Here's Why Your Hair Is Getting Oily During The Winter

Winter can be one of the worst times for our skin. As the temperature drops, you might start to notice that your skin feels drier, flakier, and itchier than usual. That's because a combination of freezing temps, indoor heat, and low humidity all conspire to wreak havoc on our skin. Healthline recommends some coping mechanisms to help your parched skin, including using a thick, rich moisturizer, putting on overnight treatments and hydrating masks, and adding a humidifier. But if it wasn't already enough that our skin suffers, our hair gets drier in the winter for the same exact reasons. 

As cold air outside and dry heat inside zaps the moisture from your hair, it becomes more prone to breakage and split ends, per Self. Thankfully, there are some measures you can take — including shampooing less, adding weekly moisturizing treatments, and cutting down on heat styling — to be kinder to your hair. But while it makes sense that some of us struggle with oily hair in the summer months, it seems counterintuitive that the same thing should occur in the wintertime. If everything around us is so dry, why is our hair so greasy? Let's break down the mystery behind all the oiliness.

Hair gets greasy in the winter because of excess oil accumulation

Keeping your hair hydrated without looking too greasy is challenging in the winter. While the cold temperatures and lack of humidity dry out strands, your scalp continues to produce oil, per The Indian Express. And when you don't wash your hair frequently enough, this grease, dirt, dust attaches itself to your hair to make it look oily. Additionally, people tend to wear hats in the winter to keep their heads warm, which leads to sweating, according to Head & Shoulders. The sweat combines with natural oils, and travels to the tips of your hair, which gives your strands a greasier-looking appearance. That said, there are plenty of things you can do to baby your hair during this time!

Per HuffPost, avoid taking scalding showers (though it can be tempting!), as extra-hot water is another drying agent. Instead, "Rinsing your hair with moderately hot or warm water helps to maintain hair health without freezing you out of the shower and won't cause further dryness," colorist Jehnna Mahoney told the outlet. Additionally, Glamour UK recommends that you only use conditioner on the tips of your hair — as your scalp already has plenty of natural oils already. According to the outlet, another great hack for oily hair is to rinse it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to remove build-up. Winter may be almost over, but these tips will likely hold you (and your hair) in good stead year-round.