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Oily Hair Can Cause Hair Loss–Here’s Why


07 . 28 . 19

Priscila Martinez

Priscila Martinez is Los Angeles based brand strategy specialist and writer. She focuses on beauty, fashion and the luxury and lifestyle sectors. Martinez contributes to publications like Forbes, AdWeek and Asia Times and she writes for lifestyle outlets like Mane Addicts and Radio Disney’s Sweety High. In addition to editorial and publicity, Priscila has collaborated with various brands to produce content for their social media, websites and blogs. Nevertheless, Priscila’s most noted accomplishment is being mom to her furry son, Kingston.

Experiencing hair loss can quickly turn into a guessing game. Could it be your new shampoo that is causing the shedding? Is it the tension your ponytail creates? Maybe it’s your diet? Although all of the above can be feasible, we set out to explore if your hair loss isn’t caused by an external factor but by your own scalp. Can oily hair create hair loss? We asked multiple pros to find out.

(via Unsplash)

The Root Cause of Oily Hair

“The scalp has sebaceous glands just like the rest of the skin,” begins Dr. Robb Akridge, a skincare expert & Clarisonic Co-Founder. “These are microscopic glands in the skin that secrete natural oils and waxes, known as sebum. Sebum can cause what we deem as ‘oily’ hair, and when there is too much, it can cause clogged pores and blackheads, preventing the hair follicle to grow as it would normally,” he concludes. This process results in hair appearing thinner and thinner. Michelle Blaisure, Bosley Professional Strength Trichologist, warns that several things can contribute to producing excess sebum, “This is especially true during puberty with the increased hormone production. In adults, fluctuating hormones also can play a role. For women, this can occur during pregnancy or when taking birth control pills.” Michelle also says that stress is a factor in hormone balance and sebaceous oil production in both sexes. Additional variables you should consider when taking inventory of the oil in your hair include shampoos, conditioners or styling products that contain oils or heavy resins. Dermatological conditions like psoriasis and sybaritic dermatitis in your scalp can also cause excessive skin cell turnover that in turn, increases sebum production.

Can Oily Hair Actually Cause Hair Loss?

“Oil can definitely be a factor in hair loss. The oil can attract and trap dirt, clogging the pores and inhibiting hair growth,” says Sonna Brado, National Art Director and Hairstylist at KMS. It’s a similar story for men. “One of the leading causes of Male Pattern Baldness in men over 50, has been linked to the hormone DHT (DiHydroTestosterone) which miniaturizes the follicle and causes an oily scalp, which in turn causes hair loss,” says Feisal, founder of Raincry. “The excessive oil can lead to clogging up the follicle side and causing micro-inflammation in the hair follicle which contributes to unhealthy hair growth and hair loss,” says Michelle.

How Can You Prevent Oily Hair?

You don’t have to throw your hands up in the air if you have oily hair. In fact, there are many factors you can control. “Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and reducing stress can all help in balancing out the hormones that can lead to excessive oil production,” begins Michelle.  Sonna says you should try shampooing every other day and using a clarifying shampoo once a week like KMS’ Head Remedy, which happens to be her favorite. Michelle also recommends frequent washing, even every day if needed. She advocates for gentle, sulfate-free shampoo formulas that are pH balanced. Michelle also recommends scalp treatments like Bosley Professional Strengths Scalp Scrub. Scalp treatments will invigorate and condition while removing follicle buildup and pollution from the scalp. Dr. Robb also advocates for scalp treatments. He recommends scrubbing your scalp to shed dead skin cells and promote the regeneration of cells. “Just like you exfoliate your face,” he says, “your scalp needs exfoliation too.”

If you suspect hormones may be the culprit behind your oily hair, THESE products may be to blame.



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