Hair Feels Sticky When Wet: What Do I Do Now?

Sharing is caring!

After writing an article to help those who had greasy spots in their hair, another topic popped with people saying their hair feels sticky when wet.

While this is similar to what those experiencing greasy spots in hair have, it’s entirely a different situation.

In most of these cases, people experience the stickiness when their hair is wet. If you’re one of these people, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn more about this condition and the symptoms. I’m going to drop some tips that when applied, might help you alleviate the condition.

Now that you know that, let’s look at the typical symptoms:

Hair Feels Sticky When Wet: The Symptoms

There are a lot of things that can go wrong for the hair to become sticky. However, there are a few signs that’ll let you know you have sticky hair.

When you get into the shower, can you run your hands through your hair? If you find it too difficult to comb your hair with your fingers, you may have greasy hair. Most people describe their hair as waxy/sticky at this stage.

Possible Causes of this Sticky Feeling

Hair Feels Sticky When Wet
Drying Wet Hair?

There are a lot of factors that might make the hair feels sticky when wet. If you haven’t been paying attention, it may be little things that you’ve overlooked. Let’s look at the common causes.

Hair Mineral Build-up from Hard Water

One of the culprits that make hair sticky when wet is hard water. Because of the high concentration of mineral substances in hard water, it can cause a serious build-up in the hair which might lead to this condition.

If you’ve recently started using hard water or swim in a swimming pool with hard water, your hair may have picked up the substances that’ll make it greasy when wet.

Beauty Products You’re Using

It’s a fact that beauty products leave behind substances which can cause this problem. That’s why it’s important to watch the kind of product you’re using.

Some products are known to leave residues, so no matter how careful you are, you’ll still get some leftover in your hair. If you know such products, then it’s better to avoid them.

For example, you could get the sticky hair if the shampoo/conditioner you’re using is too moisturizing. However, that depends on the hair type but it can definitely occur.

It can also occur if you’re using too much conditioner and the oil/moisture is being trapped in your hair.

Poor Hair Care Regime

If your hair care routine is not solid, you may be causing your hair more damage than good. If you have natural hair, this may not be too pronounced. However, if your hair is relaxed, you need to take a proactive approach to hair care.

Also Read: Is Cantu Bad for Your Hair?

Hair Feels Sticky When Wet: What Are Possible Solutions?

There are many things you can do to put a stop to this problem. So, there is no single solution. Look at some of the tips and choose the one that you feel is likely to get you the result you wanted.

If you don’t get the desired result, try another one. It might be a good idea to bookmark this page so you can come back to it later if you’re stuck.

Try a Chelating Shampoo

This is one of the most effective solutions for this condition. Try this shampoo if it’s mineral buildup from hard water.

This shampoo is going to destroy all the minerals in your hair. Fortunately, there are a lot of clarifying shampoos you can try. I have a guide on that here: How to Choose Clarifying Shampoos.

Once you get one, make sure you cover your entire hair spectrum. Leave the shampoo to sit for at least 5 minutes before you lather. What if these shampoos are too expensive for you? Go for vinegar and water. Look at more solutions here.

Get a Shampoo with SLS/SLEs Ingredients

SLS means Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate. These are used in shampoos and are responsible for dissolving buildups in hair.

These are good for general residue that your hair has picked up aside from hard water minerals. The reason is that they may not be as powerful as clarifying shampoos, those have deep cleansing properties.


You can also try a moisture treatment. This means doing a deep treatment with water and aloe vera. Some other people have been able to clear it using vinegar and water too.

Hair Feels Sticky When Wet: Final Thoughts

This condition can creep up on any hair. It doesn’t matter how great or strong your hair is. But if you can prevent it before it happens, then that’s better. However, that’s not always possible.

I hope some of these tips have helped you. If you discovered a different method that worked for you, please share in the comment below so others can benefit.

Read: Schwarzkopf vs L’Oreal: Which of the Two Is Better?

We earn commissions if you purchase thru our link. Majority of products aren’t tested by the site owner (except a few). Content is from the research and feedback of users.