We all know that a good hair day = a confident day. But as recent genetic mapping has discovered that bad hair days might be written in our DNA, it seems more complicated than ever. So what’s an oily-haired girlie to do? Hide under a beanie, or dry shampoo until the cows come home? Not quite. Fortunately, there are some universal tips on how to stop greasy hair that are all-natural, plant-based and inclusive of all hair types, so you can prevent the grease before it becomes a problem.
What causes greasy hair?
Before we get to the prevention or even the management of oily hair, we need to understand the root of the problem (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Nine times out of ten, greasy hair is brought on by the excessive build-up of a component called sebum, a naturally occurring oil that our bodies produce in the sebaceous glands, which sit near our hair follicles. Ever noticed that when you get greasy skin it collects near your hairline? This is why.
Usually, your glands will chug along, producing the amount of sebum you need to maintain a healthy and hydrated scalp. But, unfortunately, there are some habits and some genetic dispositions that can lead these crucial glands to overwork themselves. The result is an excess of grease on our hair and skin, not a nice feeling.
How to stop greasy hair: 10 oily hair solutions you should try right away!
So now we know excessive oiliness on our hair and scalps is down to the malfunction of the sebaceous glands, we can target those areas to nip this all-too-common hair problem in the bud. Here are 10 methods to get rid of greasy hair.
1. Replace synthetic products with plant-based ones
By now, everyone and their mum must have heard about the benefits of plant-based hair products, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, here are a rapid-fire few:
- Plant-based hair products are often more sustainable.
- With more natural ingredients, they are usually hypoallergenic and thus safer to use.
- They avoid harmful components like PPD, ammonia, sulphates and many more.
- Henna shampoos and conditioners boast anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which help calm sore scalps and reduce excess grease.
The same is true of henna-based hair dyes – they’ll help purify any oil or dirt on the scalp, whilst leaving your hair radiant and glowing. And you can even apply it on slightly greasy hair.
2. Use a henna shampoo and conditioner
One of the easiest ways we know how to stop greasy hair right in its tracks is by adopting the henna lifestyle. Henna is a healthy approach to both hair colouring and follicle restoration that has been used for centuries. Walking the line between both a medicinal substance and cosmetic product, it has a powerful track record of restoring sensitive scalps from the brink as a conditioner and rehauling sebum production as it deep cleanses.
3. Stop fiddling with your locks
The power of beautiful hair is within your hands… literally. You can prevent the excess build-up of dirt and grease by simply keeping them away! Although it’s oh-so-tempting and even therapeutic to play with your hair during the day showing restraint will pay off as less grease is distributed up and down those strands.
4. Avoid overwashing your hair
It’s a question of perennial interest: how often should you wash your hair and how much is too much? While we’ve answered them in depth on this blog before, reiterating the important stuff can’t hurt.
On the whole finer hair will collect grease faster and more easily, so may need washing every other day, or indeed every day. Thicker and denser hair patterns absorb these oils more easily and might not require washing quite as often. As you might guess, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach as everyone’s wig is unique. It’s all about experimenting and working out which routine works best for you.
5. Switch up your diet
Your diet affects every fibre of your body and that includes hair. One reason that you might be experiencing oil-soaked locks is a lack of B vitamin intake, and particularly vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) as their anti-inflammatory properties help regulate sebum production. Lucky for you, these essential vitamins are found across several food groups, including meat, poultry, fortified cereals and mushrooms to name a few.
6. Cut down on the hair masks
Can you have too much of a good thing when it comes to hair care? Sadly, that answer is yes. While it’s true, hair masks have powerful rejuvenation properties that soak deep into the scalp and follicles, done too often they can work against you. Make sure you apply a mask that is formulated to control oil production rather than slathering on any old product and don’t up the usage above once a week.
7. Stop product build-up
Are you a dry shampoo obsessive? Is a coconut spritz part of your daily routine? Are you a little too fond of the styling mousse? Perhaps it’s time to give your head a detox.
Often, you’ll find that the culprit of greasy hair is an abundance of product choking the strands and follicles. Try using a clarifying shampoo several times a month or an exfoliating product that will remove dead skin and unclog the strands. It’s surprising how light and clean your hair will feel!
8. Clean your hairbrush…
Another place that can get clogged up with grime, grease and who-knows-what-else is your hairbrush. Often overlooked, a detangling hairbrush or even your standard paddle brush can get gunked up with fluff, dirt and grease. As you don’t want these nasties transferring onto your hair, give your trusty brush a good ol’ clean in soap and water every few months.
9. …Or switch to a wide tooth comb
If you’re really not feeling it with your current hairbrush, maybe that’s a sign to switch things up. Wide tooth combs are welcome additions to any hair care routine when they help detangle strands with minimal breakage or accumulation of gunk. This handy tool is ideal for getting rid of grease and preparing hairstyles as you brush parts of your hair into sections.
10. See your GP
If you’ve experienced a persistent or sudden onset of greasiness in your hair and scalp, it can often be helpful to rule out any medical conditions that might be an underlying cause. Whether that’s a hormone imbalance, your body trying to play catch up to hydrate patches of eczema or dry skin, or even things like menopause, these can all impact how oily your scalp can get.
It’s not too late to have a good hair day: managing greasy hair
If your hair will take a fair amount of coaching to get back in shape, don’t worry. While you wait for your chosen greasy hair prevention method to kick in, you can follow the following pointers:
Adopt a haircut or style suited to oily hair
Although shorter, straight and/or thin hair tends to pull the short straw when it comes to looking greasy due to the finer hairs’ smaller surface area and thus reduced ability to absorb natural oils, you can still rock oilier hair. Lengths that allow you to tie parts up and leave sections down are super pretty whilst practical distractions from the grease build-up.
Slick back hair into a ponytail
Good job the 90s pony is back in. If things are starting to look greasy up top, simply sweep your hair into a high ponytail. Bonus points if you move your parting to hide things with style.
Cover with a scarf
If you invest in a pretty bandana, you can cover up any additional sebum production whilst looking cool AF. This protective style will keep your hair happy and healthy, allowing you to extend the period between washes.
As you would with any headgear, make sure you replace your accessories every so often. Usually, hats, scarves and headbands will spread oils and trap heat, so do be warned!
Messy bun it
This style was made for greasy hair types and will have you practically leaping at the thought of skipping wash day. From the messiest of buns, to tight topknots and half-bun fun, updos like these will help disguise your oily roots by pulling them tight and drawing attention away with the less greasy ends decoratively piled on top.
Don’t straighten it!
We admit it, straightening your hair is a look. But sometimes that’s at the cost of it looking greasier, faster as it sits closer to your scalp. Straighteners and hairdryers will give you a smooth, professional finish, but if you let your hair air-dry and embrace its natural texture, you’ll avoid heat damage and drying your hair out, which in turn will stop the spread of any unwanted oils.
Emergency oily hair treatments
Now, if none of the above has worked, it’s time to get started with the oily hair treatment. These formulas are a quick way of getting your hair back on track, so you know how to stop naturally greasy hair from running riot with the sebum production.
Deep clean with aloe
If you want your hair to be runway-ready, you should try to soften your hair with this DIY remedy and oily hair treatment. Two tablespoons of aloe vera and one of coconut oil go a long way – simply, combine them at room temperature and then apply to your hair from the mid-shaft, working right down to the ends. Leave this soaking in for 30 minutes and you will benefit from a pH-restored and gorgeously soothed scalp.
Rinse with apple cider vinegar
Another trick that will work wonders for your hair is enlisting the help of apple cider vinegar. Not only is this substance anti-microbial, pH-balancing and vitamin-rich, but it will seal the cuticle as it strips away any product build-up.
Indulge in a henna hair mask
It’s time to treat yourself. Run a nice warm bath, pop on some calming tunes or your favourite podcast as you massage a hair mask into locks from root to tip. Our henna hair masks are designed to fortify the strands, infusing them with essential minerals ensuring the natural pH balance of your scalp is restored and your hair becomes impossibly soft.
Beat the grease
Excess oil and sebum can really put a dampener on your mood. But with a few simple changes to your hair care routine, you can turn things around and keep those pesky oil levels at an all-time low. From using wholesome plant-based alternatives instead of synthetic products to treating your hair like the royalty it is, you can start your scalp-healing journey and impress with a head of radiant locks.
Now you know how to stop greasy hair, share the love – bookmark this article so when your friends are having hair trouble themselves, you can come to the rescue with these specialist tips.