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How To Address Greasy Roots and Care For Oily Hair

Dry shampoo isn’t your only option.
  • Leann Garofolo
April 08, 2024

Shiny, healthy-looking hair is always the goal—but a mane that glistens with grease is likely not what you had in mind. The truth is that everyone’s hair gets oily, but some people experience it more often than others. If you’re nodding yes as if we can see you (though, figuratively speaking, we do see you), then you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, discover how to fix greasy hair so that you get more out of your wash days and achieve that lustrous finish you’ve always wanted.

How Do I Fix Greasy Hair Fast?

Iai Greasy Hair Quick Fix1

Fixing greasy hair is all about minimizing the oiliness to a point where it’s hardly noticeable. Dry shampoos are often touted as the fastest way to get rid of greasy hair. These formulas typically come in spray (and sometimes powder) form and can be used to help refresh oily hair and roots between washes. Certain formulas can also help give your hair some extra oomph—a major bonus for those with fine, greasy hair that tends to fall flat.

Adding a dry shampoo to your routine couldn’t be simpler, either: If you have 60 seconds and some finger-tousling energy to spare, you can fake the look of clean, matte hair in record speed. Just hold your chosen dry shampoo spray about 6-8 inches away from your roots. Spray the formula evenly through the crown of your head, lifting small sections of your hair as you go until your roots are covered in product. Let it dry for a few seconds, then massage or brush it into your hair to blend.

It’s worth noting that despite its name, dry shampoo shouldn’t replace the deep clean provided by actual shampoo. In fact, skipping multiple wash days and relying only on dry shampoo may be counterproductive, as it can allow oil and residue to build up on your scalp.

Beyond dry shampoo, there are plenty of other solutions that promise to make your hair less greasy-looking. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to fix oily hair without washing it or need in-shower pointers, here are ten grease-zapping ideas to consider.

How To Care For Oily Hair

Shampoo properly

Believe it or not, there is a right way to shampoo your hair, and it involves giving your scalp a thorough scrub while you wash. This can give the shampoo a better chance at lifting away the grime on your roots and scalp, something a quick rinse may not manage.

Apply the recommended amount of shampoo, then use your fingertips or a scalp massager to gently knead the formula onto your scalp using circular motions.

Don’t overwash

The American Academy of Dermatology typically recommends washing oily hair as often as once a day, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. The best frequency for you will ultimately depend on your hair type, genetics, hormones, and lifestyle. It’s important not to overdo it when it comes to washing your hair, so don’t assume you need to wash multiple times a day just because you have greasy hair. Just like you can overwash your face, the same is true for your strands.

There is some anecdotal evidence that may suggest that gradually stretching the time between shampoos (like with the oil training method) can potentially limit how greasy your hair gets. Play around with the timing of your shampoos to see what has the most noticeable effect on your greasy hair.

Use a clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are among the best shampoos for oily hair, as they can really help with greasy buildup. They offer a deeper clean than traditional shampoos, helping to remove excess buildup that can contribute to greasy-looking hair.

Try the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo to detox strands from accumulated residue, and complete your clarifying routine with the corresponding EverPure Sulfate-Free Restoring Conditioner. You may think oily hair doesn’t need conditioner, but that’s actually not the case. Since clarifiers cleanse your hair of excess oil, following it up with a moisturizing conditioner is a great way to restore hydration and softness to your strands. Keep in mind that you should only use clarifying shampoo about once a week to help reset oily and greasy hair. Overuse may make your locks feel stripped or dry.

Don’t condition your roots

A common mistake that can contribute to greasy-looking hair is slathering conditioner onto your roots. Conditioners are intended to add moisture to hair where it needs it most (often the lengths and ends) and typically aren’t designed for the root area. Applied incorrectly, these thicker formulas can leave behind a residue that causes your roots to appear flat and oily—even after a wash.

Try a scalp serum

As counterintuitive as it may seem, an oily scalp with dry ends is indeed a thing. As such, we recommend using L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Pure Oil Erasing Serum to address each concern in one fell swoop. This purifying oily hair treatment, which contains salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid, helps dissolve excess oils and remove scalp residue while providing 72 hours of hydration. Use it as a targeted pre-shampoo treatment before applying the range’s Hyaluron + Pure Purifying Shampoo and Hyaluron + Pure Rehydrating Conditioner.

Clean your hairbrushes

Similar to how makeup brushes need to be cleansed regularly to keep blemish-causing bacteria at bay, so too, do your hair brushes. Dirty hair brushes can harbor dirt, oils, and product buildup, which can transfer to your hair and make it look flat and greasy. Fortunately, cleaning your brush is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require any special products: Just combine equal parts water with shampoo and gently scrub between the bristles with a clean, unused toothbrush.

Brush the right way

It’s no secret that brushing your hair is essential for removing knots. However, brushing your hair carries scalp oils down your hair shaft. If you overdo it (ever heard of the 100 strokes per day myth?), you may run the risk of your strands appearing too slick, too soon. If you’re someone who’s prone to experiencing oily hair, try to only brush as much as you need to remove tangles and smooth your hair.

When you do brush your hair, handling it with care is always the name of the game. Try not to harshly pull or tug on your strands, which can cause breakage or fallout. You can help loosen any stubborn kinks by first spritzing problem areas with L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture 21-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner. Then, gently work your way up through the knot until your brush passes easily through your hair.

Use dry shampoo preventatively

You already know that dry shampoo can sop up existing oil, but did you also know that it can help prevent greasiness before it happens? The same ingredients that help soak up oils can also keep your ‘do fresh and help improve the longevity of clean hair. Spray your chosen formula onto clean roots before bed, then massage it into your scalp in the morning to blend any lingering residue. Or, spritz it onto clean hair right after washing and styling.

Avoid touching your hair

Running your fingers through your soft, silky hair can feel super satisfying, but you’re likely doing your strands a disservice. Any grease or other residue on your hands can transfer onto your hair and exacerbate oiliness. Pop on a cute headband or throw your hair into a trendy bubble braid to help deter wandering fingers from making their way into your hair.

Embrace your texture

An easy way for those with wavy, curly, and coily hair to ward off greasy hair is to embrace their natural texture. Straighter styles like blowouts make it easier for the scalp’s sebum to glide down the hair shaft. This means that locks can start to look oily more quickly. Extend the life of your style by allowing your hair to air dry or using a diffuser attachment to coax out your natural texture.

Pop on a breathable hat

You might want to think twice before throwing on that stuffy baseball cap. Hats are great for protecting your scalp and skin from the sun, but not all hats are created equal. Ones made with thicker materials can trap in heat, making your scalp look and feel sweaty. Opt for hats made with more breathable materials, like straw or mesh, to increase air circulation and keep your head cool.

Try hair blotting paper

Blotting sheets aren’t just reserved for shiny faces; there are ones made specifically for your hair that can help absorb excess oil from your scalp. These papers are typically sold in small rectangular sheets, making them ideal for targeting grease along your part and hairline. Gently press them onto noticeably slick areas of hair to absorb grease in seconds.

Be choosy about your haircare products

Picking the right haircare products is essential for reaching your styling goals. The best formulas for oily hair tend to be on the lighter side so that they won’t further weigh your strands down. Your hair’s density, length, and texture also play a role in what products will work for you. When shopping, be sure to keep an eye out for lightweight products such as serums, lotions, and mousses.

Go easy on product application

How you apply styling products is also key. Typically, less is more. Begin by applying smaller amounts of your chosen product than what the instructions suggest. If you think your hair could benefit from more, go in with half the recommended portion. It’s always easier to layer on more product than to risk overdoing it and making your hair go limp or greasy.

Try a wet look

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Glossy, wet-look styles are the perfect way to make your oily hair appear chic and intentional. Finding a hair gel that offers both lasting hold and high shine is the key to shaping your wet ‘do and making it (purposefully) glisten. L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel checks both of these boxes. Add it to your cart, and then check out our article, 32 Hairstyles for Greasy Hair That Will Hide Oily Roots, for more greasy hair-approved styles to pair it with.

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