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What Is the Connection between Greasy Hair and Hair Loss?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 21, 2024
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There may be possible links between hair loss and abnormally oily hair, primarily involving clogged ducts which may make regrowing hair more difficult. Having greasy hair usually is not enough to cause hair to fall out, but it may exacerbate an existing problem. Additionally, those with thinning hair may be more likely to also have greasy hair if they often avoid washing for fear of losing more hair. An over-production of certain hormones could also lead to both greasy hair and hair loss in some individuals.

One potential cause of both greasy hair and hair loss is an overproduction of certain androgen hormones. This can be caused by certain medical conditions or from taking various medications or hormonal birth control pills. Sometimes discontinuing the offending pills or treating the underlying cause will alleviate symptoms. In other cases, hormonal imbalance may be caused by unknown problems or by reproductive issues which are harder to treat.

Sometimes there is no known cause for greasy hair and hair loss. Men and women may lose hair due to genetic factors. These causes are not curable, but there are over the counter medications which may help prevent continued hair loss and stimulate additional hair growth. Natural supplements have also been shown to help some patients regrow hair.

Many people who have thinning of the hair may also have greasy hair because they avoid washing it regularly. During routine washing and rinsing, it is common for those with pattern baldness to experience increased hair shedding. This could lead to anxiety and an avoidance of washing the hair at all. Unfortunately, this leads to dirty, greasy, and unkempt hair: all of which are worse in appearance than baldness or thinning. Additionally, if hair becomes too greasy the follicles may become clogged, and growing new hair may be harder to accomplish even with treatment.

To treat or avoid greasy hair and hair loss, sufferers should speak with a dermatologist. On occasion, hair loss could signal a serious condition and proper treatment will be needed. Once underlying health problems have been ruled out, various options can be explored for why the hair is thinning in the first place and how to go about treating the problem. Over the counter hair growth medications are a common option for many patients, as well as avoiding certain hair care practices. For instance, those with thinning hair should use mild shampoos and conditioners, should avoid using dyes and other chemicals on the hair, and should avoid brushing or combing when hair is wet.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By rachelsjulia — On Jul 30, 2013

I experienced hair loss too and glad that i successfully overcame it after I used vitamins from Reloxe.

By SarahGen — On Jul 03, 2013

@ZipLine-- Does your scalp itch a lot? Do you play with your scalp and hair often?

People with oily scalp tend to lose more hair because excessive oil causes itching. And itching naturally causes more hair fall. You should avoid touching and scratching your scalp excessively.

A greasy scalp and hair loss can also be a sign of an infection. I had a fungal scalp infection once that caused my hair to be very oily and itchy. I would scratch my head all the time and cause my hair to fall out.

My dermatologist gave me a medicated scalp shampoo which treated the infection and the symptoms disappeared. My scalp is not oily any more and my hair loss is back to normal.

By ZipLine — On Jul 02, 2013

I don't understand the connection between greasy hair and hair loss. Does greasy hair mean that the hair itself is oily or just the scalp?

I have a greasy scalp, but my hair is actually dry and brittle. I always thought that the natural oil our scalp produces is healthy and helps nourish our hair. So it never occurred to me that oil could have something to do with hair loss. This is all so confusing.

By fBoyle — On Jul 01, 2013

I've noticed that I lose more hair in the shower when I wash my hair every other day. If I wash it daily, I have less hair loss.

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