How I found the solution to oily, PCOS hair after trying every version of dry shampoo
Defeating the grease
I have greasy hair, and when I say greasy, I don’t mean hair that turns oily on day three. I mean hair that looks like it’s survived a marathon, within barely 24 hours of me having washed it.
In school, I had to wake up early, even before important exam days, just to wash my bangs so the icky feeling of them sticking to my forehead wouldn’t distract me. I’ve cancelled plans with friends because sometimes, I’ve had to wash my hair twice. I remember the anxiety I felt when I went to camp, and didn’t have access to a shower. But on the flip side, I learnt to wash the sticky hair around my crown over a sink without splattering a drop—a skill my normal-to dry-haired friends failed to master.
In the years to come, I tried every version of dry shampoo: powdered,aerosol spray and even the foamy one created by Kim Kardashian West’s hairstylist Jen Atkin. Hell, I even tried baby powder on desperate days, but to no avail.
So, maybe it was a stroke of ‘luck’, when I finally learnt that what I had was ‘PCOS Hair’: a symptom of overactive oil glands fuelled by poor sleeping patterns, bad eating habits and an inactive lifestyle. “PCOS leads to hyperandrogenism, where the ovaries release extra male hormones like testosterone. This increases sebum production in the glands,” says Mumbai-based endocrinologist Dr Ameya Joshi. “The best way to correct it is to stay active and come down to your ideal body weight.”
A visit to my trusted homeopath was enough for me to fix my lifestyle. Happy Meals turned into high-fibre salads, and vodka-Sprites were replaced with kale shakes. I hit the gym regularly and in six months, I was down 10 kilos. I also saw a significant decrease in oiliness. I discovered that a sulfate-free shampoo was the best alternative to harsh foamy ones that only aggravated the problem. While I’ll still try anything with an oil-fighting claim, I can now get through day two without a dry shampoo, and day three only requires a water-based rinse. That’s a 48-hour extension, and I’ll take it. So here is what you need too.