What Causes Greasy Hair?
- In short - an oily scalp. Your scalp produces sebum in the exact same way your skin does. Like skin, the scalp produces a higher level of oil during a ladies monthly cycle so you may find your hair becomes greasier quicker during this time. For example, many people who suffer with severe acne are prescribed Accutane - a strong antibiotic designed to reduce the amount of oil glands in your skin. Many users of Accutane report one of the side effects of this drug is much drier hair that requires a lot less washing. So if you find your hair is frequently oily and greasy you are likely to have oily skin also. Another overlap between acne prone skin and an oily scalp is stress. Many report a correlation between high levels of stress and anxiety and acne breakouts. This is because when you feel stressed your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol which in turn causes an increase in oil production.
- If your hair is fine and/or thin you also likely to find it becomes greasy quite quickly. This is because there is simply less hair to be able to absorb the oil that your scalp is producing. Straight thin hair is particularly susceptible to this as the oil produced by your scalp is able to spread and travel down the hair shaft very easily.
- Environmental factors also inevitably play a part in how greasy looking your hair is. Stress, varying weather conditions and exercise can all cause dirt and grease to build up in your hair very quickly.
How To Get Rid Of Greasy Hair:
To manage and treat your greasy prone hair your objective should be to dry your scalp and hair up as much as possible without causing damage.
Top ten tips to combat greasy hair:
1. Wash Your Hair As Least Often As Possible
The less you wash your hair the better. Like skin, the more you wash it the more you are encouraging your skin to produce oil that it just doesn't need. Your scalp is no different. The less you wash it the less oil it will produce. Bear in mind though if you are used to washing your hair daily it may take a couple of months for your scalp to adjust.
2. Use A Sulphate Free Shampoo That Contains Salicylic Acid
Use sulphate free shampoo that contains salicylic acid or ketoconazole. This will help remove any build up and excess oil residing in your hair. Try adding a table spoon of salt to your shampoo to thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate your scalp and also have a slight drying affect. Do not use any conditioner - your oily hair simply does not need it. If you suffer with dry ends then be careful to apply conditioner to these areas only.
3. Take vitamin A and Other Beneficial Vitamins
Vitamin A is widely used and recommended by dermatologists to balance and normalise oil production. As mentioned earlier the strong acne antibiotic Accutane is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A specifically designed to decrease excessive oil production. Other beneficial vitamins for general hair health include mainly B vitamins. This makes Brewers Yeast a fantastic option as it contains B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and B7 (biotin). Studies have demonstrated that a B12 deficiency may lead to overly oily skin and scalp.
4. Consider Dying Your Hair
Applying hair dye to your greasy prone hair will have a slight drying effect. Colouring your hair will also make the hair cuticle swell so your hair will look and feel thicker. If you enjoy your natural hair colour try dying it the same colour.
5. Use Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo will become your most trustworthy comrade in your battle against greasy looking hair. It is, by far, the most effective product in preventing grease and oil spreading uncontrollably throughout your hair. Opt for a powdered dry shampoo with no harsh chemicals and make sure to apply it to your roots just before bed time BEFORE your hair starts to get oily. This will prevent the oil from spreading and also give you some volume at the roots.
6. Try A Blunt Hair Cut
Having your hair cut into a blunt one level cut rather than having layers cut into your hair may be beneficial in reducing how quickly grease and oil spreads throughout your hair. This particularly applies to people with thin and fine hair. A blunt, one level cut will make hair instantly appear chunkier and thicker and should also take more time for the usual amount of grease and oil to spread throughout your hair.
7. Change Your Pillow Case Every Day
Your pillow case will be home to dirt, oil and dead skin cells that build up very quickly from night to night. Change your pillow case daily to avoid transferring any of this unwanted grime into your hair.
8. Watch Your Diet
It is recommended to avoid dairy products and sugar to improve skin texture and to limit acne breakouts. Your scalp too is affected in the same way. Dairy products are processed by our bodies as oils and fats which can affect the production of extra sebum. A diet rich in fibre is beneficial for both greasy hair and skin.
9. Use 1 to 2 Hair Products Only
Using too many products in your hair at any one time is often a major culprit in causing prematurely greasy hair. If you find yourself using more than two hair products at any one time your greasy prone hair might start to suffer with product overload. This can weigh your hair down (with thin and fine hair in particular) as well as causing product build up which you may not be washing out properly when you wash your hair. Try using just one or two products to avoid this.
10. Try Not To Touch Your Hair Throughout The Day
Your hands are covered in dirt and grease from continually touching things throughout the day. Needless to say if you are then touching your hair you are transferring all that grime and bacteria onto your hair. Try having set days where you wear your hair in an updo to discourage yourself from touching it unnecessarily.