Are you dealing with an itchy scalp or oilier strands than usual? You may have greasy hair, which is often due to excess oils produced by the sebaceous glands in the scalp. There are certain factors (like overwashing and heavy products) that can put this oil into overdrive, but there’s no reason to throw in the towel just yet—even if you’ve tried everything under the sun to combat it. We tapped three experts to share their best tips for getting rid of greasy hair ahead.
How to Get Rid of Greasy Hair: 7 Salon Secrets to Try Out
According to the experts
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Meet the Experts
- Dereq Clark is a hairstylist and a brand ambassador for Wella Professionals. He has more than 12 years of experience in the industry, specializing in cutting and coloring services in the Atlanta area.
- Fabian Lliguin is a hairstylist and colorist based in New York. He’s also founder of Ecoagents, a nonprofit organization that works to defend and protect untouched natural lands in Ecuador. While educating indigenous people in Brazil, Peru and Ecuador about their land and human rights, he was inspired to start Rahua, a haircare brand that utilizes rahua oil in all of their products to treat dry, dull and damaged hair.
- Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris is a trichologist and founder of Alodia. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Ph.D in Bio-Medical Sciences. She uses her background of science and her personal hair journey to develop her own haircare brand.
1. Use a Clarifying Shampoo
The right shampoo is essential to getting rid of greasy hair and a clarifying shampoo might be your best bet. “It’s designed to remove excess oil, product buildup and impurities from the hair and scalp,” says Dr. Isfahan. She recommends using one at least once or twice a week—or as needed. To narrow down your search, our experts recommend taking a closer look at the labels for ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar, which help control excess sebum and clear the scalp. On the flip side, Dr. Isafhan says to avoid silicones, heavy oils, butters, sulfates and fatty alcohols (i.e., cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol), as they can encourage more oil production and weigh down your locks.
2. Wash Your Hair More Frequently
For most hair types, washing your hair daily or every other day is crucial for getting rid of greasy strands. After experimenting with not washing our hair for a week, we learned firsthand how important it is to shampoo more frequently for a cleaner scalp and softer strands. So, if you have thin or oily hair, consider washing your locks to reduce greasiness. However, if you have dry, coarse or textured hair, it’s recommended to stick to once a week, so you don’t over shampoo and dry out the scalp and strands. Simply put, it’s all about building a wash routine that works for you.
3. Or Limit How Often You Wash Your Hair
As mentioned, some hair types can be washed daily or every other day. However, those with curly, coily and chemically-treated hair should limit their wash days once or twice a week. According to our experts, washing your hair daily can strip away your natural oils and signal the scalp to start over producing oil in the area, which can lead to flaking, itchiness and irritation.
4. Use Dry Shampoo
For a temporary fix, the experts say dry shampoo is a great option. “Dry shampoo can be a quick way to absorb oil and refresh the hair between washes. It’s convenient for times when you need to freshen up your hair on the go,” says Clark. Apply dry shampoo to the roots and any other areas that tend to get greasy. Then, let it sit into your hair before brushing (or combing) it through. As Clark explains, “A bristle brush will allow the hair to soak up the product, so work it through your strands until the product is completely absorbed.”
5. Try Dry Brushing
Speaking of brushing, Lliguin recommends making it a habit. “Our natural oils do not have enough time to reach the ends, so the roots and mid-shaft become very greasy and [we’re left with] very dry and brittle ends,” he explains. “Dry brushing can push the natural oils from roots to the ends of the hair, which allows it to become more healthy.” This method can also help distribute blood flow, reduce shedding and remove any tangles or knots. He recommends getting a boar bristle brush and using it at least once a day.
6. Implement a Scalp Care Routine
Whether you use a scalp scrub or serum, a targeted product can do wonders for your existing haircare routine. Lliguin suggests spending time massaging your scalp, as it can “increase circulation, deeply cleanse (without being overly harsh) and promote a healthy scalp.” Gently use your fingertips or invest in a scalp massager to get the job done.
7. Avoid Touching Your Hair Too Much
Look, we love to twirl our hair around our fingers when we’re deep in thought, but touching your hair constantly can make it greasy faster. Your hands typically have dirt, oil and grime on them, which can easily transfer onto your hair. To break the habit, try keeping a scrunchie on your wrist so you can readily tie your hair back instead of running your fingers through it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Hair Get Greasy So Fast?
According to our experts, there are many factors that contribute to greasy hair such as hormones, genetics, diet and lifestyle. A common contributor is over-shampooing or infrequent washing, as it can disrupt the natural oil balance of the scalp. Other culprits include using heavy or oil-based products, under brushing and playing with your hair, which can lead to excess sebum on the scalp and weigh down locks. “It’s important to determine the cause, so you can find the appropriate way to fix it. Without addressing [the root of the problem], greasy hair could lead to unwanted scalp problems and very dry, brittle hair,” says Lliguin.
Can You Actually Get Rid of Greasy Hair?
There are ways to get greasy hair under control. However, as Dr. Isfahan explains, “It’s not possible to permanently eliminate the natural production of sebum by the sebaceous glands in the scalp.” You can simply manage and reduce the appearance of greasy hair by adjusting how often you wash your hair, using the right products (and the right amount for your locks) and making some changes to your diet and lifestyle.
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