How To Train Your Hair To Be Less Oily

Struggling with oily hair is a common dilemma. From doing the mental math to determine when to wash your hair, to using multiple cans of dry shampoo each month, maintaining your locks becomes even more complicated when you don't know how to properly manage its natural oils. Most people generally assume that you need to wash your hair more frequently when it's oily, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

According to celebrity hairstylist Irinel De León, over-washing your locks can cause them to become more oily, per The Everygirl. As De León explained to the outlet, "Essentially, the less often you wash, the less your scalp will feel the need to produce oil, it's all about training it." When you wash your hair every day, your scalp goes into a frenzy trying to produce more oil to combat the added dryness. If you train your hair to last longer between washes, you're essentially tricking your scalp into decreasing this oil production, per Cosmopolitan.

Training your hair to be less oily is a multi-step process, and it isn't an adjustment that can be made overnight. If you have the patience and determination to stick with the process though, you'll notice a significantly healthier scalp in a matter of weeks.

Start by gradually spacing out your hair washing days

The first step to training your hair to be less oily is to gradually space out the days between washes. If you currently wash your hair four to five times per week, Healthline recommends cutting back to three shampoos per week to start. Once you've given yourself time to acclimate to the change, you can scale back to two washes per week. The tricky part is letting your hair reach the oily, uncomfortable stage during the initial transition period. You may need to apply more dry shampoo than usual or opt for a hat to cover your roots as you adjust to the training, per Southern Living.

While you're getting used to less frequent washes, take time to purge any existing hair care products that contain drying chemicals such as sulfates, advises Cosmopolitan. Once you've done the hard work of training your hair and you've adjusted to washing it less, make sure you're ready to maintain your scalp health with ease. Sulfate-free products will help you achieve this goal.

Buy the right products to prevent your hair from becoming oily

Once you've mastered the art of hair training, you'll need to have the right products in your arsenal to maintain your scalp health. Scalp clarifying masks are a must-have, as they rebalance the natural PH of your scalp (per The Everygirl). Next, swap out your existing hairbrush for a boar bristle brush. Celebrity hairstylist Irinel De León recommends adjusting your approach to brushing as well while you're training your hair. "Try brushing every morning, midday, and evening to start. If that's too much, then try brushing 2x a day (morning and evening)," De León said to The Everygirl.

It's important to invest in a good quality sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and to purchase silicone-free products to use when you're styling your locks (via Mane Addicts). Remember to avoid placing oil-based products on your roots — instead, concentrate on your ends when you're distributing the oil after heat-styling. And that's another thing to bear in mind as well. Try to cut down on blow-drying, straightening, and curling your hair when possible. The more often you heat style your hair, the drier it gets, which will trigger your scalp into over-producing oil again.

Training your hair to be less oily is a delicate balance, but if you can work through the initial awkward phase, you'll be able to train your tresses to look and feel their absolute best.