If you shower in the morning only to have hair that resembles an oil slick by lunchtime, your mane may be screaming for a shampoo break. Ironic, considering many of us reach for a wash the moment our hair becomes stringy. But ODing on showers may be causing greasy hair, according to Justin Anderson, a celebrity hair colorist at Chris McMillan Salon in Beverly Hills who’s had Jennifer Aniston, Miley Cyrus, and Ireland Baldwin in his salon chair. Find out why, plus the other culprits that could lead to oily strands.


1. Product is building up on your scalp. It may take 13 different sprays, creams, and waxes to create those perfect, messy waves (no judgment!), but piling them onto your hair could have serious consequences for the look and overall texture. “Product buildup is a real thing,” says Anderson, adding that it’s crucial to deep clean your hair and scalp preventatively. Use detoxifying cleansers specifically made to obliterate styling residue and gunk like Drybar’s On the Rocks Shampoo and Conditioner Duo ($26 each), which uses charcoal to purify and macadamia nut oil to lightly boost hydration.


2. Your workout is to blame. Totally fine if you can’t squeeze a shower in after that Orangetheory class, but your hair’s going to look a little less than bouncy. Post-sweat session, spritz a healthy amount of dry shampoo that’s also antimicrobial like dpHUE’s Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo ($23). “It’ll soak up the oil, and the apple cider vinegar will kill bacteria,” says Anderson. “It’s a great way to manage greasy hair without washing.”

touching hair

3. You’re touchy-feely. Want hair that’s dry and light? Keep your hands to yourself! “There are lots of oils on our hands and running them through your hair will add to its oiliness and greasiness and just weigh hair down,” explains Anderson.


4. Shampoo is your BFF. And if that’s the case, it’s time to break up. “People shampoo too much and it tends to strip away oils and dry out the scalp,” says Anderson. “The scalp overcompensates and it produces more oils. When that happens, they may think they should shampoo more to remove the ‘greasiness,’ but in reality, they should be laying off the shampoo.” Retrain your scalp by shampooing less and shampooing smarter. In addition to the detox duo, incorporate a cleanser that actually helps balance oil like Head & Shoulders Instant Oil Control Shampoo ($7). Bonus: The color-safe formula smells like a tropical vacation.


5. Your brush resembles Cousin It. It may be time to deep clean your hairbrush, styling tools, and hair accessories, too. The mane squad could be teeming with product buildup, dust (depending on where you keep them), and goodness knows what else that you might transfer to your hair every use. Just make sure to unplug heated items before you wipe ’em down.

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