How to get rid of greasy hair

If you’re asking yourself how to get rid of greasy hair, you’re certainly not alone.

Most people struggle with greasy hair between washes or after a session at the gym, but for some of us it’s a constant battle, and it feels like your only weapons are constant hair washing, or more dry shampoo than one human should ever need.

Greasy hair can affect you more during times of stress, during puberty, and also during ovulation – which is why medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome can make greasy hair worse as well. However, whatever the cause of your oiliness, there are solutions out there, and you don’t have to put up with it any more.

We spoke to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, to get to grips with grease and learn how to get rid of greasy hair once and for all… and we bet at least a couple of her tips will surprise you!

Exfoliate your scalp

Nope, we didn’t know this was a thing either – but apparently it can make a big difference to the overall appearance of your hair. According to Anabel, you should use an exfoliating scalp mask, like the Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask, once a week, to remove dead skin cells and to help keep your scalp in optimal condition. ‘Again, zinc is an excellent ingredient to look for as it helps to control sebum (oil) production,’ she says.

Get your hair washing schedule right

How often you should wash your hair depends from person to person. ‘People with naturally fine hair tend to get greasy hair faster than those with other hair textures. This is because individuals with fine hair have more hairs per square centimetre – and each hair has a sebaceous (oil) gland attached to it. As a result, the scalp produces more oils,’ says Anabel.

‘It’s okay to shampoo daily, but insufficient rinsing out of shampoo can make your hair look dull and feel heavy so be sure to rinse until the water runs clear.’

And choose the right shampoo…

‘If your hair is dry and fine or dry and medium textured, do not swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for overly heavy ones,’ Anabel advises. ‘This is likely to make your strands look oily and flat.’ She suggests addressing dryness and brittleness with an intensive pre-shampoo conditioner instead.

‘As these are left on the hair for long enough to penetrate, with any excess residue then being washed away, they add intensive moisture without weighing the hair down.’

Don’t apply conditioner to your roots

You might think that conditioner will make your hair look glossy, not greasy, but according to experts, it can often have the opposite effect. ‘Applying conditioner too close to the roots is one of the most common causes of lank and dull looking hair that we see,’ says Anabel. ‘Only apply it to the mid-lengths and ends where the hair is older and needs moisture the most.’

Pick dry shampoo with care

‘If your roots are looking oily, it’s really best just to wash your hair. It doesn’t take long and you will be doing your hair a world of good, as hair grows best from a clean and healthy scalp,’ Anabel explains. However, if you don’t have time (or can’t be bothered) to wash your hair properly, use a lightweight dry shampoo with both hair and scalp benefits. Anabel recommends picking a product containing Zinc PCA, which can help to prevent flakes and regulate the production of sebum.

Stop touching it!

‘Constantly playing with or touching your hair can transfer oils and dirt on your hands onto your strands. This can make hair appear greasy and dull, as well as weigh the roots down,’ Anabel says – so if you’re a hair twirler, a frequent restyler, or a constant tuck-behind-the-ears kind of gal, it’s time to break the habit!