Oily face and hair – how to change it


I am the (former) queen of oily face and hair.  I am the lovely person who had to wipe her forehead at 11am every day, not of sweat, but of oil. I’m the one whose hair in certain areas looked wet from oiliness by the end of the day.  And finally, I’m the one who argued with every person, including hairdressers, who told me I shouldn’t wash my hair everyday.  So I officially crown myself the (former) queen of oily face and hair!

I renounced my claim to the oily face and hair throne when I decided to commit myself to trying no-poo.  While baking soda pretty much destroyed my hair that was already half destroyed from highlighting, it did massively help to cut down on the amount of oil production.  While I didn’t make it very long going no-poo, I did switch to “low-poo.”  I discovered Shea Moisture shampoo and began using a small amount of it faithfully every two or three days.  Sometimes I would skip the shampoo and wash with a couple of egg yolks.  I also discovered dry shampoo, which helped to get those couple of spots that didn’t quite make it to washing time (usually the bangs and top of the back of my head).  It was a period of difficult transition for sure.  But I am so happy I stuck it out!

The first thing I noticed after a month or so is that my forehead grease was pretty much gone – no more need to mop up the greasy mess on my forehead throughout the day.  Then after a few more months the back breakouts improved significantly.  A few more months later my face wasn’t breaking out as much.  I eventually realized that my hair was growing faster than usual as well.  After a little over two years I am able to shampoo about twice a week with a very small amount of shampoo mixed with water to make a shampoo rinse.  I use a dusting or so of dry shampoo to add a little volume where some oil begins to accumulate.

Eventually I’d like to get to the point where I wash maybe once a month.  There are many people out there that have beautiful hair that say the only use water to wash their hair.  Most just stopped shampoo cold turkey and dealt with the transition time.  I feel pretty good about transitioning slowly.

At some point I also realized that washing my face with harsh soaps might not be a good idea either.  I was washing with the typical acne formulated face washes and applying drying creams to my breakout-prone skin.  So I tried a few commercial (supposedly “all natural”) soaps.  Unfortunately I did not have the same luck with those soaps that I had with Shea Moisture shampoo.  Finally someone suggested that I try washing with honey and that was a life changer.  My face stopped breaking out probably by half – still breakouts, but much less and they healed quicker.  Eventually I started skipping the honey and just used water.  I still use honey every now and then when it feels like I need something, but my face is now regulating the production of oil just fine on its own!

Steps to take to Gradually reduce oily face and hair:

  1. Immediately switch to a shampoo that does not have harsh ingredients – Simply choosing a shampoo labelled “all natural” is not enough.  Choose a brand that others use and trust, or research the ingredients in the shampoo to determine that it is mostly plant based.  I recommend any of the Shea Moisture shampoos.  *tip – diluting the Shea Moisture shampoo with water and shaking it to make a shampoos “rinse” helps distribute the shampoo.
  2. Begin gradually spacing out the time between shampooing – Start with shampooing every other day.  Put your hair or just your bangs up if it is too greasy the next day or use a spritz of dry shampoo.  If you are really desperate, try washing with one or two egg yolks applied to the roots.  On days where you don’t have to go out in public, avoid washing.  Every time you skip a shampoo you are helping your hair.  Some people advise to use a natural boar bristle brush to distribute the oil down the hair shaft.. that has never really helped my type of hair.
  3. Ditch face soap of all kind! – Choose anything other than soap.  Honey, oatmeal, milk, steam, microfiber towel, even OIL!  Yes, you can even wash your face with oil (use steam to help) and it will help your face to become less oily!  You can still use gentle toners such as tea, diluted apple cider vinegar or diluted lemon juice if you feel you need it.  The key is to let your skin go back to its natural state.
  4. Watch in amazement as your face and hair begins to produce less oil and you save money in the process! – This is the best part.  You might end up kicking yourself for being tricked into buying all the stuff that made the problem worse for so many years, but you will love being having such a simple, inexpensive routine!


  1. Less cost
  2. No unknown and questionable substances seeping into your body through skin and scalp
  3. Less time wasted on shampooing and shopping for products
  4. No more oily face and hair
  5. Less environmental waste
  6. Less toiletries to pack when travelling

Have you tried no-poo, low-poo, water only and ceasing facial soap?  What method worked for you and how long did it take to see results?

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