Is Salicylic Acid Good for Oily Hair?

Is Salicylic Acid Good for Oily Hair?

Now, I know what you’re thinking? Salicylic acid is an effective ingredient that appears in your favourite skincare products, not haircare. But believe it or not, when it comes to hair, the scalp is forgotten about almost every time. This is, of course, a great shame as considering the root of the hair follicle determines the overall health of the hair, taking the time to look after the scalp as much as your split ends should be one of our top priorities. Therefore, we have decided to draw our attention to today’s topic, as salicylic acid surprisingly occurs in many shampoo formulations, especially if they have been developed to combat concerns with oily hair and dandruff.

The reason salicylic acid is good for your hair and scalp health, is because it can exfoliate the skin sloughing away dead skin cells. This isn’t something that occurs on the face, but also the scalp as salicylic acid can dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells to the outer surface. These are the cells that are the culprit of causing dandruff and other scalp flaking. You’ll find that using salicylic acid will improve this, but word of warning, if you have a dry or sensitive scalp it’s best to avoid salicylic acid all together. So, now that you’ve had that brief description of how salicylic acid works on your hair, let’s investigate more and find out about whether salicylic acid is good for oily hair.

Does salicylic acid help with oily hair?

Yes, it certainly does! And there are a few ways salicylic acid can help with oily hair. Here are some of the main benefits of using the clever BHA on your scalp and hair.

  • Salicylic acid can penetrate the scalp

With salicylic acid being oil soluble, it can penetrate deeply into the skin and work at removing the layer of dead skin cells helping to reveal a healthy layer of skin cells underneath. You’ll find the scalp feels more comfortable, but it’s best to avoid using high percentage of salicylic acid to begin with as this can become too drying on the scalp. Instead, work your way up and build the tolerance of the skin to the potent BHA. 

  • Salicylic acid can reduce dandruff

You’ll often find that dandruff occurs when the scalp has a layer of dead skin cells left untreated on the surface of the skin. This will cause the scalp to feel itchy and flaking with some extreme cases of breakage to the hair. Introducing low percentage of salicylic acid enriched hair care products will not only stimulate the exfoliation of the scalp but treat dandruff at the same time.

There you have some of the main benefits of using salicylic acid to treat oily hair, but don’t hesitate to ask your hairdresser for more alternatives if find the BHA is too potent for your scalp.

Can salicylic acid damage hair?

Not really, as potent as salicylic acid is on the skin, you’ll find that it is a perfectly safe addition to your haircare routine. You’ll find that it can effectively remove dry skin from the scalp and reduce any signs of dandruff as well as any irritation or itchiness that occurs with condition. Salicylic acid is also paraben free meaning it will not cause imbalance or harm to the scalp or hair follicles and slots easily and effectively into your everyday hair care routine.  In fact, what you may find is after a few weeks of using salicylic acid you may find your hair growth has also improved, proving that salicylic acid, or its natural alternative willow bark, doesn’t damage the hair.

What ingredient is bad for oily hair?

The main ingredients that should be avoided when treating oily hair, or any type of hair for that matter, are the following.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Parabens
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Monoethanolamine (MEA)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Synthetic Fragrances

If you are using a conventual shampoo and conditioner, you’ll find it difficult to avoid any of the ingredients listed above. However, now more than ever before, there are a vast number of natural shampoos available, in either liquid or solid form. With their popularity increasing by the day many are benefiting from beautiful tresses without the damaging chemicals.

Does salicylic acid clean hair?

Yes, as effective as the exfoliating BHA is at treating blemishes and giving you skin clarity, it is also able to keep your hair healthy and prevent any dandruff. It can do so this by ungluing the bonds that keep dead skin cells remaining on the surface of the skin and building up into residue. In this residue you will also find excess sebum, which is the natural oil occurring in the skin and when left untreated to build-up can cause the hair to become greasy at the roots, difficult to style, as well as certain cases experiencing acne on the scalp, also known as folliculitis.

Is salicylic acid bad for scalp?

Not at all, in fact, it’s highly beneficial for the scalp to use salicylic acid, this is because of the exfoliating properties keeping the scalp clean and healthy with any sign of dandruff significantly improved. Before you dash out and grab any salicylic acid enriched haircare product you can find, remember to take into consideration the health of your scalp. If it’s too dry it’ll be too sensitive to use the BHA and will instead suffer from negative side effects of increased itchiness, dryness, and flaking dandruff. Always check with your doctor before introducing any new products into your daily routine.

What should I do for oily hair?

There are a few simple ways you can target oily hair in an effective way that doesn’t cause too many problems. Here are some examples of at home treatments to try if you find yourself to have oily hair.

  • Use specifically formulated products for oily hair

These will include salicylic acid or its alternative willow bark, as you now know will effectively treat oily hair and keep it clean.

  • Wash your hair less often

This may feel like hell for those with oily hair, but over-washing can cause all the oils in the hair to become stripped away. This only results in even more oil being produced resulting in a vicious cycle.

  • Ensure you rinse your hair properly

Left over residue of haircare products will only result in your freshly washed hair, not remaining that fresh for too long. Always ensure you have thoroughly rinsed your hair properly to give you longer between washes.

  • Avoid touching it too much

Keep the flirty hair twirling to the minimum if you have an oily hair type as this can only aggravate the problem even further as touching, and even brushing the hair stimulates the oil glands and pulls excessive oil down onto the hair itself.

There you have a little insight into how the beloved skincare favourite, is also an effective haircare treatment too. If you wanted to know more about salicylic acid and how it works, check out our dedicated blog post. Don’t forget if you have any other questions, come, and find us on Instagram, we look forward to seeing you there!


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