When I was a teenager I was the one of my group of gal pals with the greasy hair.
I’d have one day with glorious, fresh (obvs poker straight and blonde highlighted within an inch of its life) hair, and then a second day with it slicked back into some kind of wet-look ponytail. Which as you can imagine, did not do huge amounts for my confidence around the countless boys I had crushes on.
One of my best friends used to lovingly say: ‘Hannah, why is your hair so greasy? Like, don’t you wash it?’ as if I took great delight in having hair so greasy that it basically didn’t need a hairband to hold a ponytail.
(Spoiler: I did wash it. Every other day. But I could never bring myself to do it every day, because… effort).
Anyway, as the teenage hormones slunk into the past, my hair did get marginally better, but it wasn’t until my early twenties that I made a conscious effort to attempt to ‘train’ it into being less greasy.
These days I wash my hair about every four days – usually the first two or three days it’s good as it is, and then by day four it’ll need dry shampoo or I’ll just wear it up.
But I thought I’d share a few tips on how I get it to this stage.
An obvious one but the biggest game changer to my greasy hair journey. I was introduced to the humble can of Batiste when I worked at LOOK and whilst I am sure there are better dry shampoos out there, this is fairly cheap and seems to do the trick.
I use it on days when my hair is starting to get that slightly sticky ‘wet’ feeling but otherwise looks alright.
I spray it into my roots and top half of my hair and then brush it through so there’s no white residue, and it soaks up the worst of the grease. As an added bonus it always gives it more volume too which is great if you’ve got flat hair like mine.
I try not to do more than two days of dry shampoo in a row otherwise my scalp gets wildly itchy.
I find it my hair is off my face then I obviously touch it less and therefore it doesn’t get as greasy as quickly.
Back in my hair ‘training’ days it was super in fashion to use hair grips to pin back the front bits of your hair, which helped keep it off my face. But now I’d use headbands to pull it back, or cute hair slides. These are particularly great for days two, three and four when you start to get tempted to wash it.
It means I’m less self-conscious about the front bits of hair which usually show signs of greasiness first as HUZZAH you cannot actually see them.
When it feels like it’s definitely absolutely 100% hair wash day, I bung it up in a ponytail or bun instead of actually washing it. This gains me an extra day between washes and helps stretch out how long it will go. Obviously not ideal if it’s Friday night date night and you want to look like an 11 out of 10, but if it’s a Tuesday and your only plan is to look mildly presentable at work and then go for a run then why bother washing it?
Having good hair is integral to feeling comfortable in my own skin, and so when I’ve got a greasy top knot it’s easy to feel a bit blah. To balance out the fact my hair is average, I try and add a pop of summin summin to my appearance – like a jazzy earring or a bright lipstick. That way I feel like I’m less paranoid that everyone’s judging my hair because there’s something else fun and distracting going on.
Also an excellent way to actually get decent use out of the bright pink lipstick you rarely wear, or the blue Pat Butcher ear chandeliers you’ve worn once.
I started by washing every other day, and then gradually pushed it up to every three days, and then a year later it was up to every four days. It does take time, and it does take some acceptance that you’re not going to look like a Disney Princess every day. Obviously if I’ve got some sort of big event (and by big event I mean I am likely to have eye contact with people) then I’ll wash it early because y’know, wanna look cute.
I doubt this post is particularly ground-breaking, but I hope it might help anyone who’s fed up with over a decade of daily hair washes and is determined to find a very nice and relaxing new way of life. Your self-worth is not tied up in how clean your hair is. You got this.