Oily hair, medically as "seborrhea"describes an overproduction of sebum, which is regularly excreted by the sebum glands of the skin and the hair root cells.

Functions of the sebum

Sebum is necessary for many reasons and is urgently needed by the human body. The main job of sebum is that Moisturize of the skin and the hair.
Constant humidification is necessary to make the cells more durable and to extend their lifespan.
Besides the preservation it has Sebum has a protective role and forms a kind of protective film on the skin and hair. If this film is constant and covers the skin and hair with regular consistency and quantity, it can be guaranteed that Pathogens and Parasites cannot easily penetrate the skin or attack the scalp hair.
A homogeneous film of sebum also leads to the hair not brittle that quickly or the skin not so quickly cracked become.

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Regular hair hygiene can ensure that the film of sebum on the hair is removed and the hair does not appear greasy as a result.

Oily hair as one Overproduction of sebum in the area of ​​the hair cells can have different causes and has at least affected everyone at least once.
Sebum is secreted at regular intervals in the area of ​​the hair follicle and thus reaches every single hair.
Will the Hair hygiene operated regularly, it comes to a at regular intervals Wash off the sebum film on the hair. The sebum glands then begin to regenerate and coat the hair with sebum. If the hair is not washed regularly, the sebum film will not be changed regularly.

The Sebum glands continue to produce the secretion and coat the hair with it, which means that the thickness of the sebum film increases. The appearance of the "oily hair". The next time the hair is washed, the film is washed off and the hair appears again in its usual condition.

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The The production of sebum is controllable, the sebum glands thus trainable. If you wash your hair daily and then take a day off, you will find that your hair looks greasy after just one day.
If you wash your hair every three days, you can see that the sebum glands are attached to these "Film change“Are used to and don't produce sebum that quickly.
Hair oiling is usually only observed if the usual washing rhythm is exceeded.
The sebum glands react to external stimuli on the one hand, but also to internal stimulations. The sebum glands are subject to a complicated one hormonal regulation mechanismwhich can quickly become unbalanced and result in oily hair.

The most common cause of disturbances in the internal control system are hormonal Fluctuations. Especially in the puberty there are strong fluctuations in the hormonal balance. As a result, the sebum glands are usually more strongly stimulated.
It comes to the so-called seborrhea (Oily hair), the overproduction of sebum. As a result, the skin greases faster and the hair also looks greasy faster.
Most of the time, skin and hair have to be washed daily to counteract the overproducing sebum glands.
The high level of stimulation of the sebum glands also leads to the sebum glands becoming temporarily clogged or even through bacteria be colonized.
This has the consequence that there are blemishes on the skin and to the skin Acne formation comes. After the end of puberty, this imbalance usually returns.

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When entering menopause (Menopause) there is another hormonal change.
This time the sebum glands are in contrast to puberty almost not stimulated at all. The result is that less sebum gets onto the skin and hair, which leads to an increase dry skin and in some cases leads to very brittle hair. In this case one must mostly try using fatty ones Creams and Moisturizing lotions for the hair to counteract this renewed imbalance.
Besides the Hormones and the external influences, such as hygiene and Maintenance frequency, is also influenced by another system in the human body on the formation of sebum.
The messenger substances that are released in the body in different situations stimulate or reduce the activity of the sebum glands. It comes to long lasting stress becomes the messenger adrenaline and the hormone cortisone poured out. Over many intermediate steps, this causes an increasing overproduction of sebum, both on the skin and on the hair.

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So people who are in a stressful, long-lasting situation will sometimes suffer from an increasing overproduction of sebum, and one increasingly oily skin and Oily hair complain.
During this time, hygiene and hair care usually need to be strengthened to counteract overproduction.
If the life situation calms down again, there will be a drainage of cortisone and adrenalinewhich also inhibits the sebum glands again. The sebum production returns to the usual level Hair care can be done at normal frequency again.
In addition to all of the factors mentioned, the sebum production of skin and hair is also subject to an extraordinary individual range. There are people who by nature only have to wash their hair every 2-3 days because the sebum glands only work in such a rhythm.
Still others cannot do without the daily hair washing and have very active sebum glands, regardless of the respective general and life situation.

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Some also describe a connection between oily hair and skin and the Seasons. After long periods of cold, in which one often goes to heated rooms and where there is a constant change between cold and warmth, there can also be an overproduction of hair sebum and greasy hair.
In order to prevent hair greasing more quickly, one should select the exact hairstyle Hair care products and the Care frequency make sure that the hair is well ventilated.
Hat and cap wearers are therefore often more likely to have oily hair (seborrhea) affected than people who do not cover their heads.
Frequent blow-drying is also attributed to faster hair greasing. The reason for this is that the sebum film that has formed evaporates quickly when you blow-dry and the sebum glands are quickly stimulated to produce a lot of sebum again. This leads to a temporary overproduction.
There are also theories that the common Use of chemicals on the scalp leads to an imbalance of the sebum glands. The frequent dyeing or tinting of the outer hair, which is seen as the cause of an overproduction of sebum glands, should be mentioned here.
The causes and evidence for this theory are still pending.

With some Diseases Oily hair also occurs, regardless of the type, duration and frequency of hair care.
Mostly it is diseases that lead to one Imbalance of hormones and / or messenger substances of the human body comes. The most well-known clinical picture with this symptom is Parkinson's Disease.
In this disease, cell death in a brain region results in an imbalance or a lack of the messenger substance Dopamine.
This ensures, among other things that excessive movements of the human body are inhibited. If there is a deficiency, the well-known trembling occurs for this reason.
In addition, a dopamine deficiency leads to activation of the Sweat and sebum, which leads to rapid greasing of the skin and hair.
In connection with Parkinson's disease, one speaks of the so-called Ointment facewhat patients often have with advanced Parkinson's disease.
The face looks like anointed due to the overproduction of the sebum glands. Hair becomes greasy quickly, regardless of the frequency of hair care.

Treatment of oily hair

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The sebum glands of the scalp can be trained.

Sufferers with oily hair can try that with numerous methods seborrhea to treat.
It is important to research the cause of oily hair. Has the frequency of the Hair washing changed (mostly skipped washing once), and if the hair is then greased, it can be assumed that the sebum glands of the hair adhere to the known rhythm "used“And got into overproduction.

There are two ways to stop overproduction in this case.

  1. The immediate washing of the hair and the observance of the daily hair care leads to the fact that the sebum glands produce the sebum as usual and that by washing the hair daily there is a balance between sebum production and washing off of the sebum film.
    But if you were to skip washing your hair again later, the hair would be greased again.
  2. The second option would be to exercise the sebum glands. You leave your hair in this condition for another day, so to speak, then wash your hair and in future only wash your hair every two days. The sebum glands will change "to save“And adjust the sebum production according to the hair care.
    The interval between daily hair care can also be increased further, as desired. However, this only works if there is no disease of the sebum glands, the endocrine system or an imbalance in everyday life (stress). In this case, these factors would first have to be treated and eliminated before an improvement in sebum production can be expected.

Furthermore, general measures should be observed that reduce the hair greasiness

  • The hair should always be Exposed to air be and
  • frequent Wearing hats or caps avoided become
  • Frequent Blow dry the hair should reduced become
  • The use of mousse or Gel products should reduced or the products must be replaced if hair grease appears.
  • Frequent Tones or. To dye the hair should avoided become.
  • Sometimes it can help on a regular basis Scalp to massage. This should be done dry without the use of oils or preparations.
    The massage should be done in a circle over the head and take a few minutes. It can happen that shortly thereafter the hair becomes increasingly greasy because the sebum that is still in the sebum glands is expressed and thus gets onto the hair.
    At regular massage but there is more likely to be one Regulation of the sebum glands and a quick recovery. The head massages should initially take place once or twice a day for approx. 5 minutes each time. The hair should not be washed out immediately after the massage.
  • There too dry scalp If a compensatory overactivity of the sebum glands can result, it may also be necessary to use the dry scalp moisturizing lotions, Oil and Shampoos to treat. There are several shampoos available on the market especially for oily hair, but these contain such aggressive washing substancesthat they are more likely for the body and the hair harmful are considered helpful. This can then lead to scalp problems like dry ones Dandruff, redness, and itching the scalp can become inflamed and hair loss can result.
    For these reasons and because the sebum glands would be stimulated to increased production after massive degreasing, it is advisable to only gentle shampoos to use.
    Most come for this Baby shampoos, but also many of the shampoos more diverse Natural cosmetics companies into consideration. Especially Shampoos with tea tree oil help against oily hair and dandruff. Instructions for use can also be found under: Tea tree oil
  • In addition to the mild shampoo, the scalp can be lightly massaged with oil overnight (for example almond oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil) so that the stressed area is naturally cared for and sebum production is regulated over time. The next morning, the gentle shampoo is used normally so that the hair is carefully de-oiled and can shine freshly washed. Despite this gentle treatment of the scalp and hair, this is still there after a while Problem of permanently oily hair before so should a Consulted a dermatologist who can investigate whether the problem is caused by a medical condition (such as seborrheic eczema) that must then be treated medically before symptoms can improve.
  • In addition to shampoos and oils, there are also various powderthat can be applied to the scalp at regular intervals.

At strong sebum overproduction can do some too Medication are used mainly on the Hormonal balance Have an impact. The background is that a lack of female sex hormones, such as estrogen, leads to an overproduction of sebum on the skin and hair.
To treat this, women can take low-dose estrogens at regular intervals. Usually there will be an improvement in symptoms while taking the pill which consists of estrogens.
However, one should urgently pay attention to the corresponding side effects and weigh the risks against the benefits.
Treatment of affected Men with preparations containing estrogen arises more difficult Because of the numerous side effects and unfavorable effects of estrogens on the male organism, the use must be carefully considered. Long-term use of estrogens leads to the development of female sexual characteristics (Breast formation).

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For this reason, affected men should first take all other measures and try them out. The use of mild soaps should be considered, which should be applied to the scalp. In some cases treatment with the substance can also be tried Isoretinoin carry out to provide relief and relief.

Is the root cause Not known of hair greasy quickly and all attempts at treatment are of no use, should also be used Dermatologist to be consulted.
If necessary it may be necessary to have a specialist for endocrinology must be consulted, as a severe imbalance in the hormonal balance is the reason for the increasing oiliness of the hair and skin.
With a corresponding Blood test should be clarified how the proportion of Estrogens, cortisone as well as the Thyroid hormones is in the blood to start appropriate balanced hormonal treatment if necessary.

What to do? - after washing

Washing your hair too little or too often is counterproductive.

When it comes to greasy hair, the most important thing is proper care. Mostly excessive washing worsens the symptoms and also leads to undesirable side effects like this Dehydration of the scalp and dandruff. A Neglect of cleaning promotes the occurrence of diseases of the scalp, including those for example Fungal infections are to be counted.

Choosing the right shampoo plays a special role in the care of oily hair. It is important to ensure that a product that is too aggressive is not chosen. People with a tendency to oily hair should especially mild shampoos choose the enough Surfactants (washing-active substances - absorb grease and dirt) and are, if possible, non-moisturizing. The latter property is particularly evident in products that are offered to consumers with particularly dry hair and a dry, itchy scalp. For greasy hair you should Shampoos that contain silicones should be avoided. These substances have a strong lipid replenishing effect and can worsen the symptoms. Mild, soap-free products that are offered as medical skin and hair care products in drug stores and in many supermarkets are recommended.

Herbal extracts based on chamomile or rosemary also help to cleanse the hair effectively and gently and also to maintain the natural environment of the scalp.

Shampoo should be used when washing your hair massaged in thoroughly and then with lukewarm water completely rinsed out become. Shampoo residues left in the hair can create a greasy sheen and also irritate the scalp.

Daily shampooing is permitted even with greasy hair, but mild products should be used for the shampoos used daily. Special oil-removing shampoos must never be used too often, as they dry out the scalp, which then reacts with increased sebum production, which makes the hair appear greasy. Those affected who shower more often during the day should only wash their hair in one shower to protect the scalp.

When blow-drying, care should be taken that the scalp is not hit by the hot air jet, as this has a drying effect and can subsequently lead to increased sebum production.

If the hair appears greasy again in the course of the day after washing it daily, a so-called Dry shampoo be used. Corresponding products are available in the pharmacy.

If the problem of greasy hair cannot be dealt with using conventional methods, those affected should see a family doctor or a dermatologist and have the exact origin of the problem clarified. The doctor may also prescribe special shampoos with selenium or tar. These substances have proven to be particularly effective in treating greasy hair.

Oily hair during pregnancy

The body of a pregnant woman is subject to numerous hormonal changes, which can also affect the complexion and hair. Some pregnant women have fuller and shiny hair during pregnancy, while others can experience hair loss, dry or oily hair. Many women report that they had to change their usual care product during pregnancy. As a rule, there is a return to the normal complexion after the birth. The hair also regains its usual quality, so that a change in care is usually only temporary.

Unfortunately, the effects of female sex hormones on skin and hair can never be precisely predicted. Where estrogens make the skin appear firmer and rosier in many women due to increased blood circulation and the hair looks fuller as a result of a reduction in natural hair loss, in some cases there is also increased sebum production and, as a result, blemishes and oily hair. Most of the time, the changes are most evident around the fourth month of pregnancy.

Here, too, it is important to follow the care tips for oily hair. Regular washing helps to remove the greasy film, but excessive cleaning with grease-dissolving and aggressive products should be avoided. Extensive showering under hot water should be avoided to prevent the scalp from drying out. After cleaning the hair should air dry if possible, as the hot air from a blow dryer can also cause an increase in sebum production by drying out the scalp.

When brushing, a brush with natural bristles should be used, as these, unlike plastic bristles, absorb the sebum better.

Since greasy hair is a cosmetic problem that usually resolves itself within a few weeks after the child is born, no further therapy is necessary apart from special care.

Occasionally, washing can be stopped for a day in order to protect the hair.

Influence of hormones on oily hair

As the largest human organ, the skin is very sensitive to the influence of various hormones. These include, above all, the male sex hormones (androgens), which are formed both in the male and in the female organism. The production of the sebum is more dependent on androgens. The greater the proportion of androgens in the hormone balance, the more sebum is produced in the sebum glands of the skin. Although this primarily protects against physical and chemical stimuli and skin infections, it can also leave behind a greasy sheen, which many people find cosmetically annoying.

Hair grows as skin appendages from so-called hair follicles, which are located in the skin and, in addition to their own blood supply and innervation, are also equipped with sebum glands. The activity of these glands is subject to the same hormonal regulation as the other sebum glands of the skin. People who suffer from oily skin usually also complain of oily hair.

In addition, the blood supply to the hair follicle can react very sensitively to high androgen concentrations, depending on genetic predisposition. In some people, for example, as a result of an increased level of the male sex hormone testosterone, the restriction of the blood supply to the hair can lead to so-called androgen-mediated hair loss. The hair loses its fullness and becomes increasingly thin, which increases the impression of greasy hair. Women with low estrogen or high androgen levels can also suffer from androgen-mediated hair loss or greasy hair.

Read more on this topic at: Oily hair from hormones

Oily hair and dandruff

As Dandruff This is the name given to small skin platelets that consist of flaked skin cells from the scalp. These can be symptoms of a wide variety of skin conditions and skin diseases, but often occur as a natural, albeit unsightly, phenomenon of the scalp, which is completely renewed every four weeks.

Mostly complain People with rather dry skin about dandruff. The problem is usually exacerbated by frequent hair washes, Dehydration of the scalp hot blow drying and the Use of alcoholic solutions on the head.

Not infrequently, however, is also a Skin fungus responsible for increased flaking of the scalp. Not all of these fungal diseases have to be accompanied by redness or itching. Greasy dandruff in particular is often associated with the presence of a fungal infection. This disorder primarily affects people with increased sebum production and rather greasy hair. Although a natural film of oil protects the skin from infection, the presence of an extremely increased production of skin oils can promote the spread of a certain fungus that colonizes healthy skin in most people and usually does not cause any discomfort. Of the Bran mushroom Malassezia furfur can multiply strongly in a greasy environment. It converts the skin fat into aggressive fatty acids, which in turn attack the skin and cause increased flaking.

A visit to your family doctor or dermatologist can clarify the origin of the dandruff problem. In the case of a fungal infection you can Antifungal (fungicidal) shampoos are used.

Causes of Hair Loss - The Wrong Care?

Hair loss can occur due to many causes.

Various scalp problems, but also mistakes in care, can lead to hair loss. The various causes include:

  • Psychological stress (depression, stress, worries, grief, etc.)
  • Hormonal disorders / fluctuations (menopause, birth control pills, pregnancy, thyroid dysfunction)
  • Medicines (chemotherapy drugs, anticoagulant drugs, beta blockers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, thyroid drugs, etc.)
  • Heavy metal pollution or toxins (e.g. paints, varnishes, adhesives, solvents, medicines, insecticides etc.)
  • Toxins in dental fillings (e.g. mercury and palladium)
  • Radiation (radiation therapy, radiation accidents, etc.)
  • Infectious and metabolic diseases
  • One-sided diets
  • Chemicals in traditional hair care and styling products

The last point makes it clear how much you can harm yourself with conventional care products. The market economy controls that the products should be as cheap as possible to buy, but this inevitably affects the quality.
For this reason, the quality of the cleansing substances becomes worse and less skin-friendly, and the care substances are replaced by artificial oils and silicones, which stick together the skin and hair and no longer enable normal metabolism.

The scalp stuck together in this way can no longer “breathe” and nutrients are only insufficiently transported to the roots of our hair. Since they are held in the roots of the hair and improper care weaken them right there, the hair falls out. This can lead to severe hair loss, so that the hair becomes thinner and it is also noticeable to outsiders that the hair of those affected is becoming less.
If hair loss does not run in the family (for example, it is often the case with early hair loss in men), it can usually be remedied by changing care and removing the possible causes mentioned above. Then the hair grows back finely and over time the sparse hair replenishes to its original amount.

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