Ask the experts

How do I tackle greasy hair?

{CB Customer} “As a teenager I had greasy hair, but it’s normally shiny and healthy looking. However, recently I have found that my roots are greasy and the ends can be dry. I’m struggling to get a shampoo that doesn’t seem to make it worse. Why is this happening and can you suggest some good shampoos?”

{Cult Beauty expert James Corbett explains}

What causes some people to produce more sebum than others is not always known and the reasons for the problem may vary among individuals. The solution is largely trial and error, finding what works for you.

Oily hair can be an inherited condition, but if this is a recent change then look to your hormones. The regularity of your cycle and birth control pills can change the body’s natural balance and cause the sebaceous glands to overact. In this case consult a doctor.

Have you changed your diet? I strongly believe diet can play a strong role in hair condition? If you fill your body with high fat foods (or too much dairy) low in nutrition and protein, it will come out in your hair. Of course, this is over a period of time and I’m not saying that if you splurge on a cheeseburger and fries one night you will wake up with oily hair.

Also consider if you have been more stressed than usual. (Who isn’t in this economy?) Stress boosts bloodstream levels of androgen, a hormone that activates the sebaceous glands. So how to combat the problem. Try not to run your fingers/ hands through your hair, and avoid brushing as much as possible. The more you stimulate the scalp the more oils it will produce.

How often one should shampoo is much in debate. Some say that the more you shampoo the more you will remove oil, which seems logical but this can also stimulate sebaceous glands to produce more. I would try shampooing less frequently – maybe every 2-3 days – for a while to allow your scalp to regulate oil production (this takes about a month). Also, mirror the technique your hairdresser uses when they wash your hair, make sure you get the shampoo right to your roots so your fingertips are massaging your scalp and don’t get lazy around the hard-to-reach undersides, this makes the wash last longer.

The type of shampoo you use can help too. Natural based clarifying shampoos are a good option. Harsher, more chemical shampoos can cause your glands to produce more oils and will dry out the ends of your hair. Look for ingredients like Sage, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Zinc. I personally love {Philip B} products: {Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo} and the {Anti Flake Shampoo} for oily hair (which also contains Zinc). When using treatment shampoos like this, let them sit for 3-5 minutes, make sure to work through from root to tip, and rinse very well.

I also love oil treatments applied to the scalp to regulate the glands while moisturising the ends – {Sachajuan} do a lovely one, or the Hair {Mud Mask} from Aestelance is amazing for calming and balancing your scalp.

Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...