Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Long or Short Oily Hair

Q: I have a discussion with my best friend about my oily hair. My theory is that if your hair is longer it is less prone to getting oily because the amount of oil is the same, but there is more hair to spread the oil when you brush it. My friend’s theory is that you should cut oily hair as short as possible. Really short hair will stand up in spikes and it cannot turn into stringy limp strands. Washing short hair is easier too. What is your opinion? I’m going through a haircut dilemma right now: grow it out or cut it pixie short.
A: Oil is not a hair-length issue. How the hair responds to the level of oil produced by the scalp and follicles is dependent on the texture and density of the hair, as well as its condition. Fine hair that is resistant may become limp and stringy with an excess of oil, while coarse, porous hair would simply absorb the oils produced and use it as it was intended – for lubrication.
Regular brushing of the hair using a natural bristle brush is important as it distributes the oil through the hair, as well as stimulating the scalp to encourage blood flow and helping to regulate oil production.
girl with greasy hair

It is true that shorter hair is quicker to wash and dry usually, and can be styled in such a way as to mask the appearance of oiliness. But typically, it doesn’t change the amount of oil produced, it just makes it harder to distinguish. Again, the successfulness of a style depends on the texture of the hair with other factors, so you can’t guarantee a “spiky” style unless the hair is suited to it.
If you are having issues with oiliness, it’s better to address them directly, rather than trying to rely on length choices to make them better. Using a shampoo for oily hair can help, and you can also look at replacing a shampoo session with a waterless shampoo or even a dry shampoo product to help control oiliness between shampoos.
This means that you can leave your choice of hair length to your esthetic preferences and what best suits your face and features.
Related posts:
Are people with long hair more prone to having oily hair?
What are good hairstyles to hide oily hair?
Greasy hair and volume
Causes and solutions for oily hair
Hair combing and brushing basics