How can I reduce excess sebum in my hair?

Excess sebum in the hair is a common problem. While a certain amount of sebum is essential for maintaining healthy hair and scalp, too much can lead to cosmetic problems and discomfort. Find out more about the different causes of excess sebum and our solutions.

Oily hair: how do you recognise it?

Combating excess sebum in the hair is essential to maintaining healthy hair. When the scalp produces too much sebum, it can lead to oily hair and neglected, a problem to which many people are looking for solutions. Identifying the signs of greasy hair is the first step towards effective treatment:

  • Heavy and shiny hair : a major characteristic of oily hair is its excessive shine, which differs markedly from healthy shine. 
  • A lack of volume : roots weighed down by excess sebum lead to a loss of volume, leaving hair flat and lifeless.
  • An oily sensation: Hair can feel sticky or oily to the touch, even shortly after washing.
  • Itchy scalp: the accumulation of sebum can cause irritation of the scalp, leading to itching and sometimes the appearance of scabs. 
How can I reduce excess sebum in my hair? 1
How can I reduce excess sebum in my hair? 2

Lack of volume and itching are often signs of excess sebum

To restore your hair's vitality, it's essential to detect and treat the warning signs of excess sebum. This awareness is the first step towards a healthy scalp and radiantly beautiful hair. Next, it's important to look into the origins of this overproduction of sebum so as to be able to remedy it effectively.

What causes excess sebum in the hair?

Excess sebum in the hair can come from a variety of sources, from hormonal imbalances to inappropriate hair care habits.

Hormonal imbalance

Hormones play a significant role in the regulation of the sebum production. Hormonal fluctuations, like those observed during the puberty or the pregnancy, can lead to excess sebum, as can thyroid disorders or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Nutrition and hydration

What we eat can directly influence the health of our scalp. A diet rich in saturated fats and refined sugar can encourage the overproduction of sebum, while a diet rich in sugar and saturated fats can encourage the overproduction of sebum, while a diet rich in refined sugar can encourage the overproduction of sebum whereas insufficient hydration can disturb the natural balance of the skin and scalp.


The chronic stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can stimulate the sebaceous glands. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle or insufficient sleep can also contribute to the production of excess sebum.

Genetic and environmental factors

The genetic predisposition can determine the amount of sebum your scalp naturally produces. Similarly, environmental factors such as pollution or humidity can worsen the situation.

What effect do hair products have on sebum production?

Certain hair care products can sometimes have a negative impact on sebum production. 

The components of certain shampoos and care, especially those designed to combat oily hair, can actually dry out the scalp. This aggression encourages the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, such as natural defence mechanism. 

The frequent use of anti-seborrhoeic shampoos, often alcohol-based, can upset the pH balance of the scalp. This leads to bouncing effect the scalp tries to compensate for the dryness by generating excess sebum.

The styling products such as gels, waxes and hairsprays can clog the pores of the scalp if they are not completely removed, also leading to an increase in sebum production.

Choosing care products that are suited to your hair type and scalp, and ensuring effective cleansing to remove product residues, are key steps for maintain a healthy level of sebum.

What natural remedies can help balance sebum production?

For rebalance sebum production in the hair, it is possible to turn to simple and natural daily adjustments.

Pay attention to water temperature

Too hot water can stimulate the sebaceous glands, increasing sebum production. Opt for warm water washes and finish by rinsing with cool water to close the cuticle and revitalise the scalp.

Limit excessive washing

Washing your hair too often can upset the scalp's natural balance, causing an overproduction of sebum in response to dehydration. It is advisable to space out shampoos to allow the scalp to maintain adequate hydration and normalise sebum production. 

By adopting a less frequent hair routine, you can gradually reduce excess sebum and boost the overall health of your hair. This patient approach encourages sustainable rebalancing, this prevents the rebound effect of sebum that often follows washing too often.

Beware of brushing too vigorously

Brushing too vigorously can irritate the scalp and encourage the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. It's best to brush your hair gently to prevent excess sebum and to keep your hair shiny. minimise hair breakage.

Eating a balanced diet

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in regulating sebum production. By giving priority to vitamin-rich foods, essential minerals and fatty acids, such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals and oily fish, to help the sebaceous glands function optimally. 

It is also beneficial to reduce consumption of processed foods, sugar and saturated fats, which can exacerbate sebum production. 

How can I reduce excess sebum in my hair? 3
How can I reduce excess sebum in my hair? 4

In the event of excess sebum, a healthy diet is essential!

Finally, sufficient hydration is just as essential. Drinking enough water helps prevent the overproduction of sebum and maintain healthy skin.

Excess sebum and crusting on the scalp: beware of seborrhoeic dermatitis

Excess sebum is not just a cosmetic issue, but can also be a sign of more serious skin conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis. This skin condition can be identified and effectively managed with the right approach.

The seborrheic dermatitis is characterised, among other things, by red patches, from oily skin and yellowish scabs on the scalp. It can cause intense itching and is often confused with dandruff, although it requires specific medical attention.

Factors that can contribute to seborrheic dermatitis include excess sebum, as well as a reaction to a type of yeast naturally present on the skin. Stress, climate change and certain medical conditions can exacerbate this condition.

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis may include the use of medicated antifungal shampoos, steroid creams or keratolytic agents to control inflammation and reduce sebum production. It is essential to follow the recommendations of a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.

Excess sebum in the hair: the importance of a hair diagnosis

Excessive sebum in the hair means that it needs a professional assessment for appropriate treatment. The Centre Clauderer offers capillary diagnostics analysing the condition of the scalp and hair. Once the diagnosis has been made, the Centre Clauderer specialists personalise the treatment, using targeted treatments and home care routines to control sebum production. Post-diagnostic follow-up ensures that care is adapted and hair health is managed over the long term.

To effectively combat excess sebum in the hair, it's essential to understand and treat its root causes. Whether it's through adjustments to hair care, a healthier lifestyle, or the involvement of specialists like those at the Centre Clauderer, each measure is a step towards restoring a healthy scalp and revitalised hair.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

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