You want clean hair. So you wash it and somehow, it’s still greasy. But you literally just washed it! If you know there’s a problem and you’re already avoiding the most common mistake by applying conditioner only to the very ends of your hair and avoiding your scalp completely, then enough is enough.
It’s time to get to the root (like what I did there?) of the problem.
First of all, what actually causes your hair to turn into a slimy mess?
The technical explanation, if you will.
Long story short: your sebaceous glands (we all have ‘em: men, women and gender-neutral alike) are producing way too much sebum. Sebum, which is basically the main ingredient of your body’s natural oils, protects your skin and hair from moisture loss and gives your hair its natural shine. If the skin doesn’t have enough of it, it loses water and feels dry. If it has too much … yep, you guessed it — the dreaded helmet head, because oil production is at an all-time high.
What are YOU doing wrong?
What’s going on here? You just want clean hair! There’s a bunch of snarky reasons that you’re totally unaware that could be preventing you from shaking your head like a Pantene Pro-V model. Go down this checklist and we bet you’ll find the culprit.
A greasy ‘do may be the result of the following:
- Hormonal fluctuations. Is your hair greasier during a certain time of the month? Maybe you’re taking medicine with hormones in it?
- Eating foods high in refined carbs. As if there weren’t enough reasons to give up my all-time fave foods.
- Eating foods high in saturated fat. Well, this makes sense. Fat = grease.
- Hair products that contain silicone. Read those ingredients religiously.
- Using an unclean brush. Hmmm. What exactly constitutes an “unclean brush” though?
- Touching your hair too much. I. Wish. I. Could.
- Wearing your hair up at night. Try it down, so it’s not all matted to your scalp. You’ll gain the knots, but you might lose the grease.
- Lack of vitamin B. This could very well be you, especially if you eat vegan or vegetarian.
What can you do about it?
Celebrity stylist extraordinaire Jen Atkin, who manages the coifs of the Kardashian-Jenners, Bella Hadid, and Chrissy Teigen, among others, is known by most influential hair stylist in the world ATM. (She even has hair products for pets!) Atkin points out that the greasies can be combated by using a different product on the roots and the ends of your hair. She recommends a hydrating shampoo for the ends, and a cleansing shampoo for the roots.
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Stylist to the stars Marrisa Marino, who does Selena Gomez’s hair, adds that washing too much can cause the greasies. “Washing too often actually sends a signal for your scalp to produce more oil, leaving you in a vicious cycle,” she says. “Using dry shampoo every other day instead of washing with regular shampoo can help decrease oil production.”
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Behold, more tips from the pros, from the sort of obvious to the blatantly bolder moves:
- Go natural. Take a total va-cay from all hair products and see what it does for you. Aim for at least a week and ideally take a break for 10 loonnggg days.
- Deep clean with aloe. Aloe vera has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that kill fungus and bacterias. It’s effective eliminating the excess oil of your scalp.
- Use cornstarch or baby powder. The great-grandparents of the dry shampoo. Sprinkle some on to absorb oil instantly.
- Try baby shampoo. Try shampoo with tea tree oil. Try just any new kind of shampoo.
- Rinse with apple cider vinegar. ACV is super acidic, which which helps balance the pH level of the scalp, which will help reduce oil buildup on your hair. Experiment with other ingredients you definitely have at home, like honey and green tea, as they’re are supposed to help eliminate oil naturally.
- Use a scalp scrub. Exfoliate. Renew it all.
- Switch your pillow cases every night. Or, because that sounds like a lot of work, start by changing them more frequently.
- Shave your head. Drastic. No hair, no greasy hair. And imagine how much engagement you’d get posting that video on Instagram!
Heed the damn advice
Listen to the experts, and listen to me – it’s not my first time researching beauty do’s and don’ts as if it’s my job (surprise! kinda is my actual job). Take the advice, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll start rocking a hairstyle whose intention isn’t to hide shine. Kiss your combo of messy bun + sunglasses goodbye for good!