Woman with greasy hair
Woman with greasy hair

Why Does My Hair Get Greasy So Fast? Tips To Control Excessive Oil

Hair wash days are our least favourite.

For those of us blessed to have a head full of hair, there is nothing more annoying than when it gets greasy. Whether you arrange your calendar to fit in the lengthy-process of a hair wash, or you just wash it in five mins during your morning shower, greasy hair is the bane of our lives.

It’s totally normal though. In fact, it’s pretty necessary for keeping your scalp and hair as healthy as poss. But we can all agree that greasy hair can make or break a look or even your entire day. Been there, done that.

What’s even worse is that we don’t ever catch a break. Sweating at the gym? Greasy hair. Hot weather? Greasy hair. Even over-washing our hair causes greasy hair.

So, why does my hair get greasy so fast? We hear you ask. Good question…

Why does my hair get greasy so fast?

Woman touching her hair - Why does my hair get greasy so fast?

Our scalps naturally produce oil and sebum which are crucial for supporting the health of our hair and scalp. Your hair absorbs the oil, but too much can make it look greasy and shiny.

Oils are definitely not bad, as they help to keep the hair healthy and luscious, but oil build-up can have the opposite effect, leaving hair dull, looking dirty and slick.

There are many factors that contribute to the amount of oil someone produces, or how greasy their hair gets. Things like hair types and texture can impact the appearance of grease. For example, people with finer hair may have a greasier appearance after a day or two compared to someone with thicker hair.

Some other things that can contribute to the production of scalp oils include:

  • Hormones — the oil glands in the scalp (sebaceous glands) are controlled by hormones. When these hormones go through changes, they may produce more oil. If you’re pregnant, going through puberty or menopause, these can impact your hormones and the oiliness of your scalp. Stress can also affect your hormones and oil production.
  • Environmental conditions — if the temperature drops or increases, your body may react by producing more oil to protect your scalp. The same goes for indoor heating or air conditioning, which can also affect the oil production.
  • Touching your hair — freshly washed hair feels great, but constantly touching and playing with it can encourage it to become greasier. It can stimulate the scalp into creating more oil, but also the oil and dirt from our hands will add to the hair and give it a dirtier appearance.
  • Dirty tools and brushes — when you brush your hair or use tools, any grease or oil from your hair will make its way onto your tool and when you use it again, it will just add the dirt back to your hair. Try to clean your tools regularly and change your pillowcase often so your hair isn’t sleeping in the dirt.
  • Washing your hair too often — washing your hair strips the scalp of natural oils, causing your scalp to produce more to replenish what’s lost. If you’re washing your hair too much, your scalp will want to replenish more often. You may also make your hair greasier if you use conditioner on your roots and scalp. Try to apply conditioner from the mid-lengths through to the end, as these bits are the driest and will benefit more from conditioning.
  • Using the wrong hair products — Firstly, if you’re using hair products, try to avoid using too much as that can weigh your hair down and give a greasier appearance. Secondly, it could actually be your shampoo causing excess oil. For greasy hair, a cleansing/clarifying shampoo is best as it removes all the dirt, build-up, and oil. Rather than a moisturising shampoo that adds moisture to your hair.

How to make your hair not look greasy in 5 minutes

The simple answer to making your hair not look greasy is to wash it. But, it’s a pain in the bum. You might not have time, and TBH it’s too much effort. So, how can you make your hair not look greasy in 5 minutes?

  1. Dry shampoo — a staple in your bathroom, dry shampoo is your best friend when it comes to fighting grease quickly. If your hair gets greasy fast, and you don’t want to keep washing it every day or two, using dry shampoo at the roots is a great way to quickly fix grease. Don’t have any? Baby/talcum powder is a great alternative to dry shampoo. Just make sure to rub it in properly so the powder doesn’t show!
  2. Mini blowdry — no time for a proper wash and dry? No worries, just wet your roots a little and blast with the hair dryer, it will give your hair a quick pick-me-up to help last until your next hair wash.
  3. Tease your hair — greasy hair normally means flat hair, so a quick way to combat that is by teasing your hair a bit at the roots. Think early 2010s in the emo/scene kid days, when backcombing your hair was a daily ritual. Teasing it will add a bit more volume to the greasy roots, adding some bounce and volume.

Hairstyles for greasy hair

Sometimes, we just don’t have the time or energy to wash our hair, and the dry shampoo hasn’t been restocked in the bathroom. A quick fix? Try out these hairstyles for greasy hair to keep you looking fab, without the hassle of an ‘everything-shower’.

Messy bun

Hairstyles for greasy hair - messy bun on redhead woman

A fave with us lazy girls, a messy bun is one of the best hairstyles for greasy hair. Super easy and looks chic, just gather your hair into a high ponytail, secure with a hairband, leaving a loop of hair before the final pull-through to wrap around the base of the bun and secure the loose ends with bobby pins. Pull out some strands around your face for that natural ‘I woke up like this’ look.


Girl at beach with blonde hair in braid - hairstyles for greasy hair

Braids are great at disguising greasy hair. Either pull your hair to the side or keep it down your back and braid. French braids, classic braids, fishtail braids, they’ll all work to keep greasy hair from looking too unwashed. Whether you choose one braid or multiple, accessorise with clips and bands to distract from your greasy roots.

Sleek ponytail

Nothing says sophistication quite like a slicked back ponytail. Perfect for gym days, errand mornings or nights out, a sleek pony creates a smooth finish, utilising the grease from your roots. Secure a ponytail as high or as low as you want, and slick down flyaways with hairspray or gel to give you that model-on-call vibe. 

Half-up dos

Woman with long hair in half-up do - hairstyles for greasy hair

If you prefer to style your hair down, a half-up do can work wonders at concealing greasy roots. Gather hair from the top of your head and secure into a ponytail or a bun, leaving the bottom half of your hair down. Dress it up with accessories, pull out strands for a messier style, or slick back the top half for a more chic look.

Best shampoo for greasy hair

Online and in-store, shop shelves are lined with hundreds of shampoos and hair products, all claiming similar things, all targeting our worries, and to be quite honest, it can be overwhelming.

For greasy hair, shampoo can make or break how quickly it gets greasy. So, here are our top picks of the best shampoos for greasy hair.

OUAI Detox Shampoo — Cult Beauty, £28

4 instalments of £7.00 with Clearpay Learn more about clearpay Learn more Why It's Cult From hair stylist extraordinaire Jen Atkin, OUAI Haircare is the secret to that enviable, ‘French girl’ tousled texture. The range marries accessibility and luxury; with fine fragrances, nourishing ingredients and an infinitely Instagrammable aesthetic. Reimagining their iconic collection of shampoos and conditioners in a sleek design, these new-and-improved formulas boast salon-worthy results to suit your hair type. Description How to Use Full Ingredients List Product Details FREQUENTLY BOUGHT TOGETHER OUAI Detox Shampoo 300ml This item OUAI Detox Shampoo 300ml £28.00 Size: 300ml OUAI Thick Hair Conditioner 300ml Recommended item OUAI Thick Hair Conditioner 300ml £28.00 Size: 300ml Total Price: £56.00 ADD BOTH TO BASKET OUAI OUAI DETOX SHAMPOO Cult Beauty - shampoo for greasy hair

Ouai’s detoxifying shampoo will get rid of product build-up on your scalp and roots, perfect for those of you who spritz dry shampoo on a weekly basis.

Use our Student Beans discount at Cult Beauty for 20% off.

L’Oréal Professionnel Advanced Anti-Oiliness Shampoo — Look Fantastic, £17.13

L'Oréal Professionnel Serié Expert Scalp Advanced Anti-Oiliness Dermo-Purifier Shampoo - Shampoo for greasy hair

This gel shampoo is ideal for visibly reducing excess oil on your scalp. Clarifies your strands and scalp for a fresh finish while buffing away dead skin cells.

Use our Student Beans discount at Look Fantastic for 20% off.

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo — Sephora, £21.50

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo- Sephora

This gentle shampoo helps bring your scalp back to optimal health. Infused with ingredients like Wheat Protein, this shampoo will cleanse and balance the hair, delivering moisture without making your hair greasy. It also has anti-static conditioning – ideal for curly, wavy or frizzy locks.

Use our Student Beans discount at Sephora for 15% off.

Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo — Look Fantastic, £24.50

Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo - Look Fantastic

Bumble and Bumble’s Sunday shampoo is purifying and detoxing, removing build-up from pollutants to excess oil and hard water. It will leave your hair light and clean, and refresh your hair during its weekly wash.

Use our Student Beans discount at Look Fantastic for 20% off.

Redken Amino-Mint Scalp Shampoo — Sephora, £22.50

Redken Amino-Mint Scalp Shampoo - Sephora

Redken’s mint scalp shampoo works magic by balancing pH and relieving symptoms of scalp tightness, as well as getting rid of extra grease and residue. This shampoo will leave your strands visibly brighter and soothes your scalp at the same time. Plus, it won’t leave your hair straw-like, as some other cleansing shampoos do.

Use our Student Beans discount at Sephora for 15% off.

Need to restock your haircare? Shop with our Student Beans Hair Student Discounts.