What to Do About Your Greasy Hair
If you’re here on this page, chances are you have greasy hair and are sick of it. Greasy hair is different for everyone and can cause a wide range of problems. Almost everyone is affected by a greasy appearance that others may notice. It looks like you have gobs of product in your hair even when you just got done drying it after a shower. Of course, often you can feel the grease’s weight holding your hair down. Making the mistake of trying to run your fingers through your hair results in a sticky palm you have to clean off. Some people even get a stench from the oil in their hair. Many others have to deal with the acne it can cause on their scalp. No one gets a better self-esteem from this issue, that’s for sure. So let’s take a look at how to get rid of it.
What Causes this Grease?
Before we delve into how to solve this grease problem of yours, let’s first establish what’s causing the issue in the first place.
Like a lot of grease your body may create, sometimes the issue is nothing more than a hormonal one. Most of us will be familiar with this issue from puberty. So if you’re an adolescent, that could be what’s causing your greasy hair at the moment. However, some people actually experience the hormonal issue only after they’re past puberty.
Other issues that may be turning your hormones against you include thyroid complications. Anytime your thyroid isn’t working harmoniously, you have to know your body is going to have an odd reaction and grease is actually one of the milder consequences, if you can believe it.
Women get an especially short end of the stick where hormones and greasy hair are involved. Pregnant women know all about this and sometimes greasy hair is just one of many factors. As women age, their hormones should become ever more tame. However, menopause may act as their last stand, so to speak, with greasy hair being their final farewell.
Whatever the issue is that’s mobilizing your hormones, the result you need to worry about is called sebum. That’s the official name of the grease that your scalp is producing. Obviously, everyone’s scalp produces it to some degree—just like our body creates all kinds of oil. In small doses, this is a healthy benefit. However, when it creates it in excess as a reaction to your hormones, it definitely does not feel healthy.
Sometimes, the sebum isn’t your body’s fault. It’s still a natural reaction, but it’s something you’re bringing on yourself. A lot of times this simply means your hair management routine is working against you or you’re picking the wrong product.
Nonetheless, if greasy hair comes out of nowhere or otherwise seems like a temporary issue, it may be worth speaking to your doctor. Your hormones may be up to something that could use an examination from a medical professional.
With that in mind, we can now move on to looking at other factors that could be causing your hair issue. Just be sure to think about seeing a doctor if you suspect hormones or if the following doesn’t cure the issue.
The Vicious Cycle of Oily Hair
One of the most frustrating parts about oily hair is that you’re often making it worse by accident. A lot of times this is because you simply don’t know any better. You may be following bad advice, thinking this is how you’ll get a clean scalp, and only encouraging the excessive production of that mischievous sebum.
You may have already been told this, but one example of what we’re talking about is constantly washing your hair. Many people in your position shower excessively because they want to get rid of that greasy feeling. It’s a natural enough response.
Unfortunately, here’s the rub: you have a greasy scalp already when you wake up. Naturally, you head to the shower to alleviate the problem. Obviously, you don’t want to go through the rest of your day with this puddle of grease on your head.
However, that shower strips the natural sebum your scalp produces right out of your hair. As soon as your body gets wind of this, its natural response is to provide your scalp with even more grease. For a lot of us, your body overdoes things, which is why you can already feel greasy hair again by lunch.
It gets worse. Most people react to this situation by thinking they need a shampoo that will help dry out their hair more. They may reach for a clarifying shampoo, for example. So they do this and guess what happens? Right; the hair actually gets worse because even more sebum is now being washed away. And your body reacts by going crazy and overloading it with even more natural oils than before. It thinks it’s rehydrating your head, but all it’s doing is ruining your day.
This cycle is not one you can win. Don’t wash your hair and it will become greasy. Wash your hair and it will become greasy. Pick a specialty shampoo and your hair will get even worse.
Stopping this Cycle in Its Tracks
Don’t worry, you still have options. While you can’t win if you play by this cycle’s rules, you still have some solutions.
Alright, your first choice is to simply not wash your hair. I know we said that wouldn’t work and you’re probably already mortified by the idea, but hear me out. There’s a methodology behind intentionally not washing your hair.
You’ll begin introducing the practice to your hair slowly. So at first, just skip a day during the week. Still take a shower, but leave your hair alone. It’s best to choose a day when you can wear a hat or when you don’t have any plans to leave the house. It’s also best you don’t do it on a day when you work out as all that sweat will basically stay locked in and people won’t enjoy being around you.
Now, you’ll slowly progress. Next time, pick two days you can handle. Ideally, you’re building up to going two to three days in a row without washing your hair. This should go a long way toward getting the oil production problem under control.
That being said, hard as it may be, you must be patient. I know you already have been, but appreciate that this is not a problem that will cure itself overnight. In fact, this little experiment could take months to build up to and really see results.
Another option that can augment this process is specialty shampoos that are actually made to handle your specific problem. These hair powders and dry shampoos actually work to soak up the excess sebum without setting off a negative reaction by stripping away too much of it.
Balancing Moisture Production
Alright, the above option has definitely made all the difference for many of people in your situation. But I can understand that you may not be excited about the prospect of missing several days worth of showers over the course of several months.
So let’s consider another, easier idea. Most of you may have given up on conditioner a long time ago. After all, your hair clearly has more than enough moisture—why would you want to add more to it, right?
Well, you’re right and wrong there. Instead, try picking a shampoo and conditioner combination that comes with a light amount of moisturizer. What you’re trying to do here is bring a balance of moisture on your head. So when the products strip the sebum from your scalp, they also have enough moisture in them to tame your body’s overreaction. As you’re not getting a super-hydrating option, you’re also not overdoing it.
When it comes to your conditioner, pick a light option as well and only use it on the tips of your hair—not your scalp. Then be sure you wash it out completely. If you still think the conditioner is making matters worse, try starting with it and then ending with shampoo.
While you may think you’ve tried everything, there may be some products that you’ve missed, yet could really help. For one thing, try rinsing your hair out with cool water from now on. The warm water may feel better, but it might also be stimulating the glands that cause sebum production. For this same reason, consider air drying your hair. A hairdryer may be providing too much heat to the scalp.
In terms of products for your hair, apple cider vinegar is always a promising, natural solution. It does a good job of stripping grease while fortifying your hair. A baking soda clarifying treatment can help to tame that unnecessary grease too. People have also had a lot of success with using Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo.
So if your hair suffers from an over-abundance of grease, don’t give up or try pulling off a buzzcut. Instead, practice the above options for a better, cleaner head of hair.