If you’ve ever dealt with greasy hair, you’ve probably asked yourself more than one time, “Why is my hair so oily?” while shouting at your reflection in the mirror. (OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But still, it’s frustrating!) Having oily hair can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong with your hair care routine, like your hair is dirty, or just make you feel generally embarrassed. It’s not fun. And what can be even more difficult is how unpredictable greasy hair can be—while some people have chronically oily hair, for others, the oiliness seems to come on out of nowhere: One day your hair is normal, and the next, you wake up with greasy strands. So why does this happen? Well, there are actually a lot of different reasons your hair may be getting greasy so fast. SELF spoke to hairstylists and a dermatologist to answer commonly-asked questions about the causes of oily hair and to get their solutions for oily hair treatment.
What causes oily hair?
Before we dive into the variety of factors at play, it’s important to understand exactly what is at the root of oily hair. That answer, at least, is simple: our scalps. “Our scalps are loaded with oil glands, just as our faces are. Oil production is controlled by our genes, and that’s not something we can voluntarily control,” Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, tells SELF. Thus, that potentially unpredictable oily hair. Cue the aforementioned frustration!
Though we can’t control our genetics, which are also responsible for hormone production and hair type, there are ways to manage oily build-up on your hair’s ends and roots. For instance, you can change up how often you wash your hair, finding a good regimen that meets your needs. Or you can adjust the type of shampoo you’re using, depending on what your stylist or colorist recommends. (Or just based on some experimentation.)
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Why is my hair getting oily so fast?
The most common (and maybe most obvious) answer to the question “why does my hair get greasy so fast” is because it’s not…