Along with ‘no elbows on the table’ and ‘parents are always right’, not putting conditioner on your roots for fear of greasy hair is a tip once learned and never forgotten.
Yet it turns out this piece of wisdom kind of misses the mark, as conditioner is likely not the sole cause of your oily roots. Mind. Blown.
Here are seven other culprits to blame.
1. Not stimulating your scalp.
Ever wondered why you get such a good head massage during your shampoo at the salon? No, it’s not just to encourage you to tip (although it definitely works for us), but rather to stimulate the oil glands in your scalp to prevent greasy hair.
You can do the same at home with your hairbrush.
“The best way to avoid that greasy feeling is for you to vigorously brush your scalp for about 50 to 100 strokes at night before you go to bed to stimulate the oil glands in your scalp, which will then bring all the excess oil out,” says Mary Dixon from Brisbane’s Plum Hair Body Beauty.
WATCH: Mia Freedman knows a good haircut… check out her latest ‘Sliding Doors’ inspired chop. Post continues after video.)
It’s a vicious cycle. Too frequent washing actually strips the hair of natural oils which then stimulates the sebum glands to produce even more oil in the hair.
Limiting your hair washes to at least every other day will help prevent this, and ensuring you’re washing your hair properly can reduce the greasiness even further.
“Try shampooing your hair twice. The first shampoo tends to not use up as much product but will remove dirt and product, while the second shampoo will cleanse,” says Jules Tognini, director at AKA Togninis and three-time Men’s Hairdresser of the Year.
For a hairdresser worthy cleanse, Tognini has an insider’s trick. “Try putting a teaspoon of raw sugar in your shampoo. The texture of the sugar with help exfoliate your scalp and lift dead skin plus it will dissolve once done.” (Post continues after gallery.)
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3. Product build-up.
Take the time to thoroughly wash out product to avoid a build-up that will just make you hair look limp and greasy.
This is a relatively obvious one, but worth looking at. Sweat from exercise will make your hair look greasy, so if you’re working out daily try using dry shampoo to disguise your oily hair rather than washing after every session.
5. Using the wrong products.
"Get your hairdresser to prescribe you the right shampoo and conditioner," stresses Tognini.
Using the wrong products won't keep your hair looking its best, and can often be the cause of greasy hair. For example, if you've got short thin hair then you're probably not going to need a deep, heavy cleansing product which will only weigh it down.
"It cleanses the scalp thoroughly and controls the excess sebum and also conditions the ends. If the ends are extremely damaged, use Deep Muk Ultra Soft Leave-in Conditioner ($17.95) sprayed onto the ends," she says.
Watch: The Glow's Lizzie demonstrates the best way to use hairspray. (Post continues after video.)
6. Playing with your hair.
Keep those hands away. Touching your hair unnecessarily on the regular will only serve to increase the oils and dirt in your hair, leaving it shiny for all the wrong reasons.
7. You're predisposed.
Yep, unfortunately some of us are just unlucky. "Some people just have more active oil glands in their scalp than others do," says Tognini.
Fortunately, by being proactive and careful about your haircare routine (and with the help of a trusty bottle of dry shampoo!) no-one has to know.