8 Things Your Greasy Hair Is Trying To Tell You

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I know there are worse things in the world, but nothing gets to me more than greasy hair. It's limp, it smells kind of funky, and it feels awful blowing about in the wind. It may be super annoying, but greasy hair happens for a reason. And it might even be trying to tell us all something about our health and beauty habits.

When it comes to health, oily hair is definitely worth monitoring. Because when grease gets out of control, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem that may need to be checked out.

But as far as beauty habits go, the level of grease we're each able to tolerate is obviously a point of personal preference. I personally can't stand oily hair, especially when it blows in the wind and gets stuck to my face. (Yuck.) However, I know people who barely seem to notice when their strands are less than fresh. A few of my friends even consider oily hair to be shinier and softer, and the more days they can go post-shower the better. I guess we can agree to disagree.

So if you're right with me in hating oily hair, or simply want to know why it's happening, then here are some things those greasy, greasy strands might be trying to tell you.

1. You Need To Wash Your Pillow ASAP

Your pillow, however comfy it may be, is basically a big gross magnet for oils and dirt. As we know, these oils can transfer to your face, causing acne. And they can also get stuck in your hair. That's why it's so common to wake up with greasy strands, as well as some pretty horrific bedhead.

The best way to prevent such a catastrophe is to wash your pillow cases on a weekly basis. You also might want to tie your hair up at night in a loose top knot to keep it from mixing and mingling with your face. I promise you'll be more likely to wake up grease-free.

2. You Need To Relax With All That Stress

Ever notice how your hair never looks great during a particularly crazy week at work? Sure, it may be due to your busy schedule, and lack of shower/styling/giving a crap. But it could also be due to stress and an increase in the hormone cortisol, which ramps up the production of oil, according to This can lead to oily skin and acne problems, as well as oily hair. So if you're suffering with a particularly bad case of grease, think about calming your stress with a little bit of yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. It may just do the trick.

3. Your Hormones Are Imbalanced

When your hormones are imbalanced, it can cause all sorts of problems in the body. One of these problems is, of course, greasy hair. According to an article on, hormonal imbalances can cause the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive, which is why greasy hair is a common problem during pregnancy, puberty, and during menstruation. You know, just one more thing to worry about during those trying times.

4. You Need To Keep Your Hair Out Of The Wind

This one may sound a bit strange, but I have noticed a connection between windy days and greasy hair. You'll have to take this as anecdotal evidence from me, because there seems to be a lack of scientific studies connecting oily hair with windy days.

There is a connection, however, to harsh winds and split ends. So, scientific evidence or not, I recommend wearing your hair up on particularly stormy days, lest you show up at work with oily, damaged hair.

5. You Should Shampoo Less Often

So let's say you had a stressful day at work, you walked through a wind tunnel, and your hormones are out of whack. You have found yourself with some hella greasy hair, and the only thing you can dream of is a hot, hot shower.

It may seem like vigorously shampooing would be the best course of action, but it may actually do more harm than good. That's because over washing hair can lead to more oil production, according to Amber Katz noted on Teen Vogue. This is precisely why "no shampoo" routines, such as the No Poo Method, seem to work so well when it comes to reigning in oil.

But why does it work, especially since it seems so counterintuitive? According to the experts on, "The hair's sebaceous oil glands are triggered to release extra sebum when they sense the hair drying out. By over-washing, you remove hair's natural conditioning and send the oil glands into a frenzy to replenish what was lost. This often causes an overproduction of sebum, giving hair that 'grease ball' look, which in turn makes people want to shampoo all over again and creates a vicious cycle."

It seems to make sense, and explains how all those No Poo people get away with not washing for weeks on end. It's definitely something to consider.

6. You Go Overboard With The Product

Ever wake up with hair that looks perfectly fine, and yet you'er still tempted to pile on the products? Gel, hair oil, mouse — it can all get a little out of hand. When you put on too much, you're more likely to suffer with oily, product-laden hair.

This is especially the case with hair oils, such as serums and coconut oils. If you went a little with one, Jenna Rosenstein on suggested spraying in some dry shampoo and brushing your hair until the extra oil is absorbed. And then keep it mind for next time that "less is more."

7. You Play With Your Hair Too Much

Playing with your hair is probably your go-to nervous habit. And that's OK, because we all do it. In fact, one study done by Dove showed that girls with fine or flat hair touch their hair up to 18 times a day, according to Elizabeth Denton on Seventeen. (Probably to make it look fuller.)

If this sounds like you, keep in mind that playing with your hair distributes the oils from your scalp down your strands. It also transfers the oils and dirt from your hands, leaving your hair a little worse for wear. So get yourself a different nervous habit, and leave your hair alone.

8. You Condition Too Close To The Roots

If you apply shampoo to your entire head, then it makes sense to slap on conditioner in the same way, right? Well, it turns out that conditioner should be applied way more sparingly than shampoo. In fact, as Jane Chung noted on, you should only be applying conditioner to the ends of your hair. That's because conditioner is heavy, and it can weigh down your roots. Stick to applying conditioner on your damaged ends, where it's needed most, and keeping it far away from your oily scalp.

Greasy hair, just like acne or brittle nails, can be a sign of underlying health problems. Or, it could just mean you went a bit overboard with the mouse. Either way, greasy hair is worth wondering about. And if it becomes a problem, it's usually easily fixed.

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