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OK, So You Applied Way Too Much Hair Oil — 6 Tips To Reverse The Grease

Jamie Schneider
May 4, 2022
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
By Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
May 4, 2022
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Hair oils are beloved for supplying nutrients and shine, but shiny can topple over into greasy territory very quickly. It may happen more often if you have thin, fine hair that gets easily weighed down by product, but really any hair type can experience oil overkill and wind up with heavy, slick strands. Is there any way to take out some of the product, or is the only solution to hop back in the shower and start anew? 

While you can always embrace a slicked-back look, we asked experts how to lift some of the grease and salvage your style. Ahead, find the best tips to mattify your 'do:


Mist & dry.

To remove the excess oil, celebrity hairstylist Kyrsten Oriol first recommends spritzing your hair and scalp with a light mist of water. You can also use rosewater, if you have it on hand—due to its mildly astringent nature, rosewater works wonders on your scalp to reduce oiliness.

Next, spritz on some flexible-hold hair spray and gently blow dry your strands using a paddle brush. "This will help you restore some bounce and remove some of the weight the oil left behind," Oriol notes. Make sure to use a low-heat setting on your blow dryer, or feel free to use completely cool air—it's more about diffusing the product than molding your strands with heat.


Use blotting papers. 

Blotting papers help absorb excess sweat and oil in a pinch—so why not repurpose them for your scalp and hair? Especially if you have grease concentrated in a specific area, Oriol considers this a great instant fix.


Try dry shampoo. 

If you overdo it on dry shampoo, some hairstylists (like Matt Newman on this episode of Clean Beauty School) will recommend applying a few drops of hair oil to cut through the white cast. Well, the tip works both ways: A bit of dry shampoo can help soak up some of that excess oil. "Spray focusing on the scalp, then let it dry a bit and massage throughout evenly to disperse," Oriol explains. Brush the hair out with a paddle brush, she adds, or you can apply a cool shot of air from your blow dryer to diffuse the product. 


Use a lighter oil next time. 

Of course, the product you choose can (literally) carry most of the weight. Opt for lighter oils like jojoba, argan, or grapeseed oil rather than heavier moisturizers—olive oil, for example, has the potential to weigh down the strands. If you're in the market for a lightweight, absorbent hair oil, check out the NUELE Hair Serum (a tried-and-true favorite of the entire mbg beauty team). It contains both jojoba and argan oil to provide deep hydration with no oily residue, and thanks to rosemary and clary sage essential oils, it offers a fresh, rejuvenating scent.

Even with a lightweight formula, though, your application matters. Oriol recommends placing a few drops of oil into the palm of your hand, then rubbing your hands together for around 10 seconds. "This is going to warm up the oil and will assist when rubbing into the hair for a more even application," she says. "Comb out your hair first and place hair into four sections. Then work the palm-warmed product over each section in a downward motion, focusing on moisturizing the ends."


Focus on internal hydration.

If you'd like to moisturize your hair without globbing on oil, you can also look to internal hydration methods. Hyaluronic acid is a top-notch ingredient for hair, as the humectant is found naturally in the body and helps your skin (and scalp) naturally pull in and retain water. You can supplement the nutrient, to help keep your skin and hair hydrated.* Hyaluronic acid is commonly found alongside other hair-supporting nutrients, like collagen, as both provide precious nutrients to your strands.*


Embrace the sleek look. 

"If all else fails, add some more oil and embrace the slick!" Oriol says. The wet hair look is trending, anyway, and it's oh-so-easy to master a slicked-back style. In fact, we have a full tutorial here, with a few ways to switch it up and make it your own. (Think bubble braids, a zigzag part, or a glam, old-Hollywood swoop.)

The takeaway. 

Hair oil overkill can happen to anyone, even if you have porous, dryness-prone strands that eagerly drink up moisture. Rather than succumbing to yet another rinse, try these expert tips to lift some of the grease, or feel free to lean into the sleek, high-shine look. 

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Jamie Schneider author page.
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.