If you’ve noticed that your hair feels waxy to the touch, then it’s a sign that something is wrong somewhere. Celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis talked to Marie Claire about this, and according to him, waxy hair can be caused by different reasons. One of them results from product buildup on the scalp: When you use products on your hair, especially sticky or oily ones like leave-in conditioner, hairspray, or gel, they can attract dust and lint, and also entrap your natural sebum, sweat, and dandruff. This buildup is what causes your hair to feel like there is a lot of oily residue on it.
If your hair is waxy due to product buildup, then your next agenda should be to wash it with a clarifying shampoo to strip it of its dirtiness. If you have loosely textured hair, then your natural oils will tend to accumulate quickly, which calls for more frequent washing.
Another cause of waxy hair is coated strands. Ellis explains that substances like sulfate coat the hair strands, contributing to the waxy sensation you feel on your hair. Sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can be found in shampoos and conditioners, and should be on your “no-no” list because of how damaging they can be to your locks. “I always recommend using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to avoid the waxy feeling from the start,” Ellis advises.