Can You Use Hair Oil with Oily Hair? - TELETIES

Can You Use Hair Oil with Oily Hair?

Yes, you can use hair oil if you have oily hair as long as you use a clarifying shampoo to remove excess sebum and non-natural oil buildup first. Just make sure you use hair oils that are made from coconut or argan oils as they are better for people with oily hair. This is because the molecules can penetrate the hair shafts better resulting in less build up.

By choosing a high quality product and making sure you adhere to proper grooming techniques, like washing your hair at the right frequency, you can still get the extra shine, anti-frizz, and moisturizing benefits of hair oil without making your hair look greasy or get weighed down.  Now that you know it is ok to use them, lets look at the cause and which ones to buy.

People with oily hair tend to have overactive sebaceous glands in their scalps.  The overactive glands produce too much of a natural hair oil called sebum.  And hair oils whose molecular weight or size are too large to penetrate your hair shaft will build up on top of the sebum causing the greasy look and weighted feeling.  This is the main reason why some people with oily hair have had bad experiences using hair oils.  It's also where the myth you should avoid them comes from.  And now that you know the cause of the issue, you can address it and use these products without fear. And that is what this guide will help with.

The easiest and first step is to use a clarifying shampoo, and make a few diet changes.  If the dietary changes don’t work, a visit to your doctor to check your hormone levels can help them provide you with solutions to reduce sebum production. 

So let’s “slide” into the topic so you can begin using hair oils on your oily hair without concern.


Here’s a helpful cheat sheet to using hair oils if you have oily hair.



Choose coconut or argan oils

Use mineral or sunflower oils

Apply the oil for 15 minutes before shower And use cool or lukewarm water

Use hot water to wash your hair

Wash with the right frequency

Over wash

Shampoo the scalp

Shampoo the strands except as necessary

Use claryfing shampoo with sulfites

Use heavy conditioners

Eat plenty of healthy fats, like from eggs, avocados, or salmon, even the occasional burger

Eat a diet high in hyper glycemic carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, and saturated fats

Choosing the Right Hair Oil for Oily Hair

Coconut and/or argan oils have the correct molecular weight to penetrate your hair shafts and leave less build up so you don't wind up with a greasy appearance. Argan oil in particular might even help reduce the amount of sebum your body produces according to this study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.  

Both types of hair oils work to smooth down the cuticle layer of your hair helping to prevent frizz and add more shine. They do this by penetrating the hair shaft into the cell membrane keeping your strands moisturized. Because more of the molecules can pass through compared to the larger oils, there is less build up and less “oily hair problems.”  Other oils can work, just try to avoid sunflower and mineral options as they likely won’t have the right molecular weights to penetrate your hair which can add to the problems vs. alleviate them.

Pro-tip: If your hair is naturally shiny, avoid hair oils with silicon as the silicon is used to add more shine. Silicones are not bad for your hair, but they can lead to excess build up and make oily hair problems worse.

How to Use Hair Oil if You Have Oily Hair

Each product will have instructions on the package or bottle.  But if you threw it out or it got ruined, here's a good way to go.

  1. Start by washing your hair at the right intervals since too much washing can lead to excess sebum production (according to this post on Healthline), and too little leaves excess oils that can build up. 
  2. Before you shower, apply the hair oil to your hair and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  3. Water temperature matters on this next step.  Based on your needs and situation, choose the right option.
    1. Cool water closes pores, so if you want the oils to stay, rinse with cool water.
    2. Warm and hot water opens pores so shampoo can get into the shafts of your hair and rinse excess oils away.  If your shampoo is also your hair oil, this could be the right option.
      1. Then rinse the shampoo out with cool water to close your pores back up.
  4. Next, make sure you wash the right way and focus the shampoo your scalp assuming you went with 3a. 

Pro-tip: Sulfate shampoos are good for oily hair because they are specifically made to remove sebum, dirt, and buildup. So when you’re ready to hit the shower, choose a clarifying shampoo, specifically one with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). If you notice this dries out your hair, look for one that also has sodium laureth sulfate since it balances the SLS.

Suppose you have the right cleaning regime and the right hair oils, but you’re still producing too much sebum.  If you already went to your doctor for a hormone test, try making some lifestyle changes (ask your doctor about these while you’re doing your hormones checkup to make sure you’re cleared for them.)

Diets high in hyperglycemic carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, and saturated fats have been shown to increase sebum production according to this study. Reducing your intake could help reduce the amount of natural hair oils you produce.  But don’t avoid fats altogether since the healthy Omega-3 fats are especially important for healthy hair. Get plenty of avocados, salmon, eggs, and even the occasional burger.  Did you know that hamburgers and avocados are hair superfoods?

Yes, you can use hair oils if you have oily hair. You just need to make sure your sebum production, hygiene routine, and lifestyle allow for proper oil levels.  If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to the TELETIMES blog below.

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