View Full Version : Pre-teen oily hair woes

December 10th, 2010, 05:27 AM
My daughter is just about to turn 12. Her skin is breaking out a little which we are controlling with the Dermalogica Clean Start Range.

She has gorgeous thick straight waist length hair that I believe will go wavy as she is getting some more wirey textured strands starting to come in.

The problem right now is oils. We washed her hair yesterday at around 3pm. I gave her an SMT (on length only) following a shampoo.

Today I did her hair for her Year 6 graduation and my mother, who was looking on, asked why she had such dark roots. I took a look at the hair underneath and from the roots there was about an inch and a half of oily hair - like stringy oily hair all over the underneath layers of her hair. I could not believe that it could be that oily in only 24 hours.

The problem is that her hair is getting dry on the ends because I have been getting her to use a shampoo and conditioner for oily hair and I think it's drying her hair out.

How should we address this problem? Use the oily hair shampoo only on the scalp but then use a conditioner for dry hair and only put it on the ends???? That would be my guess but I thought I'd put it out there to see if anyone has anything else to offer.

Thanks in advance.

December 10th, 2010, 05:56 AM
I'm not a hair expert, I'm still kind of new here, but two things come to mind. One is that if I understand what you wrote, you did an SMT after shampoo? Maybe try doing it before - it might not be getting rinsed out of her hair well enough without some kind of cleanser.

Another thing is that extra-drying soaps and shampoos can make oil problems worse, the skin senses its being dried out and ramps up oil production to compensate. It becomes a vicious cycle because the person's hair or skin gets oily again quickly and they think wow I must have REALLY oily skin/hair I better keep using this stuff!

But this is a tough age for hair and skin no matter what :( I think your idea is a good one, shampoo from the ears up and condition from the ears down. But it might be worth experimenting with a less drying shampoo or cleansing method (keeping in mind there may be a transition period as the scalp readjusts its oil production) just to see if that might be the problem. Then again "transition periods" are ok when you're a grownup but when you're 12 and everything about your looks is crucial, maybe not what she needs to go through right now.

December 10th, 2010, 05:59 AM
I would try that. I also use a bit (very light sheen) of coconut oil, only my daughters' longer bits, which helps.

They both have (had) shorter hair styles do I didn't worry about washing and splitting, but when it came time for a cut, suddenly they both wanted to grow it out, so we'll see if the heavier conditioner and a bit of coconut oil on the ends works out with the oily scalp. I was also wondering if it's better to wash more often with a milder shampoo (we are using head and boulders for oily hair), if the scalp would produce less oil, but at the moment we don't have time to experiment. (Plus I bought a triple pack of the other on sale) :D

Good luck!

December 10th, 2010, 06:10 AM
I'm not a hair expert, I'm still kind of new here, but two things come to mind. One is that if I understand what you wrote, you did an SMT after shampoo? Maybe try doing it before - it might not be getting rinsed out of her hair well enough without some kind of cleanser.

I should have been specific about this - I only used it on her length - didn't put it on the scalp at all as I didn't want to increase the oil.

December 10th, 2010, 06:29 AM
It sounds like CWC would be good.

I wouldn't hesitate to SMT everything though, including the scalp. (Are you sure she rinsed thoroughly?)

I have shampoo's I can't use because they leave my hair lank and stringy, even on wash day.

I would also recommend looking into milder shampoo's.

You can always oil the ends if they feel a bit dry.

Slightly greasy hair makes for excellent updo's! Either a tight ponytail, or a bun of some sort:)

December 10th, 2010, 06:36 AM
I feel her pain; my scalp didn't calm down until about a year ago (I'm twenty-two), and it's still in the 'oily scalp' range. CWC is definitely worth a try; do the second conditioner just from the ears down during one wash, and then next time try it all over (as CWC is done normally) to see what works for her. I know common knowledge is that putting conditioner on your roots will give you the oilies, but for me it didn't make it oily any faster than usual, it just calmed my post-wash frizzy baby hairs down a bit and added some softness and manageability.

Seeing as she's a longhair, it might also be worth trying scalp washes (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=85) too, for in-between-y days. Good luck. :)

December 10th, 2010, 07:04 AM
My son has the same issue. He's 13, his hair is maybe just about SL. The fine-and-thin texture we both have, with oily scalps and weirdly dry, fragile ends, doesn't leave much leeway.

Stuff that made it worse:
-non-SLS shampoo (we're sticking with the organic though, I don't want to go back to chemicals)
-too much sugar and grease in his diet (seems to increase oil production not just for skin but also hair)
-anything with 'cones (looks like a grease slick the next day!)

Stuff that has really helped:
-rinse of steeped rosemary (my herbal book recommends it for oily scalps, seems to work really well; doesn't dry out the ends even a bit, but curbs oil production)
-strangely, Navratna hair oil - he needs it occasionally for a bit of dandruff - the oil clears it up nicely - it takes two good washes to get it out, but after that, his hair is not overly greasy for the next week - maybe it's the camphor and/or menthol in this oil

Hope she finds something that will work with her length! Yep, it's a tough age for that. :)

December 10th, 2010, 01:32 PM
First of all, much sympathy to your daughter! My hormones went nuts and turned me into an oil slick at that age too. I've finally gotten my scalp to settle down at age 33, but of course my hormones have presumably also settled down so who knows if what worked for me will work for her.

In my case, the oiliness has definitely been a case of the scalp defending itself from excessively harsh treatment. It seems that what crosses the line is using a strong shampoo and scrubbing it into the scalp. My scalp likes a good scrub, but just with water or conditioner. My current routine is to first give my scalp a good scrub under running water, and then gently squish my movie star oil shampoo (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=57025)mix through the hair and onto the scalp and let it sit for a bit, but NOT rub. This seems to be the best of all possible worlds for me.
I also had good luck with CO-washing. There was no transition period; it was like my scalp was breathing a sigh of relief. I went cone-free when I started CO, and I think that might have been what helped my back acne clear up - I think the cones might have been clogging my pores.
The suggestions you've already gotten for CWC sound like an excellent idea for dealing with teh dry ends, especially if you use a nice and rich conditioner.

Anyway, good luck and I hope you find something that works. If she's worried about a transition period, in Australia do you get a good long break over Christmas where she would be able to experiment without the pressure of having to wear the results to school the next day?

December 10th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Well, I'm 24 and all I can say is...welcome to the world of oily hair! IME, the oilier the scalp gets, the dryer the ends. IMO, people are born with a tendancy for oily scalps, and using normal shampoos does not work. Here are some suggestions for hitting that 24 hour mark:
-Comb hair, don't 'slick' it with a brush
-use talc powder (baby powder) on visibly oily areas, and gently comb the powder in
-pin hair back, wear it up
-Don't touch it
-If you need to, spread something on the ends of the hair, but keeping them in an updo should be sufficient until the next wash
Good luck!

December 11th, 2010, 03:43 AM
We tried firstly putting coconut oil on the ends and length first, then my daughter did a CWC using a good moisturising conditioner on the length and a shampoo for oily hair on the scalp only. We'll see how it goes over the next two days. Thanks for your input.

December 14th, 2010, 01:57 AM
You should try something like Philip B Rejuvenating Oil (http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/philip_b/philip_b-rejuvenating_oil.php) - it's an intensive treatment oil designed to replicate the oils (sebum) your body uses to keep your scalp and hair moisturised and glossy. Its similarity to sebum means that this oil absorbs quickly, regulating both dry or excessively oily scalp and restoring the hair's strength, softness & shine.