How to keep Hair from Getting Greasy

Hairdresser: Are you struggling with greasy hair, or confused about why your hair has suddenly been getting greasier more quickly than usual? Are you hoping to find out how you can fix your greasy hair in a pinch, or reduce the greasiness in the future? If you’re wondering about any of these things, you’re in the right place⁠! We’ve compiled answers to some of the biggest questions you may have⁠—with the help of our tips, you may be able to eliminate your greasy hair in no time!


Greasy hair is primarily caused by oil buildup.

Sebum is an oily substance produced by the body that helps hydrate your scalp and hair, keeping it healthy and strong. However, some people produce more sebum than others, which is why some people’s hair gets greasier much faster⁠ than others⁠. That’s why you may find your hair getting greasy after 1 day or even just a few hours.

  • Factors like ethnicity, hormones, and genetics can all affect how much sebum your body produces.
  • People who have straight or fine hair might get greasy hair faster because they don’t have curls to absorb the oil.


Shampoo your hair for the quickest fix.

Shampoos are specifically designed to cleanse your hair and remove oil. Gently massage your scalp while shampooing and leave it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing⁠—depending on how quickly your hair gets greasy, you may need to shampoo as often as once a day or even more.

  • There are also shampoos formulated specifically for oily hair, which use particular detergents that remove more sebum from the scalp and hair shaft. You can try looking for oily hair shampoos that contain detergents such as ammonium or sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Try shampooing twice during your shower if you think your hair may not be getting fully clean.

Use oil-free hair products.

Although products like conditioners, serums, and oils can help hydrate and strengthen your hair, they can also make fine hair look limp and add extra grease to your hair. When choosing products, try to look for ones that are labeled “greaseless” or “oil-free.”

  • You can also try modifying how you apply these products by keeping them away from your scalp: for instance, apply conditioner to the ends of your hair only


Don’t brush your hair too often.

When you brush your hair, the motion carries oil from your scalp to the ends of your hair, which makes it greasier. You can also try brushing more gently to decrease how much the oil spreads.

  • Try brushing your hair no more than twice a day.
  • For the same reason, try to avoid touching your hair! If you find yourself constantly touching or playing with your hair, you may be spreading the oil around your hair even more.

Use a dry shampoo.

If you don’t have time to wash your hair or don’t want to, use a dry shampoo, which is usually made with a starch component that can help absorb sebum just like a regular shampoo. Dry shampoos are a good option to use between washes if your hair gets greasy fast, and can also add volume and body to your hair.

  • Make sure you’re using your dry shampoo correctly! To get the best effects, shake the bottle before using and don’t spray too close to your scalp⁠—this may make your hair look chalky. Also, start with smaller amounts and only add more as you need it to prevent using too much.
  • You can also make DIY dry shampoo with ingredients such as baking soda and corn-starch. For instance, try combining 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Then, sprinkle the mixture onto your roots, massage it in, and blow dry if needed to blend it in fully.


Use paper towels to blot your hair.

If you don’t have dry shampoo, blotting the sebum away with a paper towel can help decrease the greasy look. You can also use specialized blotting sheets if the paper towels aren’t picking up enough oil.

It could be a symptom of a stressful lifestyle.

Being stressed causes your body to produce more stress hormone, which is called cortisol. Increased cortisol, in turn, can cause an increase in oil production⁠—leading to greasy hair. If you’ve been going through a stressful period lately, try taking care of yourself with stress management techniques, like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, taking breaks, and reaching out to friends.

  • Birth control pills, which also affect hormone levels, may also be contributing to greasier hair.

Greasy hair might indicate an unbalanced diet. 

According to dietitians, your diet plays a major role in determining the condition of your hair, so you may want to improve your nutrition for healthier hair. Try to eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats so that you get 100 percent daily value of the essential hair vitamins A, E, and D, as well as iron.

  • You shouldn’t consume too much of one vitamin or take unneeded supplements if your diet is already balanced.
  • You can also try decreasing the amount of oily foods you eat.


Experiment to find the best routine for yourself. 

You may have heard that you can train your hair to be less greasy by shampooing less, because shampooing too often strips the natural oils from your hair and causes your glands to react by producing additional sebum. However, this is likely a myth, as oil production is controlled by hormones rather than hair washing.

  • Instead, consider factors like the type of hair you have (e.g. curly or straight), lifestyle habits (e.g. diet or frequency of brushing), and the types of products you are using (e.g. special shampoos or conditioners). By exploring different options, you will be more likely to find the best hair care routine for yourself.
  • Because greasy hair can have so many different potential causes, you may want to see your doctor or dermatologist if you can’t seem to get it under control. They can provide you with recommendations for your diet, lifestyle, and hair care⁠, or even prescribe medication.

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