A. Why Does My Hair Get Greasy So Fast?
Few things are more frustrating than taking the time to wash and style your hair, only to find oily or greasy strands all in the same day. Whether it’s your choice of shampoo or conditioner, your nervous habit of playing with your hair, or the fact that your pillowcase hasn’t been washed, well, we’d rather not say there are many reasons your hair might not keeps its freshness. We’re here to clear up the tricky little things that can make your hair greasy so you can extend the time between shampoos without sacrificing your style. Here are some mistakes to avoid to avoid greasy or oily hair.
1. Shampoo mistakes
a. Don’t clean your hair first
It may come as a surprise, but some of us don’t wash our hair properly. There’s a reason your hair stays fresh for so long after a visit to the salon, and it’s probably because the stylist runs shampoo through your hair, rubbing your scalp and making sure you don’t lose an inch.
b. Add water, no more shampoo
You may have noticed another little trick that separates professional washes from your three-weekly scrub: instead of adding more shampoo when the lather isn’t enough, barbers often add a little water. This little pro tip can save you money and ensure you don’t add unnecessary products that can weigh down your hair (yes, even if it’s shampoo).
c. Washing hair too often
It’s not your imagination – the more often you wash your hair, the quicker it can feel like it needs to be washed again. If you wash your hair of its natural oils too often, you may be trying to overcompensate. Your scalp can increase oil production, resulting in oilier strands in record time. Instead, schedule your hair washing schedule for your workout days, your social calendar, etc. This way, you can free up your strands for the day when they aren’t the center of attention.
2. Conditioner and product mistakes
a. Problems with the air conditioning
Using too much conditioner, the wrong conditioner, or applying conditioner incorrectly can make your hair look greasy. Your hair type, texture, length and more should all play a role in how you approach the post-shampoo process. A good rule of thumb is to apply conditioner from mid-lengths to ends, always making sure it’s washed out well, unless it’s a leave-in product – in which case you’ll probably use it after showering.
b. Using the wrong product on your hair
Your best friend told you about a miracle cure you need to try, so use a serum that will leave your hair messy on the second day. Newsflash: Not all products are universal winners. There is probably none that works for all hair types, textures and thicknesses. You can no doubt seek guidance from your inner circle of trust, but at the end of the day, you may have better luck speaking with your stylist about what products work best for your specific hair needs.
Your stylist may also have a line of products sold at the salon they refer to, which isn’t the best solution. If these products aren’t in your budget, it’s a good idea to let your stylist know so they can suggest other options to buy at your local grocery store or Target.
c. Don’t trust dry shampoo
The answer isn’t necessarily using dry shampoo instead of a wash, as overuse of the product can lead to scalp build-up with side effects ranging from increased oiliness to hair loss in the worst of circumstances.
3. Routine mistakes
a. Touch your hair too often
We know these curls are alluring fresh out of the salon, but steer clear of the mane if you want it to last. Our skin contains all kinds of oils (not to mention dirt, germs, and other not-so-nice things) that you pass onto your strands as soon as they meet.
b. Dirty sheets
So you’ve finally invested in a silk pillowcase? First of all congratulations. You are about to start some good hair days. Second, it’s time to learn about proper care. You probably can’t toss it in the machine with the rest of your clothes. It will likely require at least running on the gentle cycle, perhaps with a recommended hand wash.
Whether you have a standard cotton pillowcase or have opted for a silk option, you need to keep your pillowcase clean to keep your hair clean too. Lurking between these fibers are makeup residue (yes, even after a double wipe), skincare residue, sweat, and more (even more so when you’re still using a cotton pillowcase). This residue makes your strands oilier when the clock strikes when you wake up. Wash your pillowcase weekly and you will be clean.
4. Maintenance mistakes
a. Not cleaning enough
Do you belong to the “100 bars” generation? Or was that perhaps a beauty rule that was passed on to you by mum or grandma? The fact is, finding a good hairbrush and running it through your hair regularly can increase blood flow to your scalp and potentially encourage hair growth while keeping tangles at bay.
b. Much cleaning
This tip might seem counterintuitive to recommending brushing more often, but it depends on where you are in your hair washing schedule and what results you want to achieve. A good brushing routine can also help disperse oils from your scalp into the rest of your hair, keeping your hair looking healthy and shiny. However, if you’re trying to extend the time between washes, it’s probably best to keep brushing to a minimum.
B. Why Does My Hair Get Greasy So Fast?
We all know it: even the healthiest hair was greasy for a day or two. When the sebaceous glands in the scalp produce sebum, also known as oil, it is absorbed into the hair to nourish and add shine. But when too much sebum is produced, that excess oil can lead to an oily scalp and limp, lifeless, and greasy hair. While this is fairly common for many people, sometimes you find that your hair is noticeably oilier than usual. So… where does that come from?
1. What causes greasy hair?
This is a relatable question for most people at some point in their lives. Here are some of the most common causes of oily hair.
- The scalp produces a lot of oil – Everyone is unique and some bodies produce more oil than others. Below we discuss some possible causes of this as well as ways to reduce excess oil production.
- Fine or Fine Hair – While people with thick or curly hair can go a week or more without washing their hair, fine or fine hair means that oiliness will show up much more quickly.
- Washing Too Frequently – Contrary to what you might think, washing your hair too frequently can cause your body to produce excess sebum to replenish the essential oils removed by washing.
- Brushing Too Frequently – Brushing too frequently can stimulate sebum production in the scalp, making your oiliness problems worse.
- Diet – While we always recommend a complete diet with a variety of foods, eating too much of certain foods can leave your hair greasy and lifeless.
- Use the wrong products – a healthy scalp is a happy scalp. Finding the right hair care products to treat excess oiliness and prevent it in the future is important.
- Product build-up – When product and waste builds up on the scalp, it can block the oil glands, which are likely to overreact and produce more sebum. It can also lead to other hair problems like dandruff.
- Touching your hair too much – Your fingers also produce natural oils, and playing with your hair is a quick way to distribute even more oil throughout your hair.
2. How to prevent greasy hair
See you later, limp and lifeless wires! Here are some easy ways to prevent and treat greasy hair.
a. Use the right products
To combat greasy strands, you need to start with the scalp. Avoid products or serums that are too rich: they only weigh down your hair and make it look lifeless. A brightening shampoo removes excess oil and build-up, leaving hair and scalp clean and refreshed. If a visibly oily scalp has been a problem for some time, you can try a balancing shampoo specifically formulated to help a scalp with excess sebum production. When choosing your conditioner, avoid anything too heavy: look for one that moisturizes lightly to prevent your strands from falling out. But you can swap out a deep conditioner for your regular conditioner once a week to give your strands a little extra nourishment . And as a general hair tip, before blow-drying or using other styling products, finish your shower with a cool conditioner to smooth the cuticles and give you shinier hair.
b. Adjust your diet
Certain Foods Can Cause Oily Hair and Scalp: Eating a lot of fried foods, dairy products, fatty meat products, and sugar can negatively impact hair cleansing. In addition to what to avoid, there are also certain things you can add to your diet to help prevent obesity in the first place. Foods high in B vitamins (like beans, poultry, and fish) as well as those high in zinc (found in oysters and red meat) are excellent choices for keeping your oil glands in check.
c. Try a home remedy
Not ready to run to the store to buy the latest anti-grease treatment for your greasy hair? You probably have some home remedies for oily scalp in your pantry right now.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner – Dilute 1-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in an 8 ounce glass of water the more greasy your hair, the more apple cider vinegar you should use. The natural AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) in apple cider vinegar act as a scalp detoxifier and gently exfoliate hair to remove buildup and excess oiliness.
- Essential Oil – Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo and massage in before rinsing. The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil cleanse the hair and scalp and help remove excess oil.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe is surprisingly effective at removing excess buildup and oil, so it’s a great home remedy for combating an oily scalp. To do an aloe vera regimen, simply mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel with a few drops of lemon juice and apply to the entire scalp. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
d. Apply the conditioner properly
When applying conditioner, try to avoid the roots as much as possible. Applying a conditioning product can put stress on the hair shaft, especially if you’re already dealing with an oily scalp.
e. Change your pillowcases
Even if you go to bed every night with a freshly washed face, eight hours of rolling means your pillowcases are still a hotbed of dead skin cells. So if you’ve recently noticed acne or a noticeably oily scalp, your pillowcase could be to blame. Wash your pillowcase at least once a week to remove unwanted residue and buildup that could be contributing to an oily scalp.
f. Wash and brush less often
We’ve discussed the problems that washing and brushing your hair too often can create – try reducing the frequency of both and see if that helps change the amount of oil on your scalp. By not encouraging your sebum glands to overproduce sebum through excessive washing and brushing, you can help your hair become less greasy.
g. Wash your brushes often
Did you know that it’s generally recommended to wash your hairbrushes every week or two? Build up on the brush could contribute to an oily scalp, make hair dirtier and spread trapped oil. When you start to see residue on the bristles, it’s time for a brush bath. After using a comb to remove any loose hair caught in the brush, shake it in a bowl filled with warm water and a mild cleansing shampoo. Rinse and set aside to dry.
3. Quick fixes
All of the previously mentioned tips will help you get less greasy hair, but sometimes you just need to degrease your hair in a pinch. Here are some of the easiest ways to remove excess oil from your scalp when you’re in a hurry.
- Dry Shampoo – One of the simplest fixes for oily hair is a quick spritz of dry shampoo, and our Hair Freshener is the perfect go to product. Dry shampoo absorbs excess oil without shampooing or showering and is great for specifically treating oily areas of the hair and scalp. Just remember to use it sparingly – after three consecutive days of dry shampooing, it’s time for a regular shampoo clean. Too much product can build up in the hair and scalp, which can sometimes cause oil production to go into overdrive to fight clogged follicles. Be sure to check out our blog post on using dry shampoo for the best application techniques for your hair.
- Baby Powder – Another classic anti-grease technique, sprinkling some baby powder onto the roots (and rubbing in as much as you can) is a great way to soak up any excess oil on your scalp. The only thing to note is that this may not be the best choice for those with darker hair as white powder is more difficult to blend.
- Oil Leaves – While face tissues are a mainstay of every bag I own, hair tissues are something I’ve never heard of before. But the idea is the same: made from absorbent materials like rice paper or activated charcoal, simply rub oil leaves into your hair and scalp to get rid of excess oil.
While most people have probably dealt with it at some point in their lives, greasy hair doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle. Start with simple adjustments to your beauty routine: use the right products, wash and brush less often, and be mindful of how you apply conditioner or other home remedies. If you find the problem persists, it may be worth adjusting your diet and washing your hairbrushes and pillowcases more often.