How to combat greasy hair in 10 steps


combatting greasy hair


For the majority of us, our hair washing routine is dictated by how quickly we get greasy hair. Lank, limp locks that are weighted down by excess oil isn’t a good look in anyone’s book. It should be avoided at all costs! If you wish your hair was a little less like Severus Snape’s and want to know how to stop hair getting greasy, then read on.

We share our top greasy hair tips and tricks, including our go-to hairstyles to help disguise your hair when it’s overdue a wash. We look at the reasons why hair gets greasy, and what everyday steps you can take to stop it from happening.

What causes greasy hair?

So what is the root cause of greasy hair? In short, it’s down to the sebaceous glands attached to our hair follicles on our scalp that produce oil all over our body. The oil secreted by these glands actually makes our hair stronger and shinier, but too much makes locks look greasy, limp and lifeless.

We all get varying levels of greasy hair depending on how much oil we produce, as well as how effective our hair is at carrying it. Finer hair tends to carry grease more easily than thicker strands, meaning that those with fine hair will feel the need to wash more often.

10 top tips for combatting greasy hair

Ditch the daily wash

Unsurprisingly, those of us with greasy hair usually end up washing it more frequently. People with greasy hair are often tempted to wash more often, which is completely understandable. However, this can do more harm than good. Frequent washing can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs, and results in your hair producing more and more oil.

Our elite hair stylists recommend only washing your hair twice a week, three times if absolutely necessary. If you are getting your hair done for a wedding or special occasion, your hair stylist will usually advise you not to wash it on the big day itself. This is because slightly oilier hair is actually easier to tame.

While your hair will get quite greasy the first few times you space out your washes, don’t fear, it can and will adjust. Over a few weeks your hair oil production will slow down, allowing you to wash less frequently. Once your hair has fully adjusted to your new regime, you will benefit from healthier and more nourished locks.

The right tools for the job

A lot of time and money is invested when hair products are developed, which is why they are almost always well worth the additional cost.

Using a shampoo and lightweight conditioner specially formulated for oily hair means harnessing the benefits of the best ingredients out there. Plus, you’ll avoid those silicone-based ingredients that can form a film, weighing hair down or making it greasier.

Treat your hair with care

When you wash, dry and style your hair, it’s vital to treat it with the utmost care. Why? Too much scrubbing and rubbing can stimulate the scalp into overproduction, so more oil is produced.

Concentrate on washing the roots carefully, and simply allow the suds to flow through to the ends of the hair. Conditioner should only ever be applied to the very ends. Make sure you rinse well after each stage to avoid product build-up, and allow your hair to dry naturally as much as possible.

Keep your cool

It’s crucial to only use warm water for hair-washing, rather than hot water. This is because hot water can strip away the oils, causing the scalp to over-react and produce extra oil. If you can bear it, a cold rinse can help to settle the cuticles, and will result in added shine without any oiliness.

Wash after you workout

Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, hiker, dancer, spinner or gym bunny, exercise affects your hair.  For that reason, it’s best to plan your hair washing days around your fitness schedule.

While working up a sweat is great for your body, it’s not such good news for your hair. Excess oils can be carried via sweat droplets making your hair dirty. Thus, you should also give it a good wash in your post-workout shower.

Leave your hair alone

If you tend to fiddle with your hair, it’s time to try and break the habit. Brushing, touching and twirling your locks can also over-stimulate those oil production glands. Your hands might transfer extra grease which then settles on your hair. This can also be caused by  a less-than-squeaky clean hairbrush, so it’s important to wash all your hairbrushes on a regular basis.

Have an up day

If you find it hard to avoid fiddling with or are constantly tidying and restyling your hair throughout the day, try wearing it up a few days a week. This will help you fight the temptation to keep touching it.

Try a purifying shampoo

A purifying shampoo can be used weekly to help keep an oily scalp under control. Although we don’t recommend using this on a daily or super regular basis as it will dry out your hair.

Purifying shampoo acts as a deep cleanser for your hair, removing the build-up of grease so you can start afresh with oil-free locks. Beware of low quality shampoos, as this could worsen matters.

You are what you eat

What you eat matters for your hair, skin and nails. Consume as many fruits and vegetables as you can, while trying to take in enough protein too. Vitamins and minerals can help to nourish the hair and scalp, while protein provides the basic building blocks for new cells.

Just as eating too many crisps, cakes or chocolate can wreak havoc on your skin, your hair may also show the effects of a diet high in fat. Researchers have shown that a high-fat diet can accelerate both hair loss and hair thinning. This is because inflammatory signals block hair follicle regeneration – causing both hair loss and hair thinning.

As well as this, a high-fat diet can increase oxidative stress. This means that there’s an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals which contain oxygen in the body. Researchers have linked oxidative stress to both hair loss and hair graying, so avoiding oxidative stress is in everyone’s best interest!

In an emergency, break out the dry shampoo

Everyone’s favourite beauty hack, dry shampoo, is often our first line of defence against greasy hair. Although we all rely on dry shampoo when we’re in a rush or super pressed for time, overuse can seriously dehydrate your hair. This then triggers your oil glands to produce excess oil to counteract the drying effects.

That being said, dry shampoo is great at extending the time between washes and is an effective quick fix for a greasy hairline.


If your hair is in need of some extra TLC, why not book an at-home haircut or blow dry to tame your locks.