How Much Oil Does Your Scalp Produce?

Posted on 27 April 2016
Author:Emilia Obiekea

Knowing if you have an oily or dry scalp is a tough thing to figure out on your own. So many factors can influence what category we fall in on a regular basis. Below are some indicators I have mapped out to identify what type of condition your scalp is currently in. 


        (image source: getty images)


Sebum Production

The biggest factor for identifying your scalp type is sebum production. Sebum is the oil produced and released by the glands in your skin naturally.The amount can be greatly affected by the current weather as well as your health. Overactive or under active glands can cause dry or oily scalp to occur. Usually during spring and summer our scalps product the most oil. Colder seasons sebum production slows down. This leads to having a dry, itchy and flaky scalp. How to combat it? Gotta know your sebum level and be proactive.


Scalp Conditions

Looks dry, lacks sheen so the appearance is dull. Ends dry and split easily and frequently. Has trouble retaining moisture or being moisturized (depending on porosity). Hair is prone to breaking pretty easily due to lack of moisture. Scalp can feel dry, itchy, scaly or flaky. May appear most around the hairline. This can be misdiagnose having a dry scalp as it being dandruff. Applying an oil that soothes an itchy scalp and locks in moisture is ideal. My fav treatment is flourishing scalp nectar oil. It is a treatment I created that resolved my lifelong issues with severely dry scalp, dandruff and psoriasis.*

*These are the main reasons I went natural. Plus I was over always getting relaxer burns. NO bueno.

A normal scalp is usually not greasy to the touch. Should have bit of sheen. Can have a dull appearance. Not prone to flaking.

Has trouble maintaining styles because the oil travels down the length of the hair and weighs it down. Has to be cleansed regularly. Hair is prone to sticking together and it feels dirty pretty regularly. All of these things factor into most people with oily hair being prone to having dandruff. 


Check Your Scalp

Still unsure? No worries this easy test will help you to estimate your current sebum production level.**


  1. Cleanse your hair. 
  2. Comb and twist your hair so it doesn't tangle.
  3. Do not condition it or anything. Just let your hair air dry over night.
  4. In the morning, part your hair and press a paper towel on your scalp. This should be done around the hairline and the middle of your head. 

Test Evaluation

Compare the paper towel blots to know what category you are in.

If it is doesn't have any oil on it then your scalp doesn't produce a lot of sebum on a daily basis. So you may have a dry scalp.

If there is only a little bit of oil on the paper towel than  you are in the average category. Pretty normal.

If the paper towel is oily then you may have an oily scalp. This can cause oily hair as well due to the oil traveling down the length of the hair.

**Other factors such as how active you are (exercise and other activities can cause you to sweat from your head). Sweating can alter your results of course as well as climate and health issues. 

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