Oily Hair – What Causes It & 14 Ways To Fix It

Oily hair can be a real confidence killer. It often feels like a constant battle to keep your hair looking fresh and clean.

But do not worry! In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of greasy hair and provide you with valuable tips and tricks to help you manage and overcome this annoying problem.

Say goodbye to greasy hair days and hello to healthy, luscious locks!

This post is all about oily hair!


Oily Hair


What Is Oily Hair?

Before jumping into all the solutions that might help you get rid of your oily hair or at least make it a bit better, let’s understand what is going on!

Oily hair is hair that has excessive natural oil levels, also called sebum.

What is sebum you might ask.

Sebum is made in the sebaceous glands in your skin. They keep your hair and scalp moisturized, which is a good thing, but they can be overactive and then the glands produce excess sebum, and that is when it starts to get irritating!

For some people, their hair gets oily only a few hours after showing and for others, it can be longer! Your hair looks flat and dirty and you probably don’t love how your hair looks.

But why do your hair and scalp do this? Let’s look into it!



What are coming causes of oily hair?

Your Genetics

Your genetics play a huge part in how greasy your hair will be. So if your hair type tends to be oily, you will never be able to fully get rid of it as it is a natural thing!

Some people simply have more sebum than others.

But there can be things you do in your everyday life, that you don’t really think about, that can make your hair greasier than what it has to be!


Seasonal Changes

The weather outside affects your hair—believe it or not.

Summer: In hot and humid weather, your scalp may produce more oil as it tries to regulate your body’s temperature and moisture levels. This can make your hair appear oilier than usual. Additionally, sweating can contribute to oil buildup on the scalp.

Winter: Cold, dry winter air can sometimes lead to a dry scalp, which can trigger an overproduction of oil as your scalp attempts to compensate for the lack of moisture. This can result in hair feeling greasier in the winter.

Overall, it’s essential to match your hair care routine to the changing seasons and the specific needs of your scalp and hair needs during the different seasons


Your Diet Matters

Yes, the foods we eat impact what happens in our skin! What a shocker…

If you have a diet high in fried, fatty food, sugary food then I can almost promise you that it will contribute to a more oily scalp!


Overwashing Your Hair and Hot Water

I love taking a long warm shower while performing a concert, for a nonexistent audience just as much as the next person, but it’s terrible for oily hair!

Overwashing your hair strips away too much of the amazing natural oils and sebum, which leaves your scalp dry, and then the scalp compensates by producing even more.

If you like to turn the temperature all the way up, you might need to take it down a few notches when washing your hair as hot water can stimulate the scalp to produce more oil…


Stress And Hormones

Stress affects our entire body, even our hair’s oil production.

The two main ways it does this are hormonal changes and overactive sebaceous glands.

When we’re stressed out, the stress hormone cortisol is released. This influences sebum production and causes a buildup of oil on the scalp.

When you are stressed you also might gravitate to more unhealthy foods, which again can impact your oily scalp

Hormonal fluctuation that happens during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can also stimulate your sebum production,


Excessive Touching

Touching your hair might seem innocent, but it is not!

When you keep touching your hair to get it out of your face or running your fingers through the hair, you transfer dirt and oils from your hands to your hair, which adds more oil and makes your hair greasier


Wrong hair products

Using the wrong haircuts can end up making your hair look more greasy than what it is.

So remember to choose the right products that fit your hair type and products that are not too heavy or contain a lot of silicon!


how to get rid of oily hair



How to Manage Oily Hair

Now that we better understand what can cause oily hair, you probably want to know some simple ways to manage it effectively!

Managing oily hair can be challenging, but there are numerous strategies you can try to help keep your hair looking fresh and grease-free. Here are some different ways to fix oily hair:


Stress management

To manage oily hair caused or exacerbated by stress, it’s important to address the underlying stress itself. Stress reduction techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and adequate sleep can help you better manage stress levels.

If you find that stress is severely impacting your hair and overall well-being, consider consulting a healthcare professional or therapist for additional support and guidance.


Choose the right products

You need to get the right products that help you with your oily hair and won’t make it worse, so here are some things to look for in products for oily hair!

  1. Oil-Control Ingredients: Look for products that contain oil-controlling ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil, or citrus extracts. These ingredients can help regulate sebum production and keep your scalp less oily.
  2. Sulfate-Free Formulation: Opt for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates can strip natural oils from your scalp, causing it to produce more oil to compensate.
  3. Lightweight and Non-Greasy: Ensure that the products, especially conditioners and styling products, are lightweight and non-greasy. You want to avoid adding excess weight and oil to your hair as it can make your hair appear greasy.
  4. Balancing and pH-Neutral: Look for products that are designed to balance the scalp’s oil production and have a pH-neutral or balanced pH formula. A balanced scalp is less likely to overproduce oil.
  5. Hypoallergenic and Non-Comedogenic: If you have a sensitive scalp, consider hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic products that are less likely to cause irritation or clog pores on your scalp.

If possible, try sample-sized or travel-sized versions of products before committing to a full-size bottle. This allows you to test how the product works with your hair without a significant investment.

If you’re uncertain about which products to choose or have specific concerns about your oily hair, consider consulting a hairstylist or dermatologist for personalized recommendations.

By considering these factors, you can select products that are better suited to managing oily hair and maintaining a healthy scalp.


Wash Your Hair Less

How often you should wash your hair can vary from person to person because it depends on your hair type, scalp condition, and personal preferences. However, here are some general guidelines to help you figure out how often you should wash your hair

Daily to Every Other Day: If your hair gets extremely oily quickly, you may need to wash it daily or every other day to keep it looking fresh.

Every 2-3 Days: Many people with moderately oily hair find that washing every 2-3 days is sufficient to keep their hair clean and manageable. This allows your scalp to maintain a better natural oil balance.

Experiment: It’s important to experiment and find the frequency that works best for your specific hair and scalp. Factors like lifestyle and activity level can also influence how often you need to wash your hair.


Use cold water

Cold water is less likely to strip away the natural oils, which can help balance the oil production on your scalp over time.

Cold water is generally gentler on the scalp than hot water. It can be soothing for individuals with sensitive or irritated scalps, which can sometimes occur with oily hair.

While there are potential advantages to using cold water for washing oily hair, it’s important to note that it may not be the most comfortable option, especially during colder seasons. 

Some people prefer using lukewarm water, which hits a balance between the benefits of cold and hot water. Lukewarm water can help cleanse the scalp effectively without causing too much oil production.

Ultimately, the temperature of the water you use when washing your hair is a matter of personal preference and what works best for your hair and scalp. You can experiment with different water temperatures and find out how your hair responds to determine the most suitable option for you.


Shampoo Properly

This is the best tip I have ever gotten on combating oily hair – Double shampoo!! Wash your hair twice!

Start by wetting your hair with lukewarm water or cold if you can handle it.

Next, apply a small amount of shampoo to your scalp, focusing on the roots.

Gently massage your scalp for a minute to help break down oil and buildup.

Thoroughly rinse your hair with lukewarm water and then repeat one more time!

Double-check that all shampoo is washed out, as shampoo residue will give a greasy look and feel to the hair


Dont condition your roots

Use a lightweight, oil-free conditioner and concentrate it primarily on the ends of your hair, and avoid applying it directly to your scalp. This will help moisturize the drier parts of your hair without adding excess oil to the scalp.


Clarifying Shampoo – Your New Best Friend

Clarifying shampoo is perfect for greasy hair as it helps by:

  1. Removing excess oils
  2. Cleansing the scalp
  3. Eliminating product residue
  4. Restoring hair balance
  5. Improving volume and texture

Don’t use this type of shampoo every time you wash your hair as it can strip the natural oils from the scalp.


How often should you use a clarifying shampoo?

Once a Week to Once a Month: For most people with oily hair, using a clarifying shampoo once a week to once a month is sufficient. If you use a lot of hair products (like hairspray, gels, or forms) or live in an area with hard water, you might need to do it more often.

As Needed: Pay attention to your hair’s condition. If you notice that your hair feels heavy, looks dull, or is not responding well to your regular shampoo and conditioner, it might be time to use a clarifying shampoo to remove all build-up.

Here are some great clarifying shampoos to try out, they are a bit more expensive than normal shampoo, but they will last you a lot longer because you don’t use them every time you shower!


The links below are affiliate links. That means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Read more on my disclosure page – click here to read.



Use Dry shampoo

Yes, you can use dry shampoo on oily hair! In between washes, dry shampoo can help manage excess oil and keep your hair looking smooth and beautiful without the excess grease.

My best tip, and I do this all the time myself, is to add dry shampoo to your hair before it gets oily. It sounds stupid, but it works!

If your hair gets super oily throughout the day, then carry a travel-size dry shampoo in your bag on add it to your hair when needed!


How to use dry shampoo

To use dry shampoo effectively, I highly recommend following these basic steps:

  • Shake the can well before application
  • Divide your hair into sections and apply the dry shampoo
  • Spray the roots
  • Massage it into your scalp
  • Wait a few minutes
  • Brush your hair
  • Style as desired


Try Different Hair Rinses

If you notice your hair is getting super greasy, I highly recommend trying different hair rinses.

The top culprit of hair grease is dirt and hair products.

So, it makes sense to do a deep cleanse once in a while to get rid of all that gunk in your hair.

For example, an apple cider vinegar hair rinse is a natural remedy that helps balance the pH level of your scalp. Do one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, leave it for a few minutes, and rinse.

You can also try a green tea rinse. Start by brewing a strong cup of green tea and allow it to cool completely. Then, use it as a hair rinse. Green tea contains antioxidants that can help control oil production and keep your scalp healthy.


Use blotting papers

If your hair gets super oily really fast and it’s a problem in your everyday life, then look into blotting papers! They are easy to carry around in your bag and you can very discreetly use them to absorb some oil on top of your hair!

If you want a cheaper alternative, then simply use some toilet paper!


Clean Your Hairbrush

Over time, your hairbrush accumulates dead skin cells, oils, hair products, and dust and you don’t want to add that back to your freshly washed hair every time you brush it. You also wouldn´t use a dirty towel to dry your clean hair.  So cleaning your hairbrush regularly is a must!


Use a Silk/Satin Pillowcase

I’m a huge fan of silk pillowcases for better hair! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase helps reduce friction and oil buildup on your hair. It also reduces static, making your hair smoother.

Also, be sure to switch out your pillowcase regularly. Built-up oil, dirt, and hair products can help reduce oil production in your hair.


The links below are affiliate links. That means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Read more on my disclosure page – click here to read.




Avoid Touching Your Hair

Your hands carry a lot of germs and bacteria and touching your hair daily transfers oil from your hands to your hair. Avoid touching your hair as much as possible for the best results.

If you must touch your hair, make sure your hands are clean, and try to do so as sparingly as possible.


Balanced diet

A balanced diet can have an impact on the health of your hair, including its oiliness. Here’s how:

Nutrient Intake: A balanced diet provides your body with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins, that are crucial for overall hair health. When your body is well-nourished, it can promote healthy hair growth and regulate oil production on the scalp.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts, can help regulate oil production and maintain a healthy scalp. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce scalp inflammation, which may contribute to excessive oiliness.

Vitamins and Minerals: Certain vitamins and minerals play a role in hair health. For example, zinc and vitamin A are involved in regulating sebum production, while biotin (vitamin B7) supports overall hair health. A balanced diet ensures you’re getting these nutrients.

Hydration: Staying properly hydrated is essential for healthy hair. Dehydration can lead to a dry scalp, prompting the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate.

Avoiding Excess Sugar and Processed Foods: Diets high in sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation in the body, which can affect the health of your scalp and hair. Reducing your intake of these foods can help maintain a balanced scalp.

While a balanced diet can have a positive impact on oily hair, it’s important to note that it may not be the sole factor influencing oiliness. Oily hair can also be influenced by genetics, hormones, and other factors.



Greasy hair


Be Patient

If you’re starting your journey to reduce the oil in your hair, please be patient with yourself. It could take time for your scalp to adjust to a new routine. Stick with it. Your hair’s oil production will become more balanced with time.

Also, talk with a hairstylist to get more customized guidance for your hair.

Remember that everyone’s hair is unique, so what works for one person may not work the same way for another. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of products that work best for your specific hair type and concerns. Be patient and give new products some time to show results, as it can take a few uses to see their full effects.


Consult a dermatologist

If your hair keeps becoming excessively oily despite trying various products and specialized hair care products, try reaching out to a dermatologist who can help identify any underlying causes and recommend effective treatments.


How To Style Oily Hair 

Curls or waves

If your hair is straight and is always styled flat down on your head, it is easier for the oil to get distributed in the hair. So try out some curls or waves, because lifting up the hair from the scalp will make sure that it takes a bit longer for the oil to get further down the hair, as the hair is not touching the scalp!

So more volume is better!


Use the oil to your advantage

Oily hair can be quite useful when styling hair!

So when your hair is fresh out of the shower, where it down for as long as you feel comfortable.

Oily hair can hold hairstyles exceptionally well. So when you don’t feel like wearing your hair down anymore, try updos like buns, braids, or ponytails, which benefit from the added texture and grip that oily hair provides.

So use the oil and save on your hair products!


3 hairstyles perfect for hiding oily hair

3 Easy Buns For Beginners – PERFECT FOR EVERY DAY

Buns are the perfect hairstyle for oily hair when you just can´t have your hair down anymore, but still want to get one more day out of your hair. In this video, I show you 3 different ways to create a bun, if you need a bit of inspiration!


How To Put Your Hair Up In A Claw Clip For Beginners

Claw clips can save the day when your hair is really greasy! If you have one more day until hair washing day, then sleek your hair back and clip it up with a claw clip and rock this trendy hairstyle!


Learn How To French Braid & Dutch Braid Your Own Hair!

Braids are great for oily hair as “dirt” gives the hair a lot of grip which is perfect for braiding! So if your hair is looking oily, then give a french braid or a dutch braid a try!


This post was all about everything you need to know about your oily hair and how you might be able to fix it!



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