Two women – a brunette and a blond – in matching outfits, with stringy, mid-length hair and oily scalps.
Hair Care | Greasy hair

Goodbye, Greasy Scalp!

Oily, greasy roots are unsightly – and unfortunately an all-too-common problem that results in stringy, unkempt hair. You can’t feel good with hair like that! We reveal what you can do to fix your scalp, and your hair

Oily scalps are different for everyone. For some greasy scalp sufferers, it will take two to three days for hair to look dirty – for others, just one day. To understand why the hair and scalp get oily, we need to take a look at the hair root. That’s where the sebaceous glands are located. The oil – or sebum – on your scalp is basically a good thing. It’s essential for supple, shiny hair. However, if the scalp produces too much sebum, you end up with greasy hair and unsightly, oily roots.

What causes an oily scalp

Over-productive sebaceous glands lead to an oily scalp. But what causes this over-production? It can be genetic, i.e. inherited. It can also be caused by hormonal changes, such as puberty and pregnancy. Psychological issues (e.g. stress) can lead to excessive sebum production, too. Certain medications, particularly hormone supplements, can also influence sebum production.

Care for an oily scalp

Do you suffer from an oily scalp? There’s help for you yet. If you’re prone to greasy hair, proper care can significantly improve the appearance of your scalp and the condition of your hair. Grease-SOS comes in the form of both special cleansing products, and the right aftercare.


When shampooing, a lot can go right… and a lot can go wrong. Gentle, regular hair care is especially important in this situation. Use a very mild shampoo, or a special shampoo for oily hair. The surfactants contained in these will dissolve excess oil, so it can be rinsed away. Also suitable for an oily scalp are shampoos with natural botanical ingredients that compensate for the increased oil production of overactive sebaceous glands, and also soothe the scalp. Some of these are rosemary, chamomile, nettle and sage, as well as the lesser-known horsetail and horse chestnut. Another savior for greasy scalps is leave-in conditioning spray. This is ideal for oily hair: You don’t have to rinse it out, and it provides long-lasting care without weighing the hair down.

Styling for an oily scalp

Don’t be afraid of styling products, even if you do have a greasy scalp. Alcohol-based styling mousse is ideal for greasy hair. It provides a slightly degreasing effect and boosts the hair with a cosmetic film. Remove oil and add volume in one! Another trick for more volume if you’ve got oily roots and dry lengths and ends: Leave in conditioning spray. Stay away from your roots, and apply it just to your lengths and ends – far from your greasy scalp. This treatment will moisturize your hair from the ends up, while adding some volume.

How to wash an oily scalp

Generally, hairdressers recommended you wash your hair two to three times a week. If you’ve got a greasy scalp, more frequent washing – if necessary, daily – is recommended. Water should only be lukewarm, never hot – that encourages sebum production. Distribute the shampoo throughout your roots and gently massage your scalp. Let the shampoo work briefly before you rinse it out. Check the back of the bottle for exact leave-in time. In a rush? Spray dry shampoo on your roots and massage it in. Let it work for about two minutes, then rub hair with a towel and brush out thoroughly. Blow away any excess with your hair dryer, and – your hair is fresh again! Bonus: Dry shampoo also gives the hair more hold and volume.