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How to Fix Oily Hair

Oops, You Applied Too Much Hair Oil! Here's How to Fix It

If you've ever applied too much hair oil, then take comfort in knowing you're not the only one. Allure reveals its top tips to fixing the oil slick.

It all started innocently enough. Last Friday, I decided to try a new product in my hair. I put a drop (OK, maybe more than a drop) of the oil in my hand and distributed it throughout my just-washed strands, excited at the prospect of the soft, shiny, and frizz-free hair that would soon be mine. It wasn't until halfway through my blow-dry that I realized just how much oil I had used. I desperately tried to towel it out, then sprayed on two different dry shampoos and brushed and brushed until I came to terms with the fact that I'd need to get back in the shower. But is there a better way? I asked hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins to give me a quick lesson in hair oils — and how to deal with this kind of mistake, should I make it again. Here's what I learned.

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Not all hair oils are the same. Many of them, in fact, aren't even oil. Most now have high levels of silicone, which is easier to use, says Hawkins. Pure oil products, like the one I had used, should actually be applied before you even get in the shower. The dry hair absorbs the oil, which makes it shiny, soft, and smooth, and the excess is washed away when you shampoo. Products that have more silicone, like Moroccanoil, should be applied to wet hair before styling.


Dilute first. When using oil hair products, Hawkins always dilutes them first by placing the oil in one palm and water in the other, rubbing them together, and then brushing it through wet hair. This will ensure that you distribute the product evenly without overapplying.

Soak up the excess. If you did go overboard, then Hawkins recommends using a strong dry shampoo like Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo ($9), brushing it through to remove the excess powder and oil and then using a towel and friction to try to eliminate the rest. He warns, though, that your hair probably won't look great, since it's almost impossible to take out all of the oil without jumping back in the shower.

Hide it with a sleek pony. If you don't have time for that extra shower, then Hawkins suggests pulling your hair back up into a slick ponytail. Since your hair will be greasy, a regular bun will not hold well, but you can also try a braided bun. Use an oil-blotting sheet to strip out the extra product from your bangs, where oil can't be as easily concealed.

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