We Have All Wondered At Some Point: Why Is My Hair Greasy After One Day Of Washing it? For Some Of Us, It Takes Just A Few Hours For Hair To Get Greasy!

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5 Reasons Why My Hair Is Greasy After One Day Of Washing

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Long and healthy hair that is full of bounce and shine is often considered the ultimate dream of every woman, at all ages and in any culture. But not everyone has the cliched ‘hair of their dreams’ all the time! In fact, many of us are often bombarded with a bad hair day, many days of the week. 

These bad hair days usually include hair that is excessively oily, sticky, frizzy, and down-right unmanageable. No one wants greasy hair after just one day of washing! But the question on every woman’s mind is why is my hair greasy so quickly?

Today, I will answer THE most common question asked by every woman struggling with greasy hair. If you wash your hair and your hair is greasy the next day, within the same day or even within a few hours of hair washing, this article is for YOU!

Why Do I Have Greasy Hair?

Answer: Although many factors may cause greasy hair, these are the top 5 reasons why you may have greasy hair after one day of washing your hair: 1. Overwashing can easily overstimulate your scalp to produce excess sebum, making your hair look and feel super greasy. 2. The conditioners you use are too heavy or strong for your hair because they create a waxy film on your scalp that gives your hair an oily, sticky look. 3. Hard water contains harsh minerals that combine with the sulfates in your shampoo to make your hair feel more weighed down, limp, and greasy. 4. If you have a naturally oily hair type, you are easily prone to having greasy hair, regardless of how often you wash your hair. 5. Lastly, a dirty plastic hair brush or cotton pillowcases can further exacerbate the grease in your hair, by adding dirt and dust onto your scalp.

Let us look at each one of these in a bit more detail to understand why hair gets greasy so often.

1. Overwashing

Surprise surprise! As ironic as this may sound, the number one reason for hair getting greasy quickly is that you may be overwashing it! Yes, you read that right!

Photo by Scandinavian Biolabs from Pexels

Hear me out.

Just like your skin, your scalp produces sebum (natural oils) to hydrate, condition, and protect hair. In fact, your hair always needs a certain amount of these natural oils in order to remain soft, supple and manageable.

Too much of sebum oil secreted by the scalp makes hair greasy and that, of course is gross so what do we do?

We give the hair a good sudsy wash to rid itself of all the oil and grease. This is all fine and dandy because just like everything else, hair needs a good wash from time to time.

However, very quickly we fall into the habit of washing the hair too often and this is where the problem lies!

When you wash your hair and scalp, you are removing all the dirt, grime, and natural oils along with it. The scalp will then have to produce more sebum than normal in order to compensate for oil that has been stripped away.

Simply put: The more frequently you wash your hair, the more oil your scalp will produce, resulting in grease galore!

What’s the solution?: Train your scalp to regulate its sebum production by washing it less often. Use sulfate-free shampoos. Incorporate herbal hair rinses to balance out the scalp’s sebum.

2. Over-Conditioning

Besides overwashing, the products you are using to condition your hair with may actually be causing your hair to get more greasy. Another ironic shocker!

Instead of just applying to your ends, you may be slathering your hair all over with your conditioner. This causes your roots to end up with too much conditioner than it actually needs, making them feel greasy.


Most conditioners contain waxy substances that add shine and gloss to your hair but only for a short time. These ingredients become too strong or heavy for hair that is fine, thin, or even naturally oily.

They get trapped onto hair causing product buildup, weighing hair down and making it look limp and oily.

You may also not be rinsing all of your conditioner out of your hair properly. When this happens, additional oils develop quickly and your roots start to feel dirty even though you literally just washed your hair!

Other hair styling products like serums, creams, sprays etc. contain oily ingredients that create more buildup and contribute to nothing but more greasy-feeling hair.

What’s the solution?: Rinse shampoo out thoroughly before applying conditioner. Use a lightweight conditioner, or even a conditioner spray that is free of parabens and silicones. Apply it mostly to ends of your hair (exclude your scalp) for a few minutes before rinsing out completely.

3. Hard Water Build Up

Just like overwashing with harsh shampoos is making your hair greasy, the water in your shower may not be helping your “sticky” situation either.

But why does it matter what type of water you wash your hair with?

Because heat from the nice, hot shower you are having, opens up the hair shaft allowing it to absorb all the harmful ingredients from not only your shampoo but from the water itself.

Hard water from your shower contains minerals that combine with the sulfates in your shampoo to form a salt that leaves a sticky film on your hair and scalp. This residue blocks much-needed moisture and nutrients from absorbing into the hair.

The mineral buildup from hard water leaves hair greasy, dull & discolored, brittle, easily tangled, and even brassy. Oh, did I mention all the grease?

Ever feel like no matter what you do, you cannot seem to get rid of an oily, gunky patch on the backside of your crown area?

That is hard water buildup, my lovely.

Read here to learn more about ways to fix hard water damage on hair.

What’s the solution?: Invest in a water-softening system or a shower-head filter. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and also add a chelating or a clarifying shampoo once a week to your hair care regimen to remove (or chelate) hard water minerals from the scalp.

4. Naturally Oily Hair Type

Now, if you have tried to remedy the top three factors so far and you are still struggling with greasy hair that just doesn’t go away, then you might have naturally oily hair to begin with.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

What does this even mean?

Just like people have oily skin, you may just have oily hair. The main cause of oily hair is an oily scalp. An oily scalp is a direct result of an overactive sebaceous (oil) gland.

When your hair is naturally oily, this means it is prone to getting greasy sooner and easier. This may explain why your hair is dull, lifeless, and super oily within a day of washing it.

Multiple different factors can cause oily hair to become easily greasy. Here is what may be causing excessive sebum production on the scalp:

  • Hormones: pregnancy/menopause, PCOS, thyroid problems
  • Stress: cortisol production contributes to sebum secretion
  • Diet: fatty foods, sugary foods, sodas & booze
  • Genes: Heredity plays a big role in sebum production
  • Wrong Hair Care Products: harsh ingredients, toxic chemicals, allergic reactions
  • Hair Touching: increases sebum production on scalp

What’s the solution?: Condition your ends first before you shampoo. Use an oil-free shampoo made for fine or thin hair. Apply a high quality pH-balancing dry shampoo to last more than a day between washes.

5. Dirty Brush or Beddings

When was the last time you looked at your hair brush and really thought to yourself you better clean this thing soon?

If you haven’t, you really should!

A dirty brush can easily create a greasy hair situation on clean hair.

Think about it.

If you keep using an unwashed brush on your hair, you are allowing all the dirt and grime from the brush to transfer to your hair, making it dirty too!

Not to mention, the dust particles in the air from the room gather on your brush or plastic comb as it sits on your dresser or your washroom. Yuck!

Your hair and brush aren’t the only things you need to wash in order to keep the grease at bay. When you lay your head down on your pillows for a good night’s sleep, how often do you think about the material of your pillowcases and the effect it has on your hair?

Cotton pillowcases tend to soak up all the oils from not just your hair but your skin as well. Night after night, the accumulated dust, dirt, and oils from your pillows transfer and mix with those from your scalp, making hair greasier than it should be.

What’s the solution?: Use a wide tooth wooden comb to detangle hair and sleep on silk pillowcases or wear a satin head wrap to protect your hair from tug, pull, and transferring of natural oils.

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Grease Release

Next time you are stuck midweek questioning yourself “why is my hair greasy after one day of washing it”, have a look over these five reasons. Maybe you are washing too often or conditioning too much.

Perhaps, you are not allowing for all your shampoo and conditioner to wash off before you get out of your shower.

Check the water from your shower to see if you are using hard water and how to chelate all that buildup. Ensure you are washing your hair brushes/combs, as well as your beddings to prevent further grease.

If none of these seem to solve your greasy hair problem, perhaps you have oily hair naturally and in that case, you must reduce greasy foods, excessive use of hair care products, and avoid touching your hair.

Most women resort to dry shampoo to save their hair from looking oily. Personally, it just makes my hair look and feel even more dirty! Does it work for you?

If you would like to know how to treat greasy hair without dry shampoo, click here.

Frequently keeping your hair wrapped in a scarf, hat, or helmet (or any other tight headgear), can prevent your scalp from breathing, allowing it to get oil quickly. Environmental dust, pollution, and even the humidity in weather can all contribute to greasy hair.

What do you think you are doing that is causing your hair to get greasy? Have I missed anything?

Be sure to let me know, down in the comments below!

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Hair-enthusiast turned blogger helping women achieve their hair goals with natural and sustainable haircare methods.

12 Responses

  1. I think every woman has this problem at some time in her life, Sasha. I know I have. I have fine red hair that looks greasy within a day of washing and I’ve tried lots of tips. Washing less, condition only on the ends, and wash my hairbrush and pillow cases often. But there is one technique that I’ve used for years that helps my hair to look great and doesn’t seem to make it worse. I powder my fringe and brush it out. Instant nice hair as it takes away the oil. I’m careful not to powder my scalp and wash my brush before I use it on clean-washed hair.

    Do you think that the powder could ruin my hair over time?

  2. A great article about greasy hair.   Yes it is true,  the more you wash, the greasier your hair gets.  I have experienced this myself. I used to wash my hair daily and the problem was solved once I washed my hair less frequently.  My hair is long and on the days I do not wash my hair I tie it up in a bun and keep it out of my face,  I found that over stimulation with frequent brushing also contributed to greasy hair.  When I wear my hair up I do not need to brush it often.   Thanks for sharing your information.


  3. Hi Sasha, Greasy hair can be one of the most annoying hair-related issues There are lots of natural remedies for greasy hair. I think we should always go for natural remedies first to solve this type of issue.

    There are some natural products which can help prevent greasy hair at home. We can use Aloe Vera gel as a natural shampoo for greasy hair.

    With a variety of nutrients and vitamins, Aloe Vera gel has so many benefits for our hair. Aloe Vera can even improve the growth of new hair and help you have long beautiful hair in a short time. You can rub the Aloe Vera gel directly on the scalp because it does not trigger any unwanted effect on the scalp and the hair.

    Eating a balanced diet of healthy fats and carbs is important in our life. Eating less oily food is also important because foods containing a lot of oil can have a direct impact on our health. 

    Do you recommend any natural remedies for greasy hair?

    1. Hey Lana,

      Yes, Of course! my fave sulfate-free shampoos are by Just Nutritive– they have the most unique formulas made up of over 250 natural ingredients, are vegan, cruelty-free, and color safe! Hope you love them as much as I do!

  4. This was a really informative article. I was surprised to see some of the reasons, especially how simple they were and how easy it has been for me to neglect them. For example the one about over-washing and the dirty brushes. I never realized how my hair brush could be collecting dust, debris and what not and I am putting all of that back on my head! YIKES! Question: would you suggest combs or brushes to be better for preventing greasy hair?

    1. A dirty brush is definitely something people always overlook! As far as your question about which is better, hair brush or comb– that really is a matter of preference. Some people prefer brushes, while others prefer using a comb to detangle their hair and vice versa. I personally use a paddle brush and my mom prefers using a wooden comb for her hair. Whatever you decide to use though, just ensure you are regularly cleaning it so as not to add further dirt to your hair. Hope that helps! 💕

  5. I have always wondered why my hair gets greasyy sooo fast! never knew that eating oily food would also mean an oily scalp! yikes! goodbye, burgers and pizza! 😅

    1. haha, you can still have oily food but just not as often! Maybe have a cheat day (once a week) to eat all that your heart (or should I say stomach?) desires!! 💕

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Sasha's Bio
hi, I'm Sasha

Covid-19 changed not just the world but my hair too. Unfortunately, for the worse.

As I struggled to try everything under the sun to tame my mane (while being in lockdown), I noticed that natural remedies were most effective!

Here I am now,  sharing my tried & tested haircare methods to help women who are in the same boat as me.

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