If you’re anything like me, you’re probably all too familiar with the feeling of waking up with your hair in an oily mess. Maybe you thought you could go another day without washing it, but, unfortunately, you made a miscalculation.
Although you could always employ one of your hats or headbands, or a little bit of that dry shampoo in your cabinet, to hide it, this is just a temporary solution to the problem. Not to mention the fact that if you overuse dry shampoo your scalp will likely get that uncomfortable chalky feeling.
Instead, why not try changing your approach to prevent the greasiness from happening entirely? Luckily, I have some tips that you can use to slow down this never-ending grease cycle and prevent oil from building up rather than just putting a band-aid over the issue.
Why Does Your Hair Get Oily?
Here is a bit of background information on why this happens and several tips to prevent it from going beyond control.
Your scalp produces natural hair oil called sebum to hydrate and protect your scalp and hair. The amount of oil produced by oil glands depends on your genetics, hormones, diet, frequency of hair washing, lifestyle, and more. Both sebum and sweat collect at the roots of your hair giving it a greasy look.
How Can You Control the Appearance of Oily Hair
1. Wash Your Hair Properly
Washing oily hair can be a game of balance because if you don’t wash enough, the natural oils on your scalp will cause your hair to look greasy. On the other hand, if you wash too often, you could be stripping the natural oils from your scalp. Overwashing can cause oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss.
And yes, there is a right way to shampoo your hair! To wash properly, make sure your hair and scalp are fully saturated with water (if you have thicker hair, this may mean standing under the showerhead for 1-2 minutes before going in with your shampoo.) Then, gently massage your shampoo with the pads of your fingers, not your nails. Focus the shampoo on your scalp instead of your ends. At the end of the washing action, make sure to thoroughly rinse out shampoo from your hair. Any hair product, including hair shampoo and conditioner, can build up in the hair over time and make it look heavy.
2. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos
Although sulfates effectively eliminate excess oil, people with oily hair should avoid shampoos that contain sulfates. The purpose of sulfates is to rid the hair of grease and impurities but they also strip the hair of its natural oils. As we mentioned before, stripping the oils from your scalp can results in an overproduction of oil to make up for that lost hydration. On top of this, sulfates can also strip the color from your locks.
Instead, try a shampoo that uses mild, plant-based cleansers. Nowadays, there are a ton of sulfate-free shampoos that will leave your hair feeling light and clean without drying it out!
Avoid shampoos described as moisturizing, because your limp heavy hair does not need much moisture.
3. Use Conditioner Sparingly
After cleansing, you may want to condition your hair to add some slip for easy combing. Opt for a lightweight conditioner that won’t weigh your hair down. Make sure to apply conditioner only to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. If you apply conditioner to your scalp or roots, it will make your hair look flatter. Once you’re done conditioning, make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly.
4. Don’t Touch Your Hair Throughout the Day
We know it’s hard but keep your hands off your hair! Your hands and fingers produce sweat and other natural oils throughout the day. Touching the hair repeatedly can contribute to that greasy look. Try to change this habit and avoid touching your hair frequently. If you have to fix or adjust your hair, wash your hands first to minimize the amount of oil on them.
5. Clean Your Hair Brush and Styling Tools
Your brush and styling tools can trap dirt, oil, and styling products. The gunk and grime trapped in hair tools can end up in your clean hair look dirty.
Make sure to remove the hair tangled around the bristles each time after you use the brush. Make a habit of deep cleaning your brush every 2 weeks. To wash your hairbrush, add a few drops of shampoo and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to warm water. Submerge the brush for up to five minutes. Use an old toothbrush to remove any leftover oil, dirt, and other grime.
6. Use Masks Made for Oily Hair
While many hair masks boast their hydration benefits, there are actually some masks that help balance out oily hair and reduce the greasy look and feel! Try a hair mask that has clay or tea tree in its formula. These ingredients can help remove product buildup and even soothe some scalp conditions that can contribute to oily hair.
7. Try Dry Shampoo Paste
Dry shampoo paste reduces the appearance of greasy hair and provides hold at the same time. When applied to second-day hair it reduces unwanted shine that comes from excess sebum and adds a ton of volume. Dry shampoo paste works best for very fine hair because it makes hair look fuller. This product is less suitable for thick and dense hair because it can add more volume than someone needs, making combing difficult. Dry shampoo paste prevents hair from getting oily fast, so you can go a day or two longer between washings.
Downside: Some people don’t like the chalky and gritty feel that dry shampoo paste leaves in their hair.
Although oily hair can be annoying, there are some methods and products that help control the problem! Experiment with different shampoos and techniques to find the right routine for your hair.
If you’re finding your hair gets way too greasy way too fast, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I washing my hair properly?
- Am I using sulfate-free shampoo?
- Am I conditioning it properly?
- Could I refrain from touching my hair all throughout the day?
- Am I cleaning my brushes and hair tools regularly?
- Am I buying the right products designed for oily hair?
If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, you’ve just found your solution.
Goodbye greasy hair! We won’t miss you.
Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.