Have you noticed a huge change in your hair and how damn greasy it is these days? Sure, it could be because we’re playing with our hair out of boredom or instinct. It could also be because we’re not showering as often and relying more on dry shampoo? Or perhaps we’re just nitpicking every little thing and being overly dramatic?
But a lot of people are noticing a huge change in their hair – it feels more oily, greasy, and our scalp is itchy.
Both my sister and I have noticed this change since the quarantine started. While she noticed her hair went into an oil overload, I found my scalp to be itchy. What’s more, my hair felt greasier and heavier than usual, yet was falling out like crazy. On top of that, I also noticed that my body kept breaking out in rashes in uncommon places such as my thighs and knees. At first, we attributed these sudden changes to our never-ending messy buns, so we decided to change our hairstyles. However, to no avail. Sure enough, after asking around, our girlfriends were finding the same problems – and we all have very different hair types.
After speaking with my very talented hairdresser (who also happens to be my cousin), apparently greasy hair is a natural response to stress.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re all at least a little stressed out by what’s going on in our world, even if we haven’t been directly affected by COVID-19. Nevertheless, the change in our daily routines, financial stress, and tense home life (in addition to work and education changes) have all taken their toll on everybody.
When we are stressed, our cortisol levels increase rapidly. This then triggers our bodies’ hormones to create more oil (professionally known as sebum) on our skin, scalp, and other sensitive skin areas. So since we’re all more than stressed and anxious about the current world events, our bodies have been producing oil left, right and, center. Hence why our scalps have been greasy.
Similarly, this excessive oil production can explain sudden breakouts that you might have been experiencing. It could also be the reason why others, like myself, have been having weird rashes that occur on body parts that aren’t usually irritated.
It’s also important to note that excess oil on your scalp can cause inflammation that creates flaky pieces of skin that come off, similar to dandruff.
Sadly, if you’re looking for an answer on how to change your oily and potentially irritated skin, there may not be any new solution that you haven’t tried yet. It appears that your stress levels could be the culprit and until those decrease, your hair problems won’t go away. So the only way you may be able to combat this is by relaxing and doing your best to control your stress levels.
In order to do that, try meditating, working out at home, or doing activities that help you relax and calm down. You can also try turning off the news or minimizing your access to social media since that’s usually where you may see bad news and experience more stress.
If you’re really getting sick of dealing with your oily skin, though, try doing what my sister experimented with. Try only doing a deep hair wash (with her regular routine) twice a week and avoid dry shampoo at all costs. Her hair transformed and surprisingly looks better than ever – even though it was hard to resist doing every treatment imaginable.
It’s important to recognize that all of this is your body’s natural reaction to stress and that you may need to just let nature run its course. But until then, find your zen and try your hardest to relax for once. Lord knows you deserve it!