Greasy hair is one hair characteristic that many of us struggle with and wish we didn’t! Not only is it uncomfortable but it could also be affecting your scalp and hair’s health in more ways than one, and be an indicator of a bigger underlying issue. Excessive oiliness on the scalp can lead to seborrheic dermatitis or overactive sebaceous glands. While the natural oils produced in your scalp are there for a reason, when the production is out of balance your hair and scalp are left feeling oily and greasy. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to stop greasy hair and bring balance and moisture back into your scalp:
1. Selecting the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
How quickly your hair becomes greasy often comes down to your hair care routine. It is important to select a shampoo and conditioner that is tailored to your unique hair type. If you suffer from greasy hair, opt for a clarifying shampoo or conditioner without heavy oils so your hair isn't being weighed down with products. Additionally, always opt for sulphate-free and silicone-free shampoos as they can strip away all your natural oils.
2. Adjust Your Washing Frequency
How often you wash your hair can be detrimental to your hair's oil levels. This is because washing your hair too frequently strips the hair of its natural oils, prompting your scalp to produce more to compensate. This results in oily and greasy hair. If you find you are washing your hair every day because your hair is oily, try to scale back and give your hair and scalp time to adjust as washing your hair once to twice a week should be enough.
3. Use a Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is an easy and effective way to combat greasy hair as it absorbs excess oil between washes. Gently spray and evenly distribute dry shampoo throughout your scalp and hair to give your hair a refreshed look. Remember, it isn't a long-term solution to replace washing so be sure to give your hair rest in between uses and still maintain your hair wash routine.
4. Use a Scalp Cleanser
Incorporating a scalp cleanser can work wonders for your hair. This is because the more you overwash your roots the worse your greasy hair will become. We recommend a sugar scalp cleanser as it works to gently exfoliate your scalp and remove any buildup and dirt that has been exacerbating your oily scalp.
5. Use a Shampoo Brush
Greasy and oily hair can create a lot of build-up on your scalp, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and products to build up. By using a shampoo brush, you can gently lift any buildup, promoting a healthier environment for your hair and scalp.
6. Rinse Thoroughly
Something as simple as not rinsing your hair and scalp thoroughly during your hair-wash routine could be contributing to your hair becoming greasy and oily. If left in your hair for too long and you are susceptible to greasy hair, residual shampoo and conditioner can attract dirt and oil. Use lukewarm water to wash your hair and finish with a cold shot to close the hair cuticles and help reduce oil production.
7. Adjust Your Diet
The health of your hair and scalp is also determined by internal factors such as diet and hydration. If you are continually eating fried, oily foods that don't support your body's natural system, you will see an increase in oil production. Try to swap out the fries for fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to promote a healthier scalp and hair.
Common Causes of Greasy/ Oily Hair
Although there are several ways to reduce excessively greasy hair, understanding the underlying causes can help you implement the right practices. Here are some factors that increase your risk of having greasy hair:
Overactive Sebaceous Glands
Every hair follicle is attached to a sebaceous gland that creates sebum, the natural oil produced in your scalp keeps it hydrated and moisturised. Genetics, hormonal changes and environmental factors can all affect how active your sebaceous glands are.
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Hormone imbalance or fluctuations can significantly impact oil production, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, menopause or if you take hormonal birth control pills. These changes can cause your body to produce more or less oil, thus affecting the greasiness of your hair.
Incorrect Hair Care Routine
Overwashing or using the wrong hair care products can do more damage than good if you are using one that isn't aligned with your unique hair care needs. Always be sure to check the label, and avoid heavy conditioners or pore-clogging styling products that can lead to product buildup over time, leading to greasier hair.
Pollution, humidity and continually touching your hair can transfer dirt and oil from your hands to your scalp, increasing the chance of developing greasy hair. Make sure to protect your hair when you go out and resist the urge to touch your hair.
FAQs about Greasy/Oily Hair
Does conditioner cause greasy hair?
The choice of conditioner can greatly affect how greasy your hair feels. If you are struggling with greasy hair, avoid using heavy moisturising conditioners or hair masks. Instead, opt for lightweight conditioners and focus on the mid-lengths to the end of your hair rather than your scalp.
Can stress cause greasy hair?
Stress has the potential to cause hormonal imbalances, which in turn stimulates sebum production and leads to an increase in oil production.
Why does my hair get oily so fast?
Having an improper hair care routine or hair styling products as well as genetics, hormonal imbalances and environmental stressors can all cause an increase in sebum production. When tackling the issue, it is important to look at what changes you can control and make adjustments accordingly.
Why does my hair get greasy after straightening it?
Depending on what type of products you are using could be contributing to your hair looking and feeling greasier. Another factor is heat can distribute the oils across your scalp making it appear greasier.
Can hair be too greasy to bleach?
Yes it can! If your hair is too oily or greasy it is going to create a barrier around the hair follicle which will affect how your hair responds to the bleach. This could lead to uneven bleaching across the hair strands, the bleach not effectively lifting your hair's natural colour as well as causing scalp sensitivity. If you are looking to bleach your hair, it is important to wash it first with a clarifying shampoo to strip back any product buildup or dirt that is sitting in the hair follicles. We also suggest you consult a professional stylist and disclose your concerns before dyeing your hair as they will be able to offer a personalised recommendation on the appropriate products or preemptive steps to take.