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Greasy hair? We've got you covered with these brilliant hacks

Washing your hair daily? Mistake number one.

The fact is, our scalps produce oil and sebum to keep them nice and healthy. The downside is that it can be a bit of an oil-fest for our roots, especially among those with finer textures. And while the oil in itself isn't bad for the hair – in fact, it makes hair lustrous, healthy and strong – too much oil can cause a build up that leaves hair looking limp and overly slick.

So, what can be done to help the issue? We reached out to the experts for some of their top greasy hair hacks, including the best oil-banishing products and how often you should be washing your hair.

What causes greasy hair?

“Every hair follicle on your head has an oil gland that produces sebum. Those with finer textured hair, tend to have a more hairs per cm on their head than those with thicker, coarser or coiled hair textures and therefore more oil glands producing more sebum,” explains Anabel Kingsley, Brand President & Consultant Trichologist at Philip Kingsley “This is the reason those with fine hair often feel their hair gets greasy quickly, and they feel the need to wash it daily to avoid the appearance of flat, limp roots,” she says.

“Greasy hair also is a result of not shampooing frequently, or not taking your time when you cleanse your scalp with shampoo to effectively remove oil and product build up. You should spend approximately one minute gently but firmly massaging your scalp when you shampoo and pay attention to all areas – people often forget to massage the back of their scalp. Rinse well to ensure shampoo residue, and the dirt, oil and dead skin cells trapped in it are washed away. For some a double shampoo may be required. If you don’t wash your hair properly (or enough) this build-up of shampoo residue, dirt, oils and dead skin can cause your hair to become greasier,” Anabel says.

Why does my hair get greasy so fast?

As mentioned, different hair types will appear greasy after different lengths of time – those with coarse or textured hair may be able to leave hair for a few days and it still looks fresh. Those with fine or thin hair, however, may find their hair looks greasy after just one day. It's all to do with the amount of oil your scalp produces, as well as how well your hair can carry that oil.

Aside from genetics though, your environment will play into how quickly your hair becomes greasy. “Many people find their hair is greasier in the warmer months. Higher temperatures often mean you sweat more, which mixes with the sebum on the scalp spreading more greasiness,” says Dominic Roach, Creative Director of Colour at Butchers Salon. And you're up against extra humidity, too. “With increased humidity, there is more moisture in the air and therefore more moisture in your hair," he adds. Even our summer accessories can exacerbate the problem. "Sunglasses pushed back onto the top of the head help transfer oil and grease. So do sun accessories like hats, which make the roots flatter and greasier,” says Dominic.

And your lifestyle can make a difference. For instance, "just like the skin on our face, our scalp can be prone to oiliness from the foods we eat, such as eating a fatty or sugary diet," says Anabel. Meanwhile, gym-goers will often need to wash their hair more after they sweat. And your styling routine can play into how quickly your hair gets oily, too. “Using heavy styling products can also make your roots greasy, as can using a dirty hairbrush,” says Anabel who recommends washing your hairbrush every 2-4 weeks.

@rachelvalentinehair Here are a few reasons why your hair may be getting greasy quickly. Remember our scalp is an extension of our skin- so diet, hormones, lifestyle etc will have an effect in the same way. #greasyhairhacks #healthyscalptips #greasyhairtips ♬ original sound - Rachel Valentine

Is overwashing a thing? Can you train your hair to last longer between washes?

“It would be quite difficult to over-wash your hair, but you can over-style your hair as a result of frequent washing, causing mechanical damage from heat, brushing and styling,” says Anabel. “When it comes to hair washing, more often than not is always a good principle. I advise most of my clients to shampoo frequently to obtain the best scalp conditions for healthy hair growth. Every day for fine hair, every other day for medium hair and no more than 3 days apart for coarse or coiled hair textures. Using products suitable for your hair’s texture should not have an adverse effect. If they dry your hair out, it is because the product formulation is not giving your hair what it needs, not because you are over-washing your hair. Simply choose products that work for you,” Anabel advises.

@amanda.busigo Over washing gives you an oilier scalp; here’s why! ☝🏽 Washing your hair everyday is noooo bueno. If this is something you do, i know it can be really challenging at first to stop; it definitely was for me. Follow to find out what I did to go from washing everyday, to every 4 days! ✨ #healthyhairtips101 #oilyscalptricks #oilyscalptips #oilyscalphack #scalphealthmatters #hairwashingroutine #haircaremistakes #haircareguru ♬ original sound - Amanda 🦋

The bottom line is: “you cannot ‘strip’ your hair or scalp or natural oils and you can not train your hair to be less greasy by washing it less. Firstly oil is produced on the scalp (not the hair), and once your scalp is cleansed it will simply continue producing oil at the same rate. Your scalp needs to be clean and healthy for optimal hair growth,” says Anabel.

“You take your hair and scalp to the same places you take your face, and it gets just as dirty. Your scalp is also a living tissue; it sweats, produces oils and sheds skin cells. You wouldn’t leave more than 3 days between washing your face, and you likely wouldn’t wear the same outfit more than a few times before washing it – apply the same thinking to your hair and scalp. However, it also depends on what you do to your hair after you wash it. If you have to heat style every time you shampoo, the damage from styling may outweigh the good of cleansing. It’s about finding a balance,” says Anabel.

What are the best shampoos and conditioners for greasy hair?

Of course it's not just about how you're washing your hair, but whether you're using the best products for your hair. Iain Sallis, trichologist and founder of Hairmedic, says it's essential to select your shampoo and conditioner carefully. He advises avoiding any shampoo and conditioner labelled with the words: 'dry', 'damaged', 'smoothing' or 'glossy'.

"They may all just be coating the hair in a fine film, which is good for what it states, but not good if your hair is prone to looking greasy," he explains. "The coating will add to the oil produced and cause the hair to become dull and oily looking." That said, you can apply glossy conditioners tactically to just the ends of your hair if you find they look very parched.

How can I clean greasy hair fast?

Nothing beats a full deep clean but we spotted this ingenious hack on TikTok where you simply wash the top layer of your hair where the parting gets greasy for a quicker hair refresh.

@destinee.irons Hair Hack 🙌![CDATA[]]>🏼 How to get rid of greasy bangs fast! #hairhack #sharkflexstyle #sharkflexstylecurls #bangs ♬ Quirky - Oleg Kirilkov

Here are all the greasy hair hacks to keep in mind…

1. Invest in a purifying shampoo for greasy hair

"Use a purifying shampoo on a weekly basis and follow with your preferred shampoo and conditioner to best suit your hair type," says Mark Woolley, founder of Electric Hair. You could also try taking a hair growth supplement, such as Gold Collagen Hairlift, which nourishes hair from within helping to maintain healthy hair and scalp.

2. Only apply conditioner on the ends of hair

If you run out of conditioner faster than shampoo, you're doing it wrong. The smooth-maker in your shower should be used sparingly and on your ends only. Many of us with dry or coloured hair fall into the trap of applying it higher and higher in order to de-tangle until it's basically at our roots. But the higher you apply it, the faster your hair will become greasy. Instead, try using a Wet Brush (£11.99) to tame your tangles. The bristles are soft enough not to cause breakage, but strong enough to tackle the most stubborn knots.

3. Apply the right amount of shampoo

Jack Merrick Thirlway, senior stylist from Neville, says there's a specific amount of shampoo you should use to ensure hair doesn't get too greasy. "When washing the hair, it is very important not to use too much shampoo as it can become heavy on the hair," he explained.

"Generally speaking, a 10 pence piece amount of product is sufficient – and two quick washes rather than one long wash will work better."

He also stresses that you shouldn't use water that's too hot when washing your hair as it will strip the natural oils off the cuticle and the scalp will replace it immediately, leaving hair greasy. "Be sure to cool the water for the last rinse to add shine," he advises. "A blast of cold water once it’s washed will also help the scalp and regulate blood flow,” says Paul.

The same rule also applies to styling products. Less is more to prevent too much build-up. Or, if you use a lot of product, make sure you deep-clean them all out.

4. Try apple cider vinegar to treat greasy hair

This method is popping off on TikTok and involves two ingredients: water, and apple cider vinegar.

Simply dilute apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and pour it through the hair. Leave for a few minutes et voilà: build-up is banished, and hair is left squeaky clean and 100% grease-free.

The best part? This super-smart hair hack is easy on the purse strings (or free if you already have some apple cider vinegar in the cupboard).

@kelly.baartman did a deep cleanse with apple cider vinger for a wash day ✨ #natural-hair #type4hair #applecidervinegarcleanse ♬ Rich Flex - Drake & 21 Savage

5. Dry shampoo is your best friend

To combat greasy hair between washes and keep strands looking fresh and full of volume, turn to dry shampoo. “Add it to your root area to absorb excess oils, sweat and impurities. It can also create volume and texture in yesterday’s hair. My go-to is Aveda Shampowder Dry Shampoo,” advises Dominic.

Just keep in mind, if you use dry shampoo for too many days in a row, it can cause build up on the scalp leading to other hair problems like dandruff, so be sure to incorporate more long-term solutions as well as a spritz or two of dry shampoo if you want to tackle greasy hair once and for all.

If you find that your scalp isn’t a fan of dry shampoo and can get easily irritated, we have a hack for you. “For sensitive scalps, I recommend spraying the product onto a brush first and combing it through the hair, making sure you get to the roots,” says Paul.

6. Go for a bun or braid

Turns out, that not all greasiness comes from the root. “Dirt from your hands can accumulate in the hair whenever you touch it. Putting your hair in a loose bun or braid will keep it away from an oily face or sweaty neck,” advises Dominic. And it’s chic too.

7. Avoid eating greasy food

As with most aspects of our beauty routines, what we put into our bodies can have just as much an effect as the products we put on them. Your diet can have a direct impact on the condition of your hair, so “steer away from fatty, oily, or sugary foods,” says Anabel – takeaways and junk food are the worst for this – and increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetables.

8. Incorporate a scalp toner

“Using a topical scalp toners will balance the scalp and reduce sebum production,” says Anabel.

Original article appeared on GLAMOUR UK

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