What Causes Oily Scalp | 6 Causes Of Greasy Scalp And Their Remedies 

by Mira

Learn more about what causes oily scalp including the signs of an oily scalp and how to get rid of oily scalp. 

Are you concerned about the oil on your scalp and want to know how to control it?

If your scalp produces a lot of oil, there is some hidden cause.

In this article I have tried to summarize the causes of excessive scalp oil and what you can do now to deal with it.

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If you read the article and take proper care of your scalp, you can control the excessive sebum production and have a smooth scalp.

Greasy scalp can lead to other issues such as smelly scalp, dandruff, scalp acne and more. So it’s important to have a healthy, clear scalp.

And for that you need to first understand what causes oily scalp. Check it out! 

What Causes Oily Scalp 2022

Weak cleaning power of shampoo

Scalp oil needs to be washed out thoroughly with daily shampooing.

Recently, shampoos with moderate cleaning power are becoming increasingly available, considering irritation to the scalp.

However, for men with high sebum production, too weak a shampoo may leave too much grease on the scalp.

Also, if the amount of shampoo used is too little or if the shampoo is washed incorrectly, it is easy for greasy residue to remain in the pores and scalp.

Eating only greasy food.

what food causes oily scalp

The amount of oil from the scalp is strongly influenced by diet.

Eating only oily foods such as meat, fried foods, and junk food will increase sebum production and lead to a sticky scalp.

Too much sugar also increases sebum production, so excessive consumption of sweet foods is also a no-no.

Poor sleep quality

In some cases, poor sleep quality is to blame for increased scalp oils.

During sleep, growth hormones are actively secreted, which is an important time for maintaining a healthy scalp.

If you do not get enough sleep, or if you do not get deep sleep, the secretion of growth hormones is blocked, leading to a decrease in the barrier function of the scalp.

The human body then begins to increase sebum production in an attempt to protect the scalp as much as possible.

To maintain a healthy scalp with just the right amount of oil, it is essential to get enough sleep.

Irregular bedtime, staying up late, or fiddling with your phone before bed can reduce the quality of sleep.

Excessive stress

Scalp oils can also increase due to excessive stress.

Continually experiencing high levels of stress can disrupt the autonomic nervous system, causing the hormonal balance to become unstable.

Since male hormones are largely responsible for sebum secretion, hormonal imbalance can cause an abnormal increase in sebum secretion.

In addition, constriction of blood vessels and poor blood flow can reduce the barrier function of the entire scalp, which is another factor that increases sebum production.

Stress can also lead to thinning and hair loss, and must be taken into consideration.

Lack of exercise

Poor blood circulation due to lack of exercise can also increase scalp oil.

Modern people have few opportunities for physical exercise, and unless they consciously adopt an exercise routine, they tend to fall into a state of inactivity.

If we continue to live without exercise, blood circulation throughout the body will gradually deteriorate.

As blood circulation worsens, fewer nutrients are delivered to the scalp, which adversely affects the metabolism of the scalp.

An unhealthy scalp can easily become dry, causing an increase in sebum production as a defensive response.

Age Is Also A Factor

Some people’s scalps become more oily as they age.

As we age, we lose muscle mass and our basal metabolism decreases.

Therefore, even if they eat the same amount and content of food, they are more likely to be overloaded with calories compared to when they were younger.

In addition, as we age, the efficiency of digestion and absorption also declines, so the fat content of our diet is often left as excess intake because it cannot be fully digested.

Undigested calories and fat content work to increase the amount of oil in the scalp.

If you experience a combination of middle-aged weight gain and a sticky scalp in particular, you should suspect a decrease in basal metabolism due to aging.

How To Get Rid Of Oily Scalp

Shampoo correctly

The first step in reducing scalp oil is to practice correct shampooing.

If daily shampooing is done incorrectly, the condition of the scalp will not improve anytime soon.

First, master the correct shampooing technique.

Pre-wash your hair with lukewarm water that is you before applying shampoo, wash your hair with lukewarm water.

By pre-washing, dirt and dust on the hair are washed away, and the shampoo afterwards can foam more easily.

If the water is too hot, it will remove too much sebum, so use lukewarm water that is comfortable for your hair. Also it’s important to wash hair the right amount of times as both excessive washing and too little shampooing can leave hair oily.

Lather shampoo well

Lather shampoo thoroughly to create a fine lather. The finer the lather, the better the removal of dirt.

If you lather shampoo directly on your hair, the friction will easily damage your hair.

Use the palm of your hand to lather the shampoo agent before applying it to your hair to minimize damage to your hair. If you are not good at lathering, I recommend using a lathering net.

Wash gently and carefully

When shampooing, try to wash the scalp gently using the palms of your fingers.

Scrubbing with fingernails or using a lot of force will damage the scalp and lower its barrier function, which in turn causes overproduction of sebum.

Even with gentle washing, the cleansing power of the foam alone is sufficient to remove oil from the scalp.

Rinse hair thoroughly with water

Finishing rinsing should also be done carefully.

Residual cleaning ingredients from shampoo can damage the scalp and cause it to dry out easily.

Set the water temperature to lukewarm when rinsing, and avoid water that is too hot.

Even just rinsing off the oil with shampoo is enough. Using boiling water will take away too much sebum, which will also lead to dryness.

Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is another way to reduce scalp oil.

Sleep is a time when growth hormones are actively secreted. Quality sleep promotes healthy metabolism of scalp cells.

With a better conditioned scalp, the balance of sebum production is also improved.

Try to get a good night’s sleep by spending an hour before bed avoiding stimulation and darkening the room.

It is also important to get at least 6 hours of sleep per day.

Avoid oily meals

Avoiding a fatty diet is also very effective in reducing scalp oil. An unbalanced diet is a major factor in creating a greasy scalp.

One should avoid a diet consisting entirely of meat and oily foods, as well as junk food and snacks.

Instead, include more vegetables and fruits to provide more of the nutrients needed to keep the scalp healthy.

Try to reduce stress

It is also necessary to reduce stress and maintain the balance of the autonomic nervous system.

Too much stress can lead to abnormal sebum production in the scalp. In some cases, this may also lead to thinning or hair loss.

It is difficult not to feel stress at all, but you should find your own way to relieve stress.

In particular, I recommend taking a relaxing soak in the bath or adopting an exercise routine. You can kill two birds with one stone by both promoting blood circulation and relieving stress.

Side Effects of Oily Scalp

signs of oily scalp

The scalp is the most sebum-producing part of the body. Sebum secreted from the pores not only protects the scalp, but also coats the hair.

However, too much oil covering the hair is also a problem.

Sticky hair makes it difficult to do haircuts, and it also makes the hair look greasy and unhygienic.

The oil from the pores is broken down by the indigenous bacteria living on the scalp and becomes the source of the odor.

It also emits a distinctive odor when it mixes with sweat and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

The more oily the scalp, the stronger the odor tends to be.

The smell of the scalp is noticeable when other people approach the head, so those who are concerned about their surroundings should definitely take measures to prevent this problem.

Do you find that your scalp gradually becomes itchy after a long period of time without washing your head?

Over time, the secreted oil becomes oxidized and turns into an irritating substance for the scalp.

The number of bacteria that feed on sebum also increases. As a result, the scalp is damaged, and the irritation causes the scalp to itch.

In some cases, sticky dandruff is produced from the scalp when there is too much oil. When the scalp is dry, it produces dry, crusty white dandruff.

On the other hand, when the scalp is oily, sticky, yellowish dandruff will appear.

This is believed to be caused by the abnormal growth of Malassezia bacteria, which feed on sebum and damage the scalp, resulting in a large amount of dandruff.

Final Thoughts on Causes of Oily Scalp

In the article above I have described the causes of excessive scalp oil and how to care for the scalp to reduce it.

Excessive scalp oil is not only uncomfortable, but can lead to various scalp problems.

Although the amount of sebum is influenced by genetic factors, it can be improved in large part by lifestyle and hair care.

You can also make an effort to control scalp oil by practicing the remedies described above. A healthy scalp is the root (pun intended!) of healthy hair. 

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