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Here’s why oiling your oily scalp is a bad idea according to a dermatologist

Updated on:6 July 2020, 17:48pm IST
From skin infections to itchy scalp–you can get all this and more if you oil your already oily scalp.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Oily scalp doesn’t need oiling. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Oiling your scalp might sound like a good plan but if you have a greasy scalp then oil can prove to be the arch-rival for your hair. Not just that, but in severe cases, it can also give you skin problems and make your hair look lifeless. And that’s why it is important to know when and how much oiling is required for your hair.

But before that, let’s understand why your scalp is this oily
According to Dr Santosh Daflapurkar, consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, our skin (including the scalp) has a sebaceous gland that secretes an oily substance called sebum. The purpose of sebum is to keep the skin moist and smooth. But an excess of this sebum makes the skin oily and greasy which also has an adverse effect on your hair.

“I don’t recommend people to use oil on a regular basis but if in case someone wants to use it then s/he can use a little oil to massage hair for better blood circulation and wash it after half an hour,” he says.

OIling your hair is not always a great idea. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Oiling already oily scalp can lead to seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes scaly patches and red skin, mainly on the scalp. “Application of hair oil can worsen this situation. Hence dermatologists don’t recommend using oil too often,” explains Dr Daflapurkar.  

“If the scalp is already oily then there are more chances that it will trap dust, lead to itching, and other skin infections as well. This can lead to severe hair fall. In fact, people who have recurrent scalp boils due to staphylococcus infection should avoid using oil as it will worsen the infection,” he suggests.

You can control how oily your scalp gets
Now here’s some good news. According to Dr Daflapurkar you can tame your oily scalp by taking care of the small things. First and foremost, you should keep away from hair oiling. 

Apart from this, using hot or warm water for washing your hair is a complete no-no. “Hot water basically stimulates the sebum production that’s why it is always suggested to use cold water if you have an oily scalp,” Dr Daflapurkar.

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“Another thing that you can do to prevent excess oil production is to stop washing your hair again and again. Each time you wash your hair your scalp becomes dry and it signals the gland to produce more oil which can make the situation worse,” he concludes.  

The bottom line…
Not everything is meant for everyone. Oiling might be great for a few but if you have an oily scalp then it’s not for you. 

4 Comments

  1. Hello Sir,

    Thanks for this article, This article is absolutely fine for the oily hair and what about the Dry hair people’s? Could you please suggest us some best hair care routines/practice for Dry hair people’s (Especially I am having low density hair).

    Your suggestions means lot to me

  2. Sir what to do to get out of this problem…as my 12 year old daughter is suffering with this from last 3 years… and every dr. Suggest us to wash on daily basis..

  3. Recently my hair started to thin I used biotin tablets and laminine tablets not seem to work please recommend what I should use

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.