Your hair gets oily because of your sebaceous glands. These glands, located near the hair follicles in your scalp, excrete an oily liquid called sebum. When the correct amount of sebum clings to your hair, it gives it moisture and shine, but when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, the result can be lank, oily hair. Usually, oily hair is a short-term problem and your sebum production returns to normal levels within a few months. In the meantime, you can treat oily hair with a few simple home remedies.
Oily hair needs daily washing, but using a moisturizing or body-boosting shampoo will just add more oil to your hair. Instead, massage a mixture of baking soda and water–use about 1 tsp. of baking soda per one-fourth cup of water–into your roots while you shower. Be sure to rub your entire head, including your temples and the back of your skull, to get maximum grease-fighting power. When you’re ready to rinse, use a mixture of vinegar and water–about one-eighth cup apple cider vinegar for every one-fourth cup of water. The baking soda will clean your hair, while the vinegar rinse will provide a temporary barrier to grease. Vinegar is smelly when you use it, but the smell fades quickly.
Lemon juice’s natural acidity makes it an excellent foil for oily hair. Add a generous tbsp. of lemon juice and a squirt of aloe vera gel to your regular shampoo to get your hair clean without adding extra grease. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is best, but in a pinch, you can use bottled juice. Purchase aloe vera gel in a health food store, or squeeze a little from the leaves of an aloe vera plant. Wash your hair as you normally would, and rinse completely.
Because watercress is high in phosphorus and iron, it keeps oily hair in check, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. To take advantage of its oil-busting power, blend a generous handful or watercress with about one cup of water until the mixture forms a thick, bright green liquid. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes, and then strain it, preserving the liquid and discarding the watercress. When the mixture has cooled, apply it to your clean, damp hair for about 20 minutes before rinsing it out completely.