At Noughty, we believe the only way to conquer a hair challenge is to understand it. Limp, oily or greasy hair is no exception, and there are two factors at play: genetic predisposition (aka your hair type) and product.
This blog is part of a series, ‘Discover Your Roots’, that looks at hair challenges that are coded in our DNA. We will be sharing strategies, tips and techniques for living with hair challenges that have their roots in our tribal origins and those that we create. We talk about 'ancestral hair tribes', which you can learn more about here.
While all three ancestral hair tribes can experience greasy locks, it’s members of the Tribe of the Round Follicle and Tribe of the Elliptical Follicle who are really predisposed to the oily scalp, that can lead to the perception of grease and limpness. Here’s why:
- Fine haired people, where the diameter of each individual strand is thin, have more hairs per square inch than other hair types.
- More hairs = follicles = more sebaceous glands = more sebum (natural oil your scalp produces to help protect your locks).
Since you’re producing more oil than other hair types, it stands to reason your hair would be weighed down by it (limp) and feel greasy or oily. Stimulating your scalp as little as possible, so no vigorous scalp massage, no hot water and rinsing as cool as you can bear will all help discourage oil production. Then it’s down to how you can manipulate product to keep your hair and scalp in balance.
Which brings us to the second cause of oiliness: product…and the person applying it. If you’re using a natural shampoo and not rinsing it out thoroughly, it can contribute to a feeling of greasiness. Following our 8 wash protocol properly should have the grease gone in a flash.
Conditioner, treatment and styling products are all culprits in product-induced greasiness, so are the first point of call before changing product or assuming you’re predisposed to an oily mane. They should be applied to the mid-lengths and ends where they benefit the hair, and not at the scalp where they can disrupt the balance of natural oils. And rinse, rinse, rinse. If you try this and still find your hair lank or oily, it may be time to consider switching to a low or no oil shampoo, one like Pumped Up, and potentially conditioner, too.
If you belong to the Tribe of the Elliptical Follicle and your hair is limp, make sure you’re using the conditioning, treatment and styling product for your texture (fine, medium or coarse). A lighter weight leave in like Thirst Aid is more suitable for fine texture, while Intensive Care packs the power for coarser texture. By listening to your hair and making sure you’re using products properly, you’ll be in a position to evaluate how well a product is working for you and switch it up to ensure balance is preserved.