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How to Get Rid of Oily, Greasy Hair Quickly

October 04, 2019

How to Get Rid of Oily, Greasy Hair Quickly

Written by Seraine Page. Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson, MD, FAAD.


Everyone wants shiny, gorgeous hair, right?

Greasy hair is not the kind of shine you want, though. If your hair tends to get oily often, it could be caused by any number of issues. The fix can be as simple as adjusting your hair care routine.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, washing oily hair more frequently can eliminate that excess shine while still keeping your hair healthy.

Here we share our best tips and tricks for getting rid of oily hair fast. If your mane is looking greasy instead of glossy, this post is for you.

What Causes Greasy Hair?

A variety of issues can cause greasy hair. Sebum, produced by the oil glands attached to hair follicles, helps to keep your hair moisturized and looking healthy. Some people naturally make it more than others, so their hair appears greasier, faster.

Here are a few other common causes of oily hair:

  • Improper hair care
  • Product build-up
  • Hereditary problems
  • Bad eating habits

Other reasons for oily hair?

Improper hair care and product build up can be as simple as adding too much conditioner to the entire strands of fine hair, which can weigh it down and make it appear oily. If this happens to you after showering, consider adding conditioner just to the tips of your hair.

To get a sense for other conditions that might lead to oily hair, we consulted with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD. She mentioned seborrheic dermatitis, which is a condition of thick oily flaking of the scalp that is often associated with oil production and hormonal factors.

Dr. Jackson explains that "seborrheic dermatitis, a condition causing redness and scaling on the scalp, has a strong correlation with sebum production. We see an increase in infancy as cradle cap when the infant's oil glands are stimulated by the mother's hormones. We also typically see it again as dandruff in puberty/adulthood alongside increased hormone production. However, not all individuals with increased oil production will develop seborrheic dermatitis, so while sebum production strongly correlates with dandruff, it is not the only cause."

How to Get Rid of Oily Hair 

In just a few steps, you can reclaim your gorgeous locks and say goodbye to oily hair. Your first step is getting into a hair care routine that you’re comfortable with and that your hair responds to well. Sometimes this takes a little trial and error. 

Here are a few tips that will help you prevent oily hair:

  • Avoid touching your hair throughout the day. Your fingertips are oily!
  • Use warm water to wash your hair.
  • Avoid adding “hydrating” products to your hairline, as they can make hair look greasy.

    The Best Natural Shampoo for Oily Hair

    Puracy Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

    Puracy Natural Shampoo is perfect for daily use for all hair types and has a lovely minty citrus smell! Best of all, it’s sulfate-free, hypoallergenic and will strengthen and hydrate strands while eliminating frizz. Follow it with Puracy Natural Conditioner for best results.

    How to Get Rid of Oily Hair Without Washing it

    Let’s be real, you can only wear a hat or headscarf with so many outfits. If you don’t have time for a full head scrub-down, here are a few tips to minimize the oil-slick look without washing:

    Cornstarch 

    Add to your roots to soak up excess oil. For darker hair, mix with some cocoa powder so the white cornstarch powder doesn’t show up as much on your hairline. 

    Blotting papers 

    Just like these magical papers will take the oil off your face, they can do the same for your hairline. Keep these in your purse for a quick freshening up of your hair and face!

    What is “Dry Shampoo” and How Does it Work?

    Some people like to use dry shampoo when they’re in a pinch and don’t have time to take a shower. With active ingredients like alcohol and starch, dry shampoo works by soaking up grease and oil in your hair. This might make your hair look fresh and clean temporarily, but take note -- dry shampoo will not get your hair and scalp clean, so it’s no substitute for regular, old-fashioned shampoo and conditioner.

    To make matters worse, many conventional dry shampoos have aluminum salt, talc, and use propellants (butane, isobutane, propane, alcohol, etc.), all of which can have negative health and environmental impacts. As a result, we do not recommend using dry shampoo.

    How do I Stop my Hair From Getting Greasy Overnight?

    If you shower before bed but still find yourself waking up with greasy hair, there are a few options to try before giving up your nighttime shower routine for a morning one. From keeping a clean pillowcase to wearing a loose bun, these tips are worth a shot to stop the grease! 

    Try these tips for keeping greasy nighttime hair away: 

    • Use a clarifying shampoo for your nighttime shower 
    • Place hair in a loose bun atop your head using a cloth scrunchie
    • Be sure to sleep on a clean pillowcase (dirt does build up!)

    Additionally, be sure to keep your room cool to avoid sweating. Excess sweat on your scalp is a guarantee you’ll wake up with sweaty strands. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your room at around 65 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re sleeping.

    Are There any Ingredients I Should Avoid in my Hair Care Products?

    Exposure to dirty chemicals can add up, especially when you consider your scalp and skin absorb any product you put on them. Here are a few ingredients to avoid in hair care products that can have negative effects on our planet and on your health.

    Dimethicone, or polydimethylsiloxane, is a man-made silicone oil used to make skincare products smoother and easier to apply. It’s often found in beauty items and personal care items, including shampoo and conditioner. Although it is generally considered safe to use as a skincare ingredient, it’s a hydrolyzed chemical that is not biodegradable, making it bad for the environment. We outline our full case against dimethicone in this blog post -- “Dimethicone: How it Hurts the Environment & What to Use Instead.”

    Parabens are a family of preservatives often found in health and personal care products. From shampoo to conditioner to moisturizers, parabens help products remain on the shelf for longer periods of time. Although effective as preservatives, some studies have raised questions about parabens producing effects similar to those of estrogen. They have also been found to cause skin irritation in some individuals. For further details, check out our medically reviewed blog post -- “Are Parabens Bad? Learn the Truth About This Potentially Damaging Chemical.”

    Silicones are man-made products designed to help make skin and hair-care products smoother and easier to apply. Because they’re highly effective in this capacity, and because they’re inexpensive, silicones run rampant in most hair care products. The problem?  Silicones -- including dimethicone, trichomethicone and others -- are bad for the environment because they’re not biodegradable. They also aren’t natural. At Puracy, our entire product lineup is silicone-free, and we recommend avoiding products with ingredients that end in -cone, -siloxane, and -conol. Instead, we use a unique blend of plant-based ingredients that mimic the silky, frictionless feel of a silicone -- without actually using silicones. These ingredients -- which include Betaine, Squalene, and Diheptyl Succinate and Capryloyl Glycerin Sebacic Acid Copolymer -- are more expensive, but we use them because we’re committed to delivering the best possible products to our customers while minimizing our impact on the environment.

    These are just a few of the most common ingredients you’ll want to avoid. By starting to look at labels, you’re taking the first step towards avoiding ingredients that might be harmful to you or your family. 


    To learn more about other harmful chemicals to avoid, check out our related post -- “The Top 10 Toxins to Remove from Your Home ASAP.”

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