I've needed so many quick fixes for greasy hair this summer, owing to the humidity, a thick head of hair, and a hare-brained idea to grow it out really long when it's this hot. I ultimately cut it off in stages, but while that's definitely a possible remedy for oilier hair, it's not the only one. Don't fret! There are loads of quick fixes for greasy hair that aren't nearly so extreme!
But first, it's a good idea to understand why your hair is greasy. Once you have an idea of why you're dealing with oily strands, you can figure out which is the appropriate way to approach getting rid of it. Often, treating the cause of your greasy hair will have you back to normal in just a week or so.
You might be surprised to find that your ponytail is to blame for your greasy hair. As busy girls, we often toss our hair up in the morning because it's fast and easy. However, when you pull your hair up all the time, you could be dealing with a buildup of debris and other junk at your roots, which lends itself to a shiny, greasy look. Try changing things up to solve the problem.
Using the wrong products or using them the wrong way could be the culprit as well. If you tend toward greasy hair, you should be using products (including shampoo and conditioner) that are designed to treat the problem. You want something that is lightweight and clarifying to help remove excess oil and product buildup. You might think that washing more often is a good idea if your hair is greasy, but you may be washing too often. Overwashing your strands removes the healthy oils it needs so your scalp amps up production, leading to even more oil. Shine serums are something else to stay away from, as they tend to add even more oil to your hair, something that is only going to exacerbate the problem.
Ladies with curly hair are more prone to oily strands than those with straighter strands. Why? Because when you brush your hair, you distribute the natural oils in your hair. However, curly haired girls will adamantly tell you that brushing curls is not a good idea. Therefore, if you have curly hair, you may be dealing with more oil. Spend more time combing your curls to help take of the issue.
If you do brush your hair, you could be experiencing greasy strands because your brush isn't as clean as you think. The truth is that you should be washing your brush with warm water and mild soap on a regular basis. That way, all the products, oils and dirt won't be transferred back to your hair each time your brush.
If you have greasy hair, you may be tempted to mess with it all the time to counteract the problem. The more you touch your hair, the worse the problem becomes. Your hands aren't always as clean as you think and each time you touch your strands, you leave behind oil, dirt, debris and other junk that lends itself to greasy hair.
You might also be surprised to find that humid weather can make your greasy. If you live in a place that experiences humidity during certain parts of the year, you might have to be extra vigilant about treating your oily strands during those times.
Now let's talk about what you're eating. Your hair relies on certain nutrients to stay healthy and forgoing important B vitamins can lead to greasy hair. B vitamins can be found in beans, meats and other animal products. If you are a vegetarian, it might be wise to evaluate your B vitamin intake to be sure you're getting what you need.
Your hormones are another factor to consider when it comes to greasy hair. Fluctuations can mess with your body's natural processes, which is why being on your period, being pregnant, or being menopausal can all be to blame for oily hair. If you suspect this is the culprit, talk to your doctor about healthy ways to balance your hormones.
Finally, untreated dandruff could also be to blame. You might find that addressing the issue with specially formulated shampoo will completely get rid of your greasy hair problem.
Now that you've figured out what's causing your oily hair, you can take steps to battle the grease. Below is a list of easy and effective ways to soak up the oil and get your hair back to its healthy, lush and beautiful look. Good luck!
1. Forget Your Nose and Powder Your Hair
Powdering your hair can easily absorb excess grease and oil from your roots, which is where that '90s grunge look generally starts. Any kind of loose powder will do, applied with a puff or, for more control and natural placement, a makeup brush. Alternately, you can switch to a dry shampoo, at least some of the time. I'll get to what to do when you shampoo; there are several quick fixes for greasy hair that focus on the way you clean your hair.
2. Change the Way You Wash
Essentially, you should change the way you wash – and condition. If you have greasy hair, you really shouldn't wash every day. It may sound weird, but the more you wash away the natural oils in your hair, the oilier your hair will get as your glands produce it in excess. Just try washing your hair every other day, at the very least. Remember, you can use a dry shampoo in between, if you like. You may also want to reduce your use of conditioner, if not cut it out completely. You shouldn't need it if your hair is producing its own healthy, natural oils. Sometimes you just need conditioner though, especially when your hair is very long, thick, or coarse. In that case, just remember to keep your conditioner away from your roots; massage it in from the middle of the hair shaft on down.
3. Try Something Acidic
Adding something to your wash routine can help too. One quick fix for greasy hair involves using either vinegar or lemon juice. You can mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water or try a quarter cup of lemon juice in a cup of water, then rinse with either mixture in the shower. Vinegar gets rid of any buildup of debris, oil, and product, while lemon juice can help with dandruff as well. Just remember that lemon will also make your hair get lighter.
4. Save the Hooch for the Shower
There are several ways you can use alcohol to keep grease at bay. Beer rinses are great, not to mention simple. If you don't drink or don't want to waste the good stuff in the fridge, just buy some of the cheapest beer you can find to use after you shampoo. You can also mix three tablespoons of your choice of alcohol – but no mixed fruity drinks, of course – and one cup of water to create a rinse.
5. Maintain the Natural Way
Sometimes the chemicals in the shampoos and styling products you use can make your hair greasier. Stay away from shampoos that have sulfates and try to use more natural products. You can also create your own, from dry shampoos to rosemary remedies, wherein you chop sprigs of mint and rosemary, and heat them on the stove with lemon juice and water.
6. Check Your Style
Your hairstyle may be wreaking havoc with your tresses as well. Don't worry, I'm not advocating an extreme cut, unless that will work with you. Sometimes it can seem like your bangs are greasier than anything else, so you might simply choose to grow out your fringe. You may also discover that the way you style your hair or the tools and product you use to do it are causing grease.
7. Oatmeal: Not Just for Breakfast
Oatmeal absorbs a lot of oil, but I'm not telling you to use it dry, although that may be effective (if messy). Another messy but wonderful option is to cook plain oatmeal and make it into a kind of shampoo in the shower. You'll have to deal with the drain, but the paste works wonderfully!
If you're having a greasy hair day and don't have any powder or dry shampoo, cornstarch will work just as well. Simply combine a tablespoon of it with one tablespoon rubbing alcohol then shake it with four tablespoons water. Spritz it on your hair and let the mixture do its magic. Keep some on hand so you're always prepared when the oil in your strands get to be too much.
9. Concentrate on Bangs
If you're short on time and have greasy hair, try just washing and blow drying your bangs. It won't take as long as doing all of your hair, but will create the illusion of freshly washed locks. Then simply style the rest of your hair into an updo that hides the grease and you'll be ready to face the day.
10. Wear a Hair Accessory
Sometimes nothing you do will end the greasy situation. When that happens, consider just giving up. Cover your hair with a fun headband or scarf and let it do the style talking for you. Everyone will think you just tried something new - no one has to know what's going on underneath. A fun hat is another option for a casual day look.
11. Baby Powder
Baby powder is a great option for soaking up grease. At the same time, it smells good and gives your hair a nice scent. You don't have to mix it with anything either. Simply sprinkle some baby powder into the roots of your hair and massage it in. Make sure you don't use too much or the whiteness of the powder will be hard to disguise.
I went back to a much-loved cropped bob and decided to think about a longer length again, once the weather cools down and my heavy hair isn't quite as prone to looking greasy. Just remember, whether you've got thin or thick hair, long or short, straight or curly, greasy hair affects different people at different times. What works for you might not work for everyone else, but these quick fixes make a great place to start! How do you handle greasy hair?
This article written in collaboration with editor, Eliza Martinez