“How washing my hair with oil-based products actually made my hair less oily.”

I am all about the beauty oils.

Rosehip, Jojoba, Argan – whatever it is, I will slather it all over my face and body on a daily basis. Bliss.

However, my love for oils has always had a limit, and that has been hair. As a long suffering oily-scalp lady, putting anything remotely oil-based near my head has been a big no-no. Even on days when I’ve washed my hair, by the end of the day I’ve got some seriously greasy roots going on.

Until just recently I’ve washed my hair every single day to combat this oiliness. I’ve now come around to washing it every second day — with the help of aloooooot of dry shampoo on the off day. That was a leap for me in and of itself.

So, naturally, when some new shampoos and conditioners came across my desk that were all based on oil, I was like, ‘Aww hell no’.

oil based hair products
Melissa Dedrick. Image: supplied.

As we all learn about the awesome benefits of oils for our skin, it makes sense they’ve crept into shampoo and conditioner too. The oils used in these products are absorbed by the hair to deeply nourish the strands and scalp, rather than just moisturising them.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have chosen these for my oily-haired self. But you know what? Sometimes you have to take one for the team. And this time, that person was me. (I would not be rubbing oil into my grease ball head for anyone else.)


Needless to say, I was sceptical about the results of these ‘oil enriched’ hair care. Very sceptical. I had spent all my life avoiding oil on my head, so I firmly believed lathering oil into it was going to be an absolute mess.

After the first use, my hair was nice and soft and shiny. Tick. Loved the smell. Tick. I could definitely tell there was oil in the conditioner from its thick and creamy texture, but the shampoo didn’t look or feel any different.

When my hair dried it was a little heavier and flatter than usual, but that wasn’t surprising — a little residual oil on the strands is inevitably going to weigh it down. By the end of the day, my greasy roots were back. It was no worse than usual, but no better either.

I used the oil-enriched product for another week, and to my total shock and delight, I began to notice my hair being less oily at the end of the day, while still soft and shiny.

The following week, my hair didn’t even look oily when I got home from work. It looked quite… fresh. Definitely not what I was accustomed to. How did this even happen?

It seems the answer to my oily-hair troubles had been staring me right in the face — quite literally — the whole time.

By using beauty oils on our skin, like I do, we help to balance the amount of oil naturally produced by the sebaceous glands. So by adding oil, we’re actually reducing the natural oil production.

Same goes for your hair. Oil helps to nourish the scalp and reduce the amount of oil it produces, which then seems into your hair. Hence, oily shampoo equals less oily roots. How did I not think of this earlier?

Despite my strong hesitation to this whole oil-in-the-hair thing, it’s worked out a treat. It’s a great option, even for those with oily hair who would normally avoid this type of thing like the plague.

My love of oils remains stronger than ever.

A version of this article originally appeared on The Glow.

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