Masterclass: Greasy Hair

You may have heard us talking about working with the natural texture of your hair, something we love to embrace and work with, rather than against. But what if that texture is just a bit… Limp? Greasy? There ain’t no sexy way to say it but managing greasy hair is one of the most common issues we encounter. And lucky for you, we have experts on our side ready to help!

First up, we’re starting off in the shower. According to Glasshouse director Olivia, one of the main contributors to a greasy scalp are harsh shampoos which strip the hair of it’s natural oils, forcing the scalp to over-produce oil to compensate. “Look out for shampoos containing sulphates like sodium laurel sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate” she says, “then add them to your no-buy list! Shampoos that advertise that “squeaky clean” feeling are often the worst culprits and their high pH level exacerbates the situation. Using a gentle shampoo that has a pH similar to that of the hair itself is the way to go - you want to work with your hair, not against it”.

Our favourites for the job? Sans (ceuticals) Balancing Hair Wash and Hydratant are the ultimate duo to help level out the pH of an oily scalp. The ever-faithful Power Build Shampoo from Organic Colour Systems is also brilliant for everyday - limp or greasy hair is often low in protein, and this shampoo works by putting that protein back into the hair, in turn adding volume and oomph!

Image: Marie Claire Hungary
Image: Marie Claire Hungary

Hair can be “trained” to last longer between washes if you persevere, however as Olivia notes for us city dwellers it’s often not that practical, saying “Living in a city like London, we’re often dealing with a lot of external grime and pollution that can compromise the condition of the hair no matter how well we look after it. Suffering through days of greasy hair to try and train it into being less oily may not be necessary if you use a good shampoo that cleans thoroughly but gently”.

Using a conditioner to seal the hair cuticle is important as we know, and keeping it just in the mid-lengths and ends, not on the scalp, is another way to minimise greasiness. The exception to the rule is the Power Build conditioner, which is silicone free meaning it feels light and doesn’t cosmetically ‘coat’ the hair, so don’t be afraid to use it through the roots. Have a play around - it’s just a matter of finding out what works best for you!

Now you have washing down pat, it’s time to move on to day-to-day management. During the day, oil from your face and hands can transfer onto your tresses, and what started off as fresh fluffy locks becomes a wet-look style that you didn’t ask for by 4pm. A natural dry shampoo is a must to combat stringy hair especially if you have a fringe, and Revive Dry Shampoo is made from 100% natural and organic ingredients (as well has being handily handbag-sized). Lift your hair in sections and use the nozzle to aim directly on the root, and if you have time, spray and leave untouched for a few minutes to soak up the oil, then brush or shake out using your fingers.

Keeping a translucent powder to hand for use on your forehead can also help to address the issue before it becomes one, ensuring your forehead is oil-free before it transfers onto your hair.

As with washing, keeping things light is key when it comes to styling. If you find sea salt spray slightly too ‘product-y’ for your liking, try the Atonic Thickening Spray from O&M. One of our favourite ways to use this is spritzed through the lengths and ends of wet hair, scrunched in with fingers and left to dry. It will create movement and wave without crunchiness and doesn’t leave residue in the hair. You can then brush it out and a nice wave will remain without feeling sticky, and it also makes a blow dry last incredibly.

If none of the above is saving your oil-slick situation, or you’re on your way from work to play with no dry shampoo to hand, roll with it! We’ve long been fans of the slicked back look, and you’ll stand out among a sea of wavy, tousled-haired bohémes.

So, there you have it, the grease-free guide to one of the most common hair woes we hear about at Glasshouse. Keep these tips on hand and you’ll be saying goodbye to grease once and for all!

Words: Rosie Herdman

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