are made with only USDA Certified Organic ingredients.
- Our ACV rinses are made with only raw apple cider vinegar which contains the "mother," the storehouse of natural bacteria and enzymes that make this product so wonderful.
- We infuse our organic vinegar with certified organic herbs and organic essential oils that are great for the hair and scalp.
- Our ACV Rinses contain no water and therefore need no artificial preservatives.
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Ida's Shampooing Technique for Long Hair
Ida's Shampooing Technique for Long Hair
Men and women with short hair seldom have hair adjustment problems to natural shampoo bars. However, folks with long hair may have to change their shampoo technique when switching from commercial liquid shampoo or synthetic detergent shampoo bars to natural bars.
We have discovered that people with long hair often feel the need to use too much shampoo. Also, it is more difficult to rinse shampoo out of all the little nooks and crannies in long hair. As a result, there are pockets of soap residue left in the hair that make hair feel tacky.
I have found that many times the proper technique makes all the difference.
I have long, fine hair. Below is my technique for using a shampoo bar.
- thoroughly wet my hair
- tie my long hair into a loose ponytail
- wet the natural shampoo bar and rub the bar across only the top of my head in strokes from front to back until I have covered the entire scalp area (Rubbing any shampoo vigorously in all directions causes lots of tangles!)
- massage my entire scalp (only the scalp) in a combing motion to work the lather through my hair
- I do not rub the bar or work the lather on the length of my hair
- take out my ponytail and rinse allowing the shampoo to drip down the length of my hair (I have found that this rinsing is enough to clean the length of my hair)
- rinse, rinse, rinse for at LEAST one minute as I rub my fingers through my hair to be sure that all of the shampoo is rinsed away
- squeeze gently on the length to remove excess water and cover with a towel while I dry off
- I do not rub the towel over my wet hair because it causes nasty tangles
- use a wide toothed comb and gently comb from the bottom up
Dry and style your hair as usual!
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People with severe allergies—please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.
The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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