The Quick and Dirty on Greasy Hair

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You’ve got enough to worry about in your busy day without having to worry that your beauty routine isn’t holding up. And nothing says that more than those two dreaded words: greasy hair. But not to worry, hair help is on the way!  Here’s what you need to know to banish the bad oils from your hair, keep the good ones and “detox” away all that styling buildup.

How Do I Stop Having Greasy Hair?
Our scalps and hair fibers have many natural oils. In fact, our scalps produce 2-4 grams of oil (or sebum) – roughly equivalent to ½ to 1 tsp of cooking oil –  every day. And, though you can’t change the amount of oil your scalp will produce each day, you can take steps to manage it. For instance, brushing with a natural bristle hairbrush, which evenly distributes that oil throughout the length of the hair, can rectify minor buildup of scalp oil and distribute it to the ends. This helps avoid having combination hair: locks that are oily at the roots and dry at the tips. Additionally, you can adjust how often you cleanse your hair. 

How Do I Know When it’s Really Clean?
Apply shampoo directly onto the scalp and massage in, as this tends to be the area of hair with the most oil buildup. The surest indicator that your hair is clean is when bubbles or foam occur during shampooing. Dirt and oil cause the bubbles to collapse – often during the initial lathering – so an encore wash may be needed to fully clean your hair. According to the hair doctors with Pantene’s Hair Research Institute, you should rinse your hair only as long as needed to remove the shampoo. Fun fact? Some of the ingredients aren’t activated until you rinse. Who knew!

How Often Should I Wash?
“It is a personal choice how often to shampoo your hair,” says Dr. Antonella Tosti, Dermatology Professor at the University of Miami, “but I advise my patients to shampoo at least twice week and reassure them it is OK to wash every day.  Be sure when you wash to focus on the scalp, and I recommend washing after exercise as sweat can lead to scalp irritation.” Additional factors other than exercise frequency that influence how often one washes one’s hair are the climate in which they live, hair thickness (those with finer hair show grease more easily), whether they tend to have oily, dry or combination hair, and styling product usage.

I hear so many things, but what should I use to salvage grease-prone locks?
Dry shampoo: For those with curly hair or thick tresses, dry shampoos and powders can be a good choice to extend your look between washes.

Clarifying shampoo: Detoxifying shampoos, when used once a week, can rid your locks of style residue and hit the “reset” button on your daily shampoo routine. Look for a shampoo that’s clear, as transparent shampoos are a good indicator that they’re strictly focused on cleansing.    

And don’t forget, even if you’re prone to having greasy hair, you can still use conditioner – it’s nothing to fear. For detangling without the oily after-feel, apply conditioner to the tips of the hair, working your way upward but avoiding the scalp.