The Right Way to Manage an Oily Scalp
On a good day, we manage to get out of bed, do our morning skin-care routine, apply a little makeup and do our hair with time to get some breakfast before a full day of work. Unfortunately, those good days aren’t as frequent as we’d like, which is why we’re always looking for solutions to cut our beauty routine time in half, like trying to make our blowout last for days on end via not washing our hair — no shame, we’ve all done it. But if you’re someone with an oily scalp, it can seem like you’re constantly shampooing your hair to get rid of your greasy strands and in turn, spending way too much time styling your hair and caring for your scalp altogether. Don’t worry, though. We consulted with Brand President and Consulting Trichologist of Philip Kingsley, Anabel Kingsley, to help us understand the causes of an oily scalp and how to manage it.
What Causes an Oily Scalp?
If your hair feels limp and weighed down and you experience flakes, pimples and itchiness on your head, odds are you have an oily scalp. According to Kingsley, there are many causes for an oily scalp. The first, and probably most obvious, is not shampooing your hair frequently enough. “Your scalp is skin that houses thousands of sebaceous oil glands,” says Kinglsey. “Like the skin on your face, you scalp needs to be cleansed regularly.” Another cause you have less control over is your menstrual cycle. You may find that leading up to and during your period, your scalp gets greasier and maybe even a bit pimply. Stress also plays a role in an oily scalp as it can elevate androgen (male hormone) levels and can send oil production on your scalp into overdrive. And if you have fine hair, you will most likely find your scalp gets greasy quickly, too. “This is because every hair follicle is attached to an oil gland, and those with a fine hair texture have more hairs on their scalp and therefore more oil glands than any other hair texture.” A very oily scalp can also be an indication of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which has other symptoms such as facial hair and acne as well, says Kingsley.
How to Combat an Oily Scalp
“Like the skin on your face, your scalp can benefit from a weekly targeted mask and a daily toner,” says Kingsley. If your scalp is oily and flaky, use a weekly scalp mask that helps to gently exfoliate and cleanse. We love the Kiehl’s Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment for its ability to purify and exfoliate while helping promote a healthy scalp. Kingsley also recommends using a daily scalp toner that contains an astringent ingredient, such as witch hazel, which helps to soak up excess oil like the Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner. Find more tips for managing an oily scalp, ahead:
Tip #1: Increase How Much You Shampoo
“If your scalp is greasy and you are washing your hair less than every other day, increase your shampoo frequency,” says Kingsley. She also recommends using an antimicrobial shampoo like the Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Cleansing Shampoo.
Tip #2: Apply Conditioner to Only the Ends of Your Hair
Applying conditioner to the roots of your hair will only continue to weigh them down. Kingsley recommends focusing the product on the mid-lengths and ends of your strands. Need a new conditioner? Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Conditioner.
Tip #3: Keep Stress Levels Low
We know it’s easier said than done, but Kingsley says high stress levels can increase your scalp’s oil production. To help keep oiliness at bay, try taking yoga or pilates classes when you can and regularly practice mindfulness and mediation.
Tip #4: Watch What You Eat
“If your scalp is oily, itchy and flaky, cut down on your intake of full-fat dairy products and very sugary foods,” says Kingsley.
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