Whether or not you’re committing to a tedious “everything shower” routine, washing your hair every single day is just plain exhausting. If you prefer to shampoo less frequently, having a few easy hairstyles for greasy hair in your arsenal is a serious win.From curly and coily hair textures that require fewer wash days to ultra-fine strands that get oily in a day or two, second-day hair has a grit that makes it easier to do more intricate styles. “Greasy hair can most definitely be a challenge, but there are several hairstyles that work well with it — even making your oily hair look intentional,” Laura Polko, celebrity stylist and Sun Bum hair pro, tells Bustle.
In need of some easy inspo for those dirty hair days? Below, Polko shares four simple hairstyles that hide oily roots, as well as the telltale signs for when you just need to wash your strands.
4 Easy Hairstyles For Greasy Hair
A Slicked-Back Ponytail
An effortless style worn by countless celebrities like Margot Robbie and Florence Pugh, the slicked-back ponytail also happens to be a rising trend on TikTok with over 360 million views on its relevant hashtags. Polko shares an easy way to achieve the lust-worthy look: “One of my favorite go-to styles for greasy hair is a slicked-back pony. The natural oils can make your hair easier to manage and give it a glossy finish when pulled back into a tight [hairstyle].” — Lionel Hahn/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images“Brush your hair back until it’s smooth and with no bumps, then gather it into a high or low ponytail, depending on preference, and tightly secure,” Polko says. “Smooth down any flyaways with a bit of product.” She recommends a cocktail of Sun Bum Texturizing Surf Paste mixed with your favorite leave-in conditioner.“Top off the look with an oil mist to give your strands an effortlessly shiny finish. It will also help to bring moisture back to your ends, since day-two hair has a tendency to be oiler at the root and dryer on the ends.”
A Sleek Ballerina Bun
“Another favorite of mine is the low ballerina bun,” Polko says. Whether it’s sleek, tousled, or with some Y2K spikes, a chic bun is always in. What’s more? “It keeps your hair off your face and draws attention away from any oiliness.” — @laurapolko
Similarly to a slicked-back pony, the first step for a face-snatching bun is also to smooth your strands, gather your hair into a ponytail, and secure with a hair tie. Polko’s next step is to twist the pony into a tight bun, securing it with a hair tie or bobby pins.A gel or paste is best for making sure those pesky flyaways are kept at bay throughout the day, and a bit of hairspray will give you that extra hold.If you want to add romantic vibes, Polko recommends pulling out a few face-framing strands to create a relaxed look.”
A Glossy Braid
From casual pigtail braids à la Selena Gomez to ultra-long rope braids worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian and more, braided ‘dos are undoubtedly chic. A bonus? It’s the perfect style for dirty hair. “An additional style I often create with greasy hair is a sleek braid,” Polko notes. “A braid helps conceal any greasiness while giving your hair a structured and elegant appearance.” — @kimkardashianAs for her steps to get the look? She shares: “Depending on preference, create a middle or side part in the hair [and] apply a small amount of gel focusing on the roots and the length of the hair.” After brushing through to smooth over your hair, Polko says to divide into three equal sections and begin crafting the braid. “Once finished [and] secured, finish the look with a light mist of hairspray to keep everything in place. To create a relaxed look, use your fingers to gently tug on the sides of the braid to loosen it and add a bit of texture.” As for any unwanted flyaways? Polko gives the green light to use a bit more gel to smooth them down.
A “Wet” Hair Moment
A daring option that was not only a trending hairstyle on the New York Fashion Week S/S ’24 runways in Sept. 2023, but was recently worn by none other than Rihanna? A sleek and seductive wet hair look with shimmering gloss that makes it look as if you’ve just emerged from the ocean. — Jackson Lee/GC Images/Getty Images
Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity stylist behind Rihanna’s most recent look, previously shared with Bustle how to achieve the siren-esque glam. “To get the wet look, I used Color Wow Pop & Lock High Gloss Finish, a styling and oil treatment that gives that wet appearance while preventing frizz, and Color Wow Shook Spray, which defines curls and gives them a hydrated, glossy look,” Dorsey explains. In other words? This style is the perfect excuse to douse your strands in ultra-hydrating formulas as a last-ditch effort ahead of your next wash.
When It’s Time To Wash Your Hair
While dirty hair days are truly the best time to experiment with unique updos and slicked-back textures, sometimes, you just have to call it quits and thoroughly cleanse your strands. Polko shares a few telltale signs for when it’s officially time to give your hair a clean slate.
An Itchy Scalp
“An uncomfortable scalp may indicate an excess of oil buildup,” Polko explains. As for itchiness? That may be one of the more easily recognizable signs that your hair is in need of some TLC.
Noticeable Product Buildup
Not only do natural oils accumulate towards your scalp between wash days. The products you use stick around as well. “When your hair has visible residue from products such as hairspray and dry shampoo, it’s time to wash.”As for her pro tips on deeply cleansing your strands and scalp? “To help alleviate buildup, I recommend using a scalp scrub such as the Sun Bum Detox Scalp Scrub. [It] gently cleanses and exfoliates the scalp, while also helping break down any buildup, dirt, and excess oil.”
Yet another sign that it may be time to shampoo your hair, Polko mentions that unmanageable knotting also means it’s time to lather up. “If your hair gets to a point where it’s tangled and knotty and you’re unable to control it, a wash is necessary.”