Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Oily Scalp? You STILL need conditioner.

As a hairstylist I encounter people with all different kinds of hair. Something I see often is people who have very oily scalps. Often these people don't use conditioner because they don't need any extra help. Well I am here to let you in on a secret - you still need conditioner. Here is why. 

Shampoo and conditioner work together. Shampoo strips your hair of dirt and debris as well as it's natural oils and conditioners in most cases. Now low quality products usually also lift the cuticle of the hair causing moisture loss while also drying out your scalp excessively. Some gentler shampoos may be able to rid your hair of dirt and debris while not roughing up the cuticle layer of your hair or the scalp with harsh sulfates. Super gentle co-washes or cleansing conditioners often remove dirt but they do not remove buildup and they often create more buildup themselves. This can be nice for VERY dry hair that is extremely porous (which is common in kinky hair, curly hair, and ethnic hair) but it isn't for most people.

So after you shampoo your hair and get rid of all that dirt and oil then what? You condition it. This adds back good oils and conditioners to your hair and seals the cuticle and protects your hair from future damage. Then you might think:

but those oils do more than just protect your hair. They help your scalp. Your scalp is actually the key to your greasy hair woes. The scalp has "sebaceous glands", and these glands produce oil and sweat. Your hair NEEDS sweat. It needs those oils so it doesn't dry out and to protect your skin from dirt and pollution in the air. Your scalp is actually very thin and fragile and has the important task of protecting your skull as well as blood vessels and nerve endings that are very close to your brain! Your skin reacts to it's surroundings. It drys out and may get red or patchy or itchy. It will become sensitive when it's exposed to extreme temperatures. Your skin and the glands in it are intelligent. They react to their environments to help protect you and your body.

So this brings us back to the scalp and those sebaceous glands. When you strip your hair of it's natural oils and conditioners using shampoo and then you don't condition your scalp is DRY. It needs those oil and your scalp reacts by going into production mode. Wash your hair every day with no conditioner? You scalp can't seem to make enough oils! So it goes into overdrive. It is trying to replenish those essential oils you keep washing away.

What you need to do is use the right products. Get a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. These tend to be lighter weight and have fewer heavy oils in them that make you feel "greasy". Some of my favorites are the Big Sexy Hair (pictured on the left), Framesi Color Lover Volume Boost (which is perfect for colored hair), and the Joico Body Luxe (pictured on the right). All of these are super light weight. You should also apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair (not the scalp) and let it sit for a few minutes. Then apply a small amount to the scalp area (I like to kind of "ring out" the conditioner that's on my ends onto my scalp to save on product). and gentles massage it in for only half a minute tops. Then rinse your hair out thoroughly.

What if you have dry ends though and this volume shampoo isn't cutting it, or is drying you out? Get a killer leave in conditioner I love the Revlon Unique One leave in product, the Brazilian Blowout Dry Oil, and the Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream (pictured on the Right). All of these are light wight and will hydrate and heal ends.

DISCLAIMER: this wont' work overnight. Your scalp is likely used to years of abuse at this point and you have to retrain the scalp to not work in overdrive to nourish itself. Try the Ultimate Hair Cleanse for faster relief.


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