Why Is There Dust In My Hair?

What makes it appear and how to get rid of it

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on Why Is There Dust In My Hair

Perhaps, there is hardly something more annoying and frustrating than finding out that your hair develops white lint almost right after you wash the mane!

Quite many of us face this problem and people want to know how to get rid of dust in hair easily and quickly.

In this article, you will finally find all the answers. We are going to tell you why lint and dust settle on your tresses, what can be done to it to keep your hair clean and dust-free, and also, you will find out what you can do in order to prevent lint and dust from getting stuck to your mane.

Why is There Lint In My Hair?

Have you ever found white lint in your hair? If you have, then you know how annoying it can be! You wash your hair thoroughly, but the next day or the day after the wash you can already see that white residue on your strands.

No wonder you might want to do your best to find out why it happens.


You might have lint in your hair because of a number of different reasons. The main reason why you see lint and/or dust in your hair is that dust, oil, and fabric particles break down and get stuck in your hair.

However, that’s not the only reason. In general, we can name several most common reasons for lint and/or dust development in your hair:

  1. Dust
  2. Oil residue
  3. Particles of fabric
  4. Hair type
  5. Broken ends of our hair
  6. Hair poducts

Now we suggest you learn a bit more about each of these factors so that you have a better understanding of them in detail.

Why is There Lint In My Hair
Milkos via VistaCreate

Dusty Environemnt

These particles of white or gray color usually get stuck to your tresses when your hair is exposed to dirty air and environment, for instance, if you live or stay in a polluted area for a long time.

Those who live or work close to factories or plants, as well as other industrial objects, may often have this problem. People who live close to the highways, railways, or very busy roads may also suffer from hair lint, by the way!

Dusty Environemnt
DenisDenisenko via VistaCreate

Oily Residue

There are surprisingly many people who believe that the more oil you apply to your hair the healthier your chevelure will be. However, they usually skip one important nuance! If you go out with oil applied to your mane, the oily residue on the strands will attract all the dust and debris around you!

This is why, if you use hair oils, consider the amount you apply, as well as the frequency of the product use. And also, remember to let the oil absorb completely before you go outdoors!

Fabrics and Static Attraction

Also, hair lint and dust can develop when you lie down on a certain type of fabric or naturally throughout the day from the environment. And let’s not forget about your own sebum production and other fabrics that come into contact with your hair throughout the day!

Static attraction, which can appear due to the friction against the fabric, also matters since it can attract external materials very quickly.

This is one of the most frequent reasons why you can end up with your hair being full of particles of cloth that come from your pillows, blankets, or daily garments. Cloth debris is one of the main contributing factors toward lint formation in the hair.

Fabrics and Static Attraction
serezniy via VistaCreate

Your Hair Type

As you can see, dust, static attraction, fabrics, and polluted air are all external factors. But the key factor that makes you susceptible to lint on your strands is your hair type.

If you are the owner of curly or wavy tresses, be ready that you will more likely have lint in your hair than someone with straight hair.

You might say that it’s not fair, but this is how your hair type works! Since the hairs in wavy and curly hair are tangled and there is an abundance of conditioner residue and sebum in the hair, they are very susceptible to lint and dust residue.

Your Hair Type
moviafilmes via VistaCreate

Broken Ends Of the Strands

Another major reason for the development of lint in our hair is the broken ends of the strands. These split ends can cause lint to attach to them and get stuck. It will make your hair fuzzier and can also give you an itchy scalp.

Broken Ends Of the Strands
Milkos via VistaCreate

Your Shampoo And Conditioner

Your hair care products can also cause the development of lint! By not rinsing shampoo and conditioner out from your hair properly, you make your hair more attractive for lint and dust particles.

As a result, shampoo left on your scalp will not only cause dry and itchy scalp, leading to flakes, but it will also attract dust and lint.

It’s all the same with the hair conditioner. Hair conditioners need to be left in the hair for a required amount of time in order to work. But if you don’t wash it out properly, it could lead to the product’s residue left behind, which will act as a trap and hold dust and debris onto the scalp and the hair.

Finally, we would like to mention one nuance that people rarely think about as a cause of lint in their hair. See, you probably noticed that quite many people have a habit of running their hands through their hair.

However, this habit is not harmless! First of all, doing so makes your hair prone to breakage. In addition, our hands carry dust particles and other forms of micromaterial. When running your hands through the hair regularly, you pass those particles onto your strands by touching your fingers through your hair.

Like that, you are now aware of a bunch of reasons that may lead to dust and lint development in your hair. But what is this lint in fact? Below, you can find more details on that subject.

Your Shampoo And Conditioner
Krakenimages via VistaCreate

What Is Lint?

Everyone has seen lint at least once, but do all of us know what it actually is?

Well, everything is very easy here. You definitely know that dust, debris, and other particles in the environment combine and can get attached to your scalp, hair, or roots. This combination of particles is what we call lint.

Lint may take different forms. Sometimes, it looks like a very fine powder, and sometimes it presents itself in the form of a substance that resembles wool or a cotton thread-like material.

You can often find it in between the teeth of your hair comb or hairbrush, by the way! And this is why it is important to remove lint from these tools, otherwise, it will be transferred to your hair.

Where Does Lint Come From?

Lint has a superpower of appearing literally from nowhere! You had absolutely clean hair yesterday, and boom – today you can already see that white residue on the strands. How did it happen?

Our hair carries naturally producing oil and sebum within them. That oil and sebum act as adhesives for lint, allowing it to get stuck on the scalp.

Where do they come from?

Scalp sebum is an oily substance that is produced by the skin of your head. It helps keep your scalp properly moisturized, but also, it is the reason why your strands become greasy between washes. Though your scalp sebum might also make your chevelure look darker and give it a greasy look, it is needed for doing an important job of protecting hair follicles and the entire scalp.

By the way, certain hair types are more susceptible to lint!

For example, people with curly or dry hair tend to face lint problems more frequently than the owners of straight tresses. Respectively, if you have dry hair, it will be way more susceptible to friction damage because of the lack of moisture.

In either case, your hair becomes some kind of a magnet for dust, lint, and other environmental debris that gets stuck to the tresses. And if you have too much dust and debris in your hair, they will sooner or later result in lint forming on your head if you do nothing to it.

Where Does Lint Come From
DmitriyAnaniev via VistaCreate

How to Prevent Lint In Hair?

Since now you know what leads to the development of dust and lint in your hair, you might be wondering how they can be removed from it. There are several methods that you can use if you want to get rid of lint in your hair.

Why Do I Always Keep Getting Lint In My Hair?Why Do I Always Keep Getting Lint In My Hair?

However, note that they should be used in a complex since in this case, you will get much better results than when using only one approach.

How to Prevent Lint In Hair
DmitriyAnaniev via VistaCreate

Clean Your Brushes And Combs

You definitely know that lint and dust tend to accumulate in the bristles of your hair brushes and combs! Removing these particles from your brush regularly can help a lot in keeping lint and dust away from your hair every time you brush it.

Clean Your Brushes And Combs
Sasha2109 via VistaCreate

Sleep With a Hair Cap

This advice may sound strange and awkward to some of you, but it really works! Sleeping with a hair cap on is one of the most efficient ways of keeping lint and dust as far from your mane as possible. Doing this will help stop the fabric materials from ending up stuck in your hair.

As an option, you can try changing the type of pillows and bedding you sleep on. For instance, cotton pillowcases and sheets are notorious for shedding fabric particles into your hair. In fact, the same as cotton clothes do.

So avoiding wearing these materials often will stop clothing fabrics from getting stuck in your hair. Instead, you can wear silk or satin materials which are much better for your hair.

Wash Your Hair Thoroughly

Washing your hair regularly is helpful for keeping it clean, but after each wash, make sure that you remove all the shampoo and conditioner residue from your scalp and the roots of your hair!

If you don’t rinse your hair thoroughly, it can lead to dandruff and lint on your scalp, as well as greasy hair full of sebum oils.

Wash Your Hair Thoroughly
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

Avoid Using Hair Products Too Often

This means you should try not to spray your hair with hair spray or apply other hair styling products to it frequently. Hair sprays cause grease, oil, and other chemicals to build up in your hair. You could also consider using one of the hair care products designed for reducing lint in your hair.

Now you know why lint keeps getting stuck to your hair and what should be done in order to get rid of it once and for all. As you know now, lint can be caused by both external and internal factors.

External ones include polluted and dusty air, excess hair products, lint from your hair brush, or even a habit of running your hands through the hair! As for the internal factors, they are the sebum buildup in your hair, the split ends, and others.

With all the information we have shared with you on the subject, you will now be able to deal with linty hair more efficiently since you know what causes lint and how it can be removed. And with the help of a few tips that we shared with you, you will easily avoid lint in the future.

Avoid Using Hair Products Too Often
moviafilmes via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can lint be transferred from another person to my hair?

Basically it can’t, unless you use this person’s hairbrush or comb (or anything thet he or she puts over the head).

⭐Can lint be a symptom of any hair disease?

No, lint doesn’t typically show that you have any diseases. But it can cause itchy scalp indeed and worsen the state of your hair!

⭐If I live in a polluted area, can wearing a hat help to prevent lint on my hair?

Partially, it can. A hat will protect your hair from the dust present in the air.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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