Why does my hair feel sticky after washing? How do I fix this sticky, waxy feeling? Is it due to hard water or some other. Find it full-scale here!

Everybody thinks that the solution to a poor hair day would be to shower and condition your hair. But let's say your hair remains tangled, waxy and even sticky after washing?

Such a bummer, right!

But before you get to solving this issue, you need to know why your hair feels sticky after washing.

The causes of hair feeling waxy, sticky and tangled after washing is often the excess use of conditioners, product buildup on remaining hair head, accumulation of minerals due to hard water, and others.

In this short article, I've elaborated on why hair feels sticky after shampooing and just what would be the things you can do to fix this issue.

Why Does My Hair Feel Sticky After Washing 

If your hair feels sticky even after you wash it, here are some causes of it. 

Your Haired Needs a Different Shampoo and Conditioner 

Every haired requires different treatment and this means its not all shampoo or conditioner will suit you.  

A rich, nourishing conditioner with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc. is most effective for frizzy hair or even 4c hair that needs more hydration because of its texture. However, this kind of product can actually weigh down fine, straight hair. 

Similarly, a really creamy, mild shampoo is going to be ideal for those with dry scalp problems. But the same won't cleanse oily scalps properly, leaving them greasy.

So in case your hair feels really sticky after washing you can examine whether the cleansers and conditioners you use fit your haired or otherwise. 

You Are Washing Hair Too Much

Now this might sound wacky, but yes washing your hair an excessive amount of makes it oily and sticky.  Weird? Not really.

When you overwash hair, you cause excessive dryness on the scalp. To combat this dryness, your sebum glands (oil-producing glands) get into overdrive to keep moisture on your scalp.

The result? Oily, sticky hair!

So when you are wondering why your hair seems more oily after washing it everyday, It is best to reduce the number of wash cycles.

You Are Not Rinsing Hair Properly After Shampooing

A lot of people make this mistake and don't even know they're doing it. Once you shampoo and condition hair it is vital that you rinse out all of the products. 

So wash your hair thoroughly after both shampooing and conditioning hair. You can even try to rinse hair with cold water at the very last if you are concerned about retaining softness and shine. 

You're Using Too Much Conditioner 

Too a good thing can in fact be bad for your hair. So easy around the conditioner! 

The amount of conditioner you use should actually depend on your hair type and texture. Low porosity hair and straight, fine hair won't require rich or heavy conditioner or perhaps a lot of product.

However, curly, high porosity hair needs more hydration and therefore more conditioner. 

So if you are using nearly half from the conditioner bottle thinking it can help make hair smoother or softer, you're actually doing all of your tresses an injustice.

Use only a pea sized amount of conditioner for those who have fine, thin hair and rinse it thoroughly.

Doing so should lessen the sense of stickiness in your hair after washing. 

You Have Product Buildup On Hair


A large amount of women, me included have the practice of using several hair products nearly every day. You use conditioners, hair sprays, leave-in conditioners, serums, oils, and also the list goes on.

But sometimes just shampooing won't get rid of all of this buildup easily. Actually, a few of these conditioners and serums contain silicones.

Now silicones are not exactly harmful or toxic to hair. Actually, ingredients like dimethicone, amodimethicone, dimethiconol, etc. coat your hair strands making them appear glossy and reducing frizz.

However, these do not get washed off easily and therefore the sticky, waxy feeling once you wash your hair!

The only fix for your problem is to completely avoid hair products with forms of silicones inside them. But as this really is easier in theory, you can use a strong, clarifying shampoo once per week or an apple cider vinegar treatment rinse to get rid of this buildup. 

You Are Washing Hair With Hard Water

When I shifted towns, I could find my hair felt stickier after washing sometimes and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong! 

Then after a bit of research I discovered it's water that was the issue.

Yes, hard water includes a reputation for leaving hair dry so you may be wondering how it can leave hair sticky.

So the hardness of water is one of the biggest explanations why your hair feels sticky after washing. 

You Use Not Using A Clean Hair Towel Or Brush

Sometimes it's not hair that is the problem. It may even be your hair towels, scarves or hair brushes. Just be honest, just when was the last time you washed your hair brush or comb? And is your hair towel really clean?

If they are not clean (or at least not as clean as you think) the reason for the greasiness on your hair after washing might be because of using these towels and brushes. 

All these things get your scalp and hair's natural oil so they don't have to be stained or dusty to result in dirt buildup in your hair. 

So if you want to lower your hair feeling sticky after washing, clean hair towels and brushes people!

You Have Naturally Oily Hair 

Well, if nothing on this list appears to pinpoint the reason why hair feels oily, I believe you've just got an oily haired. 

Some people's scalps contain more sebum glands than others. As well as your hair type is another huge element in how oily your hair gets.

If you have straight, thin hair the scalp’s natural oils get distributed on the hair strands easily, making it oily. This is difficult in curly hair and nearly impossible in 4c coily hair, so these hair types are usually around the drier side.

Using a shampoo specifically created for oily hair can help in this case. 

How To eliminate Sticky Hair After Washing

If you're wondering how you can fix sticky hair after washing, here are some tips that come in handy. 

Use the best shampoo and conditioner for the hair type – Choose a nourishing shampoo if you have dry, curly hair and get a stronger shampoo for those who have oily hair that requires a good washing.

Do not use products with silicones – Search for products that are silicone-free when you're buying leave-in conditioners, serums, hair sprays, etc. because this will help prevent product build-up.

Invest in a water softener – Calcium in the water can cause lots of trouble for hair and not just allow it to be feel sticky after washing. So a water softener that may remove minerals from water is really a great investment. 

Use a clarifying shampoo –  If you have sticky hair due to excess product buildup there are several clarifying shampoos that contain sulfates, sulfonates, activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar and other such ingredients that deep cleanse hair. 

These shampoos remove all kinds of buildup for hair. 

You may also find chelating shampoo for calcium in the water in the market that remove hard mineral deposits from hair caused because of calcium in the water usage. So that you can utilize it in the meantime until you obtain a water softener. 

Regularly clean hair tools and towels – As I've mentioned before, hair brushes, combs and towels get your hair's skin oils. So don't watch for them to get stained or “dirty” to wash them. It's best to sanitize these tools and hair cloths in between hair washes. 

Avoid certain ingredients in hair products – While silicones are ill-reputed for causing product buildup there are certain other things that could make hair greasy if used improperly. Therefore it is better to avoid items that contain wax, oil-based formulas or heavy butters like shea or cocoa butter. 

Now that we know the why hair feels sticky after washing, you can easily find remedies to rectify this issue.

Some of these reasons for waxy, gummy hair are easily remedied using a clarifying shampoo or simply washing your hair less. 

But sometimes if these solutions do not work, then there can be a more serious reason behind hair to feel gummy.

A insufficient proteins in hair because of excessive bleaching, coloring, and chemical treatments. 

In this case, an in-depth protein treatment is going to do your hair good.

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