Why Does My Hair Get Greasy So Fast? Causes and Remedies

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We get it- washing hair is one of those life chores that you could do without, especially if you find your hair is getting greasy more regularly than you would like. 


There can be a few reasons why your hair gets greasy so fast, from dirty pillowcases to the wrong hair care products, but if you are unsure what could be making your locks so greasy, we’ve compiled a handy guide as to the possible causes and how to fix it!

Key takeaways

  • Possible reasons for greasy hair include a poor diet, hormones, stress, build-up, and incorrect products. 
  • Altering your lifestyle as well as making haircare and product changes can help to restore balance and reduce greasy hair. 
  • Look to use naturally derived products and home remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, to help control oil

Why does my hair get greasy so quickly?

Greasy hair is caused by an excessive production of oil, made by the sebaceous glands on your scalp, which is then absorbed by the hair causing your locks to look greasy.

hair follicle

Some people naturally produce more sebum than others causing their hair to get greasier, with factors such as ethnicity, hormones, and genetics all playing a part. 


If you have straight or fine hair, you may find that your tresses become greasier faster as they don’t have any curls to restrict the sebum distribution. As such, oil slides around the hair quicker making it appear greasy. 

Causes of hair getting greasy fast

From lifestyle factors to the products that you use on your hair, there are many things that can contribute to what makes your hair greasy so quickly. Here is a breakdown of possible causes:

Lifestyle

greasy hair

Nutrient Intake

Diet contributes to the overall health of your hair, with greasy locks being a sign that you need to look at the foods you are consuming. The body’s oil production can be increased with what you eat. Foods that cause greasy hair include those that are high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, as well as a lot of dairy products.

Bedding

Dirty bedding can harbour bacteria, especially if it isn’t washed regularly, which can lead to greasy hair. Cotton pillowcases are known to absorb the hair’s natural oils causing the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum that will further contribute to the speed at which your hair becomes greasy.  

Stress

Sadly, the modern world has caused stress and anxiety levels to rise in many, and it is a surprising cause of greasy hair. When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone known as cortisol which can increase oil production, therefore causing oily locks.

Hormones

When hormones are imbalanced the production of sebum increases and, although this is more common at the time of menstruation or during pregnancy, it can also occur during the menopause or after a hysterectomy. Androgen levels can rise during menopause which encourages the scalp to produce sebum, sometimes in excessive levels, leading to greasy locks.

Hair Products

shampo in hand

Conditioner

Using too much conditioner or leaving it in for too long can leave hair looking greasy. Conditioners can cause oil to build up quickly which will contribute to hair grease, leaving it flat and bounceless.

Wrong product

Hair products are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Something that works for a friend, might not have the same result on your tresses. Just as hair comes in different textures, thickness, and type, so do hair care products and it is important to use ones that will work best for your hair as otherwise your locks could look greasier quicker.

Dry shampoo

Using dry shampoo is a great short-term solution to tackling oily locks but it isn’t something that should be used every day. Overuse of dry shampoo can cause product build-up which will lead to grease and even hair loss in some circumstances.  

Hair Care Routine

hair care routine

Over washing

The temptation when you’ve got greasy hair is to keep washing it, but this actually strips your locks of the natural oils required to support its health. 


Washing these oils away will send your scalp into overdrive, producing even more oil and leaving your hair greasier quicker. Using shampoo too often can also result in greasy hair as it can cause the sebaceous glands to produce too much oil.

Touching hair too much

If you are guilty of running your fingers through your hair, this could be a cause of your hair getting greasy quickly as our fingertips hold on to dirt, grime, and oil which transfers on to strands upon contact.

Brushing

Brushing hair is a balancing act, as brushing both too little and too much, can cause hair to become greasy. Whilst brushing can help to distribute oil on the scalp further down the hair strands, over-brushing can stimulate the scalp into producing too much oil, creating greasy locks.

Incorrect cleansing

Hair needs a thorough cleanse to ensure you get rid of any build up, and it is important to focus on every area of your hair and scalp to get it completely clean. If you find that your hair is greasy after one day and you wonder why, it could be because you haven’t washed it sufficiently enough.

How to make hair less greasy: 10 remedies

making hair less greasy

1. Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential for healthy hair and can also help control your hair getting greasy fast. 

It is worth noting that if you choose an alternative diet such as veganism, you will need to look at supporting your vitamin intake further. Consume foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, and grains including rice and quinoa. Consider introducing a supplement with iron as well as vitamins A, B, D and E to further support hair health.

2. Brush up

Get to grips with brushing techniques and a routine that ensures you aren’t over or underdoing it. 


Brush your hair twice a day, in the morning and night, to remove knots and distribute the hair’s natural oils.  Also, be sure to wash your brushes regularly, we recommend every 2-3 weeks. Follow our simple guide to keep your tools clean:

Step-by-step: hairbrush cleaning

  • Remove old hair from brush 
  • In the sink, add some soap to warm water 
  • Place your hairbrushes in the water and leave to soak for around 10 minutes
  • Wipe off excess water and allow to air dry

3. Add More Water

If you feel like your shampoo isn’t lathering up enough to cover all your hair, or to give a thorough cleanse, try adding water to your locks rather than adding another squirt of shampoo. This pro salon tip will save you on product, but also reduce the rate at which your hair becomes greasy.

4. Switch up your products

Look at the products you are using and whether they are suitable for your hair. You might want to choose products that specifically target oil control. 


Don’t be afraid to use products with naturally derived oils though as these aren’t going to contribute to the reasons why your hair is getting greasy so fast. Natural oils encourage hair and scalp health which could result in a reduction in the sebum production that is creating the excess grease. 


Naturally derived hair care can also restore balance to the scalp, try the Baobab Cleanser and Detangler, which will give a deep and thorough cleanse without stripping your locks of essential moisture, upsetting your scalp health, or leaving hair greasy after one day. When it comes to applying conditioner, only use it on the ends. Although the temptation is to apply it higher up to get silky soft locks, this will only contribute further to grease.

Baobab hair Detangler & Cleanser


We prefer to avoid calling this a detangling shampoo. Instead, we call ours a detangling cleanser because it’s softening and moisturising while cleansing thoroughly. It also acts as your pre-poo detangler before you wash. Are you tired of that stripped feeling after you’ve just washed your hair? Wash your hair not strip it of its natural oils.


5. Try Rice Water

When you find your hair is getting greasy after one day, it might be down to being overwashed. Skip the shampoo and introduce a rice water rinse. Don’t skip conditioner as this is an important step in maintaining healthy hair! 


You could also try the Rice Water & Green Tea Hair Tonic, which is a great hair refresher, that can be used in between washes. Spritz daily over your locks to manage grease and let the green tea extract support your scalp health.

Rice Water and Green Tea hair tonic and detangler


The Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner is jam-packed with natural high performing goodness, it can be used on its own without extra oils or butters. Say good-bye to the hassle of LOC or LCO method of conditioning. The Marula oil leave-in is a 3-in-1 as it works as a leave-in, is based on an oil and it’s a cream, saving you time and money. 


6. Blotting Paper

Invest in some blotting papers to dab over hair, when on the go, and reduce excess oil. Facial tissues have the same effect, pull them apart so it is one single sheet and gently blot over hair.

7. Stress Management

Look at ways to reduce stress levels, some popular methods include:

  • getting enough sleep 
  • journaling
  • exercising
  • massage
  • meditation 
  • socialising with friends

Self-care is an important way of having “me time” that will help to calm anxiety and stress. Try incorporating a hair mask into your hair care routine to add a pampering touch that makes hair washing seem like less of a chore.

8. Silk pillows

Cotton is known for being super absorbent which means your pillowcase holds on to sweat, dirt, and general grime which can then transfer on to your hair, so switch to a silk pillowcase. Not only is it good at keeping knots at bay, but it will keep a firm control on hair sebum production and reduce your greasy locks!

9. Put it up

Although excess sebum is predominantly responsible for greasy hair, it can also come from dirt, and even oil, on your fingertips. To prevent you from touching your hair too often, pull hair back into a bun or braid. Not only will a style like this reduce temptation to touch it but it will also keep it away from oily faces or sweaty necks.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Using apple cider vinegar on hair is a popular at-home remedy that can keep your hair from getting greasy so fast. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the PH levels of the scalp, reduce and stop build-up from products, and sustain oil balance. Simply dilute in water, rinse through hair, and leave for 2 minutes, then wash out.

Conclusion

There are plenty of causes for your hair becoming greasy quicker than usual, from stress to overwashing, but there are a wide range of solutions that can help reduce the oiliness. 


When looking at how to make your hair less greasy, consider all aspects, not just hair washing itself. Lifestyle changes and hair care routines are both important in how to prevent greasy hair. 


Don’t forget, oil is necessary for both hair and scalp health and has important jobs to perform. If you are concerned by your greasy hair, or find that your scalp appears irritated, seek medical advice.

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