How To Avoid Greasy Hair During Pregnancy (7 Tips)

Greasy hair is a common symptom during pregnancy that can be very uncomfortable. So, how can you avoid this? In this article, we’re going to delve into the ways you can prevent greasy hair during pregnancy and maintain your healthy locks.

pregnant belly

During pregnancy, hair can become greasy due to hormone changes. It is particular caused by the hormone progesterone, which stimulates sebum. An increase in sebum can cause an excessively oily scalp and dandruff. Thankfully, there are natural ways to prevent greasy hair during pregnancy.

Hair Changes During Pregnancy

Due to hormone fluctuations, you may notice some uncomfortable symptoms that arise in the first trimester.

These include mood swings (feeling irritable and overly emotional in particular), frequent urination, nausea, and changes to the skin (also known as the pregnancy glow).

You may also notice changes to the texture and appearance of your hair.

Greasy hair is one of the most common hair changes in pregnancy because of the overproduction of sebum.

This can make hair appear thin, dull, and lackluster. It’s generally harder to style greasy hair because it often falls flat and doesn’t cooperate with styling tools.

You may also notice other hair symptoms during pregnancy. These include:

Thicker Hair

We lose around 100 to 125 hair strands a day. This is a natural cycle that allows new hair to grow and replace the old ones.

During pregnancy, you will experience higher levels of oestrogen, which naturally interrupts the shedding cycle.

Hair appears to be thicker because fewer hair strands are falling out. You may notice less hair in your hair brush and your hair may have more volume.

Hair Growth

Some women may experience accelerated hair growth.

This is often caused by high levels of androgen during the first trimester. Also, increased vitamin intake, through both diet and supplements, can prolong the hair growth phase.

This results in thicker, stronger hair with less hair fall. During pregnancy, it’s very common to notice increased hair growth on every part of the body, including the arms and face.

Shiny Hair

Many pregnant women experience shinier, healthier looking hair.

This is because pregnancy can alter the hair’s natural texture, potentially resulting in hair that is smoother and less frizzy.

Also, the increased vitamin intake plays a huge role in this. Additional vitamins support hair health, resulting in shinier, stronger locks.

Excessive Shedding

While many women experience thicker, luscious locks during pregnancy, that’s not the case for some women.

It’s also quite common to experience shedding and hair loss due to shifts in hormones, additional stress, vitamin deficiencies, and other hidden medical issues.

Pregnancy can be very taxing on the body, so hair loss isn’t usually something to worry about. It will typically stop around the 6 month mark.


Due to hormonal fluctuations, it’s very common for women to experience dandruff and dry skin.

This can be caused or made worse by excessive oil production, which can cause a build-up of skin cells on the scalp.

Naturally, this can cause some irritation, flakiness, and itching.

Sensitivity To Products

Pregnancy can cause a sensitivity to certain ingredients in products.

It’s also one of the main reasons why pregnant women report nausea with certain scents.

This could mean that your usual shampoo or conditioner causes some irritation of the hair and scalp.

It could also be responsible for a dry, flaky scalp. While your body is hyper-sensitive, it’s preferable to use a very gentle, natural product. 

Curly Hair

As mentioned above, pregnancy changes the hair’s natural texture.

This means that if you usually have straight or wavy hair, it could become curlier and thicker. Or it could make curly hair become straighter.

 Sometimes, these hair changes are permanent, but often your hair texture will revert back to its natural state a few months after birth.

Also Read: 5 Important Benefits Of Drinking Water For Hair (Top Tips)

What Causes Greasy Hair During Pregnancy?

So, you may be wondering, ‘what exactly causes greasy hair during pregnancy?’ and the answer is quite simple.

Oily hair and skin is a result of higher levels of progesterone. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

After all, progesterone is one of the hormones that’s responsible for the regulation of menstruation and ovulation.

You need sufficient levels of progesterone to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

However, it can become an inconvenience when you experience persistent greasy hair during pregnancy.

This happens when high levels of progesterone increases the amount of sebum production in the follicles.

As a result of this, the hair may become dull, thin, and flat. While it might be tempting to wash your hair more frequently to counteract this problem, that may only add to the problem.

It’s a common misconception that washing your hair more frequently eliminates the greasy hair issue. It doesn’t.

The more you use shampoo to wash your hair (particularly the kind of products containing sulphates and other drying chemicals) the more you strip the hair of natural oils.

This process actually dries out the scalp, and a result, it tries to overcompensate by producing an excess of sebum.

What happens then? Well, the hair becomes even greasier. And then it becomes a cycle of frequent hair washing to control the excess oil.

Also Read: The Best Shampoos For Postpartum Hair Loss

7 Ways To Prevent Greasy Hair During Pregnancy

How To Avoid Greasy Hair During Pregnancy

We’ve explained why greasy hair happens during pregnancy, so let’s look at what you can do to fix this.

While you can’t control your hormones during pregnancy, there are some natural ways that you can reduce greasy hair:

1 Avoid Sulfate Shampoo And Styling Products

During pregnancy, you should try to avoid sulfates as well as other drying chemicals that strip the scalp of oils.

Instead look for a gentle shampoo that can be used frequently, if needed.

The same applies to styling products. While they can help you to achieve certain hairstyles and provide you with increased volume, it can also have the opposite effect.

Styling products can cause product build-up, which leads to an increased amount of oil on the scalp.

You need your hair to be free of debris, dirt, and oil. Keep styling products to a minimum!

2 Diet

It’s always recommended that you follow a healthy, balanced diet to maintain healthy hair.

And this becomes even more of a priority when you are pregnant. It can be difficult to follow a balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy due to nausea and food aversions.

But trying to include a range of fruit and vegetables can help ease nausea while providing you with the essential vitamins that you need to stay healthy.

Eating healthier food that contains vitamins and minerals will help to control oil production and prevent greasy hair.

3 Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is an excellent method at combating greasy hair as it contains antibacterial properties that work by preventing yeast and bacteria from thriving on the scalp.

This reduces the chance of itching, redness, and flaky scalps. It also works by lowering the pH of the hair and scalp, which controls the oil production.

That’s why using ACV is highly beneficial during pregnancy!

Follow our step-by-step guide for the ultimate ACV rinse.

4 Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has anti-fungal properties that helps to calm an itchy, inflamed scalp while getting to the root cause of an oily scalp.

It eliminates fungus and bacteria and removes excess sebum, leaving the hair and scalp thoroughly cleaned.

You can simply mix tea tree oil (or another essential oil) with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and apply the mixture to the hair and scalp.

After 15 – 30 minutes, rinse it off with cool water and preferably let hair air dry.

Doing this once or twice a week can help to tackle greasy hair.

Also Read: How To Use Castor Oil For Protein Sensitive Hair

5 Use Dry Shampoo

On days when you can’t avoid washing your hair, perhaps you should consider using a dry shampoo.

Some brands of dry shampoo can cause product build up or even irritate the scalp, so opt for a natural formula.

You can make dry shampoo yourself by combining cornflour, cocoa powder, and a drop of essential oil. A little goes a long way!

6 Avoid Chemical Treatments

During this time when your body is sensitive to certain chemicals and ingredients, it’s best if you try to avoid chemical dyes and treatments.

While it’s not considered harmful to use semi-permanent or permanent dyes during pregnancy, it can cause further scalp irritation.

And it could contribute to an oily scalp. You may want to avoid any kind of chemicals until further along in the pregnancy (or until things settle down!).

7 Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an anti-fungal which can help to fight dandruff and calm an irritated scalp.

Often, a dry scalp causes an overproduction of oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Using coconut oil before shampooing hydrates the scalp, which reduces the chance of flakes and itchiness.

It’s worth mentioning that while coconut oil can be very effective for some people, others do report that it weighs their hair down.

So use it sparingly to see how your hair reacts.

Using a combination of the suggestions mentioned above is the best way to combat greasy hair during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Coralle Skye

Coralle is an experienced beauty writer with a passion for wellness, women’s health, and sustainability.