How to stop greasy hair: five honest questions to ask yourself
Everyone gets greasy hair from time to time. It’s a perfectly natural process caused by the build-up of natural oils called sebum that are produced by the scalp to support the hair and the delicate proteins it contains. If the excess sebum is not cleared away effectively enough, they leave the hair looking dull, lank and darker than its normal colour.
Some people produce more oils than others, leaving them more prone to greasy hair and asking themselves, why does my hair get greasy so fast? Others find that hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause, can exacerbate the grease problem. Finer hair can also show the effects of absorbing too much sebum faster than thicker or curlier hair. If any of the above applies to you, or you are just keen to understand how to stop greasy hair, it’s time to as yourself the following questions…
Are you shampooing correctly
Choose the best shampoo for greasy hair that you can find to give yourself a head start. Find a greasy hair shampoo that bills itself as ’clarifying’ as this will cleanse the hair of dirt and grease as well as any residue from other hair products that may have bene left behind and could be clogging up the pores. Secondly, make sure you are washing your hair the right amount of times with your carefully chosen greasy hair shampoo. Too little and the dirt and sebum will not be cleaned away often enough. Too much and your hair’s natural oils will start to be stripped out.
In the same way, opt for a lighter conditioner that adds moisture and shine without injecting any excess oil or residue. A volumizing conditioner can help lift the roots and remove the lank, ‘sticking to the scalp’ feeling. Avoid any heavy, leave-in products such as conditioners or styling creams.
How hot do you like it?
A hot shower can really help to wake us up and get our skin zinging and our pores open and unblocked. However, it can spell bad news when it comes to working out how to get rid of greasy hair. Hot water and heat can increase sebum production by stimulating the sebaceous glands, so turning down the heat when it comes to washing and rinsing your hair will help to seal the cuticles, keep the sebaceous glands under control and stop an over-production of oil.
It’s the same with your styling devices. Try to avoid too hot a setting when straightening or curling the hair to keep it feeling natural and looking great without putting it at risk of heat damage. Dry your hair naturally from time to time too, to give it a rest from the hair dryer and don’t overbrush it as this can also cause additional sebum production. Brush gently with a naturally bristled, unheated brush, no more than two or three times a day.
Are you a styling addict?
Styling hair can often be a huge part of a person’s self-confidence and how they present themselves to the world, but overdoing it, using the wrong products or handling your hair incorrectly can do more harm than good. Not all hair is born equal, and some types need more moisturising products than others. Check you are not using too heavy a shampoo, condition, colourant or volumizer for your hair type as this can cause a build-up of sebum and grease.
Always read the ingredients on a hair product bottle before using it and do a patch test on a small area of hair before committing to the whole thing. Finer hair can be affected by absorbing too much sebum more than curly or thicker hair. Avoid heavy conditioning agents if your hair is finer, or more prone to grease and touch it as little as possible to avoid transferring grease or dirt from your fingers. Choose appropriate hairstyles for greasy hair that can stay in place without needing too much handling or styling products and that will stay out of the way of any flying dirt or dust.
Do you have time for your hair?
Take the time to look after your hair properly and it will reward you with many ‘good hair days’ to come. Discuss a regime with your hairdresser or barber to help you work out how to make hair less greasy. This is just as true for men as it is for women. Follow a careful diet with plenty of vitamin B and zinc – leafy vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish and fruits.
This can help avoid the greasy hair men and women both dread in the longer term; however, for a more rapid, albeit temporary fix, take a look at dry shampoo. This product can make hair look fresh again in seconds, without needing traditional shampoo or water. This unique, sulphate-free formula is lightweight and helps to absorb oil in the roots and hair strands. Simply work a small amount into the roots and hair for instant results. It should not be used too often though, or as a sole solution to greasy hair, as product residue can remain and cause problems if not washed out regularly.
Is anything else going on?
Sudden dietary or lifestyle changes can also have an effect on your hair, so if you have made any drastic alterations to your way of living, ask a hairdresser for advice on whether it could be affecting the condition of your hair or scalp and how you can help your hair keep pace with the rest of you. If you travel a lot, there may be different products you can try to help your hair adjust to different temperatures, climates and sleep patterns. Over exposure to UV rays can also damage hair as it can cause sebum to degrade and oxidise, so always cover up when in direct sunlight.
If you are concerned that the problem may be related to something medical, consult your doctor to see if there is anything else happening, or if you are allergic or intolerant to any hair care products you may be using.