why does my hair feel waxy

Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy | And 5 Easy Steps To Fix This

If you’re asking yourself, “why does my hair feel waxy after drying, coloring, or bleaching?” I’ve got the answers for you! Learn how to get rid of waxy hair easily. 

Do you almost always have a bad hair day even after you’ve washed it well? Your hair stands limp and feels greasy and waxy as if it hasn’t been washed in days. A lot of people face this problem and there can be many reasons as to why the hair feels waxy even after it has been washed.

So if you are one of those people, then this article is the perfect read for you!

Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy 

Your hair can feel waxy due to excess product buildup, silicones in the conditioner or hair styling products you have used, excess oil production on scalp and a number of other reasons that I have elaborated below. If your hair feels especially waxy after washing, then it might be due to the use of hard water that increases mineral buildup on hair, the use of heavy cream-based shampoos and conditioners or simply incorrect washing method or use of mild shampoo that doesn’t clean the hair well enough.

Incorrect or excessive use of hair products

There are two major things that can go wrong with the incorrect use of hair products. If the products aren’t right for your hair type or if you’ve used too much product on your hair, leading to excessive buildup – making your hair feel waxy.

The shampoos you use come in different types like all-natural, sulfate-free (with some natural ingredients) and then those containing sulfates. 

If you use the former two types of shampoos, companies make sure to add a certain amount of natural oils and that can end up leaving your hair greasy. 

Also, if you use a shampoo with sulfates, then it can dry out your hair, stripping away the hair’s natural oils resulting in the scalp producing excess sebum, making your hair feel waxy.

Silicones present in your conditioner can also contribute to product buildup

Another issue is the conditioner. Do you use it the right way? Remember that conditioner should only be used on the hair strands and not only the scalp. 

The scalp doesn’t require conditioning because the sebum in the scalp keeps it moisturized. So if you have been using conditioner on your scalp, your hair would have ended up feeling waxy.

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Finally, when it comes to the use of products, if you have been using too much of any type of hair product on your hair, it can lead to product buildup on the scalp. This makes the hair feel waxy even once it has been washed.

You wash your hair too often

why does my hair feel waxy after washing it

This is something most of you might have done in the past and that is washing your hair more often because it keeps getting waxy even though it has just been washed. Well, this could be one among the many reasons that is actually leading to your hair feeling so waxy.

The reason behind this is that, when you wash your hair, your hair loses its natural oils as it gets washed away by the shampoo. This makes your hair go dry. 

So the more often you wash your hair, it will lead to dry hair. When your hair is dry, in order to replenish the naturally lost hair oils, the scalp tends to produce extra sebum. This is what makes the hair feel waxy.

Your hair accessories aren’t kept clean

why does my hair feel like straw

There are many types of hair accessories that we use from bandanas, to headbands, combs and hair brushes, head scarves, scrunchies etc., that are constantly on our hair. 

Therefore, the oil from the hair sticks onto these hair accessories and over time when we reuse them, they again, rub off on the hair making it look greasy.

You have straight hair

Those people with straight hair types (1A, 1B or 1C), often complain about their hair feeling waxy and this is a possibility because of their hair type.

Since their hair is straight, the natural oils from the scalp flow down throughout the hair strand very easily. This makes the hair feel waxy.

You suffer from scalp conditions like eczema or dermatitis

If you suffer from scalp conditions like dandruff and flaking, eczema or seborrheic dermatitis, it can result in waxy hair.

This is because scalp conditions can lead to overproduction of sebum. The sebum will also mix with the product residue, dead skin and dandruff flakes on the scalp leading to scalp buildup, again causing the hair to feel waxy.

Related: Why Does My Hair Feel Sticky After Washing

You’re using the wrong type of water you use to wash your hair

why does my hair feel waxy after drying

Two things that could go wrong when it comes to water – the temperature of the water and the type of water you use to wash your hair.

If you use very hot water on your hair, it will drain out all the moisture from the hair, leaving the hair dry. Dry hair makes the scalp over produce sebum.

If the type of water you use is hard water, then your hair may feel waxy because the minerals in hard water doesn’t allow the hair to absorb sufficient nutrients while making the hair feel dry.

Certain environmental conditions

If you are someone who lives in a overpopulated city that is filled with dust and pollution, then waxy hair is a common problem. This is because the dust and grime from the environment settles on the scalp and mixes with the sebum and product build up and makes the hair feel waxy.

You follow an improper diet and eating routine

A lot of people live a sedentary lifestyle and consume fast foods and the wrong types of food items. 

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This can result in hormonal changes, thus leading the skin to overproduce sebum. When the scalp secretes too much sebum, the hair begins to feel constantly waxy.

You have been consuming certain types of medications

Some people take medications like oral contraceptive pills, hormonal medications, steroids, testosterone, blood thinners, etc.

These medications can lead to excessive sebum production by the sebaceous glands in the scalp, making the hair feel waxy.

hair feels waxy after coloring

You live a stressful life

Just like external factors affect our hair, internal factors too play an important role. Whenever we stress, the body produces cortisol. This hormone leads to over secretion of the sebaceous glands if the cortisol is produced in high levels. This leads to waxy hair.

How To Get Rid Of Waxy Hair

Wash your hair the right way with the right type of water

Washing your hair the right way means washing your hair of all its shampoo and conditioner very well. 

If you do not wash your hair properly under running water (make sure to use only lukewarm water), there will be a certain amount of product residue that will collect. 

Over time, when this residue mixes with the sebum in the scalp, it leads to scalp buildup formation and your hair will begin to become waxy.

You can also use a shower filter (if you have hard water coming through your tap) to help get rid of the harmful and toxic minerals coming in through the water.

Using a clarifying shampoo once in a month can help get rid of the excessive product buildup on your scalp.

Remember not to wash your hair too often, as it could dry your hair out and make your scalp over produce sebum.

Change the hair products you are using

You can use lightweight oils, shampoos and conditioners and avoid using any products that contain harsh chemicals. 

This can help reduce product buildup on the scalp. Also, whenever you use such products, make sure to use a little quantity, remember a little will go a long way.

how to get rid of waxy hair

Change your food and lifestyle habits

Remember that your diet too plays an important role in how your sebaceous glands produce sebum and therefore, reduce the intake of junk food, oily food items, dairy etc and shift to eating more vegetables and having a balanced diet. 

This will help control the sebum production by your sebaceous glands.

Make sure to keep your hair accessories clean

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This is another aspect to consider, keeping all your hair accessories properly maintained. Wash your combs, hair brushes, bandanas, head scarves, headbands, scrunchies etc, at least once in a week, with washing liquid and let them air dry.

Remember that your hair drying towel also needs to be washed once in four to five days, as it touches your hair often and can also be a cause for waxy hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about waxy hair

Can natural remedies help get rid of hair waxiness?

Yes, natural remedies do help in reducing scalp product buildup and also reducing hair waxiness. You can use natural ingredients like baking soda, apple cider vinegar or even try using homemade exfoliating scrubs for the scalp.

Can chelating shampoos help remove waxy buildup from the hair?

It is important to note that chelating and clarifying shampoos aren’t the same. If you are someone who washes their hair with hard water, then yes, you can use a chelating shampoo instead of a clarifying shampoo. 
Chelating shampoos are in fact specifically designed to help get rid of mineral deposits in the hair, while clarifying shampoos help get rid of excessive product buildup.
So you need to first find out what is causing waxy hair in the first place before deciding on a course of treatment.

Why does my color treated hair feel gummy and waxy?

When you color your hair, you apply a high concentration of chemicals on your hair that need to break down a layer of keratin to allow the dye to penetrate into the inner cortex of your strand. If your bleaching your hair, the damage is even more. Dyeing or any form of chemical treatments break down the keratin bonds on your hair, making the hair appear stretched out, gummy and waxy. This is a sign of hair damage.

The Final Takeaway On Why Hair Feels Waxy 

As I have elaborated in my article, your hair can feel waxy due to a product buildup, hard water, silicone-based products, excess use of rich creamy hair products, and even underlying medical conditions.

Cleaning it regularly, using the right cleanser for your hair type, not using heavy creams and buildup causing gels, pomades, etc. can fix this issue in a few days. I also recommend investing in a chelating shampoo to be used once a week or a hard water softener for washing hair.

Also, remember to lead a healthy and stress free lifestyle, because as much as external factors play a role, internal factors too do. 

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

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