Asking yourself, “Why is my hair so oily?” Turns out, summer weather can make your hair look and feel greasier than usual. But there are ways to fix it. Trichologists explain how to get rid of oily hair and reclaim your Hot Girl Summer hair.
As the seasons change, new hair concerns arise. Drier, colder months, for example, can cause excess frizziness due to the lack of moisture in the air. Warmer months, on the other hand, can cause overly-greasy strands. If you’ve found yourself wondering: Why is my hair so oily? come June and July, same.
It’s not just you—hair does tend to accumulate more oil in the summertime. We spoke to trichologists about why hair looks and feel greasier in the summer compared to other times of the year. Plus, they share their best tips on how to get rid of oily hair during the warmer season so you can flaunt your luscious locks all summer long.
Why Is My Hair So Oily in the Summer?
There are several reasons why you’re experiencing greasy hair in the summer. Read on to find out what they are.
You’re Sweating More
Whether you’re working out, hanging by the pool, or just enjoying the sunshine, sweat is unavoidable during the summer. But all that excess sweat can cause your hair to look greasy. “Hair gets more oily in the summertime mainly because the scalp produces more sebum,” says Justin M. Hueston, trichologist at The Scalp Lab. “Because we sweat more in the summer and our sebaceous glands are more active, it causes extra sebum production (the oily substance that moisturizes and protects our skin.)” This is because as the sebaceous glands become active, sebum is released (causing an oily appearance).
You’re Wearing Your Hair Up More Often
When the temperatures rise, you may be tempted to tie your hair up off your neck. But Hueston explains that this strategy can backfire when dealing with oily hair because it brings the hair closer to the scalp, where oil is produced. “It’s best not to keep your hair tied up for really long periods of time,” he says. Hueston also recommends ponytails over buns because it keeps the hair further away from the roots.
Another tip? Avoid tying your hair up when you head to bed. “Try not to sleep with your hair up because it can cause your hair to be more greasy, but even worse it can cause thinning and damage to the scalp,” Hueston adds.
You’re Brushing Your Hair Too Much
It’s understandable that your hair may end up being styled more in warmer months—from ponytails for your outdoor runs to poolside braids and wedding guest looks, you may spend more time taking your hair up and down. But experts recommend stepping away from the hairbrush. Hueston explains that since hair is already more oily during this time, brushing it too much further spreads the oil down the hair shaft, making the rest of your hair look oily too, not just the roots.
You’re Not Applying Your Conditioner Properly
While conditioner can help hydrate your hair and reduce unwelcome frizziness, it can also contribute to oily-looking hair. The best way to avoid that is to avoid applying it to your scalp. “Conditioner should only be used on the ends of the hair, not on the scalp area which can greatly add to the greasiness,” Hueston says.
You’re Outside More
While spending time outside has several health benefits (such as reducing cortisol levels, improving immunity, and improving mental health, all that time outdoors can cause oily hair. “During the summer we tend to go outside more,” explains Martine Langsam, IAT, WTS. “As a result, we are exposed to more contaminants from the air that settle on our hair.” All of these contaminants become buildup on our scalps, which can trap sweat and oil—leading to greasy-looking hair.
You’re Not Shampooing Your Hair Enough
Wondering how often you should be washing your hair? It’s probably more often than you think in the summertime. With all of that excess sweat and oil, you need to be washing more than usual. “The key is to keep the scalp clean by washing your hair often,” says Penny James, trichologist at Penny James Salon. “The overuse of oil on the scalp will cause greasy hair and scalp. Not washing your hair enough will promote oily, greasy hair.”
How to Get Rid of Oily Hair In the Summer
Summer weather can make your hair oily, but there are ways to fix it. Here’s how to get rid of greasy hair in the summer.
Wash Your Hair Often
You may be tempted to hold out on washing your hair for fear that overwashing might exacerbate the oiliness. But James says regular washing is the key to a clean scalp in the summertime. “Wash your hair daily if you have excess oil,” she says. “For kinky, coiled hair, wash every few days.”
Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner that you can use daily. “A scalp exfoliation or scalp mask will help keep your scalp clean once a week,” she adds.
Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
Want to get the most out of your showers? Try adding a scalp massage. “Another trick is to do scalp massage before you shampoo, which will help purge excess sebum out of your sebaceous glands allowing you to shampoo it out before it builds up on the scalp,” Langsam says. For best results, try using some kind of exfoliating product (like a scalp scrub) to perform a scalp detox. It will help completely unclog your scalp and leave it clean and grease-free after the fact.
Another way to get rid of oily hair in the summer? Shampoo your hair twice in the shower. “It’s good to double shampoo when shampooing to help cleanse the scalp properly,” Hueston says. “Don’t confuse this for shampooing too often. Clarifying shampoo may also help with getting rid of product buildup but won’t necessarily rid the oils from the scalp.”
Wondering how often you should try the double shampoo? “I suggest shampooing three to four times a week at the most but shampoo twice especially if you’re routinely active,” Hueston says. “It’s important to create a shampoo schedule. Detoxing the scalp with essential oils such as peppermint oil and tea tree oil work well as well as an apple cider vinegar solution.”
Be Mindful of Your Stress Levels and Your Diet
Between all of the travel, activities, and parties in the summer, your stress levels and your diet can take a hit. “Too much sugar in your diet and stress will also produce more sebaceous oil,” Langsam says. It’s true—research shows that a high intake of sugar can trigger sebum production and cause oily skin (including the scalp). Additionally, research has proven that stress also causes increased oil production on the skin.
The Best Products to Use on Greasy Hair In the Summer
Looking for the best shampoo for greasy hair or other products to get rid of oily hair? Here are expert recommendations to keep your scalp fresh all summer long.
This shampoo contains amino acids to help balance and control the excess oil on the scalp without leaving hair too dry.
This clarifying shampoo helps to clean the scalp thoroughly and contains peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and lavender leaving the scalp feeling refreshed. Note: This product is great for dissolving oil on the scalp but is not recommended for everyday use.
This shampoo is made for hair growth with a small amount of salicylic acid to help gently remove buildup on the scalp.
This shampoo is formulated with naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients to help gently and safely cleanse the scalp and clear away any flaking or buildup.
This shampoo was specifically formulated for cleansing the scalp and hair. It’s suitable for fine hair and enriched with biotin and magnesium.
A soothing and purifying bath for those who deal with dandruff on their scalps.
This lightweight shampoo is great for oily hair and contains natural ingredients like grapefruit seed and jojoba oil to leave the scalp healthy and moisturized yet clean.
This unique cream-gel counteracts the wet effect associated with excessive sweating, keeping the hair naturally voluminous.