10 Ways To Fix Greasy Hair

Written by Aparna Mallampalli , BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition

Hair will get greasy or oily at times even if we shampoo regularly. It is very much common because sebum, which acts as a natural protectant and emollient for hair will be secreted, which can make hair oily. But if you are experiencing too greasy hair frequently even after shampooing daily and without applying any oil, it may be because your hair is producing too much natural oil which is making the scalp greasy. We came up with a few simple remedies, which can help you in combating the greasiness of hair.

10 Natural Ways To Fix Oily Hair

1. Tea Tree Oil

Dandruff sometimes makes the hair greasy. The anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil help fight dandruff and control the greasiness (1).

Mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with 30 ml of any carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba oils) and apply to your scalp. Spread it evenly through the length of your hair. Leave it on for at least an hour before washing it off. You can also apply tea tree oil directly to your scalp if you are not sensitive to it. You can use this mix 2 to 3 times a week.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature. Rinsing your hair with ACV may control excess sebum. However, research is limited in this aspect.

You can mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of ACV with 1 cup of water. After washing your hair with a mild shampoo, cleanse the hair with the diluted apple cider vinegar. Leave it on for a few minutes and rinse off with cold water. You can do it 2 to 3 times a week.

3. Coconut Oil

Applying coconut oil before shampooing is a great way to condition your hair without making it greasy. Virgin coconut oil is light and has a lower molecular weight compared to many other oils and gives your hair the required shine (2). Thus, it may help prevent excess sebum production.

Apply some virgin coconut oil to your scalp and hair tips. Massage it in a circular motion. Leave it on for an hour and wash it off with a mild cleanser. You can apply the oil once a week.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera exhibits significant astringent and nourishing properties due to its nutrient-rich composition (3).It also may help control excess oil production.

Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix this with a cup of water. Use this mixture to rinse your hair after shampooing. You can use it once a week.

5. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium ions can easily penetrate the hair follicles (4). Some anecdotal evidence suggests that magnesium may help reduce scalp inflammation. It also may absorb the excess sebum secreted by your scalp.

Mix two to three teaspoons of Epsom salt with your shampoo and wash your hair with this mix. Let it remain on your hair for 2 to 3 minutes before washing. You can do this twice a week for better results.

6. Baking Soda

Baking soda works great as a dry shampoo as well as a rinse for oily hair. Anecdotal evidence suggests that its alkaline nature may help balance the pH of your scalp and absorb the excess oil.

Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda with water and make a thick paste. Apply this to your scalp and hair. Leave it on for about 5 minutes and rinse it off with cold water. You can apply it twice a week. But exercise caution if you are allergic to baking soda or if you have any cuts, wounds, or rashes – as it may cause a mild burning sensation.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with polyphenols that promote scalp health. It plays a significant role in controlling sebum secretion (5).

Add green tea powder to boiling water and strain the water. Let it cool down completely and apply it to the scalp and hair. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes and rinse it off. You can do it once a week.

8. Argan Oil

Massaging argan oil into your scalp and hair can redistribute the sebum to your hair shafts and keep them moisturized (6). It may also regulate the secretion of sebum and stimulate blood circulation. However, there is limited data on how it benefits oily hair.

Apply pure argan oil from the scalp to the hair tips and wrap a warm wet towel around your hair. Leave it for on 60 minutes and rinse with a mild cleanser. You can do this 1 to 2 times a week.

9. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid. A study conducted on hamsters found that citrus flavonoids (similar to found in lemon juice) may inhibit sebum secretion(7).

Take 4 to 5 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix in 2 cups of distilled water. Refrigerate the mixture. After a hair wash, pat dry your hair and apply this mixture. Leave it on for about 10 mins and rinse with cold water. This mixture can be applied whenever your hair feels too oily.

Caution: Do not sit under the sun after applying lemon juice to your hair as it can bleach your hair upon exposure to sunlight.

10. Egg Yolk

Egg yolks may tighten the hair follicles and reduce the secretion of sebum. However, more information is warranted in this aspect.

Mix 1 or 2 egg yolks in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and apply this to your washed hair. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes and rinse with cold water thoroughly to avoid the smell of eggs. You can use it once a week.

In addition to the above-mentioned natural remedies, you can also make note of these tips that help prevent your scalp/hair from going greasy.

Prevention Tips

  • Understand your hair type and shampoo accordingly. Shampoo once daily if you feel your hair has become too oily or greasy. If your feels greasy despite daily shampooing, it means your hair is producing more oils to rehydrate itself. Hence, shampoo on alternate days.
  • Wash your hair with only the required amount of shampoo. Do not put it in excess, as it may wipe off the natural oils and your hair will produce more oil to compensate for the loss – resulting in greasier hair.
  • Try to only use products made for oily hair.
  • Do not use conditioners in excess after shampooing. They may also leave hair greasy.
  • Try on some fruit packs made of banana or papaya or rely on spinach or carrot packs to enhance scalp health.
  • Clean all your hairbrushes/straighteners/hair accessories regularly to avoid any hair infections, which may also make hair greasier.
  • Wash your hair after your workouts.
  • Reduce sun exposure. Wear a wide-brimmed cap or scarf to protect your hair.
  • Do not over brush or massage your hair as it may overstimulate the oil glands and lead to excess oil production.
  • Do not depend too much on flat irons or chemical treatments for your hair. These may aggravate hair and scalp greasiness.

Why Does Your Hair Become Oily?

Although hair turns oily due to excess production of sebum and dandruff, other external factors may also play a role. These include the following:

  • If the weather around you is humid, chances are high that you will be left with oily hair even after shampooing.
  • Touching your hair too much can transfer the oil from your hands to your hair, making it oilier.
  • The use of certain hair serums can also make your scalp oily.
  • Using excess conditioner.
  • Deficiency of B vitamins.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Shampooing too much may strip your hair of its natural oils, thus making your scalp produce more oil.
  • Untreated dandruff.


Greasy hair is quite natural and can also be seasonal. However, it is a concern to be addressed if it is disturbing your daily routine and affecting your appearance. Understand the cause for the greasiness and work on it accordingly – tweak your food habits and the hair care products you use. Most often greasy hair can be managed well without any medical assistance. Try any of these natural remedies today and see the results for yourself.


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