The Best Tips for Greasy Hair

For most of us, greasy hair is inevitable at some point or another. But—as inconvenient as it can be, especially on days where you have no time to hit the shower—it’s a somewhat misunderstood issue. 

Having an oily scalp isn’t in itself bad—natural oils actually protect your scalp from environmental damage—but there can be too much of a good thing, especially if you have fine or straight hair. Excess oil can make your hair feel limp, lifeless, and a little grimy, even if you do have time to shampoo every day. 

Luckily there are a ton of easy fixes you can make that don’t involve tossing your hair into a ponytail (though that’s always a safe bet). We spoke to hairstylists about why you get oily hair in the first place, and the best tips to manage grease. 

Why does my hair get greasy?

Just as with the skin on your face, the sebaceous glands on your scalp produce oil as a protective barrier, and to keep the skin from drying out. And just as with your face, some people simply produce more oil. “Everyone’s scalp is different,” says Lauren Grummel, a New York City hairstylist. “The amount of oil your scalp produces is generally based off genetics.” 

If you’ve always had greasy hair, chances are it’s genetic. But if it’s a new change, it could be due to the products you’re using. Grummel says that overwashing your hair is also a common cause of a greasy scalp, as this can kick oil production into overdrive since your scalp is trying to make up for the lost oil. 

It could also be a seasonal thing. “Twice a year you may be more prone to things like thinning, hair loss, static, or greasiness,” says celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko. “Be aware of these and adjust your products accordingly. More importantly, ride it out. It will pass.”

How to get rid of greasy hair

The obvious answer here is to wash your hair, but for those days when you can’t make it to the shower, Grummel says to reach for the dry shampoo. However, she says to use it only when you need to, as it can make oil worse in the long run.

“Dry shampoo can clog the pores on your scalp,” she says. “Just as we wouldn’t wear the same makeup on our face without washing it for days, we shouldn’t leave on and add styling  products to our hair for days and days. But dry shampoo is great if you know you’ll be washing it out the next day.” 

You can also try washing your hair less. While this seems counterintuitive, it will actually slow oil production down in the long run. Start by washing every other day, slowly working your way to once or twice a week. While there may be an adjustment period, it will eventually level out.  

The best shampoos for greasy hair

If a greasy scalp is a new problem, Polko recommends looking for keywords like clarifying and detoxifying on your shampoos. She also says to try a scalp scrub to banish product buildup. “It’s important to start at the scalp—you need a fresh scalp to keep hair healthy,” she says. 

“Finding  the right shampoo and conditioner makes all the difference,” says Grummel. She suggests trying shampoos that are paraben- and sulfate-free, as they’re gentler on your hair (she loves  Act + Acre’s products for the scalp). She also recommends seeking out ingredients like tea tree oil, thyme extract, and rosemary extract, which balance oil production. “Witch Hazel is [another] known natural antiseptic that helps detoxify the hair and scalp. It also tightens the cuticle, adds radiance, and restores balance so that hair looks and feels soothed and softened.”

Act + Acre Cold Pressed Scalp Detox

Act + Acre Cold Processed Hair Cleanse

NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub

Pattern Clarifying Shampoo

How to prevent greasy hair 

To prevent a build-up of oil and product, Grummel recommends using a prewash like Kevin Murphy’s Maxi Wash once a week before your regular shampoo and conditioner for a deep cleaning. She also recommends applying your conditioner with your head tipped upside down, so you can really focus on the ends. “This will guarantee that conditioner won’t get on your roots, making your hair greasier.”

She also says to make sure you’re thoroughly washing your hair. “Sometimes two or even three shampoos are necessary, especially if you haven’t washed in a few days and have product build-up.” Once your hair is dry, Grummel recommends brushing with a boar-bristle brush like a Mason Pearson to make sure the oils from your scalp are evenly distributed. 

Mason Pearson Handy Mixture Brush

Mizani Wonder Crown Scalp Foaming Pre-Cleanse

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Finally,  you can always just work with what have.  “Don’t fight your hair’s natural oil, and avoid overusing dry shampoo to prevent your hair from becoming dependent on it,” says Polko. “Greasy hair is the best for a slicked back look. Consider a tight pony or bun, or a half-up hairstyle.” She likes to use a hair mask like NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment Masque to slick back second- or third-day hair for extra moisture, or suggests using clips or headbands to hide any grease. 

Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.

Source link