Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy? 6 Common Reasons

by Sally Beauty

 Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy? 6 Common Reasons

We often try to style our hair only to be left with limp and lifeless locks.

Many of us have experienced the strange phenomenon of freshly washed hair feeling waxy. It's not only unappealing but can also weigh down your blowout. There are a few different causes for this, but luckily, each one comes with a pretty easy fix.

Here are six reasons why your hair might feel waxy and how to get rid of waxy hair.

Your Hair Has Product Residue

Even after washing, if your hair appears to have a film on it, you could be experiencing product buildup. It will look greasy or sticky after drying if you have product buildup.

Some items do not wash out completely when shampooed, resulting in residue after several washes. It can lead to buildup over time, giving your hair a waxy texture and the appearance that it hasn't been washed in days.

What's The Fix: If the problem is silicones, they're likely the source. Look over all your hair care items and see if they contain a suffix ending in "-cone." It may be found in almost anything, but silicone-based styling products and conditioners are the most common. If you find any, discontinue use immediately and see if that solves the problem. If not, you may need to give your hair a good clarifying treatment. Once a month should do the trick, but do it more often if needed.

Your Shampoo Can Be The Culprit

If you're using a natural shampoo to try and be extra gentle on your hair, this could ironically be part of the issue.

Natural shampoos sometimes contain oils that can make your hair greasy and difficult to manage. Hence your shampoo can be a big culprit in making your hair feel waxy.

What's The Fix: If your shampoo is leaving your hair feeling waxy, it's time to switch and use a clarifying shampoo. Once a week can help, but if your hair feels waxy all the time, it's better to use it more than once a week. Clarifying shampoo will remove your hair's waxy and greasy feel, making it look healthier and better.

Your Hair Is Over Treated 

Excess chemical hair treatments can make your hair feel gummy and more prone to breakage. This is especially true for bleaching since it has to strip away the natural color molecules in your hair. When this happens frequently or rapidly, the protein structure of your hair weakens and becomes damaged. This makes your hair feel gummy, especially when wet.

If you have naturally dark hair and go blonde, or if you frequently change your hair color, you might be over-processed.

What's The Fix: If you have hardened your hair with all those chemical treatments, you should opt for a keratin treatment and hair trim. This will help in making your hair feel softer and look healthier. Also, ensure you're using a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for color-treated hair to help keep your locks healthy and strong.

You Have Hard Water 

If you live in an area with hard water, the minerals could cause your hair to feel gummy. When these minerals (usually calcium and magnesium) deposit on your scalp, they can make it difficult for natural oils to cleanse your hair and skin. This can cause a variety of issues like dandruff, an itchy scalp, and of course, waxy hair.

The easiest way to remove these mineral deposits is to use a clarifying shampoo. If you don't have to clarify shampoo, you can make your own by mixing one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water.

What's The Fix: Look at your tap for signs of hard water. Mineral buildup around the nozzle is an indication that you have hard water. Another indication is glasses with stains on them after being in the dishwasher. A water softener can be installed in your garage, basement, or wherever your home's water supply comes in if hard water is the source of the problem. However, if you have a limited budget, a shower head filter may be a better option as it will eliminate some minerals damaging your hair and leave it feeling cleaner.

You Haven't Been Getting Regular Trims 

If you have split ends, your hair will feel waxy and tangled. This is because the damaged ends of your hair can't hold onto moisture as well, so they become dry and brittle.

This makes them more susceptible to tangles and harder to style. Regular trims (every 6-8 weeks) can help eliminate damaged ends and prevent split ends from working their way up your hair shaft.

What's The Fix: A hair trim is an easy fix for damaged ends that make your hair feel waxy. Be sure to visit your stylist every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair looking healthy and feeling its best.

Your Diet Could Be The Issue 

If you're not getting enough protein, it could be contributing to waxy hair. Protein is essential for healthy hair growth, so lacking it can lead to brittle, weak hair that is more susceptible to damage.

You can up your protein intake by eating more lean meats, beans, lentils, and nuts. You can also take a protein supplement if you feel you're not getting enough from your diet.

What's The Fix: Eating a healthy diet with plenty of protein is the best way to fix this issue. If you're not getting enough from your diet, you can take a protein supplement to help compensate for it.


Why Does My Hair Feel Greasy After Washing It?

There could be a few reasons your hair feels greasy after washing it. It could be that you haven't rinsed the shampoo properly, used too much product, or had an oily scalp. If you suspect your shampoo is an issue, try switching to a gentle, sulfate-free formula.

How To Remove Waxy Buildup From Hair?

There are a few ways to remove waxy buildup from hair. You can use a clarifying shampoo, apple cider vinegar, or baking soda. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to avoid damaging your hair.

Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy After Drying?

A few reasons your hair might feel waxed after drying are using too much product, an oily scalp, or not rinsing shampoo properly. If you suspect it is because of your shampoo, try switching to a gentle formula.

Why Does My Hair Feel Waxy In The Back?

There could be a few reasons your hair feels waxy in the back. It could be that you're not rinsing the shampoo out properly, you have hard water, or you need to get a trim. If you suspect your shampoo is an issue, try switching to a gentle, sulfate-free formula.


If you're wasting time styling your hair just for it to look dirty a few hours later, you need to read this. Here are 6 possible causes of why your clean hair looks waxy so that you can start fixing the problem and have luscious, beautiful hair in just a few mins.



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.