How To Stop Hair Getting Greasy

I guess most of us, even if not regularly, had at some point greasy, oily hair in our life. Some of us have that problem permanently. I have oily roots and dry ends, so I can relate with this issue, as my hair gets oily relatively easy.

What Causes Greasy Hair?

The oil in your hair is part of your body’s defense system for the sensitive hair of your scalp. This oil mixes with sweat and dirt, coating your scalp and sometimes the top of your head. This is normal and, for the most part, unavoidable. Therefore, while probably unwanted, is very important that you don’t strip completely your hair and scalp from its natural sebum.

Practicing good hair hygiene by washing your scalp often and well with a shampoo cleanses the oil and gives your hair a fresh start. But some hair types are prone to oil buildup. Oil can build up to a visible level in less than a 24-hour time span.

Sometimes intense exercise, overuse of hair products, or even going outside in excessive humidity or heat can trigger an oily hair day.

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One somewhat unexpected cause of oily hair is overwashing. That’s right, it’s possible to wash your hair too often.

Every time you wash your hair with shampoo, it sends the scalp the signal to produce more sebum. If you’re washing your hair too often, your scalp gets the message that it needs to be in oil production overdrive. This can result in oily buildup on your scalp.

Also, some shampoos might be too harsh for your scalp and strip it from all sebum. Then, your scalp will compensate it by increasing sebum production, and you start a never-ending cycle of washing and getting oily hair.

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Hair type

Straight hair is especially prone to collecting oil. That’s because the hair shaft doesn’t have any texture or wave to it, so oil slides straight down the hair shaft and collects all over your head. It also makes oil in your hair more visible when hair hangs straight down.

Hair Products

Another cause of oily hair is the type of products you use.

Sebum is a type of oil, which means that simply washing it with water doesn’t break it up. Rinsing your hair with just water or skipping the shampoo step and using only conditioner can allow oil to build up.

While it might not be easy to spot the oil when your hair is drying, it quickly appears oily again only a few hours or so later.

That’s because only certain ingredients, found in most shampoos, can break down the oil that builds up on your hair.

How To Stop Hair Getting Greasy?

According to Healthline, and my own personal experience, here are some good tips to avoid or reduce oily hair:

Wash more or less often

…What? Ok, I can explain. The trick here is to wash your hair regularly enough to clean it from excess sebum, dirt and sweat, but not too often that will trigger sebum over-production. A rule of thumb is, if you are washing your hair daily and it still gets greasy at the end of the day, try to space out washes (every other day, for example), especially if you also have dry, itchy scalp, or dry skin. Aside from that, you should wash as regularly as needed.

Use a mild shampoo

If you’re washing your hair daily and you still get greasy hair at the end of the day, you can also switch to a milder shampoo and see how to goes. Try one suggested in this post, or a baby shampoo.

Shampoo properly

Washing hair it’s no rocket science, but it’s a fact that you can be washing it in a way that increases oil build-up on your strands, especially if you have long hair. To properly wash hair, gently work a small amount of shampoo on your scalp and roots. Avoid using your nails, or scrubbing aggressively. Focus on scalp and roots only, rather than on the length of your hair, and do not apply shampoo directly on your ends. Instead, just let shampoo flow down the strands as your rinse it. And make sure your rinse thoroughly. Pro tip: avoid the second washing as much as you can.

Condition carefully

When it comes to apply conditioner, the rule reverses from washing – just apply conditioner on your ends and skip entirely your scalp and roots, as conditioner have oils that might build up with your natural sebum. Make sure your rinse thoroughly: spend an extra minute or two making sure you have all shampoo and conditioner out of your hair. 

Let you hair dry naturally

This one is simple. Just avoid applying heat to your hair. No irons or blow dryers. Not only you will be able to stretch out washes, you will also protect your hair from heat damage. In addition, avoid brushing it aggressively.

Clean your brush

What’s the point of washing your hair if at the end you are going to brush your strands with a dirty brush, filled with oil, dirt and product buildup…? Wash your brush and other styling tools with your shampoo or a gentle soap every time it looks dirty. And clean out all of the loose hair after each brushing.

Wash after wearing a hat or helmet

Hats, helmets, scarves, and headbands can spread oils, trap heat and in general make it look slick and greasy. Undo the hat hair and its side effects with a quick wash. Or use head accessories to stretch out the timing of your next wash.

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Treating Greasy Hair with Natural Products

Same post also lists these natural products to fight oily hair, along with your shampoo and conditioner:

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera doesn’t just come in handy in the summer months, it’s also great for hair and skin in general. Aloe makes for a great hair and scalp mask since it removes extra oil, fights product buildup, soothes the scalp, and protects strands. You’ll be left with soft, healthy hair.

Coconut Oil

Don’t skip your scalp the next time you do a coconut oil treatment. This treatment can help lift oil off the scalp and roots while adding some much appreciated deep hydration. Make sure you start using coconut oil with the smallest amount, especially if you have fine hair. Then gradually increase it. Pro tip: Mix aloe vera and coconut oil for a great hair mask! Just use 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with one tablespoon of coconut oil and use this paste as a hair mask. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.


If oil in your hair is really out of hand, a honey mask can help soothe your scalp and prevent or treat dandruff, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. One 2001 study found that a simple mixture of 90 percent raw honey and 10 percent water helped reduce symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis-like itching, redness, flakiness, and excessive oil production.

Apple Cider Vinegar

When properly diluted, an apple cider vinegar rinse can help remove product buildup, balance scalp pH, and reduce frizz. Mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water (enough to rinse all your hair). After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair evenly, working into your scalp. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinse it out

Tea Tree Essential Oil

A 2002 study found that antibacterial tea tree oil improves dandruff, reduces itchiness, and improves greasiness. You can add 3 ml to 5 ml of tea tree essential oil per 100 ml on your own shampoo. My homemade shampoo bar includes tea tree essential oil.

Witch Hazel

This potion is surprisingly handy for grimy hair. Witch hazel can relieve itching, close oil-producing pores, and reduce inflammation caused by dandruff, pH imbalance, or other scalp disorders. It’s also gentle enough to use on a sensitive scalp. You can spray it over your hair as a leave-in product.

Green Tea

This powerhouse beverage is also good for your hair. Green tea extract has been shown to reduce sebum production and nourish skin when applied topically. 

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In addition, as per my personal experience, keeping your hair and scalp clean is not enough to avoid an oily hair. Your strands have the tendency to brush your face very often, and if your facial skin is oily… Bang, oily hair again. Keep your face, especially your forehead, clean and oil-free as well.  

Why Use Natural Hair Care Products?

Oil control and avoiding sebum over-production is key to avoid a greasy hair. Cleaning and providing your hair and scalp with essential nutrients is also important to have healthy, beautiful, and shiny hair. 

While most over-the-counter products are good to wash your hair, and even condition it, they fail at providing the nutrients, like vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, proteins, as they are based in synthetic, lab-created ingredients. They may also be a bit too harsh for your hair and the main contributor for your greasy hair.

Many natural plant-based ingredients are antifungal, antimicrobial and cleansing, and yet mild. They are able to keep oils under control, and fight fungal diseases at same time, while not being too harsh for your skin.

In the end, the choice is always yours, but be sure that I will always recommend natural products, homemade or not, as I believe that our skin benefits from all the nutrients natural ingredients have to offer.

If, like me, you have tried many over-the-counter products for greasy hair without sucess, give natural ones a try now.

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Homemade Natural Shampoo Bar and Hair Conditioner

You can make your own shampoo and hair conditioner at home!! I only have recipes for solid shampoo bars, as they mean fewer ingredients, are simpler and easier to make and maintain. The hair conditioner will look a lot like the hair conditioners you are used to.

Shampoo Bar Recipe for Oily Hair

This shampoo is made with SCI and argan oil, avocado oil, tea tree, peppermint and rosemary essential oils, and green clay. Argan oil can be replaced with jojoba oil, a bit cheaper but equally good. Green clay will provide the best cleansing effect, but you can replace it with kaolin or pink clay if you wish for a milder product.

Coconut oil and tea tree essential oil were already mentioned as good natural products to control oily hair. Jojoba or argan oil are very moisturizing oils, filled with essential nutrients, with the advantage of being very similar to human sebum, therefore, promoting sebum production equilibrium.

The fat content of avocado oil, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and minerals also makes a great ingredient for your hair. Peppermint and rosemary essential oils are known to promote hair growth and healthy hair, therefore, they are a must-have in any hair product. Green clay is a cleansing clay that will clarify your hair and scalp, and strip it from grease.

Syndet Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair
Try making this solid shampoo bar at home. A natural and mild shampoo, where you know all the ingredients it has, made with a mild surfactant and a pH of 5.5, the right one for your hair. Tailored for oily hair type and with your favorite scent.
Dificulty: Easy
Weight: 100g
Author: Silvana Liviero
Check out this recipe
Green clay shampoo bar with herbs and flowers for decoration

Hair Conditioner Recipe

This homemade hair conditioner is basically an emulsion, made with argan oil and jojoba oil, aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerin, B5 vitamin or d-panthenol, rosemary infused water or hydrosol, and rosemary essential oil . For oily hair, you can replace rosemary essential oil with tea tree oil.

Hair Conditioner Recipe
Try to make this hair conditioner recipe at home! Made with pure oils and vegetable ingredients, to nourish your hair the right way. Scented with rosemary and rose geranium.
Difficulty: Easy
Weight: 100g
Check out this recipe

Oily Hair Treatment Products

If you prefer to try natural over-the-counter products, I’ve chosen for you the oily hair treatment kit from Just Nutritive. They offer a 10% discount with code FB10.

They stand out for their natural haircare line products, specially known for its hair loss and bald scalp treatment kits (check out How Can I Grow My Hair Faster Naturally if you want to know more), but they have a treatment kit for pretty much and hair type or hair condition.

10% Off with code FB10 in any purchase at Just Nutritive website.

  • Oily Hair Kit: A kit comprising of shampoo, conditioner, a vinegar rinse and a protein and vitamin hair spray treatment. This Oily Hair Kit is responsible for removing accumulation and the extra oil from the scalp without mistreating it, and it will give it nutrition and the correct hydration; so it’s healthy but not greasy.


Natural oil, called sebum, is part of your hair. It’s there to defend it against germes and environmental conditions. So, a natural, shiny, healthy hair must have some natural oil content at all times.

The problem is when you start to have just too much oil, and you hair gets a “greasy”, dull look. Usually the causes are related with environmental factors or adverse haircare routines. Sometimes, just changing some of your routine habits, like wash well your hair or washing it less frequently, are enough to reduce the oil in your hair.

Natural products are effective at nourishing your hair and scalp, and oily hair, like many other hair conditions, is just a matter of regaining a lost balance for your hair shafts and scalp. Anyway, it’s difficult to say this or that one will work, as each one of us is different and has different needs. Try many of them, one at a time for a couple of months, to find out what works best for you.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any question or wish to make a suggestion, please, leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “How To Stop Hair Getting Greasy”

  1. Hi Sofia,

    I am fond of your beauty and wellness tips. I particularly love this article as I learned quite a lot on how to stop my hair from getting greasy just after one day. Since I am a morning exercise enthusiast, I now see why this keeps happening to me. I am sure to implement your good hair hygiene practice and regularly wash my hair with shampoo as you recommend. Looking forward to some positive results.



    • Hello Sergej, thanks for your comment.

      Well, if you don’t wash your hair after exercise, yes, your hair is prone to get oily in a few hours, even if it’s ok right after exercise 🙂 Use a mild shampoo if you need to wash it every day due to exercise. Harsh, strong shampoos can also be causing your scalp to produce excess of sebum.

      But I don’t even mean to be an adviser on the matter 🙂 I am just like you, and only trial and error get me the best possible results.



  2. Thank you for this information, I also have an oily hair. I never new that washing my hair always with shampoo can have a negative impact and generate more oil from my body system. I use a lot of aloe Vera and coconut oil presses from home in my hair creams but I will also check out oily hair kit as you recommended 

    • Hello Parameter and thanks for your comment.

      I hope you find the best products for your oily hair issue. 

      But first, try to wash it less frequently. I’ve also read somewhere that applying coconut oil on a naturally oily hair is not good (really can’t explain why). Try to use your hair cream with coconut oil less often as well 🙂 But I can’t really anticipate the results, gotta try and see if it works.



  3. Hi there, If you have greasy hair, the shampoo you’re using could be a reason so avoid heavily hydrating and rich formulations and instead opt for gentler, rebalancing alternatives that provide a thorough cleanse without stripping hair of its natural oils.

    Diet can have a direct impact on the condition of our hair. We need to avoid oil in our daily food intake and increase our daily intake of fruit and vegetables.

    As you mentioned in your article, one reason of oily hair is the type of products we use.

    What is your advice how many times a week we should wash our hair?

    Thank you so much for sharing very useful products for healthy hair.

    • Hello Bushra and thanks for your comment,

      You know it all!! You are absolutely right. I would just add that you need to avoid the wrong type of oils and take the right type, and take them at the right quantities for a balanced diet. In general, liquid oils are good to eat (check out Vegetable Oil Composition). In Portugal we use olive oil very frequently in our meals as a condiment to salads. If you don’t put too much, that is a very healthy habit.

      As for how frequently you should wash your hair, there’s no right number for everyone, but you can slowly try to space out your hair washings as much as you can without your hair getting “dirty”. No need to wash daily just because. I wash my hair every other day and that works for me. That’s 3 to 4 times/week. But if you manage 2 times per week, that is even better.

      In summary, just wash your hair when needed, and if you need to do it daily, you may want to take a look at your shampoo.  

      Hope this helps!


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