Our skin naturally produces oil. This helps keep our skin and hair moisturized. It is natural to have oil on your scalp however some people produce too much. A balanced scalp is crucial to healthy hair growth. What is behind an oily scalp, is it a bad thing and what can you do about it?
Many women and men have challenges with an oily scalp. It is common for the scalp to produce more oils than other parts of the body. Genetics play a role as does the amount of hair follicles on your head. If you have fine hair you may have more hair follicles than someone with thick hair. More hair follicles mean more oil producing pores.
An oily scalp may be preceded by dandruff. It is common to see dandruff in boys from ages 9-17. After 17, oily dandruff appears where oil production mixes with dry scales to create sticky scales. Once the excess sebum takes over the dandruff regresses and the scales are replaced by oily secretions from the sebaceous glands.
There are different levels of oiliness. First, an oily scalp can be due to overactive sebaceous glands. Sebum is the natural oil our pores produce. Then there is sebaceous hypersecretion which is an oily coating that covers the scalp. It stains paper that is pressed against it. Then there is also a condition called sudorific hypersecretion. This secretion is more abundant and more apparent than sebaceous secretions. While sweat runs like water, sebum will stagnate like grease.
In young adulthood seborrhea or oily scalp appears first on the forehead and face and it stages a three-pronged attack on the scalp. It affects the two temples and the crown of the head. It can then keep spreading to affect the entire top of the head. It can subside in your thirties and it may even completely disappear.
Is It a Bad Thing?
If you’re finding that your oily scalp is a problem, your hair is thick, heavy and greasy or you may even feel like there is liquid in the hair, this may mean you are at risk for problems that occur when too much oil is on the scalp.
Too much oil can make an ideal environment for bacteria, parasites and fungus to grow. The warm moisture of the scalp provides the right setting and the dandruff, or dead skin cells, act as a food source. Regularly receiving a Residue on Scalp Treatment from Images International with a bactericidal soak rids the scalp of excess oil, dandruff, bacteria, parasites and fungus. We recommend everyone receive one twice a year.
Seborrheic individuals may not become completely bald, but they may lose 40-50% of their hair. Looking back into family history can often predict if it will be a factor as seborrhea is hereditary. A father and a mother should be considered but also grandparents because it can skip a generation.
What Can You Do?
You may notice your hair feels greasy when you run your hands through it, or your hair looks limp and shiny near the root. It most cases this is completely normal and routine washing, several times a week with a pH balanced shampoo is enough to keep it in check.
For best results, using a shampoo designed for oily scalp is a great place to begin. The oily scalp shampoo offered at Images International calms the sebaceous glands inhibiting oil production.
Washing more frequently can be helpful to rid the scalp of excess oil however healthy nutrients can also be washed away. For optimal scalp care a treatment plan at Images International done twice per year can help balance the scalp.
Consider the products you are using and only use products that are free of oils and silicones which can exacerbate the problem. Gels and shine products tend to have problematic ingredients. Choose products that are natural and lightweight. Ideally you can minimize the products you are using in order to provide a balance on your scalp.
During young adulthood you may have to continuously treat your oily scalp. Speaking to a doctor may be beneficial because occasionally a hormone imbalance can cause excess oil production. With proper scalp care, a healthy lifestyle with the advice of a doctor there is hope you can gain control of your oily scalp.
At Images International we use a specialized line of Trichology treatments. Using the science of hair and scalp we holistically balance and nourish your scalp to create the optimal environment for healthy hair growth. If you are experiencing issues with excess oil production, dandruff, itchiness or other scalp ailments call for a free consultation. We will do a hair and scalp analysis with a magnified scope to look at your scalp. All our solutions are customized for your exact situation. We will follow your success and partner with you on your journey to healthy hair.