Straightening and Oily Hair

girl straightening her long hair
Q: My hair always gets oily when I straighten it. Why is this? I don't have this problem when I don't flat iron my hair. How can straightening make my hair so greasy?
A: There are two likely causes for this situation:
First, depending on the products you are using, you could be seeing a build-up as a result of oils and emollients designed to help protect the hair from styling damage. Or you could be dealing with a reaction wherein the product is irritating your scalp and prompting the production of additional oils by the scalp.
Secondly, by straightening the hair and removing the wave that gives the hair added lift away from the scalp, you make the hair lie flat against the head which increases the contact with the scalp and also reduces air circulation and holds in the body heat generated by the scalp.
This means that not only is the hair more readily able to absorb any oils in the scalp, but the scalp will produce MORE oil and sweat due to the insulation caused by the lack of air circulation.
Try using a lighter (or less) of your styling product, and be sure to use a shampoo for oily hair, but focus your attention on massaging the scalp. You can even use white vinegar and cool water in a 1:4 solution to help remove oil from the scalp after shampooing (it will also help make your hair more shiny).
Photo: Marcel Jancovic/Shutterstock
See also:
Causes and treatments for oily hair
Are people with long hair more prone to having oily hair?
What are good hairstyles to hide oily hair?
Is a short haircut with volume a good solution against oily hair?