Say goodbye to flat, greasy hair.

Rebecca Norris
Sep 18, 2020 @ 12:09 pm
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If you’re like me, you’re all too familiar with the appearance of flat, oily roots. Such is the life of a fine-haired person. As discouraging as it can feel, oily roots can be managed if you take the right approach. Seriously, I say this from experience. After years and years of hating how deflated and oily my hair looked just 12 hours after shampooing, I was determined to find a solution.

Thankfully, I was able to bring my roots back to life with the help of my hairstylists. So, to pass the knowledge onto you, I interviewed three leading experts in search of the top tips for folks with oily roots who hope to go a day without grease. Here's what they had to say.

What causes oily roots?

The common misconception is that oily roots are caused by dirty hair. However, it's that very process of over-shampooing your hair that can lead to oily roots. “When you over-wash, your roots can become extremely dry and cause your scalp to produce excess oil,” says celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger.

Thus, the best way to fix an oily hair sitch is to cut down on washing. “You need to give your roots a break,” explains R+Co Collective member Ashley Streicher.

What shampoos work best for oily roots?

Part of giving your roots a break goes beyond taking a hiatus from shampooing. It’s also important that when you do shampoo, you’re using quality products that will add to the health and appearance of your hair, not take away from it.

“Using products with lots of harsh chemicals can also contribute to oily roots,” Hershberger explains. To avoid this, she recommends using a light shampoo—like her namesake 24K Get Gorgeous StylePro Shampoo—to hydrate and clean hair without weighing it down.

Sally Hershberger 24k Get Gorgeous Stylepro Conditioner
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Another option is to opt for a light shampoo infused with CBD. According to Streicher, adding this trendy ingredient to your haircare routine is a great idea since it's ultra gentle, soothing, and hydrating.

Celebrity stylist and Authentic Beauty Concept advocate Mara Roszak tacks on to this, noting that adding in a clarifying shampoo weekly can also help. “This will make sure the scalp isn’t getting overly dry, igniting an overproduction of oils,” she explains. “Using a clarifying shampoo that is lightweight and not stripping will create a clean base, removing any extra buildup of oils on the hair from the product.”

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If a clarifying shampoo feels too harsh for your needs (though they’re totally safe, FYI), consider a balancing shampoo. They're designed to deeply cleanse your hair and scalp and are especially great for color-treated folks who have a heavy hand with styling products.

What styling products work best for oily roots?

Shampoos don’t get all the limelight. Dry shampoos and texturizing sprays also make a world of difference for oily roots since they soak up excess oils and deliver next-level lift and grit—in a good way, obviously.

“Only use a dry shampoo or texture spray—like R+Co Zig Zag Root Teasing + Texture Spray—for spot treatment,” Streicher says. “Use it in places that are visibly limp and oily, like in a fringe area or around a parting.

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Notice how she said for spot treatment? That’s because, as with traditional shampoo, over-applying dry shampoo can dry out your scalp and cause it to produce more oil as well. That said, you can rely on dry shampoo for your day-two ‘dos, but don’t let it fully replace your regular shampoo habits.

Extra tips:

If the goal is to train your hair to be less oily, the method is to wash your hair less often and use products that will supplement your mane, not wreak havoc on it. “Don’t wash your hair too often—no more than every two to three days,” Hershberger insists. “When you do shampoo, be sure to gently scrub your scalp to remove oil and buildup.”

What’s more, extend the hands-off face policy to your hair. “Playing with our hair constantly—flipping it from side to side—can create extra oily or heavy roots,” Roszak shares. “Being aware of it as a habit can help minimize it throughout the day.”

Lastly, as wonderful as brushing may feel, Hershberger says not to over-brush. “Brushing too often can tend to increase oil production,” she says. “I also recommend cleaning your brush regularly, as dirty brushes can typically become full of dirt, oils, and styling products, all of which can lead to greasy-looking roots.”