Not so slick. Please!
Is oily hair making you feel flat? Is scalp build-up a great pain in the proverbial? So many people are trapped under the bane of oily scalp, shampooing daily, not achieving the slightest bit of root-lift, and never enjoying that squeaky clean feeling. Like most scalp complaints, there are multiple causes for this, be that product build-up or hormonal imbalance. I will address some of these issues and help rid you of them with some super effective deep cleansers and helpful tips.
First up, our number one offender;
This is more common than you can imagine, and cheap silicones are usually to blame. The real problem with these silicones is the products that contain them lure you into a false sense of security. At first, when you start using said products your hair is shiny, manageable, and all you can think is ‘wow, what a bargain’! This good feeling can stick around for weeks, and sometimes even months, until your hair becomes limp and lifeless, you develop “oily roots” or “dandruff”, or you just cannot keep those tangles at bay. All these issues can be caused by product or silicone build-upon your hair and scalp. Build-up can resemble oil or dandruff once it compounds on the scalp and sometimes along the hair shaft. It can even cause hair loss if the hair follicles become blocked, and the issue goes unaddressed. Another side effect is tangled, sensitised lengths and ends, caused by the barrier created by the silicone preventing the absorption of your natural hair oil, which is quite arguably the best conditioner your hair can get.
It may sound like a nightmare but there is a simple solution, that is to upgrade your haircare. You won’t have to massively change your routine, or spend ages working your hair and scalp back to health, just use silicone free shampoo and conditioner, and the occasional deep cleanse shampoo. Here are some of my favourite silicone free options. Below are my favourite deep cleansers. Redken Nature + Science Colour Extend Range Olaplex Haircare Range , which offer colour protection and intense repair.
I really love a great deep cleanse shampoo, for all hair types, and if you use dry shampoo you absolutely shouldbe using one. Neither our air, or our water are as pure as they once were, and both pollution and mineral deposits can wreak havoc on your hair and scalp. A good deep cleanse will remove not only annoying product build-up, but also those little nasty environmental deposits, improve the absorption of your required products, and give incredible shine to your refreshed hair. Also known as a ‘Sunday Shampoo’ it is vital to sustain scalp clarity for a healthy head of hair. Two of the best I know are Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash AVEDA Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo.
If you are unsure if you have product build-up, or oily scalp, the latter is usually accompanied by oily skin, and is often linked to hormonal changes occurring in your body. In this case the first thing you need to do is turn down your water temperature and treat your scalp with kid gloves. It is a common misconception that hot water deep cleans your scalp better than tepid water. This is utterly untrue, keep your water tepid! Hot, steaming water might feel fantastic, but it over activates the sebaceous gland and increases oil production in the scalp. Disaster, right?
Also gently massage your shampoo into the scalp, scrubbing is too severe, and again, increases oil production in the scalp. Double disaster! Leaving your shampoo on the scalp for 2-5 minutes will provide a far better result. Try to decrease the frequency with which you cleanse your scalp also and it should naturally settle down some more for you. Keep your conditioner away from your roots but still condition your ends. Here are some of my favourite balancing shampoos. Kemon Purezza Shampoo AVEDA Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo Kerastase Bain Divalent Balancing Shampoo. If after a time you feel you scalp has calmed and you no longer need to deep cleanse and balance it, you can move to a gentle, silicone free haircare programme.
If you feel like we have still not touched on your particular concern you may be experiencing oily dandruff. Again, this is not uncommon, that is why we have great remedies for it. Oily dandruff will differ in that it is the result of excess sebum, trapped dead skin/scalp cells, and the accelerated growth of a tiny microbe, already present in the scalp, particularly favouring these conditions. Oily dandruff is not caused by not washing your hair enough, but, if the scalp is not cleansed enough it may exasperate the issue. It is easily treated with the correct scalp care; I will link some of our most popular below. Kerastase Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo-Anti Dandruff.
If you feel you need a comprehensive approach to tackle stubborn dandruff the Nioxin Scalp Recovery System will cleanse, moisturise, and tone your scalp. Think of it as a facial, but for your scalp, and cleanse your scalp as advised above, gently, with tepid water, massaging into the scalp for 1-2 shampoos, and leaving on the scalp for 3-5 minutes to give the active ingredients a chance to work.
Now you have the tools to repair and rebalance your scalp, let us know how you get on. Scalp concerns generally take a couple of weeks to improve, but if I can help you further in any way please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Fiona O’Connor – Head Educator, Haircare Department