We all love good hair wash days. But what to do about the grease that suddenly shows up a day after, and in some cases maybe a few hours later, and turns your perfectly styled hair into a mess. Oily hair not only looks limp and flat but styling them could give you a nightmare.
For occasions when you don’t have time to follow the routine of shampoo, conditioner followed by hours of drying wet hair, we have rounded up 11 of the best tricks to get you out of the ‘sticky’ situation. But first, it’s a good idea to understand why does your hair turns greasy so quickly. Once you can figure out why you have oily locks, you will find the best approach to deal with them.
What Causes Greasy Hair?
The sebaceous glands on your scalp produce oil or sebum that makes the hair strong, lustrous, and healthy. But sometimes, these glands start overproducing sebum, causing an oily scalp. The problem is much more common in people with fine and straight hair than those with thick, curly hair. The reason here is that it is much easier for the sebum produced by the scalp to cover straight hair. (1)
While we can’t change our hair type, we can change a few common habits that might add to the scalp’s grease.
1. Too Much or Too Little Shampoo
Not washing your hair often (every 2-3 days in most cases) can lead to the build-up of oil, debris, and dead cells on the scalp. This can weigh your hair down and give you an oily, itchy scalp.
On the other hand, too much shampooing strips your hair and scalp of natural oil. This sends oil glands into overdrive, and they start producing extra sebum to replenish the lost oil. The result is greasy, limp hair. (2)
2. Conditioning the Wrong Way
Oily hair doesn’t need a lot of conditioning. But if you regularly use a conditioner after shampoo, avoid applying it to the roots of the hair. Instead, apply conditioner only to the lower strands of the hair and wash it out really well to avoid greasiness.
3. Hot Showers
Overexposure to hot showers can give you a dry scalp, resulting in the overproduction of oil. Instead, experts recommend using medium-hot water for head wash and having a final rinse with cold water.
4. Using Too Many Styling Products and Tools
Excessive use of waxes, creams, and oils can give you a greasy scalp. Always make sure that the products you are using are meant for oily hair. Also, the use of straightening irons should be kept in check.
5. Environmental Factors
Environmental factors can also add to the problem. For example, air pollution can often cause several scalp issues like dandruff and itching, causing greasy hair. Humidity can also make your hair extra limp and oily.
Apart from these, you will be amazed to know that some of your simple habits can be adding to the mess like tying your hair in a ponytail, touching your hair too often, using dirty brushes and styling tools.
11 Quick-Fixes for Greasy Hair
Now, let’s get to our list of quick fixes that give instant relief from that oily feeling.
1. Dry Shampoo
If you’ve greasy hair and you still haven’t tried this magic solution called dry shampoo, you sure are missing out on some fun. Dry shampoo instantly absorbs grease and oil from the scalp. As a result, it gives your hair a clean finish and adds volume and texture.
Add a few sprays of dry shampoo to the roots of the hair. Don’t add too much of it. Wait for a couple of minutes, rub it in through the strands and then brush it out. Just keep a bottle of dry shampoo handy for desperate times and add an extra day in between your wash routine.
But remember to not use it for too many days in a row as it can lead to scalp build-up and give you dandruff in the long run.
2. Clarifying Shampoo
To tackle oily hair, we need to take care of the oily scalp. And for this, your usual shampoo for oily hair may not be enough. Instead, try a purifying/ clarifying shampoo as it deep cleanses the scalp and removes excess oil build-up. In addition, it makes your scalp squeaky clean and gives you grease-free tresses. To start with, use a purifying shampoo once a week, and in-between, stick to your regular shampoo and conditioner.
3. Baby/ Talcum Powder
Baby/ talcum powder works in the same way as a dry shampoo. It absorbs excess oil from the scalp instantly. In fact, this inexpensive, easily available beauty product has been used by men and women for years to fix their greasy scalp problems.
Just sprinkle a little powder to the roots and rub it in. Make sure to brush the powder through your hair to not give you a weird look.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
This isn’t technically a quick fix but an inexpensive wash-day trick that can push away the grease from showing up by a day or two. Dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and pour it over your hair after every wash.
5. Astringent or Toner
This trick is really for desperate times. Toners or astringents that have alcohol in them can dissolve and cleanse away oil. You can either spray some toner on the hair roots or apply it onto the scalp with the help of a cotton ball. But don’t overdo this.
Cornstarch can act as an effective natural dry shampoo. When sprinkled on the roots of greasy, limp hair, it absorbs additional oil and residue from the scalp immediately. Do not forget to brush your hair properly after using it. This will help you dust off the excess amount from your scalp. For people with dark hair, try mixing cornstarch with a bit of cocoa powder to avoid having a white cast.
7. No Touching
We all love to run our fingers through the hair, especially if we have a good hair day. But little do we realize that by doing this, we also end up transferring oil and dirt from our fingers to our mane, making matters worse. Time to get rid of this vice today!
8. Paper Towels
It may sound absurd, but paper towels can actually help you blot away oil and grease from your hair. They might not work efficiently, but try this if you’re stuck in a situation with no other option available. Take the locks in multiple small sections and rub gently using paper towels.
9. Wear a Hair Accessory
Use this trick when you can’t lay your hands on anything else. Try some statement clips or a stylish headband or a scarf to cover those greasy locks. Just shift the focus and don’t bother about what’s going on underneath.
10. Wash the Bangs
This trick comes super handy when you’re really short on time and still want a solution for your greasy tresses. Just wash your bangs or front hair and give them a quick blow dry. Then, tie or style the rest of your hair in a ponytail or a bun, and you’re ready to kickstart the day. This quick fix will create an impression of freshly washed hair.
11. Short Blowout
One of the biggest problems of the greasy scalp is that it makes your hair look flat and limp. All you need to do is add a little bit of volume to get some instant relief. Try giving your hair a mini blow dry using a round brush and focus on the front hair, especially around your forehead.
No matter how disciplined you are when it comes to following a good hair care routine, you will still face days when a greasy scalp weighs down your perfectly healthy tresses and makes styling a nightmare. Don’t fret! Here are some quick tricks that will help you get out of this ‘sticky’ situation. Try spraying some dry shampoo or sprinkle a bit of baby powder/ cornstarch or use a blotting paper or go for a mini blow dry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do some people face more greasy hair days than others?
Fine and straight hair may start appearing greasy just after one day of washing. The reason is that it is much easier for the sebum produced by the scalp to cover straight hair than coarse, thick hair.
Do any of these quick fixes have any side effects?
The most important thing to remember here is that these are just quick tricks that are to be used in situations where washing your hair is not an option. Under any circumstances, they do not replace your hair washing and conditioning routine. In addition, too much of these can lead to product build-up and cause other problems like dandruff.
When to see a doctor?
If the home treatments don’t give you much relief and you see an increase in itching or hair fall because of a greasy scalp, consult a trichologist for further treatment. (3)