Oily Hair
Chamomile & Citrus Shampoo
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Oily Hair

What is it?

Humans, in fact, all mammals, have sebaceous glands that secrete an oily, waxy material called sebum that helps lubricate our skin. 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.

Oily scalp is the result of overactive sebaceous glands. Although these natural oils are essential for a well-hydrated scalp and healthy hair, excess oil can cause hair to become limp and unruly. In the worst case scenario, the sebum glands clog the hair roots 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.

Symptoms of Oily Hair

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. 

Treating Oily Hair

Use a Gentle Natural Shampoo

Use a Gentle Natural Shampoo

Many believe that using an "oily hair" shampoo to dry out their 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 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. We also make three shampoo bars 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 shampoo, to remove excess oil without over-stripping the hair and scalp.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

An apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse removes 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.

Click here to read all about ACV rinses and how to make your own


Dry Shampoo

Dry Shampoo

Natural 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.

Additional Tips

Additional Tips

  • Choose the right products for your hair
  • Remember that anything that causes a dry scalp will 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 excess 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, use a vinegar rinse or baking soda rinse once in a while to clarify hair. 
  • 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 hiar

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. 



Customer Tips for Oily Hair


Hi there my new besties! I had to drop a line to express just how impressed I am with your shampoo bars. I recently bought several sample sized bars & a bargain bag of you auburn henna (thank goodness for gut instincs!) And every one is amazing in a different way! I have very curly color treated hair that tends to be dry and on the frizzy side. That is a thing of the past thanks to your products. I use an ACV rinse after & have never been so happy with my former tangled mop! Knots just slide through my fingers, I have more body than I could imagine, smooth,shiney curls with no frizz! All with NO CONDITIONER! I can't believe it. Looking good & saving money while being a bit kinder to old mother earth! Thanks for creating such awesome products. I have spent a small fortune every month on shampoo, conditioner, defrizz stuff, gloss & root lifter for years. Now a few swirls on my dome with one of my magic bars & an ACV rinse & I'm out the door. A little argan or coconut oil on the ends is all I do. Wow! I just love your stuff!

-Sophia, California

Medical Disclaimer

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.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Read our Full Medical Disclaimer. 




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