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Why Does My Hair Feel Squeaky After Shampooing? Causes and Fixes (2024)

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Isn’t it odd when your hair makes that squeaking sound? You lather up expecting silky smooth strands, yet end up feeling like you washed your hair with rubber bands. But why does this happen? As a stylist, I often get asked this very question. Rest assured, with some simple tweaks you can kiss that squeak goodbye.

Key Takeaways

  • Over-shampooing strips hair of natural oils, causing dryness and brittleness that makes hair squeak
  • Harsh shampoos damage hair cuticles, leading to squeaky hair
  • Hard water minerals build up on hair, contributing to squeakiness
  • Porous hair is prone to dryness and squeakiness

What Causes Squeaky Hair?

What Causes Squeaky Hair
Do you ever wonder why your hair feels squeaky after shampooing? There are a few common causes for this sensation.


Using harsh shampoos,

And washing with hard water can all contribute to that squeaky clean feeling.


Too much shampooing strips your hair’s natural oils, leaving the cuticle raised and causing that squeaky clean feeling. Frequent washing with harsh detergents compromises your hair’s protective lipid layer, increasing porosity.

To restore softness, stretch out your wash days and use gentle, moisturizing products.

Harsh Shampoos

If your hair feels squeaky after shampooing, harsh shampoos may be the culprit.

Harsh shampoos can strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture, leading to dryness and damage.

These shampoos contain strong cleansing agents that can leave your hair feeling squeaky clean but also stripped of essential nutrients.

To combat the effects of harsh shampoos, consider using moisturizing products and incorporating protein treatments into your hair care routine to restore hydration and repair any damage caused by these aggressive cleansers.

Hard Water

Your hair can also feel squeaky if you live in an area with hard water as the minerals bind to hair, leaving it rough and tangled.

Hard water containing high mineral content can leave mineral buildup on hair over time, causing roughness and squeakiness.

Using a chelating or clarifying shampoo regularly can help remove mineral buildup and restore hair’s soft, smooth feel.

Adding an apple cider vinegar rinse as the last step when washing hair can also help balance hair’s pH.

Squeaky Hair and Porosity

Squeaky Hair and Porosity
Having over-shampooed or used harsh shampoos, you’re finding your hair’s porosity affects how squeaky it feels post-wash.

  • Low porosity hair is more prone to squeakiness after washing.
  • The tight cuticle makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate.
  • Over-cleansing causes the hair to lose more moisture and natural oils.
  • This leads to even more dryness and brittleness over time.
  • Using gentle, moisturizing products can help low porosity hair retain needed moisture and softness.

Caring properly for your hair porosity is key for reducing squeakiness. Look into deep conditioning treatments, less frequent shampooing, and adequate moisturization between washes. Adapting your routine to your porosity will keep your hair feeling soft and healthy.

Impact of Squeaky Hair

Impact of Squeaky Hair
When your hair feels squeaky after shampooing, it’s a sign that your strands are dry and brittle. This makes detangling difficult and can lead to increased breakage. Addressing the underlying cause of the squeakiness will help get your hair back to a healthy, manageable state.

Dryness and Brittle Hair

One result of squeaky hair is increased dryness and brittleness, causing frizz, tangles, breakage, split ends, and dullness.

The harsh detergents in shampoos that create squeaky hair strip oils, leaving hair parched.

Lacking moisture, strands become fragile and prone to snapping when brushed.

They may split at ends from dehydration.

Overall, squeaky hair has a fried, frizzy look from depleted moisture and lipids protecting the cuticle.

Gentler shampooing and deep conditioning provide remedies.

Difficulty Detangling

Additionally, squeaky hair can make detangling your locks a real chore.

When your hair feels squeaky after shampooing, it indicates that the natural oils have been stripped away, leaving your strands dry and prone to tangling.

To ease the detangling process, use a wide-toothed comb and apply a leave-in conditioner or detangler to help smooth out knots and prevent breakage from occurring at split ends caused by friction during styling or brushing with product build-up on them.

Fixing Squeaky Hair

Fixing Squeaky Hair
To fix squeaky hair after shampooing, there are a few things you can try:

  • Consider reducing the frequency of shampooing to allow your scalp’s natural oils to nourish and moisturize your hair.
  • Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your routine to help restore moisture and smoothness to your strands.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo occasionally to help remove any product buildup that may be causing the squeaky feeling.

Reduce Shampooing

If your hair feels squeaky, you’re usually shampooing too frequently.

Try cutting back to shampooing just once or twice a week to restore moisture to your strands.

Determine your hair porosity and protein needs first.

Then space out shampoos, using dry shampoo or co-washing between to remove dirt without stripping oils.

This allows hair to retain more moisture while keeping it clean.

Deep Conditioning

By deep conditioning your hair weekly, you’ll add much-needed moisture to remedy squeaky hair caused by dryness.

Look for products with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or argan oil.

Apply a generous layer of deep conditioner to damp hair after shampooing, then cover hair with a shower cap.

Leave on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly.

Deep conditioning penetrates hair fibers with intensive moisture and nutrients for noticeably softer, shinier locks.

Clarifying Shampoo

After deep conditioning, use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo every 2-4 weeks to remove buildup from hair products that could be making your hair squeaky.

Clarifying shampoos are beneficial for removing product residue, hard water minerals, and oils.

Look for a gentle, moisturizing formula suitable for color-treated or dry hair.

Using clarifying shampoo periodically helps hair feel clean and lightweight by removing accumulated coatings.

Preventing Squeaky Hair

Preventing Squeaky Hair
You can take steps to prevent your hair from feeling squeaky after shampooing.

Choose gentle, moisturizing shampoos over harsh ones.

Consider using a water softener if you have hard water.

This will help the shampoo lather properly without stripping oils.

Choose Gentle Shampoos

Once you’ve dealt with the squeakiness, choose milder shampoos moving forward to keep your hair feeling soft.

  • Sulfate-free shampoos
  • Low-poo shampoos
  • Silicone-free shampoos
  • Natural shampoos

These gentle cleansers won’t strip your hair like harsh detergents, preventing future squeakiness and dryness.

Use a Water Softener

Before washing your hair, install a water softening system which removes minerals like calcium and magnesium that create buildup and friction.

Though initially expensive, a water softener greatly increases efficiency by reducing hard water deposits over time.

The salt it uses also costs money, so weigh installation and supply expenses against softer hair and skin.

When to Seek Help

When to Seek Help
If you’re experiencing persistent issues with squeaky hair even after trying different remedies, it may be time to seek professional help.

  1. Hair damage and breakage:

    If your hair is constantly feeling squeaky and brittle, it could be a sign of underlying damage that requires expert guidance.

  2. Product build-up and scalp irritation:

    Excessive product residue on the scalp can lead to dryness, itchiness, and an overall change in hair texture.

  3. Hair loss or thinning:

    Squeaky hair accompanied by noticeable shedding or thinning could indicate a more serious condition that needs attention from a healthcare provider.

  4. Hair color damage:

    If your colored hair feels consistently squeaky after shampooing, it may be due to improper cleansing techniques or products that aren’t suitable for maintaining vibrant color.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is squeaky hair after shampooing a sign of damage?

Squeaky hair after shampooing can be a sign of damage, especially if your hair feels dry and rough. It may indicate that the shampoo has stripped away too much moisture from your strands. Consider using a moisturizing or hydrating shampoo to restore balance to your hair.

Can using a different shampoo prevent squeaky hair?

Using a different shampoo can help prevent squeaky hair after shampooing.

Look for shampoos that are moisturizing and nourishing, as they can provide the necessary hydration to your hair, preventing it from feeling dry and squeaky.

Does porosity affect how squeaky hair feels?

Yes, porosity greatly impacts how squeaky hair feels after shampooing.

Low porosity hair, which resists moisture, is more prone to feeling dried out and squeaky from shampoos.

Meanwhile, high porosity hair readily absorbs moisture, leaving it feeling smoother and less squeaky after washing.

Pay attention to your hair’s porosity level when choosing shampoos.

Are there any home remedies to fix squeaky hair?

Apply a deep conditioning hair mask.

Use an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Try switching shampoos.

Limit washing frequency.

Gently massage natural oils into your hair and scalp.

Evaluate hair porosity and adjust your routine accordingly.

When should I seek professional help for squeaky hair?

If your hair continues feeling rough and squeaky after trying home remedies for several weeks, see a trusted stylist. Persistent squeakiness often indicates damage; a professional can evaluate your hair’s health, offer solutions, and recommend caring for it gently going forward.


So, why does your hair feel squeaky after shampooing?

The squeaking sensation is often caused by:

  • Over-shampooing
  • Harsh shampoos
  • Hard water

This can lead to:

  • Dryness
  • Brittleness
  • Difficulty detangling

To fix squeaky hair, try:

  • Reducing shampooing
  • Deep conditioning
  • Using a clarifying shampoo

Preventing squeaky hair involves:

  • Choosing gentle shampoos
  • Using a water softener if hard water is an issue
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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.