5 Surprising Things That Could Be Making Your Hair Greasy
Look, we get it, washing your hair every day can be a pain. It takes time, effort, and is just too much to handle early in the morning. And you may think skipping a wash here or there would really add up to a greasy mess on the top of your head. But, it turns out you’re wrong about that and potentially a few other hair-related fables.
Indeed, there are a few sneaky ways to combat that hair shine — including washing less — so you can go a few extra days in between shampoos. All you need to do is avoid these five things that cause grease build up in the first place.
Touching your hair often
Just as touching your face too often can lead to acne, touching your hair too often can lead to added grease as well. That’s because your hands are also covered in a natural oil to protect your skin. And every time you touch your hair your transferring that oil directly to your hair.
Always wearing a ponytail
Yes, ponytails are cute, but if you’re trying to maintain a fresh hair look steer clear of sweeping up your hair in an elastic.
“Pulling the hair together in a ponytail may lead to the accumulation of oil and dirt on the scalp underneath the ponytail holder,” Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, told SELF. “Essentially, this oil, dirt and grease gets trapped in the tiny crevices between your strands because the rubber band serves as a roadblock.”
Even when it's hot out it may be best to resist the urge to put it up.
“If your hair is matted down your scalp may not be ‘breathing’ and oil may not spread through the hair shaft,” Jon Reyman, master hairstylist and co-founder of Spoke & Weal, additionally told SELF. Go ahead, let your locks flow and breathe.
Brushing your hair throughout the day
Brushing is sort of the Goldilocks of hair care; too little and it will get tangled, too much and it will get oily. As StyleCaster noted, brushing can help distribute oils, which helps your hair maintain a smooth, shiny look. However, Cosmopolitan reported that same brushing behavior can also stimulate oil production, thus initiating an endless cycle of brushing and grease. Moral of the story: Only brush and touch your hair when you need to.
WATCH: How Southern Women Keep Sweat From Ruining Our Hair
Not getting enough B vitamins
What you eat does affect every inch of your body, right down to the ends of your hair. According to HealWithFood, a person’s B vitamin intake directly affects a person’s level of sebum (oil) production. "A sufficient intake of the B vitamins, particularly of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), can help combat greasy hair by regulating sebum production,” the site explained. The good thing is, B6 is found in a lot of foods including beans, meat, poultry, fish, and some fruits and vegetables. As a bonus, the site noted, it can help control sugar cravings too.
Washing too much in the first place
This sounds counter-intuitive to keeping greasy hair at bay, but it may be time to stop washing your hair as often as you do.
“Over-washing your hair strips your hair and scalp of natural oils,” Calvin Louis, hairstylist and founder of ManeFrame, told SELF. “The body remedies this by producing even more oil to make up for lost oils, which then creates a buildup and makes your hair feel and look oily.”
According to Louis you should try and go a day or two without washing to see what happens. Then, take it to the next level and only wash your hair once or twice a week. (Yes, lazy people everywhere, this is the excuse you’ve been waiting for.) If you find yourself wishing for a wash you could always spritz on dry shampoo to extend your hairstyle for one more day too.