Greasy hair is one of the most common summertime beauty complaints. Thankfully, it’s also one of the easiest beauty dilemmas to correct. As with any beauty issue, the key is understanding what’s causing the condition. Many factors, including warm temperatures, humidity, and overuse of beauty products can all give hair an oily appearance. We’ve broken down 7 reasons why you have greasy hair, and how to turn that problem around!
Why Greasy Hair is So Common in the Summer
1. We’re Releasing More Sebum and Sweat
Unsurprisingly, sweat is one the biggest culprits of oily hair. Since summer months are hotter and more humid, we’re more prone to sweat. The problem with a sweaty scalp is the perspiration differs from the sweat on most other areas of our bodies.
Around most areas of our bodies, we have eccrine sweat glands, which produce a thin fluid comprised of water, urea, sodium, calcium, and electrolytes. However, the sweat glands on our scalp, genitals, and armpits are different. The sweat glands surrounding hair follicles produce a more viscous fluid made up of proteins, lipids, and steroids. This fatty compound combines with sebum as sebaceous glands open into the same hair follicle. The secretion from this combination is more viscous and less likely to wick away like body sweat. The result of this perspiration is a wet-look that is far from being sleek and stylish.
A quick fix to this is keeping cool and integrating dry shampoo to absorb excess moisture.
2. We’re More Inclined to Put Our Hair Up
Long hair on a summer day can get really hot, so it’s natural to want to pull those long locks back into a ponytail However, this too can contribute to greasy hair! When hair is pulled back, particularly into a high pony or ballerina bun, the moisture from our sebaceous glands and sweat glands are unable to travel down the hair shaft. Instead they stick close to the scalp, giving of the appearance of wet roots once the hair is let down. To make sure these oils don’t pile on the scalp, why not try a side fishtail braid?
3. We’re Abusing Dry Shampoo
We know, we know. We just said that dry shampoo is the key to disguising a sweaty scalp and we stand by that.
The key, however, is moderation. Improper use of dry shampoo can actually make hair look greasier due to product buildup. If your hair is looking greasier after applying it, chances are you are doing one of the following things:
- Applying too close to the scalp
- Not waiting to let it dry
- Massaging with fingertips
It’s important to avoid applying the product too close to the scalp or layering too much of it as this contributes to product build-up. When applying dry shampoo, it’s important to apply 8-10 inches from the scalp and let it settle for a minute before brushing fussing with it. Rather than massaging the scalp with your fingers, we recommend shaking your hair to free excess residue and lightly brushing the remaining product through. Dry shampoo should not be used every day; we recommend only using it once between traditional shampooing.
4. We’re Over-Brushing and Over-Fussing
Just as touching our faces can provoke acne, touching our hair prompts oily locks. Touching our hair too often, out of boredom, nervousness, or dissatisfaction with how it looks only transfers oils from fingertips to strands. This over-fussing with hair doesn’t stop at touching it, brushes are another culprit of greasy hair. The reason being, product and oils build up in our brushes. This is why it’s important to clean brushes free of hair often to avoid transferring grease from old strands to our clean hair.
5. We’re Using Sunscreens and Moisturizers More Regularly
Our facial routines can also make our hair look greasy. Oil-based products like moisturizers and sunscreens are commonplace in summer months and when hair makes contact with these oils, either directly or indirectly, it has a tendency to sit on top of hair shafts. Our best advice for avoiding this issue is to keep hair free from the face until the products are fully absorbed. Additionally, make sure that you wash those hands before touching your hair. If you have a habit of pushing your sunglasses atop your head, train yourself to keep them in your purse when they aren’t on your face to avoid any indirect oil distribution.
6. We’re Washing our Hair More
Since we get hot and sweaty in the summer, we shower more than we do in the winter. Shampooing too frequently strips the hair of oils and sends signals to our glands that we need moisture. This results in hair getting oily faster than if we waited longer between washes.
If you are using a dandruff shampoo, the summer months might be a good time to switch to something else. A light, sulfate and paraben-free shampoo will help keep hair looking moisturized, but not greasy.
7. We’re Applying Too Much Conditioner
After a day at the pool, hair appears dry and tangles more easily. It’s tempting to go overboard on hair-quenching products, but too much conditioner contributes to greasy hair as well. If your hair is tangled from the wind and water, instead of loading up on conditioner, just a little dab will do. Or, add a small amount of conditioner to a full water bottle, lightly spray it on, and gently comb out the tangle with a wide-tooth comb. When shopping for conditioners, opt for a low-oil formula and only apply it to the ends,
Struggle with Greasy Hair Year-Round?
If you experience greasy hair on a regular basis, there’s a DIY solution for you! Simply combine the juice from two lemons with two cups of warm water. Wash your hair with a Sulfate and paraben free shampoo, rinse normally, then pour the lemon rinse from your scalp down. Gently massage the rinse from your roots to your ends and leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing with cool water. Your hair will smell amazing and the alpha-hydroxyl acid in the lemon will keep your scalp healthy.
It does not take much to combat greasy hair in the summer. With a few subtle changes to your beauty routine and some awareness of your summer habits, your hair can stop being an oily nuisance and become your favorite feature.