By Aleena Shaikh.

Summer is here, which means extreme humidity and overactive sweat glands. It’s so tempting to hop into the shower every day just to banish that icky, sticky feeling all over. But for some folks, a greasy scalp is a year-round problem. And no, it’s not always caused by a lack of hygiene. 

If you struggle with a persistently oily scalp and feel like you have to wash daily, here are a few common mistakes you might be making.


It sounds counterintuitive, but shampooing every day actually makes your scalp work overtime. When our skin feels dry, it produces more sebum and the same is true of our scalp. Instead of attacking your head with more cleaning products ( especially shampoos containing silicones and sulfates) check if you have dandruff or flaking of the scalp. This may point to another issue like dermatitis that your skin is trying to deal with by producing oils. Try shampooing every 2 days and using a dry shampoo in between to freshen up.


Not brushing often enough

If you’ve noticed that your scalp feels greasy but your ends look brittle and dry, you may not be brushing often enough. Brushing your hair, even if it’s short, helps to redistribute oils from your scalp to your ends. Paddle brushes with natural bristles like boar are famous for making hair look healthy and glossy, because they distribute your scalp’s oils beautifully. 

Avoiding hair oil

Yes, you read that correctly. Hear me out: oiling your hair before a wash actually helps to nourish the scalp right before a shampoo. That makes it less likely for your shampoo to totally strip your scalp of all its moisture. A nourished scalp then typically produces less sebum. Try massaging your scalp with a pure oil like olive or coconut once a week before showering.


Letting conditioner touch your scalp

Conditioner is great for restoring some moisture back into the ends of the hair, but it should never touch your skin. Not only is it known to cause acne, but it can also create buildup on your scalp, which increases the greasiness that makes your hair fall limp. Make sure to use a very small amount and work it into your ends, gently combing downwards with your fingers.

Dodging the Doc

You’ve tried it all. Every DIY hack the internet has to offer, from apple cider vinegar to rock salt in your shampoo. It may be time to consult a dermatologist or endocrinologist. Overactive sebaceous glands can point to a hormonal imbalance, and no amount of home remedies will work if the root cause (no pun intended) is not found. If you also suffer from persistent acne, your doctor might prescribe medication like Accutane to decrease oil production.

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