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Why Does My Hair Get Greasy Overnight? | 3 Main Culprits

We’ve all been there. We go to bed with a perfect blowout, waking up with a head full of grease. If this has happened to you, we know you want to know “why does my hair get greasy overnight?” and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. 

What Is Making My Hair Greasy Overnight?

There are a few reasons why your hair can become greasy overnight:

  1. Washing your hair too often 
  2. Product build-up on your scalp
  3. Overstimulating your sebaceous glands 

While several factors contribute to waking up with a head full of grease, most of them can be remedied by making a few small changes in your hair care routine. 

Keep reading as we discuss why your hair may become greasy overnight. Below we’ll talk about what might be the cause of grease and what changes you can attempt.

Why Your Hair Is Getting Greasy Overnight

Let’s now explore the different reasons for your hair becoming greasy overnight and what you can do about it.

1. Washing Too Often 

Washing your hair too often doesn’t cause it to become greasy; it is a myth. Washing your hair too much can lead to greasy hair, and over-washing causes your scalp to overproduce oil. 

When your scalp is stripped of its natural oils, its protection response is to increase oil production. Most people can go several days to a week without washing their hair. Of course, it can take a while to train your hair to increase the time between washes.

However, once you get to the point where you can go longer in between washes, you’ll be happy as it creates less work for you and your hair will be more pleased with less damage.

Read Next: Take Our Short “How Often Should I Wash My Hair” Quiz!

2. Product Build-Up on Your Scalp

When you apply product to your hair, most of the time, you’re applying product to your roots which inevitably gets onto your scalp. The build-up can cause your hair to become greasy more quickly than you’d like. 

To avoid product build-up, carefully wash your scalp, and be sure to wash and rinse your hair thoroughly. When using products, try to apply the product away from your scalp.

Another helpful tip is using hair products with water listed as the first ingredient in the ingredient list. When using oil and wax products, you’re more likely to end up with product build-up.

3. Overstimulating Your Sebaceous Glands

Even though the term “overstimulation of your sebaceous glands” sounds like a fancy term, all it means is over massaging your scalp. We know that sometimes all you need a bit of relaxation is a scalp massage while washing your hair since it feels amazing!

But massaging your scalp for too long can overstimulate those glands and cause excess oil (also known as sebum) and your hair to become greasy. We suggest avoiding massaging your scalp for longer than a minute when washing your hair to prevent greasy hair. 

6 Easy Ways to Prevent Greasy Hair

Woman putting a silk pillowcase down on her bed for a piece on why does my hair get greasy overnight


Now you know the answer to “why does my hair get greasy overnight?”, but we know it’s important for you to prevent grease as well. So we’ve made a short list of tips you can incorporate into your hair care routine to avoid grease.

Avoid Hot Water Shower or Baths Before Bed

Even though we all like to unwind occasionally with a hot shower or bath, hot water can cause damage to your hair. It’s recommended that in place of rinsing your hair with hot water, you replace it with a lukewarm water rinse. 

Rinsing with lukewarm water can minimize the stimulation of your sebaceous glands, which can result in a decrease in greasy hair.

Choose Your Pillowcase Carefully

Use a silk or satin pillowcase to avoid waking up with greasy hair. When you use a cotton pillowcase, it’s more likely to strip your hair and skin of their natural oils, causing your scalp to overproduce oil, which results in you waking up with greasy hair. 

Switching to a silk or satin pillowcase is easier on your hair and skin, which helps to keep your natural oils intact. Plus, a silk or satin pillowcase is also much easier on your skin which is a huge plus.

In addition to the type of pillowcase, you want to ensure you’re washing your pillowcase frequently to prevent build-up and bacteria. Keeping your pillowcase clean is sanitary and helps reduce the number of oils and grease in your hair. 

Don’t Overapply Hair Products

Using too much hair product can be easy – especially hair oils or serums. Most oils and serums benefit your hair and offer great benefits, but you want to use them sparingly. Overapplying can lead to product build-up, which is a leading cause of greasy hair. 

Make sure you follow the directions on the product bottle, which will tell you how to apply and what amount. You can always start with a minimal amount and work on building up the product as needed.

Apply Dry Shampoo to Your Roots

Dry shampoo is made to target grease and oil. Apply the dry shampoo directly to the roots of your hair to help absorb any extra unwanted grease and oils. Once you apply the dry shampoo, you can use your hair dryer to give yourself a refreshed-looking blowout.

Read Next: When to Use Dry Shampoo and Dry Shampoo Alternatives

Be Careful With Deep Conditioning and Moisturizing

Sometimes conditioning and moisturizing your hair can cause excess oils and grease. If you’re finding your hair is becoming greasy overnight, you might want to space out the amount of time in between your deep conditioning or moisturizing sessions. You’ll notice less grease by cutting back on the number of creams or oils applied to your hair. 

Invest in a Purifying Shampoo 

If you find yourself struggling with greasy hair, it’s wise to invest in a good purifying shampoo for greasy hair. You’ll only use this shampoo formulated with key ingredients about once a week to help get a good, deep cleanse to cut through the grease. 

The shampoo works by removing excess oil build-up. You should start with the purifying shampoo and then follow up using your regular shampoo, followed by a conditioner. By doing this at least once a week, you’ll see a decrease in the amount of greasy hair you experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Woman spraying her hair with dry shampoo after wondering why does my hair get greasy overnight


Check out some common questions and respective answers below.

Is it better to sleep with your hair up or hair down?

While sleeping with your hair down helps reduce the number of possible tangles and breakage from your hair being pulled up, if you sleep with your hair tied up, you reduce the amount of sebum that can travel through your hair, causing it to become greasy.

Can I use apple cider vinegar to treat greasy hair?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to help treat greasy hair. Don’t apply the cider vinegar directly onto your hair. Instead, dilute it in a cup of water, then apply to your hair and leave it for a few minutes. Once your rinse your hair, it’ll be left 100% grease free.

Should I use a conditioner if I have greasy hair?

Yes, you still need to use conditioner as part of your hair care routine. However, be cautious with the conditioner and try only applying it to the ends of your hair instead of all over. If you need to increase the height of the conditioner, do so slowly to avoid over-moisturizing the roots.

Should I eat greasy food if I struggle with greasy hair?

It’s often said that what we put in our bodies can affect them just as much as the products we use. Your diet can directly impact your hair, and you should avoid oils in your daily eating to help combat greasy hair.

Should I be cautious with shampoo if I have greasy hair?

Yes, there is a specific amount of shampoo that you should be using to make sure your hair doesn’t become too greasy. You don’t want to use too much shampoo as that can become heavy and weigh down the hair, stimulating oil production and causing greasy hair.

So, Why Does My Hair Get Greasy Overnight?

We’ve discussed several causes that could be a factor in causing your hair to become greasy overnight. We know that no one loves waking up with greasy hair, so we’ve made sure to supply some of the top tips in the hair industry to help you avoid greasy hair. 

You may have to try a few before you find the right one that works for you, but we know that you’ll be so glad you tried when you start waking up with a fresh head of hair, and grease is nowhere to be found. Happy styling!