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Causes of Greasy Hair, and Best Products/Shampoo for Greasy Hair

Greasy hair can look oily and dull, and have a lank and lifeless appearance. It can look flat and heavy, and it never seems to stay clean and fresh. It takes on a stringy appearance within a few hours of shampooing and refuses to stay full and fluffy. Does this describe your hair? Do you ask the question, why is my hair greasy? Greasy hair can cause social embarrassment as others may judge that the sufferer has poor hygiene and does not wash their hair frequently enough, even if they actually wash it every day.

The grease found in hair is called sebum and is oil that is produced natural by the body. Each of the hairs on your head has a gland called the sebaceous gland immediately under the skin, this gland produces sebum. Oil in greasy hair protects each strand form split ends and dryness, and is in fact a sign of healthy hair. Sebum is made as lubrication for the skin and hair, providing a protective barrier and preventing drying. Sebum is the body’s own natural moisturizer.

Greasy hair is actually an excess of sebum in hair which is a result of overactive sebaceous glands over-producing sebum, stimulated by hormones known as androgens. Although they are present in both men and women, androgens are male hormones and are higher in men. Androgens do two things: One, they increase the size of sebaceous glands in the skin. Two, they cause the sebaceous glands to increase the production of oil.

Fluctuating hormones can cause greasy as hormones play a part in sebum production. Greasy hair is most common in women because of either pregnancy or monthly cycle, older women going through the menopause, and teenagers experiencing puberty. Stress can be a contributory factor in greasy hair as it is known to affect hormones levels. People with fine hair on their head may experience excessive greasy hair as they have more hair follicles and more sebaceous glands producing more sebum.

There are a number of external factors in that cause greasy hair. Washing your hair too often can increase the production of sebum as the sebaceous glands produce more sebum to combat the stripping of oils from the scalp and hair which can happen as a result of frequent washing. Vigorous hair and scalp scrubbing can stimulate hair grease. Touching hair can also over-stimulate glands, as can brushing vigorously which carry oil through your hair. Pollutants in the everyday environment can cause hair to look greasy, along with product build-up at the roots from over-use of hair styling products.

There can also be a number of internal causes of greasy hair. I have already mentioned fluctuating hormone levels; however one of the leading causes when it comes to causes of greasy hair is your diet. Diets in the Western world are typically much greasier, higher in fat and sugar, processed and contain additives, the high fat content increasing levels of oil in the skin, potentially causing greasy hair. A diet that is low in vitamin B can also be a cause of greasy hair, along with the hormones often found in the meat of Western diets which can add to unbalanced hormones.

The best way of avoiding, preventing, treating and getting rid of greasy hair is to treat it from the outside and the inside. On the outside: steer clear of brushing your hair too frequently, and too vigorously. Avoid using a moisturizing shampoo as this can leave some oil in the hair. An extra cleansing or clarifying shampoo that has a mild-ph is the best shampoo to use for greasy hair. When shampooing, massage you hair and scalp lightly and do not scrub your hair and scalp.

For a more thorough cleanse, leave the shampoo in for about 5 minutes. You can always rinse your hair and shampoo a second time. How often you need to wash your hair is down to you. Ideally you should wash your hair 1-2 times per week. To find what is right for you, begin washing daily and then reduce the frequency to find your ideal balance of oil production and washing. If you plan to use a conditioner on your hair, apply the conditioner to the mid and ends of you hair only, and be sure to use a conditioner made for greasy hair. If you are using a hairdryer for hair styling don’t let the dryer get too hot, heat can cause the production of more oil.

For the inside: do everything you can to reduce any stress that you may have in your life. For your diet, reduce the amount of fat and dairy products, and avoid fried, fatty and greasy foods as much as possible. Consider vitamin B supplements in your diet. Avoid sugar and sugary foods like cakes, biscuits and soft drinks. Reduce the foods containing white flour like bread, pasta and pastries. Be sure to eat lots of nuts, seeds and whole grains, and leafy & green vegetables, salads and fresh fish.

About the author: Jennifer Summers can help you achieve great looking hair. She is a well of information on greasy hair and providing great hair care advice.