Hair Care | Greasy hair

Fatty Hair: How to Get Rid of the Fat (Sebum)

Whether you consider it a disease or merely a cosmetic problem, fatty hair is annoying and hard to get rid of. Proper expert advice offers solutions

Wash your fatty hair often

With proper and diligent care your hair will soon turn into a healthy mane

All efforts and the most elaborate styling notwithstanding, shapeless fatty strings of hair can become a permanent condition, which causes quite a bit of frustration among many women with fatty hair. Fatty hair looks neglected and is considered a blemish in a person’s looks. Actually, it is nothing more than the result of a natural process. Hair roots come with sebaceous glands, which secrete a fatty substance called sebum. In fact, this sebum benefits the hair. Sebum keeps the hair healthy and smooth and it keeps the hair from excessive drying and from breaking.
Excessive sebum production is the cause for fatty hair. In the worst case scenario the sebum glands clog the hair roots and may cause excessive hair loss and dandruff. The causes for an excessive sebum production are heredity, unhealthy eating habits, medications or improper hair care. The sebum production may also vary with the change of seasons, climate changes, hormone fluctuations or longer periods of stress.

Advice: Wash your fatty hair often

A dermatologist will help in serious cases of fatty hair. The prescribed medications contain all-trans-retinoic acid or ATRA for short (a vitamin A related substance), which regulates the sebaceous gland secretions. However, in most cases special hair care products will make an end of overly fatty hair.  These products will restore the balanced production of fatty substances from the sebaceous glands.  Seaweed or herbs like horsetail, rosemary, coltsfoot, the stinging nettle, chamomile and salvia regulate the sebum production and quiet the scalp. Medicinal tar shampoos may also regulate the sebum secretion. Please note: Hands off products containing proteins or lipid-replenishing substances such as oils or silicon! They only make a difficult situation worse by weighing the hair down and making it even fattier than before.

Aside from the proper care, diligence in the application of the right products also plays an important role. Some believe that frequent shampooing will stimulate the sebum production. This however has no basis in fact. The opposite is true. Fatty hair should be washed often, i.e. daily if necessary. Every shampoo treatment removes almost all sebum from the sebaceous glands. Each shampooing removes a little more sebum (fat) providing the shampoo is massaged into the scalp. The result is clear: Proper care will soon make an end of fatty hair.


  • Use shampoos with a translucent appearance and avoid creamy shampoos
  • Every now and then, you should remove excessive fat (sebum) from your hair and scalp using a healing earth cure package. You can purchase healing earth in drug and chemists’ stores. Healing earth absorbs and binds large amounts of fatty substances and is therefore ideal for combat against fatty hair
  • Wash your hair early in the day. Sebaceous glands work particularly hard at night


  • Fatty hair irritates the scalp and renders it particularly sensitive. You should avoid adding more stress and therefore stay away from exposing your hair to hot water and from using the hair dryer frequently. Other unnecessary irritations are tight braids or tight head gear or hats
  • Use only lukewarm water. Hot water stimulates the sebum production
  • Do not use a hair brush. Brushing will only distribute the sebum all through your hair from the roots to their ends. Combing your hair will be sufficient.
  • Do not use rinsing agents. Fatty hair needs less conditioning than dry hair. The number one rule for fatty hair is ‘Less is more!’