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How to Get Rid of Oily Hair

Try these tips for greasy roots and bangs.

Q: Michelle, I'm in desperate need of your educated advice! I got bangs and I love them, but now my hair is even oilier than before and getting oilier every day. My ends are still dry. I've tried the most drying shampoos and use lightweight conditioner only on my ends, but nothing seems to help; two hours later, my hair looks limp. To make things worse, I live in a country where dry shampoo doesn't even exist. I need help! — Bárbara

A: Bárbara, thank you for your question. I totally get it! Oily hair is not an easy issue to deal with, and it's even more problematic with bangs.

From The Styling Edit Archives

Here's what I suggest:

1. Use Clear, Sulfate-Free Shampoo

When you do wash your hair, choose a clear, sulfate-free shampoo. 

Anything white and creamy will be packed with moisturizing agents that you don't need. These could over-condition your roots and weigh you down, creating a limp look. 

However, you also want to stay away from shampoos that are too drying. Sulfates are the problem ingredient to avoid, as they strip off the scalp's natural lipids and can cause irritation. This trauma could throw your sebum production out of whack, causing more oil to be released than you want.

I like Nature Clean Pure-Body Shampoo, World Clean Hair and Skin Cleanser, and StriVectin Hair Max Volume Shampoo.

StriVectin Hair Max Volume Shampoo.

2. Shampoo Less Often

Some people believe you can "train" your hair to produce less oil by washing it less often. The thinking is that over-washing may strip away your scalp oils, causing it to produce even more to compensate.

The first few weeks might be rough, but you could try shampooing your hair every other day instead of daily.

On the non-shampoo days, you can still wash it with water. This should help remove some of the excess grease.

3. Swap Conditioner for Vinegar Rinse

If you use conditioner, choose a lightweight formula and keep it away from your roots. Apply it only from the mid-shaft down. 

Also consider vinegar rinses as an alternative to conditioners. They're like magic for fine hair!

A vinegar rinse will seal the hair cuticle while adding shine and body, especially if you leave it in instead of rinsing out. 

Try Christophe Robin Purifying Hair Finish Lotion or Yves Rocher Éclat Radiance Rinsing Vinegar.

Yves Rocher Éclat Radiance Rinsing Vinegar.

Note: you'll need to rinse it out if you pour it on straight from the bottle, but what I recommend is diluting it in water (one part vinegar to 10 parts water). Pour it over your hair at the end of your shower and don't rinse. When you leave it in your hair, you'll notice amazing body and fullness—no conditioner required.

4. Use Dry Shampoo Right Away

Dry shampoo is a staple for oily hair. At the drugstore, I've found Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo works best for adding texture and absorbing greasies.

Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo.

If you can't buy dry shampoo, then I suggest making your own. There are tons of recipes all over the internet for DIY dry shampoos made with cornstarch or arrowroot. The only caveat is that they're going to be messier than a store-bought spray... but I still think it's worth a shot.

Now for the little secret.

Don't wait until your hair is getting oily to apply the dry shampoo. You actually want to use it right away on the roots of freshly-washed, dry hair. 

That way, the powder is right there to start absorbing the oil as it comes out—instead of letting it travel down the hair shaft. Prevention is the name of the game here.

5. Consider a Mattifier

If you've got bangs, another thing you can do is prevent your forehead from getting oily in the first place.

The best mattifying product I've found is the BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector (reviewed here).

BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector.

It's actually so absorbent that you have to be careful about only putting it on your oily areas, not all over your face. That's how drying it is!

Otherwise, I'd suggest blotting papers and/or frequent power touch-ups—anything to keep your forehead nice and dry.

6. Get the Right Cut

The last thing to consider is your actual haircut. In general, a thicker, heavier bang like has less chance of separating into those not-so-stylish piecey clumps.

Sophia Bush's heavy bangs.

However, if you don't have a ton of hair, then it can often look weird for bangs to be so thick. (Especially if they're cut so far back on the crown that you lose fullness from the sides.)

If that's the case, I would consider working some kind of centre- or just off-centre part into your bangs. Either soft Bardot bangs...

Nicole Richie's Bardot bangs.

Or a full-fledged curtain bang...

Cameron Diaz's curtain bangs.

This way, you still get the face-framing effect, but they're not sitting on your forehead and collecting oil.

I hope these tips help!

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