We love hair oil because it nourishes and moisturizes our strands—and you can benefit from it even if you have an oily scalp. Although it seems like adding oil would only make your hair greasier, Jennifer Korab, a celebrity hairstylist in New Jersey, says it can actually help slow sebum production while making your stands healthier. You just have to get the right kind.
“There is no rule that you must avoid hair oil if you have an oily scalp,” says Korab. “In fact, there are many hair oils that will leave your scalp healthier and producing less natural sebum than before. However, certain store-bought hair oils might not be best for your already oily scalp.”
To use a hair oil without turning into a ball of grease, Korab says to avoid any products that aim to make the hair shiny. “Many hair oils also aim to add gloss to hair and the way they achieve this is with silicones that coat the hair.
But if you’ve got dry ends and a greasy scalp, you can benefit from using a glossy oil on just the ends, adds Kevin Kelly, also a celebrity hairstylist in New Jersey. Just be sure to get one that has a thicker, more viscous consistency. “I like a thicker oil rather than a watery oil because watery makes it look too oily and wet-looking rather than silky and shiny,” says Kelly.
How to use oil to curb a greasy scalp
When you use oil on your scalp, it helps to absorb the sebum that’s on your scalp. Korab recommends doing an overnight treatment with the Moroccan Oil Treatment ($16 to $48). And if you’d like to make the treatment even more soothing, she says you can add a drop or two of peppermint oil ($12).
Koran recommends starting the process by using your fingertips to apply oil to your scalp and massaging it into the skin with circular motions. Next, apply any oil that’s leftover on your palms to your lengths. Cover your hair with a towel or shower cap and leave it on overnight. The next day, add shampoo to your hair before you add water, rinse thoroughly, and condition as normal.
How to use hair oil to nourish dry ends
“Just because your hair is oily at the scalp doesn’t mean your ends are going to be oily,” says Kelly. If that sound like you, you can add oil to your styling routine. In addition to making your ends smooth and shiny, it will also seal the cuticle, leading to sleeker, less frizzy hair.
Rub a few drops of oil into your hands and apply it to just your ends right after you finish styling, not before. Try to limit oil application to two times before your next wash to keep it from looking greasy. “My personal favorites are Kenra Professional Platinum Luxe Shine Oil ($22) and Wella Light Luminous Reflective Oil ($42).
Want to be the first to hear about the latest (and greatest) SHOP product drops, custom collections, discounts, and more? Sign up to have the intel delivered straight to your inbox.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.