Why does my hair feel greasy after washing it

There is nothing more frustrating than washing your hair and then stepping out of the house with equally greasy hair as if you did not wash it an hour ago.

Greasy hair is a total hassle because not only does it feel uncomfortable, but it is also more prone to dirt build-up. 

If you are icky, you will notice that greasy hair feels hot and heavy on the scalp.

At times, I was sure that I washed and rinsed my hair intensively, but why does my hair still feel greasy after washing it?

In this article, we will talk about the reasons why hair is still oily even after washing, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it in the long term.


Why is my hair still greasy after I wash it?

Why is my hair still greasy after I wash it

Every day, at least one person in the world asks: “Why is my hair still oily after washing?” 

And to that, we answer: “Oh, there are so many possible reasons.”

Abnormally greasy hair may be due to several factors like your hair care routine, the hair products you use, and the environment that you live in. 

Worse, it may even be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Before assuming the worst, let us first look into the most probable reasons why your hair is extraordinarily oily, minus the possibility of a medical problem.

1. Over-conditioning

One common mistake that most of us make is to lather conditioner all over our scalp and hair. 

It is totally unnecessary to apply conditioner to the scalp. Remember that our scalp already produces natural oils, which provide far better moisturization than chemical conditioners. 

Lathering your scalp with a conditioner traps the natural oils in the scalp, making the hair appear greasy.

To avoid this, only apply conditioner from the mid-lengths to the tips of your hair because those parts need conditioning the most. 

2. Improper rinsing

You might have washed and conditioned your hair but did not rinse it properly. 

If this is the case, your hair will feel greasy after it dries because of the remnants of the conditioner.

To avoid this, use warm water in rinsing conditioner off your hair. Warm water opens up the cuticles in your hair and allows the hair to absorb the conditioner. 

It is also important to scrub your scalp lightly using your fingertips and massage the lengths of your hair until it does not feel soapy anymore.

3. Using hot water

We advise you to rinse with warm water but not hot water. Using hot water on your hair strips off its natural moisture and leads to dehydration. 

Just like any part of our skin, the scalp compensates for the dehydration by producing more oils which leads to that icky, greasy feeling. 

4. Inappropriate conditioner

Maybe your hair feels greasy because you are using a conditioner that is too heavy for your hair. 

If you have fine hair, do not use conditioners designed for those with thick and textured hair. If you have naturally oily hair, do not use conditioners made for those with dry hair.

Thick, textured, and dry hair require more intense moisturization. Such products are too heavy for thin and oily hair, resulting in a sticky and greasy feeling.

If you have thin and oily hair, opt for lightweight conditioners instead. Conditioner sprays are also a good alternative.

5. Dirty hair tools

Oil and dirt can also come from the things you often use on your hair, such as brushes and combs. Even hats and hair towels are not an exception.

The dirt and oil accumulated in these things will transfer to your newly washed hair every time you use them. 

Bottom line: Make sure to use clean hair paraphernalia all the time.

6. Product build-up

Product build-up happens when you put too many hair care products on your hair. 

When you apply one product after another and then let all of them sit on your hair throughout the day, your scalp and hair will probably feel heavy and greasy.

It is better to use only a few hair products on your hair. You may also schedule when to apply these products. 

Some products will still have similar effects if you apply them thrice a week instead of daily. 

To remove product build-up, use a clarifying shampoo once a week. Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove oil and residue on your scalp and hair cuticles.

7. Washing too often

Since you have oily hair and scalp, you might think it is better to wash your hair more often. But this is not the case. 

Washing the hair too frequently, especially when accompanied by harsh shampoos, leads to dryness of the hair. 

Overwashing is not healthy for both dry and oily scalp.

For those with dry scalps, frequent washing makes the scalp drier and results in flaky dandruff. 

For those with oily scalp, frequent washing dehydrates the scalp and makes the scalp produce more oil than usual, resulting in heavy and oily hair.


When to see a doctor

As mentioned earlier, an excessively oily scalp may signify an underlying medical condition. 

It is important to consult a dermatologist if you notice that your scalp is oily and has scaly patches that burn or itch. This condition is called seborrheic dermatitis. Although this is common, it is better to consult a doctor to get it properly treated.

If seborrhea is not improving with home treatments, visit a doctor to check if you have further issues such as problems in your diet or hormone imbalance.


How do you get rid of greasy hair after washing it?

How do you get rid of greasy hair after washing it

If you have already washed your hair and it is still greasy, try massaging your scalp with a warm and damp towel. This can help remove excess oil on your roots.

You may also opt to use a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos are designed to absorb oil from the hair and scalp, so these are perfect for you.


If you do not have dry shampoo at your disposal and badly need to get rid of your greasy hair, try using baby powder instead. Simply sprinkle a little powder on your scalp and gently pat it to ensure that it absorbs oil.

But, what if you are in the mall when you notice your greasy hair? It would be too messy to powder your scalp. Good thing you can use your handy blotting paper instead. 

Use the blotting paper on your hair like you use it on your face — gentle tapping motions instead of wiping.


How to prevent greasy hair after washing

How to prevent greasy hair after washing

So, what is the long-term solution for greasy hair? 

Aside from avoiding improper hair care habits mentioned earlier, you can also do a couple of things at home.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

In a spray bottle, combine five parts of water with one part of ACV. Spray it on your scalp and massage the roots. 

Rinse after five minutes. This helps make your hair look shiny and healthy while controlling sebum production.

Green tea 

Prepare green tea as usual. Let it cool. 

Massage the green tea on your scalp and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing. This helps strengthen your hair while removing oil.

Baking Soda 

Mix baking soda with shampoo or water and apply to the scalp. Rinse immediately. This helps clean residue out of your hair. 

All these home treatments effectively get rid of excess oil in your scalp for the long term. Do at least one of these not more than thrice a week. 

CHECK OUT: 7 Ways How to Make Your Hair Less Greasy Without Washing It


Grease away

Oily scalp is expected, but it is such a hassle. 

Having an oily scalp means having limp and damp-looking hair. The good thing is that you can easily address the effects of oily scalp by changing up a few things in your hair care routine. 

However, if your oily scalp is itchy or has a burning sensation, we advise you to visit a doctor so you can discuss the appropriate solutions to your hair problem.

We hope this article helped you get rid of your greasy hair problems. 

Last Updated: April 24, 2022

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