“My biggest hair challenge is definitely how it holds onto colours and how it gets greasy so quickly after washing it, but the products I got from ya’ll helps with that hugely!” – Caitlin
Greasy hair is one of the most common problems that we are asked about in the salon.
There can be quite a few reasons for this from the texture of your hair, to medical or hormonal issues.
While there isn’t too much you can do about a medical or hormonal issue which is fairly common, we will go through some tips that may help. Depending on your age group, teenagers are the most common age group that get oily hair. This is due to fact that more hormones and more hormonal changes are happening when you are teenager.
Other reasons for having oily hair are due to the texture of your hair. Fine hair will almost always get greasier than thicker hair. I’m not talking about the amount of hair you have, as you can still have fine individual strands of hair while having a lot of hair.
With fine hair, its not necessarily that you are producing more oil than other people. It is quite often because your hair is finer, you can see it more than someone with thicker hair and it takes less to coat your hair than it will for someone with thicker hair.
A few solutions.
Think about shampoo. The shampoo you use (just like the face wash you use) will have a big impact on what your hair and scalp are doing. My advice to all my clients is try a professional salon shampoo first, before going and buying a shampoo for an oily scalp.
Quite often people are using shampoo from a supermarket or drugstore or health food store which:
A: Isn’t the right shampoo for your scalp and hair.
B: Usually contains too much ‘detergent’ like substances (i.e. too much soap).
C: Contains something that is making your scalp sensitive.
A: Firstly lets start with the RIGHT Shampoo.
Most of us have a combination of things happening in our hair. We can have dry ends and oily roots, regular roots but dry ends, flat roots with healthy ends, too much volume in the roots and dry ends.
I usually recommend treating the scalp with the type of shampoo you use and treating the ends with the type of conditioner and styling or treatment products.
If you have oily roots and dry & damaged ends, I wouldn’t recommend using a shampoo that is too nourishing. Because although your ends are in need of extra nourishment, it is just going to be too heavy for your roots.
I would recommend either a volume shampoo ( I love Gluttony by Evo which is nourishing but light OR Tea Tree Lemon & Sage Thickening Shampoo by Paul Mitchell. The Tea Tree is also great for your scalp as its a natural anti-bacterial and oil regulator!). It is lighter on the hair but as its a salon professional one (and I don’t mean a “salon-professional” one from the supermarket!) it will be more nourishing and gentle on your hair anyway.
If you also have dry ends, I would then treat the ends with a nourishing conditioner and, if needed, a treatment once or twice a week. Plus for an extra hit of moisture, a nourishing hair oil. Now this may be something that would make you cringe if you have oily roots BUT the nourishing oils that are around these days are usually made from ‘dry oils’ (you have probably heard of argan oil?). Dry oils are like a good moisturiser. They moisturise your hair while not making it oily. They also smooth the hair, which will be good for you frizzy end people. My personal favourite is Skinny Serum by Paul Mitchell (its smells like summer while being very light, hence the name, but very nourishing).
You wouldn’t use a moisturiser on your face that made it greasy right? You’d change it for a lighter one, but usually wouldn’t give it up all together. Well its the same for your hair. Get the right stuff! And this goes for your shampoo too.
B: Too much detergent or ‘soaps’…
This is something that is the main concern for shampoo from supermarkets, drug stores and health food store. You wouldn’t go to a salon or supermarket if you had a medical issue you needed help with, so why go to a drug store or supermarket when your hair needs help? Unfortunately this is what a lot of people do. There is sooooo much in these shops that the assistant is only going to give you what they’ve “heard” is good. While a salon is going to give you what they KNOW is good for your hair. Most salon professionals have spent years learning how to be a hairdresser. How long has your retail assistant spent learning about the products in their shop?
These shampoo’s usually contain too many soap-like ingredients which over clean your hair and scalp causing the glands in your hair to produce more sebum (oil) to counteract the over-cleaning of the shampoo. Which causes you too wash it again too quickly….its a vicious circle. Products in supermarkets and drugstore don’t use as good quality ingredients in them (hence their price) and are often watered down with bulking ingredients, like water. Making the shampoo too soapy and the conditioner to watery. This is fine if you have natural and healthy hair that doesn’t need much nourishment. But if you have a hair issue, its not going to help much.
Don’t be afraid to go into a salon and ask for help with shampoo…they aren’t going to judge you or look at you like you’re a weirdo…this is their job and a good hairdresser will only be too happy to help. Most hairdressers aren’t going to ‘sell’ you something for the sake of it, they are going to tell you what you need and prescribe you the right product. Its up to you if you want it or not.
I wouldn’t personally recommend going into a salon shop either (this is a trade shop or shop that sells products to salons like hair colour/bleach etc). Unless you can get something in there that has been recommended by your stylist, I find that most salon shops are just as bad as drugstores, in that some will have training, some may have even been hairdressers, but its a bit hit and miss and sometimes depends on the staff member you get. They could just be selling you what is on offer or guessing.
C: It contains something that is making your scalp sensitive…
This is mostly caused by the reasons above. If you are over-cleaning your scalp, chances are its going to become sensitive OR it perhaps you will develop an intolerance to an ingredient in that shampoo as its being pumped into your scalp in large quantities.
As mentioned, supermarket and drug store products are going to have cheaper ingredients in them which can cause irritation due to being cheaper and nastier.
A huge amount of our clients with scalp issues (of all types) will have major improvements by using salon shampoo over supermarket or drugstore products.
Why I’m not a fan of health food shampoo.
While health food shops offer alternatives too chemically overloaded supermarket shampoo’s, they aren’t always formulated with your hair needs first. Yes they may not contain all the nasty…but then again a lot of them don’t contain anything at all to actually help your hair either! Sure, they wash it ok, but the nourishing ingredients are often not the right formulation to be cosmetically pleasing (as in they don’t care what the hair will look like afterwards as much as you do!) or they just might not have anything in it at all to smooth or strengthen the hair. Read my blog on Natural Hair Products for more info on this.
Boost the volume!……
As I have fine hair, I have also struggled with having to wash it too much. And when you have bright colour, that is a big no no! Check out my blog on How To Look After Bright Hair for more info on this.
What I have found that helps my flat hair is bleach! Now this isn’t for everyone and does depend on your own circumstances, and the rest of your hair BUT bleached hair is drier right?! Well…there you go. It puffs up the cuticles and dries it out a bit, which ultimately gives you drier hair with more volume. Perhaps having a root-bleach or a few highlights might be the answer. Its a weird one yes, but when my roots are bleached (I quite often have bright colours or blondes) then I don’t have to wash my hair half as much and I have more volume. My only advice on this is be careful that you go to a good stylist that will look after the condition of the rest of your hair too.
Also volume spray or powder is great! From dry shampoo (again, a salon one that will last in your hair the whole day, not our good old friend that starts with ‘B’ that you have to apply 4 times a day and leave nice big dusty clumps!) to roots volume sprays and even roots powders…this will boost your roots and give you that bit of volume you need on your roots. Most of these products work by drying out your hair a little or plumping the cuticles, both of which also dry out oil.
My faves are Waterkiller Dry Shampoo & Haze (roots powder) by Evo & Tea Tree Volumising Spray by Paul Mitchell. They are super easy to use (which is what we all like right?) and for the Waterkiller and Haze you don’t need to blow dry, which is great if you are more low maintenance or don’t have a lot of time.
Are you shampooing right?…..
Another big mistake people make, especially if they have to wash their hair more often but really don’t want to be, is washing it wrong.
That’s right, you can wash it wrong.
I always recommend doing two shampoo’s in the shower. The first one gets rid of all the big stuff (hairspray, oil etc) the second gives it a deeper cleanse and gets rid of any residue that’s left over. The most common cause of greasy hair is that our clients are not cleaning it thoroughly enough. There is still a little product or grease left over which isn’t giving it a clean start, meaning it will get oilier faster. Give it a go! If you are using a high quality shampoo, it will be gentle enough on your hair to be able to shampoo twice without making it dry or fading your hair colour too much.
Dial down the heat. Water that is too hot will not only strip your hair colour but it will also strip your oil from your scalp (see above where I talked about stripping too much oil from your scalp) which means that it will get greasier quicker as the glands try to compensate. Luke warm is best, or as cool as you can handle. You can always wash your hair first and then keep it out of the water if you are a hot shower lover.
Finally, if you are worried about the price of these products, here’s a little myth buster.
It’s not as expensive as you think. Because salon shampoo’s last a lot longer and are much more concentrated than supermarket ones, they actually aren’t very much more expensive if you compare them to each other by how much you use. You will usually get 3-4 bottles of cheaper shampoo before you need another bottle of the professional one. Just ask our clients. Plus, would you keep buying something if it wasn’t working for you? Then why would you do it with your shampoo?
We hope this helps you a little with your oily, flat or fine hair problems.
Do you have a hair problem? Leave us a comment below and our trained professionals can give you some advice.
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