Solutions for Oily Hair

Woman with hair that is oily near the scalp
Photo: Anetlanda/Shutterstock
Q: I have long hair that's fairly thick. I shampoo my hair every three days and use conditioner. The problem is, that my hair always looks oily near the scalp, but if I shampoo more often, even with conditioner, the ends of my hair begin looking very dry. What can I do about this problem?
A: You have a common problem, and fortunately it has some simple solutions. First, you can try using a gentle solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water to rinse the excess oil from your scalp between shampoos.
Place a towel around your neck and, with the vinegar/water solution in a point-nosed bottle (as for color application) apply the solution to the scalp while holding the ends of the hair away from the head. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes and rinse with very warm water.
You could also try using a tiny amount of shampoo directly at the scalp and massage it gently only at the scalp. Then, as you rinse, hold the ends of your hair away from the head. You may then apply conditioner only on the ends of the hair.
Another thing that will help you greatly is brushing the hair (only when dry) using a natural-bristle brush. This will stimulate the scalp and distribute the hair's natural oil evenly along the shaft.
Finally, a good solution for you may be to use a different type of conditioner. Instead of using the after-shampoo conditioner, wait instead and use a spray-on leave-in conditioner or detangling formula. This will allow you to target the area of the hair that truly needs the conditioning, without making the scalp area over-saturated.
See also:
The causes for oily hair and how to treat it
The number of brush strokes per day for healthy hair
How to comb or brush your hair
Hair care