Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Summer has come and gone, the weather is cooling and your hair is still greasy!
What gives?! Greasy hair not only looks bad, it's potentially bad for hair growth. Excessive sebum buildup can clog hair follicles and throw off our hair growth cycle.
Well, I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, it may not be all your fault! Hair texture plays a big part in how our hair reacts to natural and unnatural oils.
Fine hair tends to look most greasy because as oil production kicks up, there just isn't enough hair to absorb the extra oils. Curly hair usually looks most oily at the roots, since our coarse texture actually works to obstruct the oils from traveling very far down the hair shaft. On the other hand, straight hair has no textural obstructions so oils tend to travel down the hair shaft faster making more of the hair appear greasy. Now for the bad news. We tend to add on to our potential for oily hair regardless of what genetics have given us. Below is a quick guide on how you're making it worse and how you can eliminate these bad habits today!
I know this is going to garner some serious resistance from a few of you, but over-washing your hair isn't helping. It's actually making it worse! Stripping away your oils on a daily basis sends your sebaceous glands into over drive as they try to replenish your hair's natural oils. I know it's hard to fathom but washing less is best! Try every other day.
🚫 Applying conditioner to your scalp.
Applying conditioner directly to your scalp and not properly rinsing it can cause major issues. Not only does your scalp NOT need conditioning, it can create buildup that further attracts dirt and oils. Using a clarifying shampoo at least once a month will help insure that buildup isn't an issue for you.
🚫 Excessive touching.
I am SO guilty of this, especially if my hair is straight. Every time we touch our hair we're transferring dirt and oils from our hands to our hair. We would never touch our faces as much as we allow ourselves to touch our hair, the same discipline should apply here.
🚫 Using a dirty brush.
I've seen some of the brushes you all are using. Sometimes it's covered in product buildup or hair a half inch thick. Yuck! All of that gunk is going back onto your hair and causing unnecessary dirt and oils to be spread onto the hair shaft. Give them a good wash now and then. This goes for flatirons and curling irons too. Keep your tools clean!
🚫 Taking hot showers.
This might be the worst of all. Hot showers strip away moisture in our skin and hair. This can leave our ends dry and brittle, while the sebaceous glands are stimulated to create more oils. What you'll end up with is nice frizzy hair and a greasy scalp. Try a cold rinse before you get out, cold water closes and protects the cuticle and can calm the scalp.
Scalp care is an essential component to having healthy hair. While some additional factors such as fluctuating hormones, skin conditions and lack of vitamin B can also cause sebum imbalances, it's important to do your part! The bad news is, we all have bad habits that contribute to our oily hair. The good news is we have the capacity to change them. In the shower; monthly clarifying shampoos and less frequent washing, along with thorough cold water rinsing will help. Outside, clean tools and less touching will ensure no additional oil transfers onto our hair. Whether you want long hair or short, your scalp still has to be healthy to do it's thing! If you too have been guilty of any of these bad habits its time to do better, your hair will thank you!
Lorraine Martinez is a hairstylist in Chino Hills, Ca.
See CONTACT page for all inquiries.