Oily hair? Here's what to do about it

Oily hair and scalp is a common issue. Find out more about the reasons and how to take care of it.

How does oily hair and scalp develop?

The sebum, which can make the scalp or hair appear greasy, is produced in the sebaceous glands. These sebaceous glands are located right next to our hair follicles. Since they have no exit of their own, the sebum reaches the surface of the skin across the hair follicles.

The sebum has important functions, it protects the skin from germs and water loss and keeps it smooth. If the sebum is overproduced, oily scalp and hair appears.

sebaceous gland
Causes of oily scalp and hair

There are several possible causes for oily scalp and hair. Some of them cannot be influenced, such as the hereditary predisposition or the hormone fluctuations, which occur especially during puberty or during pregnancy. Other factors that favor oily scalp and hair can be influenced, like, for example, a hectic daily routine that causes stress, an unhealthy diet and the wrong care for the scalp and hair. The last point can be easily corrected with the daily routine.

7 tips for oily hair
  1. Wash your hair in the morning: The sebaceous glands are particularly active at night. Also during the night, there is a lot of movement which distributes the sebum and thus makes the hair look greasier more quickly. 
  2. No heat.Heat stimulates the sebaceous glands. This applies to both showering and blow-drying. The water should be lukewarm, the hair dryer on the lowest level or preferably air dry your hair.
  3.  Use a comb instead of a brushA brush distributes the sebum more intensely in the hair than a comb.
  4.  Avoid wearing hats for too long. These prevent the oxygen from reaching the scalp. As a backlash the scalp can react with an overproduction of sebum.
  5.  Apply caring products (conditioners / masks) only to the hair strands.
  6.  Use dry-shampoo. The benefit of a dry shampoo is that it is easy to use without water, and the kaolin which is included in most dry shampoos absorb the excess sebum like a sponge.
  7. Use the right shampoo. If you have oily hair, the shampoo doesn’t need any caring ingredients like oils or silicones. Such ingredients will only weigh down the hair and make it look stringy. Use a lighter shampoo with special ingredients for oily hair. If you wash your hair every day, you should use a mild shampoo, because otherwise you may wash off too much sebum and the scalp will react by producing even more sebum as a protection (vicious circle)

There are active well known ingredients which are very good for oily scalp / hair:

  • zinc sulphate
  • zinc PCA
  • kaolin


With AstraForce, Mibelle Biochemistry offers now an alternative active ingredient for oily hair and scalp. Discover more here.

Written by

Melina Reichmuth