Why is My Hair So Oily? (Causes & Remedies)

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Why is my hair so oily

You are in the right place if you’ve been wondering why your hair is so greasy or even HOW to prevent greasiness.

In this article we will explore 8 reasons that are commonly attributed to oily hair. Some are within your control hence you can check out the remedies we suggest at end of this article.

Oily hair can result from product build-up, using the wrong products, stress, among other causes as we will see shortly.

Why Is My Hair So Oily?

Your hair is oily because of the one or more of the following reasons:

#1. Over-production of sebum

To protect the hair, the body produces sebum, a natural oil. [1]

If produced in balanced amounts, then we’ve got NO problem but where there is an over-production of sebum, it results in oily hair.

Over-production of sebum can be triggered by hormonal imbalance or hair care practices such as over-washing.

#2. Hair type

Straight hair is more prone to getting oily or greasy

This is because oils travel faster along the hair shaft faster as there is no resistance.

On the other hand, oils travel slower in curly or kinky hair types because of the resistance from the bends and curves along the hair shaft.

Whilst rare curly hair can also become greasy. This can result from heavily layering products, staying too long between washes or using the wrong shampoo.

The result is a buildup of sebum and other hair products that contribute to an oily look.

#3. Over-washing

You might think that continuously washing your hair will help in getting rid of that oily feel.

This however has the opposite effect.

Over-washing strips hair of its natural oils. This causes the scalp to produce more oil to compensate for the lack of it thus ending up with oily hair and this cycle continues.

How often you wash your hair will obviously depend on what you find to work best for your hair type but if you find you are experiencing greasy hair, you would want to consider reducing the frequency of your washes.

#4. Hair Porosity

Did you know that your hair porosity affects the hair’s ability to absorb moisture and products hence can contribute to your being oily or not?

People with low porosity hair are prone to having oily hair.

This is because such hair experiences difficulty in absorbing moisture and oils thanks to its tightly closed cuticles.

Products end up settling on hair strands and scarfs weighing down the hair and giving it an overall oily look. 

#5. Products

Some specific types of hair care products can be the root of oily hair.

For instance, oily or waxy hair products are more likely to cause build-up on the scalp.

Some styling products such as gels and creams also weigh down hair. Overall, this contributes to a greasy look.

Here are some tips on using products in order to prevent oiliness:

  • Keep the conditioner away from the roots.
  • Use light oils that can penetrate the hair shaft easily
  • Clarify your hair to remove any product build-up
  • Use heat when applying oils and conditioner to promote easier absorption

#6. Stress

Stress has been found to have a lot of negative effects on hair growth.

When you are stressed, the body is triggered into producing known as cortisol. This hormone is produced at the scalp and can spread through the entire hair causing oiliness.

Some of the recommendations for stress-induced oily hair are meditation, deep breaths, and opening up to a closed one but most importantly seek medical care as appropriate.

#7. Touching the hair

The thing with touching hair too often is that any form of oil from your hands can be transferred to your hair.

Once transferred, this gives an overall oily and greasy look.

The less contact with hair that you have, the better for your hair appearance.

#8. Over brushing

Brushing your hair is an easy way to style and set your hair/curls. However, too much brushing can cause excess production of oil in hair.

Additionally, the brushing motion moves the oil from the base of your scalp to your hair strands. 

These ultimately lead to an overall oily or greasy look.

#9. Dirty Linen

Sometimes, the reason for oily hair is as simple as having dirty linen.

These beddings come into contact with your hair when you are asleep thus transferring oil and build-up from the linen to your hair.

Therefore sleeping on clean linen is very important if you want to keep the oils away.

Additionally, you could look into covering your hair with a silk scarf/bonnet to protect your hair from any gunk on your beddings.

How to Prevent Greasy Hair

  1. Use the right products
  2. Wash less frequently
  3. Use silk or satin pillowcases or wear a satin bonnet when sleeping
  4. Clarify with Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. Use light Oils that penetrate easily
  6. Clean properly to remove product build-up

BTW, did you know hair porosity plays a key role in hair growth? Take this simple hair porosity test to determine if your hair is HIGH, LOW or NORMAL porosity.

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