Banish greasy hair with these home remedies

Reader's Digest Editors 26 July 2022

Tired of losing the fight against greasy hair? Try following this advice for tackling excessive oil and grease

Does it look as if someone's oiled your hair? Is it lank and unappealing? Don't blame your hygiene habits, because your problem is probably hereditary. Fight back with the right shampoo—make sure you wash and rinse your hair twice—and try a special grease-stopping rinse you can make yourself.

Read your shampoo bottle

Choose a shampoo that's high in sodium lauryl sulphate and low in any type of conditioner, such as lanolin. What you want are clarifying shampoos that tend to strip oil from the scalp and the hair shaft.

Shampoo

It's important to know what you are putting on your hair

Even if you don't have dandruff, you might get good results with a dandruff shampoo containing coal tar. The formulas used for these shampoos tend to dry out even the oiliest hair. 

Do the daily double

You should shampoo twice every time you wash your hair. Lather up, leave the shampoo on your hair for several minutes (that gives it time to remove the oil), rinse thoroughly, then repeat. Even on the second round, leave the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before you rinse.

Change the rinse cycle

Rinsing your hair with water is fine, but you'll get even better results if you use a strong rosemary tea. Wonderfully aromatic, this herb contains essential oils that help control overproduction of oil on the scalp. To make the rinse, pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary. Steep for 20 minutes, strain, cool and pour into an empty plastic bottle. Keep this in the bathroom and splash your hair with the tea after the final clean water rinse. There's no need to rinse off the tea afterwards, as long as you like the fragrance.

Lemon juice has long been used as a home remedy for greasy hair

Make a lemon juice rinse. Blend juice from 2 lemons into 2 cups of distilled water and pour into an empty shampoo bottle. After washing and rinsing your hair, blot it dry and apply the mixture to your scalp. Leave it on for 5 minutes, allowing the acidic lemon juice to work on the oil. Then rinse with cool water.

Vinegar, which is also acidic, can de-grease your hair too. Mix a cup of vinegar with a cup of water, then pour it over your hair as a final rinse. Don't worry about smelling like a salad—the smell will quickly fade.

Extreme measures: mouthwash

If your hair is extremely oily, you can mix a solution that will help to slow your scalp's production of sebum. In a small cup, mix equal parts witch hazel with any commercial mouthwash. Both ingredients are astringents, which means they help to tighten skin pores as they dry. Dip a cotton wool ball in the solution and then dab it onto your scalp (not your hair) after you've finished shampooing and rinsing.

Should I call the doctor?

As physical challenges go, greasy hair isn't a serious problem, but it can feel embarrassing. If you hate the look of your hair, and this advice doesn't help, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of being referred to a dermatologist.

Read more: The history of hairdressing

Read more: 9 Beauty products you need to try this summer

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