What your greasy hair is really trying to tell you…

Want to know how to get rid of greasy hair? You may need to know the causes first...

Greasy hair can really get you down. If you’re a fellow sufferer, there’s nothing worse than feeling it turn mop-like and lank a mere day after washing. But did you know that there could be underlying issues causing it to grease up?

Oil is natural, but when it feels like it’s getting out of control, it could be a sign that your body’s trying to tell you something. That’s right – oily hair could be a sign of an underlying problem.

Greasy hair isn’t pleasant and can cause problems of its own, not least having an effect on your mood and confidence. If you’re struggling to combat it, you might need to start tuning in to your body, as it might be trying to tell you something (via oil… yeah, bodies are weird)!

You’re stressed 

When you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone known as cortisol – it’s our body’s way of protecting us, making sure we’re ready to run away from or fight the perceived danger around us. It gobbles up glucose faster and curbs non-essential functions of the body so we can focus on managing the present issue(s) causing us stress. Unfortunately, this also ramps up the production of oil. As well as oily hair, it can add grease to your skin, causing breakouts too.

Schedule in some time out: whether that be by reading a book, taking a bath, attending a yoga class, or just switching off your phone for a couple of hours. This should help slow down your cortisol production.

Your pillow is dirty

Pillowcases act as a magnet for oil and dirt.

You need to be changing your pillowcase once a week if you want to avoid greasy locks, and if you can, change the material from cotton to silk. This will make it less porous. You should also sleep with the hair tied back in a loose top knot to stop the hair mingling with your face and the grease lurking there.

Your hormones are imbalanced

When our hormones are imbalanced, the body can display a variety of symptoms: one of these being greasy hair. If our hormones are out of sync, the production of sebum (oil) can go into overdrive. You particularly see excess oil occur during menstruation or pregnancy.

However, an overproduction of oil on your skin or hair can also signal more severe issues like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Before your alarm bells start ringing, symptoms that typically accompany PCOS are weight gain, acne, increased growth of body and facial hair, and irregular periods. If you have one of these symptoms as well, it might be worth checking in with the doctor.

After the menopause takes place, the body’s oil levels typically drop significantly.

You’re over-washing (or using the wrong products)

When it comes to greasy hair, the instinct is to vigorously shampoo the grease out of it, but you may be causing more oil to occur! The hair’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) are triggered to release extra sebum when they feel the hair drying out. If you over-wash, you’re at risk of stripping the hair’s natural conditioning rhythm and the oil glands end up overworking – inducing that unwanted greasy look. If you suffer with grease, try a dry shampoo on alternate days, washing your hair every other day where possible.

When conditioning, make sure to avoid the roots. This is the most common cause of lank and limp hair. Mid-lengths and ends only - this is the oldest part of the strand, and therefore the part that actually needs moisture.

Also, what product are you using? You should try Cel’s Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner, designed for flat hair that’s lacking volume, and it's a great shampoo for oily hair. It strengthens each hair strand and encourages high cell turnover. You won’t look back after trying this scientifically-optimized plant extract formula.

You’re not eating right

If your diet is poor, you can expect your aesthetic to be poor too. Greasy food absolutely contributes to greasy skin and hair.

However, it can also be a sign of an intolerance to something. If you’re sensitive to things like dairy, you might experience clogged pores, so if you think this sounds like you, start keeping a food diary or try cutting food groups out for a couple of weeks at a time and monitor any improvements.

You’re touching it too much

We all touch our face and hair way too often. It’s human habit. Did you know that girls with fine and flat hair touch their hair the most though?

Playing with your hair spreads the oil from the scalp down the strands. You’ll also be upping the grease factor as the oils and dirt on your hands will transfer to your hair. Leave your hair alone if you want to combat that excess oil!

Final thoughts

Greasy hair can really grind you down, but being aware of the causes listed above, and putting countermeasures into action such as using a shampoo for oily hair, can definitely help things get better.

If you’re really concerned about the rate your hair is producing oil, make sure to check in with your doctor if none of your efforts are leading to improvement.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.