6 Ways to Manage Oily Hair

6 Ways to Manage Oily Hair | Positively Smitten

Confession: I envy girls who can go days without washing their hair and it still looks freshly shampooed and styled.

I fall under that category of people whose hair is oily to the point where washing even once a day doesn’t seem enough to keep the scalp from appearing greasy. It’s probably because I have super fine hair (at least that’s what my hair stylist says). Those with thicker, curlier hair can go longer between washes than those with fine hair. With fine hair, there’s more of it. Smaller strands mean you’ve got more strands, and each hair follicle is producing oil. Not to mention, with coarser hair, the oils from the scalp take longer to work down the hair shaft. So if you are destined to have fine hair, like me… well, it is what it is.

Having oily hair is my biggest beauty complaint, and oh how I wish I didn’t have to wash my hair every day, which can make it dry and brittle. I’ve tried everything in my quest to work toward this. I haven’t found a cure, but I’ve figured out what does and doesn’t work to manage, conceal, and live with oily hair.

Washing with ‘No-Poo’

As in the “no-shampoo” method. The no-poo product I like is Wen, a cleansing conditioner. Since it’s not a shampoo, it doesn’t lather. It’s cream-like with no harsh detergents or sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates. I prefer Cucumber Aloe, designed specifically for scalps that tend to be oily.

– healthy ingredients and doesn’t dry hair like shampoo
– softens hair because it’s conditioning
– no hair static while using this product
– cleans hair just like shampoo

– expensive (it can be around $40 for a 16 oz. bottle)
– requires a lot of product for each use (I need 30 pumps for my medium-length hair or my roots still feels greasy)
– requires daily washing (I was hoping that by using a product like this my hair would need less washing; nope, it’s no different than the frequency I was doing with shampoo – every day)

Only shampooing the roots

With either no-poo or regular shampoo

– only the oily parts that need washing get washed

– no easy way to pull this off (I usually stick my head in my sink to spray my roots with the rest of my hair pulled back)

Spritzing roots with water and blow drying

– not using shampoo or other products, water simply “freshens up”
– blow drying adds some volume to the spots that need it
– very little effort required

– water doesn’t take care of the oil issue, at all

Shaking on baby powder

– very effective at absorbing oil (in other words, disguising it!)
– freshens the smell of not-so-fresh hair
– a little goes a long way
– works well if you plan to just pull your hair into a ponytail

– can make your roots look white, so needs a lot of blending in (I rub a towel over my head and brush the powder through to the end)
– it can dump out in big piles on your hair

Spraying on dry shampoo

Like baby powder, dry shampoo is a powdered substance. Unlike baby powder, it sprays from a bottle.

– not white like baby powder
– spraying ensures even distribution
– works well if you plan to just pull your hair into a ponytail

– does not absorb as well as baby powder
– need a lot to cover scalp

Creating my own shampoo concoction

My sister turned me on to homemade shampoo. My recipe calls for lemon juice, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water. You can also add essentials oils. Mix all these ingredients in a consistency that seems right to you, then pour over your hair and rinse out.

– healthy, natural ingredients
– can go a while without washing again
– very effective at removing oils

– can leave hair with unfresh smell (essential oils would take care of this)
– can make hair feel dry because there’s no real conditioning agent

Do you have any tricks for managing oily hair?


6 responses to “6 Ways to Manage Oily Hair

  1. For some reason I thought I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD with this problem. I have not figured out a good solution. I keep buying dry shampoos but I just don’t like any of them, and my hair feels gross with cleansing conditioners. What’s a girl to do?!


  2. Okay, Steph, I’ll publicly apologize here for the fact that you inherited my fine, requiring-daily-washing, hair. Having fine hair has been a lifetime dilemma for me. In fact, just last month, I purchased yet another new shampoo and coordinating leave-in foam after seeing a TV commercial promising the products will give bounce and natural volume (and breathe life) into fine, flat hair. Well, I’ve been duped once again! Anyway, regarding which option I choose to do on those days I don’t have the time or just refuse to shampoo my entire head of hair, but clearly the roots are oily – – I will shampoo just my roots. This is sort of hit or miss because although my hair is now clean, it tends to be even flatter than usual and that’s when I decide it’s another ponytail day for me!


    • You’re the one who taught me to just wash the roots! It’s definitely a “safe” option. And by safe I mean sometimes I get to work and regret SO MUCH that I did not just give in and shower my hair; so that’s why I like the root washing option because, while it may be flat, at least it’s “clean”.

      Let’s look on the bright side: we have oily hair (and yes, I must have gotten it from you), but oil usually equals healthy, so let’s hope that we continue to have healthy hair forever! Right?


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