Unlikely culprits are lurking at every turn.
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Few things are more frustrating than investing the time washing and styling your hair only to be met with oily or greasy strands that very same day. Whether it's your shampoo or conditioner choice, your nervous habit of playing with your hair, or the fact that your pillowcase hasn't seen a good wash in, well, we'd rather not say, there are plenty of reasons why your hair isn't maintaining its freshness. We're here to shed light on the tricky little things that might be making your hair greasy so you can extend the time between shampoos without sacrificing your style.

Greasy Hair in Bun on Top of Head
Credit: Getty/Softulka

Mistake 1: Not Really Getting Your Hair Clean in the First Place

It might come as a surprise, but some of us are not actually washing our hair properly—Mama would be aghast. There's a reason your hair stays fresh for so long after a trip to the salon, and it's probably because the stylist really works the shampoo through your hair, scrubbing your scalp, and ensuring not an inch is missed. In fact, you might have also noticed another little trick that sets professional washes apart from your thrice-weekly scrub: Instead of adding more shampoo if the lather isn't quite sufficient, stylists usually add a quick splash of water. That one little pro tip can save you money and ensure you're not adding unnecessary product, which can weigh down your hair (yes, even if it's shampoo).

Mistake 2: Overwashing Your Hair

It's not your imagination—the more you wash your hair, the quicker it may seem in need of another wash. The reason being that if you cleanse your hair of its natural oils too frequently, it could be trying to overcompensate. Your scalp could be amping up oil production, which means greasier strands in record time. The answer isn't necessarily reaching for the dry shampoo in lieu of a wash either, as overusing the product could lead to scalp buildup with side effects ranging from hair with increased oily tendencies to even hair loss in the most severe of circumstances. Instead try to plan your hair-wash schedule to your workout days, social calendar, etc. That way, you can give your strands the day off when they're not going to be front and center.

Mistake 3: Conditioner-Related Issues

Using too much conditioner, the wrong conditioner, or applying conditioner incorrectly can all lead to greasier hair. Your hair type, texture, length, and more should all factor into how you approach the post-shampoo process, but a good rule of thumb is to apply conditioner from mid-strands to ends and always make sure it's completely washed out unless it's a leave-in product—in which case you'll probably be applying it post shower.

Mistake 4: Touching Your Hair Too Often

We know those fresh-from-the-salon tresses are tempting but keep your fingers out of your mane if you want to make it last. Our skin holds all kind of oils (not to mention dirt, germs, and other not-so-pleasant things), which you're passing on to your strands the minute they meet.

Mistake 5: Using the Wrong Hair Products

Your best friend told you about a miracle product that you just have to try, so you spent $40 on a serum that is leaving your hair dirty by day two. Newsflash: not all products are universal winners. In fact, there likely isn't a one that will work on every hair type, texture, and thickness. You can certainly look for advice from your trusted inner circle, but at the end of the day, you might have better luck talking with your stylist about which products are best for your specific hair needs. That being said, your stylist may have a product line sold in the salon that they point you toward. If those products aren't within your budget, it's perfectly fine to let your stylist know so they can suggest other options that you can pick up on your next grocery or Target run.

Mistake 6: Dirty Linens

So, you finally invested in a silk pillowcase? First, congratulations. You're about to embark on some good hair days, sister. Second, it's time to read up on the proper care. You likely won't be able to throw it in the machine with the rest of your linens. It will probably require a run on the gentle cycle at the very least, perhaps with a hand-wash recommended instead. Regardless of whether you have a standard cotton pillowcase or have splurged for a silk option, you'll need to keep your pillowcase clean to keep your hair clean too. Residual makeup (yes, even if you double cleanse), skin-care residue, sweat, and more are all lurking between those fibers (even more so if you're still using a cotton pillowcase), making your strands greasier as the clock beats toward wakeup time. Wash your pillowcase weekly (whether by hand, on the gentle cycle, or with the rest of your linens) and you'll be in the clear.

Mistake 7: Over Brushing

Are you of the "100 strokes" generation? Or maybe that was a beauty rule passed down to you from Mom or Grandma? The fact of the matter is, finding a good hairbrush and regularly passing it through your strands can increase blood flow to the scalp, potentially promoting hair growth, while keeping tangles at bay. A good brushing routine can also help disperse the oils from the scalp throughout the rest of the strands, which can keep those locks healthy-looking and oh-so shiny. But, if you're trying to stretch out the time until your next wash, it's probably best to keep the brushing to a minimum for just that reason.