How To Stop Oily Hair: The Complete Guide


Figuring out how to stop oily hair can be one of the most frustrating experiences. While there are so many guides (and serums) for combating frizz and adding volume, there aren’t a lot of extra products to add to your routine to reduce oil.

So what are you supposed to do?

Today, I will tell you exactly how to treat oily hair to stop excess oil production. Some of these solutions for oily hair will be quick fixes, and others will take some time before you notice a difference. 

That being said, these are tried and true solutions for how to stop oily hair, so with a little patience and practice, you can absolutely get your greasy tresses under control.

But before we dive into how to stop oily hair, let’s briefly examine what causes oily hair in the first place. 

What causes oily hair?

Oily hair is caused by an excess buildup of sebum. This is the natural oil that the sebaceous glands in your scalp produce. Sebum isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s really important for the health of your hair. But there CAN be too much of a good thing.

In order to learn how to stop oily hair, you need to understand why your body is overproducing sebum. This could be because of:

  • Overwashing
  • Underwashing
  • Using the wrong hair products
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Stress
  • And even certain medical conditions

Some of these oily hair causes are easier to solve than others. It’s simple to adjust your shower schedule and buy new hair products, but stress, hormones, and other health conditions can be more difficult to manage.

If you think there is some underlying physical or mental health condition that is affecting your oil production, it’s important to speak with a medical health professional. They can guide you to the right solutions for oily hair in your case.

If your oily hair has to do with factors outside of medical issues, it’s much simpler to learn how to stop oily hair.

Of course, you may have been surprised to see “overwashing” on the list of oily hair causes. Unfortunately, when you wash your hair too frequently, or with very clarifying or drying products, it can strip all the natural oils off your strands and scalp.

When you strip your natural oils, it makes your body panic and switches into oil production OVERDRIVE. Your body has been trained that it needs to produce oil around the clock to keep your hair hydrated because outside factors are always swooping in to undo its work. 

This puts you in a never ending wash cycle. So, let’s talk about how to treat oily hair in a gentle and sustainable way – that will actually get it under control. 

How to stop oily hair: 10 tips to try 

Girl staring at the mirror

If you want to know how to stop oily hair fast, there are a few things you should do. As everyone’s hair and lifestyle are different, some of these solutions for oily hair will work better than others for you. 

With some trial and error, however, you should be able to learn how to stop oily hair with these tips:

1. Use a lightweight conditioner

If you’ve ever wondered: “Does conditioner make your hair oily?" You could be using the WRONG conditioner. 

If you are using a deeply moisturizing conditioner, you are doing yourself a disservice. These conditioners are too heavy for oily hair, and can make your strands limp and greasy. 

One of the fastest ways to learn how to stop oily hair is to switch to a lightweight conditioner

A lightweight conditioner will balance your strands without adding too much moisture or oil – or weighing down your hair. This makes it the best oily hair conditioner, particularly if you have fine oily hair. 

2. Find the correct shampoo

Hand holding a Shampoo Bar with water in the background

When it comes to solutions for oily hair, your shampoo is just as important as your conditioner. So, what shampoo is best for oily hair

First, let’s discuss what to avoid. You should absolutely stay away from shampoos with words like “anti-frizz” or “shine-enhancing.” These products are bound to contain silicones, which will weigh your hair down.

You also want to stay away from sulfates, which will dry out your scalp and cause increased oil production. 

So what is the solution? Believe it or not, I recommend a natural shampoo bar. These natural shampoos won’t contain any harsh chemicals to strip or coat your strands. 

The best shampoo bars for oily hair use refreshing ingredients that improve your scalp health, remove impurities, and soak up excess oil without upsetting your natural balance.  

3. Troubleshoot your shower routine

Once you have the proper hair products, the next step in how to stop oily hair is adjusting your shower schedule.

Are you washing too often? Not enough?

As I mentioned above, overwashing is actually the cause of oily hair for some people. So how often should you shampoo your hair?

If you have been washing your hair every day, try going a day or two longer between washes and see how your hair reacts.

Remember – it usually takes about two weeks for your hair to adjust to a new routine, so be patient through this process if your hair seems oily than usual. 

Of course, some people with really oily hair actually DO need to wash every day, so it’s important to listen to your body and discover what works best for your own hair. 

If you do shower daily, decide if you need to use both shampoo and conditioner, or if you can get away with only one or the other on a given day. 

4. Apply your products correctly

One of the swiftest ways to stop excess oil production is to learn how to treat oily hair in the shower. These are my favorite techniques for how to wash oily hair:

When you shampoo your scalp, try not to use your fingertips to work it in. Applying pressure in small areas like this can actually stimulate excess oil production. Instead, use an open palm to spread the pressure out over a larger surface area while you shower. 

When it comes to conditioner, you should absolutely not use conditioner on your scalp. Instead, apply conditioner from the mid-lengths of your hair down to your tips. This will ensure you don’t add excess moisture to your grease-prone roots. 

Lastly, make sure you FULLY rinse out your hair products. If you leave any residue on your hair, it can trap in oils and leave your hair greasy. 

5. Stop touching your hair

Girl looking at the mirror

If you have a habit of running your fingers through your hair, or twirling your hair absentmindedly, it’s time to break it! This is one of the fastest ways to learn how to stop oily hair.

We have a lot of natural oils on our hands, and you introduce those oils to your hair every time you touch it. 

Make sure your hair-do is hands-off! 

6. Check your hairbrush

If you don’t clean your hairbrush (and I mean CLEAN your hairbrush) on a regular basis, then it is chock-FULL of oil. 

Make sure to regularly clean your brush with shampoo or gentle soap to strip off any product or oil buildup. 

You might also try switching to a boar bristle brush (or faux boar bristle brush) which is best for distributing natural oils evenly through your hair. 

7. Stay away from heat styling

Excess heat can cause your scalp to produce more oil as a protective measure. So, if you are trying to learn how to stop oily hair, it’s best to let your hair air dry.

If you simply MUST style your hair, I recommend opting for wavy or curly styles instead of whipping out the straightening iron. That’s because it’s way easier for oil to travel down straight strands – which will make them look even oilier. 

8. Try up-dos

If you’re trying to go longer between washes, putting your hair in a bun or braids can not only distract from limp, greasy strands, it can also deter you from playing with your hair. This is great when you are training your hair to be less oily. 

9. Only use dry shampoo in a pinch 

You may think that dry shampoo is your best friend, but think again! If you use dry shampoo over and over, it causes a buildup on your scalp that not only traps oils, but can create scalp conditions and infections. 

Try to only use dry shampoo when you’re having a hair emergency! 

10. Try a scalp scrub

If you need to restore your scalp health, a natural scalp scrub might help. There are so many combinations you can make at home, too.

Two of my favorites are:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 egg white

And also:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp oats

Whichever scalp scrub you choose, after mixing it together, simply massage it into your scalp for 4-5 minutes. Then, leave it to sit for 15 minutes, and wash it out with warm water before shampooing and continuing with your regular shower routine. 

The best shampoo and conditioner for oily hair 

Girl laying on a bathtub with Beauty Bars

Now you know exactly how to stop oily hair, and it’s time to implement all the tricks! If you’re looking for the best shampoo and conditioner for oily hair, I have a fabulous oil control collection in my line of natural beauty bars.

My shampoo and conditioner bars are silicone-, paraben-, sulfate-, and plastic-free. And they are cruelty-free too! These incredible solid beauty bars will help you get your oil production under control, and protect the environment in the process. 

Now THAT’S something to smile about.

my beauty bars