Has your hair only recently started to feel excessively greasy? Or maybe your hair has been greasy since before you can remember? Greasy hair effects pretty much everyone to a different degree. Sadly, there isn't a quick fix that works perfectly for every person but we're here to recommend some causes and solutions that might help you out.
What causes greasy hair?
There are a few reasons why your hair might be getting greasy so quickly. The main reason is simply down to bad luck and biology. Your scalp is full of sebaceous glands which produce oil (sebum) and create greasy hair. Everyone's sebaceous glands produce oil at different rates, which means some people can go over a week without washing their hair whilst others can only go one or two days.
If your hair has suddenly started feeling unusually greasy, there could be some different factors at blame such as:
- Using the wrong shampoo for your hair type
- Using too much or a too oily conditioner
- Hormones: puberty, menopause and pregnancy can cause a change in your hormones and oil production
- Touching your hair too frequently
- Using dirty brushes/styling tools
- Washing your hair too frequently
How to stop your hair from getting greasy
There is no one set method that guarantees to stop greasy hair. However, through our many many years of experience hairdressing, we have learnt a few tips that prove to be effective.
1. Wash your hair less frequently
When your hair feels really greasy and uncomfortable, the natural reaction is to shampoo more frequently so it feels squeaky clean. But this is actually very counterproductive. By using shampoo everyday you are stripping your hair of its natural oils and your scalp is going to ramp up oil production in reaction to that.
The best way to stop your hair from getting greasy is to wash it less frequently. Sadly, this is in no way a quick fix and you might have to power through for a little while with greasy hair as your scalp adjusts.
We recommend starting slow, try going one extra day between washes and see how it feels. Then go two extra days between washes, then three, etc.
It may feel uncomfortable for a while, but now (during lockdown) is probably the best time for you to give it a go! This is the most effective method of 'curing' greasy hair we have found. Remember, dry shampoo is your friend.
2. When you do wash your hair, make sure to do two shampoos
If you're following step 1 and washing your hair less frequently, you should definitely be doing two shampoos when you do wash your hair. When you're shampooing your hair, you're actually cleansing your scalp. The first round of shampoo can help to loosen any dirt, grease/sebum buildup and then the second shampoo will wash it all away and give your scalp a proper cleanse. This is key, especially if you've got more days worth of grease built up on your scalp than usual.
3. Use the right products
Shampoos and conditioners that contain silicones and sulfates can cause a build-up of product on your scalp. Over time and with repeated use, silicones form a plastic layer on your hair follicles, which make your hair look shiny at first, but can lead to to greasy hair in the long term.
Using a shampoo which is not fit for your hair type is another common cause of greasy hair. If you're using a super moisturising shampoo, that is probably not helping. Try switching to a more cleansing shampoo designed to remove dirt and oil build-up.
So make sure you're checking your shampoos and conditioners to make sure they're silicone free (read our previous blog post on how to identify silicones here). If you're not sure which products you should be using for your hair type, we would always recommend asking your hair stylist.
4. Extra tips
- Consider only applying conditioner to the ends of your hair. If your hair is extremely greasy, applying thick conditioner to your roots can be counterproductive.
- Try not to touch your hair/scalp with your hands throughout the day as this only moves the oil around your hair, making it look greasier.
- For extremely greasy hair, make sure to change your pillowcases frequently to give your hair a clean environment at night time.