View Full Version : Long hair suddenly looks dirty right after washing...help!

April 18th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Hi, I'm new here and having a major hair problem. I have very thick, long hair (reaches middle of my back or so) and my entire life I've been able to go days without washing it. At least 5-6 days. It's so thick and heavy that washing it is a huge production, and honestly it just doesnt look dirty very fast. Until now.

I turned 30 in the fall and suddenly my hair started to look dirty almost immediately after washing it. I thought the culprit was a new product I used one day (that's the first time I noticed the issue) so I discontinued use of the product. Didn't work - hair still shiny to the point where it looks like it's in need of a washing like an hour after I get out of the shower. This has been going on the past 7 months or so and I'm going crazy. I don't use any product in my hair now, I've switched to several different shampoos (currently using herbal essences drama clean and a neutrogena clarifying shampoo every other wash), nothing has worked.

I even had blood tests at the doctor, nothing showed up as abnormal, had my thyroid checked, i'm not pregnant... I don't know what could be causing this. My hair dresser had no tips really other than she said to try a clarifying shampoo, obviously that hasnt done the trick.

The funny thing is I just went abroad for a few weeks, and almost instantly my hair was back to normal!! I could go a week w/out washing, it was great. Now that I am home of course my hair is dirty and nasty looking again. I'm starting to think it could be our water, but I've lived in the same house for years and I don't know how our water could suddenly change....Any ideas?

Thank you!

April 18th, 2011, 09:50 AM
When you say "dirty", do you mean greasy?

April 18th, 2011, 09:51 AM
Are you have a dramatic change of season? That will often make my scalp pump out more oil that usual. I usually clarify and then go back to CWC with diluted shampoo done a bit more often and wait it out.

April 18th, 2011, 09:55 AM
Perhaps check your water filters? They might have gotten a defect which makes your water change. Also, what products did you use abroad? Was it colder there than in your country? Did you eat different things there? Although I must admit the first thing which came to mind was a difference in air quality, and pillow cover. The pillow covers in hotels are (typically) washed often, not using balm or something, so they might absorb the 'greasies' better than what you have at home.

April 18th, 2011, 10:10 AM
I'm thinking it's the water too. Why don't you get yourself a gallon or two of distilled water and washing your hair with that. If there is an immediate difference then you'll know.

April 18th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Hi,when I said dirty I meant oily looking...the first day I wash it, my hair looks super shiny (but not in a good way, in a "I should probably wash my hair soon" way). The next day it progresses to looking oily.

My hair started being weird around October, I think, but there werent any odd weather patterns going on then or afterward that I can pinpoint. When I was abroad it was much hotter than at home (almost 100 degrees every day). I was there for a month, just using the hotel shampoo, nothing special, no conditioner either. I was basically putting my hair in a ponytail every day because of the heat.

I'm going to ask my husband to check the filters and hope that might be the solution...Thanks!

April 18th, 2011, 10:19 AM
There we go-putting it in a ponytail everyday. Fiddling with your hair makes it oil faster-mine can get oily on the second day after washing if I play alot with it, or if I leave it relatively alone, it will stay in OK shape for 4 days. Also, try getting some more hotel shampoo samples-maybe that's what triggered the change.

April 18th, 2011, 10:24 AM
I meant I was putting it in a ponytail when I was abroad (When it looked normal). At home I typically leave it down.

April 18th, 2011, 10:32 AM
Exactly. The roots aren't being touched so much when it's in a pony, than when it's down. Whether you know it or not, you WILL rake your hand through your hair:p I know I do.

April 18th, 2011, 11:38 AM
Could be your water, could be you toching it ... or could be overshampooing.
From what you said it sounds like you do not wash your hair on a daily basis. For some reason it went greasy and then you tired differnt shampoos (all pretty harsh) to get ride of the oilness.
Sometimes you will get an increase in oil production because you have taken way too much oil. The scalp then panics and thinks it hasn't produced enough sebum and boom, over production.
Try milder and diluted shampoo or try Conditioner Only wash and see how your hair likes it.

April 19th, 2011, 02:38 AM
I don't think it's the problem, but I suggest you wash your brushes/combs anyway. Also, if you use a sleep cap, wash that.

Can't have clean hair if you instantly start using dirty tools on it.

April 19th, 2011, 05:54 AM
I had similar problem - hair just looked limp and greasy. what helped me is chelating shampoos. I had probably hard water and it built up.

April 19th, 2011, 08:22 AM
I'd check or consider installing water filters. I had been able to go up to two weeks without washing no problem when I lived in Oregon and had soft water. I moved to ND and I felt like there was gunk in my hair after my first shower (I was doing WO at the time). I know you haven't moved, but something in your water might have changed. There may have been a change in your city's filtration system, or if you have filters installed at your house they may be gunked up and need to be changed.