Oily hair can be a frustrating problem, but with the right scalp care routine, you can control oil and keep your hair looking fresh and clean. This guide will walk you through effective DIY treatments and tips to help manage an oily scalp, using ingredients and techniques that are easy to incorporate into your routine. From scalp scrubs to homemade masks, these methods can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced scalp.

Understanding Oily Scalp

An oily scalp is often caused by overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum. This can lead to greasy hair, dandruff, and even scalp acne. Factors such as genetics, hormones, diet, and hair care habits can all contribute to an oily scalp.

Bridgette Hill’s Insight on Scalp Microbiome

Trichologist Bridgette Hill explains, “Oily scalp is often caused by an imbalance in the scalp’s microbiome. Incorporating scalp-specific products with prebiotics and probiotics can help restore balance and reduce oil production” (Source: Bridgette Hill Instagram: @bridgettehillhair).

DIY Scalp Scrubs

Exfoliating your scalp is crucial for removing excess oil, product buildup, and dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation can help maintain a healthy scalp environment and reduce oiliness.

Anabel Kingsley’s Gentle Exfoliation

Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist and brand president of Philip Kingsley, suggests, “Exfoliating your scalp regularly can help remove excess oil, product buildup, and dead skin cells, which can all contribute to oily hair. Look for a scalp scrub with gentle exfoliants like salicylic acid or sugar” (Source: Philip Kingsley).

DIY Sugar Scalp Scrub


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Mix the brown sugar, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your damp scalp, gently massaging it in circular motions.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your regular shampoo and conditioner.

Benefits: Sugar acts as a natural exfoliant, while coconut oil moisturizes and apple cider vinegar helps balance the scalp’s pH.

DIY Scalp Masks

Scalp masks can provide deep nourishment and help regulate oil production. Using natural ingredients can make these treatments both effective and safe.

Dr. Iris Rubin’s Apple Cider Vinegar Mask

Dr. Iris Rubin recommends using apple cider vinegar for its pH-balancing properties. “DIY scalp masks can be a great way to nourish and soothe an oily scalp. Try a simple mask with ingredients like apple cider vinegar, which helps balance the scalp’s pH, or witch hazel, which has astringent properties” (Source: SEEN Hair Care).

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Mask


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)


  1. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture onto your scalp and massage it in.
  3. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and shampoo as usual.

Benefits: Apple cider vinegar helps to remove excess oil and product buildup, while essential oils can provide additional soothing effects.

Avoid Over-Washing

Over-washing your hair can strip it of natural oils, leading to increased oil production as your scalp tries to compensate. Instead, try washing your hair every other day or using a dry shampoo between washes.

Abraham Sprinkle’s Advice on Washing Frequency

Celebrity hairstylist Abraham Sprinkle advises, “Avoid over-washing your hair, as this can strip away natural oils and cause your scalp to produce even more oil to compensate. Instead, try washing your hair every other day or using a dry shampoo between washes” (Source: Abraham Sprinkle Instagram: @abrahamsprinkle).

DIY Dry Shampoo


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (for darker hair)


  1. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to your roots using a makeup brush, and blend well.

Benefits: This dry shampoo absorbs excess oil and refreshes your hair between washes, helping to extend the time between shampoos.

Choosing the Right Products

Using the right hair care products is essential for managing an oily scalp. Avoid heavy conditioners and styling products that can weigh down your hair and contribute to oiliness.

Kerry Yates on Lightweight Products

Kerry Yates, a trichologist and founder of Colour Collective, suggests, “Be mindful of the hair care products you use. Avoid heavy conditioners and styling products that can weigh down your hair and contribute to oiliness. Look for lightweight formulas that won’t clog pores” (Source: Colour Collective).

DIY Lightweight Conditioner


  • 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)


  1. Mix the aloe vera gel and jojoba oil in a bowl.
  2. Apply to your hair after shampooing, focusing on the ends.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.

Benefits: Aloe vera provides hydration without weighing down your hair, while jojoba oil helps to balance oil production.

Scalp Massages

Regular scalp massages can help to regulate sebum production and promote healthy hair growth. Massaging your scalp increases blood circulation, which can improve the delivery of nutrients to your hair follicles.

The Benefits of Scalp Massage

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that scalp massages can help to regulate sebum production and promote hair growth. “The findings suggest that regular scalp massage can help to regulate sebum production and promote healthy hair growth” (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology).

DIY Scalp Massage


  1. Use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp in circular motions.
  2. Focus on areas that tend to get oily, such as the crown and temples.
  3. Massage for 5-10 minutes daily.

Benefits: Scalp massages can help to distribute natural oils evenly and reduce excess oil production.

Personal Experience with DIY Scalp Care

Having struggled with an oily scalp myself, I found that incorporating regular scalp scrubs and masks made a significant difference. The apple cider vinegar mask, in particular, helped balance my scalp’s pH and reduced oiliness. I also switched to washing my hair every other day, using a DIY dry shampoo in between. This not only reduced oiliness but also made my hair look fresher for longer.

A Friend’s Journey

A friend of mine who often dealt with greasy roots and limp hair started using a sugar scalp scrub and noticed a remarkable improvement. She found that her hair felt cleaner and more voluminous, and the oiliness reduced significantly.

Additional Tips for Managing Oily Scalp

Maintain a Healthy Diet

What you eat can affect your scalp health. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help regulate oil production. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins A and E can promote a healthy scalp.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your scalp hydrated from the inside out. Dehydration can lead to an overproduction of oil as your scalp tries to compensate.

Avoid Touching Your Hair

Frequently touching your hair can transfer oils from your hands to your scalp, making it greasier. Try to avoid running your fingers through your hair throughout the day.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Once a week, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup of products and excess oil. This can help to keep your scalp clean and balanced.

Expert Insights

Sebaceous Gland Lipids and Hair Follicle Biology

A study published in Dermatoendocrinology discusses the role of sebum in scalp health and hair growth. The study highlights the importance of maintaining a balanced scalp environment and provides insights into how different factors, such as genetics, hormones, and diet, can affect sebum production.

The Effects of Heat and Chemical Treatments on Hair

According to the International Journal of Trichology, heat styling and chemical treatments can impact hair structure and integrity. The study emphasizes the importance of using heat protectants and nourishing treatments to minimize damage and preserve hair health.


Managing an oily scalp requires a consistent routine and the right ingredients. By incorporating DIY scalp scrubs, masks, and dry shampoos into your hair care regimen, you can control oiliness and keep your roots fresh. Remember to choose lightweight products, avoid over-washing, and maintain a healthy diet to support overall scalp health.

With these tips and DIY treatments, you can achieve a balanced, healthy scalp and enjoy vibrant, clean hair every day. Whether it’s a sugar scalp scrub, an apple cider vinegar rinse, or a regular scalp massage, these natural methods can make a significant difference in managing oily hair.

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Nyla Rose is a hairstylist and beauty blogger dedicated to helping others achieve their style goals. With years of salon experience and a passion for exploring trends, she offers practical hair advice, product reviews, and guides for recreating iconic looks.

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