Although you can find many articles on oily hair, only a few of them answer the fundamental question – why does my hair tend to be oily. More importantly, rarely any of them helps you understand what are the causes of oily hair and how to treat it properly as well as offer oily hair hacks for effective and long-term results. 

In general, haircare should match the hair type in order to achieve desired results. Whatever effect you want to achieve, you have to use the right type of products. Shampoo, conditioners, treatments – moisturizing, protein, with oil and oil-free – every product you choose has to suit your exact hair type.

This article will show you how to properly nourish and treat oily hair. Also, it will teach you how to choose the best and most suitable care for your greasy hair and keep it silky moisturized. 

Greasy hair can look unkempt and dirty, but with a proper hair care routine and oily hair hacks, you can make your hair look perfectly healthy and clean. 

What are the causes of oily hair?

Hair roots have sebaceous glands. Contrary to popular opinion, sebum does good things for your hair. Not only does it keep your hair healthy and smooth, but also protects its natural PH. Additionally, it keeps it from drying and breaking. However, when glands produce more sebum than necessary, it causes oily hair. Sometimes, they even produce so much sebum, that it clogs the hair follicle leading to hair loss.

Different things cause excessive sebum production such as: 

  • wrong shampoo
  • wrong hair care habits
  • bad habits on a daily basis
  • unhealthy eating habits,
  • medications, heredity,
  • hormone fluctuations,
  • periods of stress thyroid complications,
  • pregnancy,
  • or menopause. 

It is also important to have in mind that if you have any of these health problems, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a doctor or a dermatologist. 

If you happen to have dry skin on your face, you are more likely to have a dry scalp as well and vice versa. The same goes for an oily face or scalp. 

In case you have an oily scalp, you should be extra careful not to make the situation worse by trying to fix it in different ways. Trying to remove natural sebum too harshly can backfire and achieve the opposite effect. Your body might start producing oil excessively leading to much bigger health problems. Luckily for you, there is a quick fix for greasy hair. 

In this article, we will focus on creating the perfect hair care routine and oily hair hacks to help you manage and keep it healthy and clean. 

Choosing the perfect shampoo for oily hair

The simple rule for choosing the right shampoo for oily hair is to use translucent shampoos and avoid the creamy ones. This is important because clear shampoos tend to be lighter and contain fewer moisturizing ingredients. This means they don’t weigh your hair down and make it greasy only a few hours after hair wash.

Like in every haircare routine, the ideal shampoo for oily hair is a sulfate-free one. Sulfates deprive the hair and scalp of natural oils, making it more susceptible to damage. There are also shampoos specifically designed for oily hair. They are mild, and not at all irritating. 

Clarifying shampoo for oily hair – yes or no

Your greasy hair may be the result of product buildup or heavy conditioners. Traces of oil and residue are common with oily hair, so you have to choose wisely your products. 

When used correctly, clarifying shampoos can be excellent products. If you decide to use a clarifying shampoo or treatment, avoid overdoing it. Once a week will be enough. This way you won’t end up with dry and brittle hair. 

Cold water as a solution for oily hair 

One of the lesser-known facts is that how water stimulates sebum production.  It stimulates the glands that produce sebum, while cold water achieves the opposite effect. Still, don’t go too cold, though, it’s unhealthy.

Dry shampoo for oily hair

Dry shampoos are one of those products that can be incredibly useful if you use them right. For oily hair, any dry shampoo will do the trick. 

They all do a pretty similar job. These shampoos soak up oil and sebum making your hair look fresh and clean. All you have to do is spray them in the root and crown area, brush or shake it out in a few minutes and you are ready to go.

Pro tip: you can use dry shampoo on clean hair too, to refresh your look or get additional volume. Of course, keep in mind – dry shampoo can never replace “regular” shampoo. Overusing it will clog your hair follicles and cause problems such as dandruff, dry scalp, etc. If you use it every now and then – it is a great product. Batiste dry shampoo or Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle are good recommendations for you.

Extra tip: If your roots get extra greasy, try applying dry shampoo immediately after a wash. Apply it directly to your roots.  As the hours go by, and your scalp starts to produce oil, dry shampoo will immediately start working on eliminating it.

Hair powder for oily hair

Hair powders are relatively new on the market. They are practical and easy to use. When you sprinkle them on the root of your hair, they absorb excess grease and give you volume. Also, if you have light-colored hair you can use regular baby powder for oily hair for this purpose. On the other hand,  if you have dark hair and the baby powder leaves too many white traces, try a regular hair powder for dark hair instead.

Oily hair with dry ends

One of the most peculiar cases is when you have greasy roots, but dry ends. This happens when you treat and wash the hair too often and with harsh shampoos. To fix this situation, you should treat your oily scalp and hair ends differently. For example, use the shampoo for the scalp, and then moisturize and nourish the ends properly. More importantly, don’t ever skip conditioning your hair. When you use a conditioner, be extra careful with the amount of product you use because of your oily hair. It would be best to apply the conditioner only on mid-lengths and ends, instead of the scalp. 

Do’s and don’ts for greasy hair 

The most important rule for greasy hair management is not to wash your hair every day. Most people with oily hair have an urge to wash it every day since they can’t bear such a greasy scalp. It is completely understandable you want clean hair, but overwashing it simply won’t help you get what you want. 

It can actually make things worse. Overwashing your hair will strip natural oils from the scalp. Then, the scalp will produce even more sebum to replace all the stripped oil. Therefore, wash your hair every two or three days. It may not look good at the beginning, but in the long run – it is the right thing to do.

Another thing to keep in mind is that aggressive and harsh cleaners won’t help you in dealing with styling greasy hair.  What you should do is be more careful and spend more time shampooing hair to break up the oil.

We can’t stress it enough – shampoo only the scalp, and avoid shampooing the length of the hair to avoid dry and brittle hair.

Why is your hair greasy all of a sudden 

Do you touch your hair often? Do you like to run your fingers through your hair, pull it away from your face, or gather it in a bun or a ponytail? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can now understand why your hair gets greasy all of a sudden. Touching your hair often transfers oils from your fingers to your hair strands. The more you touch it, the more oil you produce, and the more noticeable the grease gets throughout the day. 

Oily hair hacks

One of the best hacks for oily hair is to apply less conditioner than usual. Furthermore, you shouldn’t apply it all over your hair. Applying conditioner all over your hair can totally weigh it down and cause oily roots. Instead, apply conditioner from mid-shaft to the ends. Focus particularly on the ends, since they are the most damaged and exposed parts of your hair. Don’t forget to wash away the conditioner with lukewarm water, nor hot or cold. Lastly, you are supposed to use only those conditioners that suit your hair type. The selected conditioner should also be lightweight and moisturizing at the same time. 

Can you brush out oil from your hair?

No, you can’t. You can switch to a boar hair brush to distribute sebum evenly. However, in this case, you should also wash the brush every few days. Also, keep in mind that hairbrushes build up all sorts of nasties – hair products, styling products, dust. That is why you should make sure your brush is clean before you use it.

Similarly, don’t over brush your hair. Aggressive and exaggerated brushing will create friction on hair, split ends, and flyaways. Simply pulling comb or brush through your hair several times in the morning will be enough to distribute oils through hair evenly. 

How to make your hair not look greasy in 5 minutes 

 If you are wondering how to make your hair not look greasy in 5 minutes, here are some oily hair hairstyles for you. Straight hair looks greasier than any other hair type. For this reason, you should embrace waves and curls. You can put on a bit of dry shampoo and curl your hair. However, the best way to do this is by using heatless waves techniques, instead of hot styling tools. Also, if you don’t have plenty of time for styling greasy hair, a simple braid will help you get some volume.


When it gets greasy, but not too greasy, you should make use of dry shampoos and messy buns or braids. This way you will get your hair to look tidy and stylish even though it is greasy.