How To Get Rid Of Oily Hair: 6 Simple Ways To Fix It [UK] 2023

Susan Adeosun

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

how to get rid of oily hair
Several reasons cause oily hair. Still, it can be fixed.

We’ve all been there — waking up, looking in the mirror, and our hair looks like an oil slick. 

Oily hair is unattractive and frustrating, especially when it seems to make a comeback just hours after washing. It’s common andone of those hair issues we can’t shake off completely. There are various reasons for oily hair. Maybe we are using the wrong foods for hair — or not enough of the right ones? Here is an expert guide on getting rid of oily hair. We will see what causes it and discover some tried-and-true methods to bid farewell to that unwelcome oil slick on our precious locks.

6 Best Ways To Fix Your Oily Hair

Here are the six best ways to get rid of oily hair fast:

  1. Wash less often.
  2. Use products for greasy hair.
  3. Deep clean with Aloe vera.
  4. Try dry shampoo.
  5. Use products that remove oils.
  6. Be gentle with your hair.

What Are The Causes Of Oily Hair?

While we all wish for shiny, healthy hair, a few factors can push our scalp’s oil production into overdrive. Let’s dive into the leading causes and see if any of them sound familiar to you:

  • Overactive sebaceous glands: Our scalp is home to sebaceous glands[1] that produce sebum, a natural oil that helps keep our hair moisturized. However, when these glands go into hyperdrive, texcess sebum produces oily hair.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: These chemical messengers can wreak havoc on our bodies. Fluctuations in hormone levels,[2] especially during puberty, pregnancy, or menstruation, can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce oilier hair.
  • Genetics: Oily hair can run in the family, as the genetics of sebaceous glands affects their adrogen activity.[3] If your parents or siblings have oily hair, there’s a higher chance you will, too. 
  • Environmental factors: Humidity and pollution can also make your hair oilier. Humidity can affect the oiliness[4] of your hair, while pollutants contribute to product and environmental substance buildup.

Now that we’ve identified some causes, it’s time to move on to how to make your hair not look greasy —in just five minutes.

Easy Ways To Make Your Hair Grease-Free

Wash Less Often

how to get rid of oily hair
Surprisingly, you should wash less often to decrease oiliness.

Less frequent washing reduces greasiness by sparing your natural oils.  You might notice your hair is greasy after washing because overwashing can strip your hair of essential oils, your scalp compensating with more oil. 

Try washing your hair every other day or less to see if that reduces greasiness. Yet, washing less often can also cause oily hair. So, it is best to find a sweet spot between both. 

Use Products For Oily Hair

how to get rid of oily hair
Use products specifically made for oily hair.

A significant reason why hair greases up is using products not recommended for oily hair. An oily scalp treatment with detergent action[5] predisposes to more oil production. Hair products formulated for oily hair can manage oil production and reduce greasiness. 

Use shampoos and conditioners specifically labeled for oily hair: These products are designed to help balance oil production. Although data is limited, there has been much interest in tea tree oil or witch hazel.

Deep Clean With Aloe Vera

how to get rid of oily hair
Deep clean with Aloe vera due to its cleansing properties.

Aloe vera[6] is one of the best herbs for hair growth. No wonder it doubles down on its benefits by treating greasy hair.  Aloe vera is known for its soothing and cleansing properties. It also has antibiotic qualities.[7] As an excellent natural remedy, it helps remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from your scalp and hair while maintaining moisture.

To use it, gently massage the Aloe vera mixture into your scalp and hair, focusing on the oily areas. Leave it on for a few minutes to break down and remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities. Afterward, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove the mixture. 

Try Dry Shampoo

how to get rid of oily hair
Try a dry shampoo to absorb excess oil.

If you are looking to get rid of oily hair fast, try dry shampoo[8] to absorb excess oil and refresh your hair between washes. 

A dry shampoo adds volume to your hair without the need for water. Apply it to the roots and massage it in, then brush it out thoroughly.

Use Products That Remove Oils

how to get rid of oily hair
You should use products that remove oil.

Looking for how to get rid of greasy hair without dry shampoo? Maybe it is time you look into appropriate hair products. They can remedy oily hair without washing. Here are some natural products for excess oils from your hair and scalp:

  • Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is a natural astringent[9] that controls oil production and cleanses your scalp. You can use it along with other hair treatments. Simply use a cotton pad to apply witch hazel to your scalp before shampooing or mix it with water as a hair rinse.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is known to be antifungal and antibacterial, for oily hair and scalp. Add a few drops of tea tree oil[10] to your shampoo or conditioner, or mix it with a carrier oil and apply directly to your scalp.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar removes oil and buildup from your hair, leaving it clean and revitalized. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and use it to rinse after shampooing. Rinse your hair thoroughly afterward to remove the vinegar smell.

Be Gentle With Your Hair

how to get rid of oily hair
Be gentle with your hair — it’s part of your body.

Actually, oil production is a defense mechanism. Aggressively handling, such as rubbing your hair with a towel and brushing too hard, can stimulate oil production. Instead, avoid harsh brushing, minimize heat treatments, and squeeze or pat your hair dry with a microfiber towel after washing. Also, avoid traction on your hair to pull it into any faddish styles.

Other Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Oily Hair

So far we have focused on good practices and hair treatment techniques and products for eliminating oily hair. Here are some natural remedies:

  1. Green tea: Using green tea can reduce sebum[10] production and the greasiness of your hair in less than 30 days.
  2. Honey: Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties[11] to nourish your scalp. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a cup of warm water and use it as a hair rinse after shampooing.
  3. Yogurt: Yogurt contains lactic acid[12] which can help to remove excess oil. Apply plain yogurt to your hair, leave it on for 15 minutes, and then rinse it.

When To See A Professional

Oily hair can be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. Here are a few signs that it might be time to consult a professional:

  1. Excessive oiliness: If you’re following all the hair care tips and tricks and still experience excessive oiliness, you should see a professional.
  2. Flaking and itching: If your oily hair is accompanied by flaking and itching, it could be dandruff or psoriasis. These conditions require specific treatments prescribed by a professional.
  3. Hair loss: Oily hair can sometimes precede hair loss if not addressed. If you’re experiencing any hair loss, seek the help of a professional. 

In general, if you’re unsure whether your oily hair is a concern, it’s always best to consult a professional. They provide expert advice to help you achieve healthy, beautiful hair.


Here, we discussed how to get rid of oily hair, so you can try one of these remedies today! Remember that everyone’s hair is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to test these remedies and find the one that works best for your hair.

+ 12 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Gabarra, M. and Campos, M. (2020). Correlations between sebaceous glands activity and porphyrins in the oily skin and hair and immediate effects of dermocosmetic formulations. [online] 19(11), pp.3100–3106. doi:
  2. Grymowicz, M., Rudnicka, E., Agnieszka Podfigurna, Napierała, P., Smolarczyk, R., Katarzyna Smolarczyk and Blazej Meczekalski (2020). Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles. [online] 21(15), pp.5342–5342. doi:
  3. Gelan Shamloul and Noureddine Litaiem (2021). An updated review of the sebaceous gland and its role in health and diseases Part 1: Embryology, evolution, structure, and function of sebaceous glands. [online] 34(1). doi:
  4. Gabarra, M. and Patricia (2020). Correlations between sebaceous glands activity and porphyrins in the oily skin and hair and immediate… [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  5. Gubitosa, J., Rizzi, V., Fini, P. and Cosma, P. (2019). Hair Care Cosmetics: From Traditional Shampoo to Solid Clay and Herbal Shampoo, A Review. [online] 6(1), pp.13–13. doi:
  6. Sánchez, M.I., González-Burgos, E., Iglesias, I. and M.P. Gómez-Serranillos (2020). Pharmacological Update Properties of Aloe Vera and its Major Active Constituents. [online] 25(6), pp.1324–1324. doi:
  7. Lawrence, R., Tripathi, P. and Jeyakumar, E. (2009). Isolation, Purification and Evaluation of Antibacterial Agents from Aloe vera. Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], [online] 40(4), pp.906–15. doi:
  8. Paschal D’Souza and Rathi, S.K. (2015). Shampoo and conditioners: What a dermatologist should know? [online] 60(3), pp.248–248. doi:
  9. Abbas, T.F., Abbas, M.F. and Lafta, A.J. (2020). Antibacterial activity and medical properties of Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 23(11). doi:
  10. Nualsri C;Lourith N;Kanlayavattanakul M (2016). Development and clinical evaluation of green tea hair tonic for greasy scalp treatment. Journal of cosmetic science, [online] 67(3). Available at:
  11. Burlando, B. and Cornara, L. (2013). Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. [online] 12(4), pp.306–313. doi:
  12. Barve, K. and Apurva Dighe (2016). Hair Conditioner. [online] pp.37–44. doi:
Susan Adeosun

Written by:

Susan Adeosun, Dr.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Dr. Susan Adeosun (MPH, MD) is a medical doctor and public health enthusiast who resides and works in British Columbia, Canada. She has a keen interest in public health and preventive medicine and is a firm believer in the famous phrase by Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, “prevention is better than cure.” Her journey through public health, combined with her love for writing, has resulted in the publication of several articles on various blogs, websites, and peer review journals. When she is not advocating for better health education, she spends her time reading, cooking, and hanging out with friends.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

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