Here’s Why Your Hair Gets So Greasy in Summer

Shannon Farrell
greasy summer hair

Photo: IMaxTree

We spend most of our energy fighting the common enemy that is frizzy hair. Yet, summer weather (and habits) bring another problem to the mix—exceptionally greasy strands. What is it about warm weather that makes our hair greasier than a piece of pizza? We caught up with celebrity hairstylist Jon Reyman, and owner of Spoke & Weal hair salons in California and New York, to find what causes this spike in oil—and how to combat it.

Problem #1: You’re Sweating More.
Blame it on the weather, but also blame it on your habits. “The moisture in the air means moisture in your hair,” says Reyman. During the summer we’re also more likely to spend times outdoors. “Being outside—exercising or just moving more—contributes to the rise and fall of our body temperature. This in turns affects our sweat patterns.”

How To Fix It: Skip oil-based products completely during humid months and rely on dry shampoo in between cleanses, says Reyman. “And keep your hands away from your hair,” he emphasizes. The dirt and oil is easily transferred to strands.

Problem #2: You’re Using a Ton of Product.
Yes, we’re more inclined to use drying products, like sea salt spray and dry shampoos. But overuse of these products can dry out your scalp to the extent it needs to fight back. “If your hair is very dry, your body will respond by producing more oils.”

How To Fix It: “Find the balance of your individual chemistry. The only way to do this is to try things out.” Find the perfect cocktail of products that leave your hair textured, yet not dry or greasy. And if your main goal is volume, look to other boosting tactics. Flip your part to the other side, lift with hot (or cold) rollers, and slightly tease at the root.

Problem #3: You Put Your Hair Up More.
Sweaty neck—no thanks! So the hair goes up and roots decidedly look more greasy…but why? “When you pull your hair up, the oils don’t work down the hair shafts. Rather they sit and saturate the scalp, especially around the face,” says Reyman. “Also, when you wear your hair down, the oils are primarily on the interior of the hair—the outer surface of your hair is not exposed as much to your skin’s natural oils.”

How To Fix It: We get it. There’s no talking you out of it. (It’s hot!) Just refrain from redoing your style throughout the day. “This will increase the effect as your hands have natural oils.” So no touching! If your hair is super greasy, embrace it with a slicked-back style. Apply a light-hold gel or pomade to pull the hair back into a sleek ponytail or bun.

Problem #4: Your Face is Oilier.
Your hair has a natural tendency to touch your face—regardless of time of year. “You have natural oils on your face, your hands have natural oils as well as the oils picked up from whatever they’ve touched and your hair has natural oils too.” When your hands touch your face and then your hair (especially when skin is exceptionally greasy or is covered in sunscreen), the scalp and strands turn slick.

How To Fix It: We’ll keep it simple for ya. “Don’t touch your face and keep your hands out of your hair.” If your style needs a touchup throughout the day, keep a brush or comb handy.

Problem #5: You Put Your Sunglasses on Your Head.
“If you have makeup, moisturizer or sunscreen on your face and your glasses touch the bridge of your nose, they will carry the lotions and oils into your hair.” Innocent mistake, right?

How To Fix It: “Carry a pocket pack of facial cleansing wipes to clean your rims down before you push them back into your hair.” Or eliminate the problem altogether, says Reyman, by storing your glasses case in your bag at all times.

More from Daily Makeover: Why You Should Always Use a Hair Sunscreen