hi there - I started having this exact same problem in May - that's when I first noticed it. it started off gradual and then got worse, to the point where nothing seems to work. I had some success with a small bit of Nizoral anti-fungal shampoo twice a week - it seemed to work - I am using a few drops and massaging it right into my scalp and behind my ears, down the sides of my face, and on the back of my neck. I let it sit there for a few minutes then wash it out and use my regular shampoo and conditioner. I really do t know what's going on with my scalp as I've always always had beautiful thick healthy hair, but I'm getting tested by my MD to look at whether I have a high dose of androgen in my body - also see if my hormone levels are normal. I'm a competitive athlete, so hoping its something I can fix without taking away from my athletic ability. I started taking a lot of vitamins for hair too. Biotin (2000 mg per day) Also Prairie Natural's Hair-Force Vitamin B supplements, Vitamin C (1000 mg) Vitamin E caps (400 di) and Lysine - all these will assist with healthy hair growth. it seems the problem lies within in the excessive sebum coming from the sebaceous glands in the scalp so hopefully my blood work tests will find out why so I can get my hair back to normal. I also had acrylic nails for the very first time in May (when this started happening) I am getting them removed now in case it is an allergic reaction to whatever is in the acrylics - (process of elimination) With so many of us having this exact same problem in various age groups it seems weird to say its hormonal, it almost seems like an infectious epidemic of some sort - all I know is that I'm getting tested - I will keep u all posted.
UPDATE: So I had the Acrylic Nails removed and already my fingers feel ten times better - though they look horrid - there is definately fungus under 3 of the fingernails - I'm putting a very strong anti-fungal cream under all the nails twice a day - however I wonder since this fungus was inside my fingernails if it had spread to my scalp through morning hair routines - shower, combing, styling. I had my MD do some blood work to see if this weird hair thing is related to fungal infection or hormones (androgen?). In the meantime I have found a half decent cure - I do the Nizoral with Apple Cider Vinegar twice a week - First the Nizoral, leave set for 2-3 minutes and attacks the sebum glands, effectively cleaning the scalp - then the Apple Cider Vinegar which restores the PH balance to the hair, then lastly my regular conditioner for damaged hair since the Cider Vinnegar leaves my hair very dry. This works really well and hair is shiny and no grease and can be styled. The in-between days that I don't use this combo is something I found which is Excellent - Nioxin - I sue level 3 for dyed or permed hair - I just started using it and OH Wow!!! My hair has never felt or looked better - super volume and bounce - and oh yeah - No Grease!!! I'm using the Nioxin 3 Shampoo, Conditioner, leave in Spray, and also the Voluminizer (which is also a leave-in spray). My hair looks freakn' fabulous - like when I was in my twenties!!!! I will update you all once the blood work comes in
I just have to say - THANK YOU SO MUCH. I have had this problem for OVER a year. One day, I woke up and I had an extremely greasy patch on the right side of my head. Everyone seemed to say it was on their crown, has anyone has a problem with just one side of their head?
But I finally tried the listerine and SUAVE last night, and so far so good! The right side of my head is just like the rest of my head. The parts I used the listerine on are ever more smoothe and hydrated.
I have tried everything in the past. Expensive clarifying shampoos, conditioners, the whole bit. Thank God I found this post. You saved my hair! Thank you!
try the Nizoral and apple cider vinegar combo - Nizoral is cheap and u can get it at the pharmacy with the dandruff shampoos - the Apple Cider vinegar concoction can be made by taking a plastic water bottle and dumping out about half the water then add Apple Cider vinegar (about 1 cup) then replace bottle cap and shake well - you can then punch holes in the cap and leave it in your shower with your shampoos etc - hopefully you will see a big difference - I get to see my MD this thurs so I will know the results of the bloodwork and hopefully it's something that can be corrected.
I have had this same problem for about 9 months. It struck me as odd because I have always had normal hair, never dry or oily. I could go for 3 or 4 days without washing and I was fine. I have always been complemented on my hair being super soft, silky, and shiny....until the dreaded WAX. My whole life I have always blow-dried my hair immediately after showers, or let it air dry in the sun. Recently (past year) I started letting it towel dry indoors, which I think could have led to the problem. Think about it: Moisture breeds bacteria/fungus. In the beginning the grease was not so bad, and was only appearing on the sides of my scalp. But after a few months, the grease spread to my crown to the point where I was becoming hopeless.
My first instinct was to buy an over the counter dandruff shampoo (off brand head & shoulders) but it didn't seem to help. It only kept the grease from really spreading.
I finally went to a salon to talk to a professional and my stylist suggested I try some of the Aveda balancing shampoos to fix the problem. I thought, well it's mostly natural so it must help...WRONG. My hair started getting worse.
Next, I tried Neutrogena T/Sal Clarifying Shampoo. It has Salicylic Acid in it to help clarify the scalp for Psoriasis, etc.. I only used it once because it didn't reduce the grease at all and it only irritated my scalp, leaving it itchy and burning. Maybe if I would have used it the next day it would have started working, but I doubt it.
I came across this forum and was tempted to try the Listerine/Suave clarifying remedy, but hesitated due to the fact that I didn't want to poor alcohol on my head. Instead I made an appt with my dermatologist to see if some medicated shampoo could fix the problem. I never thought I had dandruff, but she told me I had some Seborrheic Dermatitis on my scalp (a form of dandruff) and immediately prescribed me the most awesome shampoo ever!
It's called Keralyt5 Shampoo and has completely renewed my hair to how it used to be - shiny, voluminous, and very healthy. There are two ways you can apply the Shampoo: 1) Applying a small amount to the affected areas before you get in the shower, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse in warm water. or 2) Use as a medicated shampoo daily in the shower until scalp renews to desirable condition. (This is the method I chose).
Don't expect it to completely get rid of the grease on the first day! The key is to cure the root cause. After my first day, I was a bit disappointed because I still had a noticeable amount of that waxy film, but I didn't give up. The second day I did the same except this time I took a comb with me to the shower and combed out the shampoo after it had soaked into my scalp for 5 minutes or so. I think this is crucial! You need to comb out the wax in order to let the shampoo do its job. Condition the tips so they don't dry out, and rinse. Then, immediately blow-dry your hair so that you don't let the bacteria breed in the moisture. After my 2nd day I was amazed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It had effectively removed about 90% of the grease/wax. The 3rd day 95% gone, and at that point I could feel my scalp breathe for the first time in almost a year! My hair was soft and silky, and I could actually run my fingers through it like I have my whole life. I honestly feel like I got back from a spa and can't stop touching it. It is even shinier than it has been in years.
Tomorrow will be day 4 and I'm expecting to be almost 100% cured. Once the scalp reaches the desired condition you can reduce your usage to once a week, or whenever you notice the buildup coming back. You can buy Keralyt 5 Shampoo online for about $20...not as cheap as some of the other solutions, but I think it's definitely worth it if you want to truly cure this condition. There is another version called just Keralyt Shampoo from the same company, but it requires a prescription (I'm thinking it is stronger and has a higher dosage of Salicylic Acid). This is probably for people with severe plaque buildup. Anyway, a quick fix like listerine may not be the best for your scalp and could damage it. At least this is what my dermatologist told me.
Anyway, I really hope this helps you all. I know how gross and depressing this can be, but there is HOPE!
I'm 25 and I have had the same problem for a year and a half. I've had a very small (quarter-sized) waxy spot on my crown that remains through washing since childhood, but it had never changed until about a year and a half ago around the time I took the USMLE Step 1 (a LOT of stress). I have used Pantene in the past, but for several years I have used Dove and sometimes Suave Professionals. One day I woke up and showered as usual but my hair felt greasy afterwards. I thought I hadn't rinsed all of the conditioner out. Showering the following day didn't help. Dawn dish soap didn't help. I was distraught and in tears! Then I found the clarifying suave/listerine solution. IT WORKED! you DO have to use the original brown listerine, though.
However, it has come back every few months or so. I wonder if continuing to use the Dove is keeping the problem going. I recently visited the dermatologist for another problem and when I mentioned my greasy crown she laughed at me, saying that it was normal. clearly, she did not understand!
Unfortunately, I have not seen results with using multiple applications of the clarifying suave only and have continued to use the suave/listerine combo off and on. I have engagement photos in a week and my hair is now worse than ever. I will be doing listerine again tonight and tomorrow and then CHANGING shampoos to something without wax/shellac/silicone/etc. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil or an anti-fungal shampoo.
to everyone else out there with this same problem: you are not crazy! Try the Suave Clarifying/Listerine original combo!!
p.s. suave clarifying is VERY cheap at Wal-mart, for all of us in the US =)
well I had the results of my blood work and I am happy to report that it is not a hormone problem - my estrogen levels are fine and there is no androgen levels to worry about - whew! but - what else can be causing this greasy head? I had the acrylic nails removed and the fungus underneath the nails are clearing up with an anti - fungal cream - there hasn't been enough time yet, between the acrylics coming off and whether there is a connection to the greasy hair - more on this to follow - I do not have very many flakes on my scalp, so it's not seborrhoea dermatitis, like I originally thought. My Pap test is clear so it's not PCOS (ovaries). It may be stress related, I have been going through a very stressful breakup with a 10 year relationship, and also problems at work - this might explain the increase in sebum production - I'm trying to eliminate stress in my life so hopefully that will help. The Nizoral, Apple Cider vinegar, and Nioxin combos seem to be working - I'm keeping my scalp clean. Some posters recommend not washing your hair everyday but according to both my MD and my Derm they Both said that you must wash your hair daily to minimize the sebum or your hair follicles will not be able to push out of your scalp and they will become clogged and the shaft will break and your hair will die (male pattern baldness) they recommend not using harsh shampoos though, stick with natural botanicals, and just use the Nizoral twice a week, and don't over use the Nioxin either - in short - wash the hair but be careful not to over process. I still think this is some kind of a disease or epidemic if so many of us have it. I remember just before I got mine this May - I went to a new salon (Aveda) and a new stylist washed and did a moisturizing enhancement on my hair - it looked beautiful then, but almost a week afterward is when this problem started. I wonder if the stylist had this greasy disease and unknowingly passed it onto me? so many things to consider. anyway - we will see if the removal of the acrylics and the de-stressing my life works - keep you all up to date on my progress - good luck to you all. :)
Hi guys. I, too, had this problem. I don't think it's age related as I'm only 23, and I don't believe it's stress related as I work a wonderful job with a generous income and am just starting a long vacation.
Much like everyone else who has posted, I feel like this spot came pretty suddenly. It was on the crown of my head, gradually progressing to the left side. It looked like I hadn't showered for days immediately after I got out of the shower and blowdryed my hair. The strands would stick together and actually if I ran my hands through it and tried to play with it, my hands would get sticky like there was wax in my hair. I don't use hair products ever, just basic shampoo and conditioner, so this was really foreign to me.
At first, I just ignored it and figured I wasn't washing my hair as well as I could or maybe I wasn't washing all the conditioner out as that's what it felt like. Eventually I decided my shampoo just wasn't effective, and switched from my regular basic girly shampoos to my boyfriend's Nivea for Men 3 in 1 shampoo which actually kicked the grease spot for about a week. Then, unfortunately, he ran out of that shampoo and we couldn't find it in stores and the spot came back. I tried switching shampoos several times, using various Men's shampoos as well as several women's but it kept getting worse. A couple days ago, I bought head & shoulders thinking that was my next best option, but that didn't work either. I was so frustrated, constantly tying my hair back because it just couldn't be left down. I felt dirty and disgusting. Then I turned to the internet and found this thread and a couple more.
I saw home remedies such as Listerine, dish soap, vinegar, Suave Clarifying Shampoo, Tea Tree Oil, etc...I was prepared to try anything. I went to the local drug store and picked up some Palmolive 2x Grease Fighter dish soap (blue in color) and the only Tea Tree Shampoo they had, which was some sort of mint and tea tree oil mixture. I couldn't find any sort of clarifying shampoo, but I did have Listerine at home to try as a back-up.
I jumped in the shower with everything and decided I'd start out low and slow. I used the dish soap and soaped my hair twice, really thoroughly. Then I used the Tea Tree shampoo once, then the Tea Tree conditioner once and left that in for 3 minutes. I washed everything out really well and actually noticed a cleaner feeling while my hair was still wet. I just blowdryed my hair and IT WORKED. No more grease spot! I'm not sure what caused it, perhaps overactive oil glands on the scalp for one reason or another, but it doesn't matter because now I have something to fix it. And I didn't even have to use Listerine or any clarifying shampoo. I have a very sensitive scalp, so I won't be using the dish soap every time I shower, but I'm confident that if it comes back, I will be able to kick it again using the same method.
I want to start off by saying thank you so much for posting all these great things to fix this. I have been dealing with this same thing for about a month now. At first I thought maybe I didn't get all the conditioner out of my hair. Then I starting noticing it getting worse. It was only around the crown of my head an it was so bad I could not run my fingers through my hair. It was if all my strands were oiled together. It was disgusting. When i would touch it my fingers would feel waxy and almost sticky. I have naturally thin hair so to make matters worse when it was straight all i could do was put it in a ponytail. I discovered this post when I googled what may be causing this. I was very skeptical but went straight to Walgreens after work today. I bought the Suave clarifying shampoo, the original listerene and also Neutrogena residue shampoo just in case. Now my hair is completely back to normal and probably more silky and better than ever!! Amazing!!! Just a few things that may have caused it since so many have this problem and don't know why...
I also have been using Pantene Pro V for around 10 years
I am 30 years old and work two jobs, one being very stressful
My fiancé just got deployed which added more stress and a complete change of pace.
I have not changed my vitamins, or health habits at all
In my opinion and after reading so many other posts on this, I'm positive it was consistently using Pantene Pro V. I also just switched from using Pantenes deep conditioner to a normal Pantene conditioner, which seemed to make it worse. I will never use Pantene again, for fright this may happen again. I'm so thankful to have found this!! Thank you so much the Suave and Listerene girls!!! My hair is awesome!!
just an update - my acrylic nails have been off for a month now and all the fungus has cleared up - I started thinking about other things that may have contributed to the oily active sebum glands - stress - but also shock - a severe traumatic event to the system - telogen effluvium - back in April of this year I had minor plastic surgery - I was put under with a localized anesthesia that allows you to still be awake and able to talk during the surgery. After googling I came across Realself.com that have actual doctors answer questions on a multiple of things. Someone posted about thinning and oily hair and it seems there is a link between post-op surgery with general anesthesia and hair loss months afterward while the body is still responding to shock of being immobilized and sedated. The response to the trauma is for the body to create extra plus sebum due to the shock and stress - I believe this is what's happening in my case - the good news is after the stress where's off the hair and scalp will return to normal. This has been compounded even more by home-related stress (going thru CRA audit and a relationship mess) and work stress. I'm wondering how many people in this forum also had a recent surgery or huge amount of stress?
I went away to Budapest three weeks ago and the same thing happened. At first I thought I hadn't rinsed my hair properly, and then I thought perhaps it was the water there but it persisted even after I came home to the UK.
My hair around the crown felt coated in a kind of wax, it didn't look especially greasy but the hair itself felt coated and lank. I left it for a few days, tried a different brand of shampoo and not using conditioner but nothing worked.
I read through this thread and decided to try Nizoral, but it barely lifted the wax from my hair. I then decided to try the T/Gel - Brown Listerine combo (I found some Brown Listerine in Boots in Lewisham).
This morning I made a mixture of around 20ml Sweet Almond Oil and 10 drops Tea-Tree Oil (in case it is a fungal thing) and massaged it into my crown and scalp, leaving it so sit for an hour.
I then jumped in the shower and washed the mix out with the T/Gel. My hair already felt better. I poured 3 caps of Brown Listerine onto my hair and massaged it in, leaving it to sit while I did some other shower stuff. I washed it again with T/Gel before applying a Tea-Tree oil conditioner from Holland and Barratt to the ends of my hair.
At the last minute, I rubbed the conditioned hair gently over my roots, before immediately rinsing my hair with almost cold water.
I've just taken the towel off of my head and combed it through and I have my hair back! ALL of the waxy build up is gone and it feels soft to the touch and definitely not coated in strange waxy stuff!
I was so confused, I don't use products on my hair at all, and nor do I blow dry or straighten it. It is dyed black, and was last dyed a week before this started to happen. I didn't know whether it was dietary (I'm mildly wheat intolerant and try to avoid it generally, though I did it some while I was away). I've no idea what could have caused it, but I'm going to persist with the method above for another 6 days, so hopefully if it is fungal, that will see it off.
My hair is almost waist length and I was so proud of it. I now smell slightly medicinal, but it's absolutely worth it if it means I don't have to withstand the trauma of the waxy hair.
Thank you so much to everyone who detailed their methods and helped me to find my own. Fingers crossed it keeps working!
Also, I too had been using Pantene when it happened. Prior to that, I'd been using Alberto Balsam for about a year, but switched to Pantene when it was on offer. Given what I've read here, I have no plans to use it, or anything by Proctor and Gamble on my hair again.
I'm a 16 year old male. I'll give the pharmacy a visit tomorrow in hope of finding Suave clarifying shampoo. I live in Dubai so I doubt I can find it. I've been having this greasy/smelly scalp problem for 10 months. I used Head & Shoulders Shampoo for Greasy Hair and it worked for 2 weeks but the problem is back. I'll try the Suave and 4 cups Listerine method and I really hope it works. The smell is horrible. I haven't been told by anyone of my problem and I really dislike the smell of my hair. I am also embarrassed to tell my parents about it, don't ask why because I don't know myself.
I just have a question for those who have found success in their treatments. It seems as though most of you are posting a day or two after you found a successful method.
Can you PLEASE check back in a couple months later reporting your results? Have you had to continue the treatment everyday since the first time, or was it a one-time cure?
I would love to know... It seems as though some people only have this as a temporary problem while others have a more chronic condition. I treated my waxy scalp with a medicated shampoo my dermatologist prescribed me, but after nearly one month the grease has gradually begun to creep back. It's bothersome having to perform these extensive treatments EVERYDAY. There has got to be an underlying problem as to why the oil overproduction won't stop.
Thanks a million for sharing about the coconut oil.
My daughter suddenly developed overly active oil glands and oily hair from root to the ends. I tried the Listerine and that didn't work . Then I tried the coconut oil. I did it over 2 days, and her hair is back to normal!
I would never have thought of coconut oil and your line of reasoning about the counteracting the oiliness by supplying oil to the scalp to convince it to stop overproducing oil.
I've had this oily/waxy hair problem for 9 months now, until I tried to DBA7471's Listerine remedy. I am totally shocked. My hair has completely restored to normalcy after only two washings with the Listerine. It's been 2 days since I've washed my hair, and it's stayed silky, soft, and light since the I last washed it.
If you're desperate, like I was, try it. I'm still in shock.
1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo (I used Tea Tree Oil by Kiehl's). Rinse completely.
2. Pour at least 3 cap fulls (I bought the small bottle) of the brown anti-septic Listerine onto your scalp. Turn the water off and gently massage it around your scalp. (I have freshly colored hair, and the Listerine did not rinse any extra color).
3. Consider doing other routine shower things (e.g. shaving, etc) while you let the Listerine sit on your scalp. You'll feel it tingle, but it shouldn't burn or hurt.
4. Rinse out. Avoid any conditioner or other products so you can see if there's any difference.
I found that while the Listerine was in my hair, I could run a brush through it -- which is something I could never do if I have shampoo in my hair (I have the type of hair you can't run a brush through without added leave-in conditioner). What I'm saying is that it left my hair hair silky and soft immediately after.
Other info: I found that this "seborrheic dermatitis" (which is the only thing I found that might resemble this problem) is culprit to CANDIDA! I totally believe it because my Naturopathic Doctor, who insisted on taking a stool analysis-- sorry to gross anyone out -- and found that I had some candida and yeast growth -- mostly due to the excess in sugar I was consuming.
Anyway, the probiotic called Saccharomyces boulardii is thought to kill candida
Bottom line -- the oily/waxy hair problem is a systemic problem, often beginning with poor digestive health, as many diseases spur from. Consider working with a Naturopathic doctor (an ND, not MD) because their field is more oriented to investigating root causes of problems, rather than eradicating mere symptoms of a persistent underlying problem, as MD's are specialized to do.
Hey, don't worry about the specific brand of shampoo. What matters is that you buy a clarifying shampoo -- one designed to remove buildup and residue. I used Kiehl's Tea Tree Oil, which is a clarifying shampoo, and that worked prior to washing with the Listerine. And it totally worked for me.
Thanks, everyone, for this conversation. I, too, have been suffering from a greasy crown of hair for over a week now. I kept trying to ignore it and double-wash my hair (to no avail), until my husband actually said "your hair looks greasy or something"! It was time to act! Ran to Target today and got Listerine and a tea tree oil revitalizing shampoo (couldn't find the Suave clarifying). Shampooed, poured on 3 capfuls of Listerine and rinsed, then conditioned with my regular conditioner. Hair is still wet now, but I think the wax is probably 95 percent gone. Plus, my head tingles nicely and my hair smells like mouthwash!
Who knows the cause of this. I was thinking it could be hormonal (I am a 37 year old female), but after finishing reading these (loads of helpful) comments, I am leaning more toward the possibility of fungal infection. One thing that has not been mentioned that I am going to do is throw out my pillow and get a new one, just in case. I occasionally go to bed with a wet head of hair and perhaps that allowed a fungus to grow in my pillow? Who knows.
Here I sit at my computer at 4:40 in the morning desperately trying to find a solution to my suddenly oily hair. I've never had oily hair before, and now can't even get it dry and the oil is already there. Trust me, I'll be going out EARLY this morning to buy the Suave and Listerine to give it a try. Thank you so very much for posting your solution and I'll keep you posted as to whether I have success.
I have to thank everyone for posting here. I thought I was going crazy not being able to clean the "waxy/grease" out of my hair. I tried the Palmolive (Free and Clear formula) this morning that didn't help, but I will be trying the Listerine and Clarifying Shampoo tomorrow.
To the question of Why this is occurring. Although I cannot think of a reason for Fungal or infection in my case. I did notice several posts about vitamins. A few weeks prior to the start of my hair issue (first time this has ever happened) my Dr. had put me on high doses of Vitamin D for a defiency. Don't know if this is what caused it.
An update about my condition, it has been awhile since my last update.
Overview of my symptoms
1. Thick, long, Asian hair with oily-sticky patches around the crown and very dry ends owing to over-cleaning
2. Used to wash my hair on alternative days
2. Scalp used to be normal and becomes semi-oily on the second day
3. No itchiness, rashes, dandruff or any kind of infection in spite of the oily-sticky patches
4. Oil-sticky patches would suddenly on set and goes away after a month or two
5. Dying hair might temporary ease the problem.
My new remedies & discoveries
1. Replace the ordinary sparkling opaque shampoo with a clear botanical one.
2. Avoid putting shampoo directly onto the scalp, lather it up from the bottom
3. Do not use any harsh cleansing lotion or anti-bacterial mouth wash for the oily patches, it’s just going to off-set the natural balance of your scalp.
4. The oily-stickiness is resulted from the sebum and the styling residues which accumulates on the scalp from time to time. Sebum secretion is regulated by hormones and affected by diets and stress. That’s why many people think these factors are co-related and the oily patches keeps re-occurring.
5. My remedy echoes with Tanz and was originated from a Chinese Beauty forum.
For the ease of cleansing, use any makeup removing oil which suits your facial skin or replace it with other natural oil such as extra virgin olive oil, I haven’t tried coconut oil but I bet it is the same idea.
Thoroughly damp your hair root with adequate amount of cleansing oil and gently rub it through from your scalp towards the ends, DO NOT scratch your scalp, let the cleansing oil does its job. Leave it there for no more than 30mins, rinse it off with water, comb through your hair and shampoo your hair twice as usual.
You may use conditioner or hair mask afterwards, just to avoid the scalp. Blow dry your hair and you should find your hair root becomes clear and free of oil.
If it doesn’t help to clear up all the oiliness on your scalp, repeat the same steps on the second day and you will see the magic!
Every time when the oily-sticky patches is re-occurring, you may use the same remedy to clear it up.
It doesn’t help to cure the problem completely but at least it helps to keep your hair clean. I hope people find this post useful and let me know if you have any questions~
I'm so glad I've stumbled upon this site! I've always had beautiful bouncy non-greasy hair up until 4 days ago. I didn't pay much attention to it bc I was wearing it in a pony tail/bun for work. But yesterday I showered with my usual regime and blow dried my hair and the crown was greasy! What the hell??
Anyway, going to try the listerine/ neutrogena clarifying technique. I'll check in later. Oooh pleeeease work! I can't stand having nasty looking hair :(
I had this problem first about a year ago right when the weather got warm at the beginning of summer. I used baking soda and it seemed to work. Now I'm having the same problem again as the weather is getting hot, and the baking soda won't work. In addition I've tried baby shampoo, apple cider vinegar, green palm olive, clarifying shampoo, tea tree oil, and the brown listerine. Nothing has worked so far, but I will try the listerine/clarifying shampoo again just for good measure.
There are a few observations I've made that may help us determine what this condition is. First, when I soaked my hair in vinegar, it smelled bad (not surprisingly). But after I washed my hair with shampoo, it smelled again. The odor went away as my hair dried, but keeps coming back after I shower, when my hair is wet, DAYS after that one vinegar soak. Today I broke a sweat while playing tennis and the smell came back again! Its so foul. So I definitely think it's fungal, and perhaps any change at all (weather for me, birth control for some), can somehow throw off the balance of your scalp and make it more susceptible to infection.
So I googled "scalp fungus smells" and this article came up: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2014492/Have-got-Smelly-Hair-Syndrome.html. In the article, a dermatologist says that hair that smells bad only when wet may be caused by zoophilic fungi, or fungi that usually infect animals. The fungi can attack the hair from the inside or from the outside, and it is very hard to get rid of. Apparently a trichologist can test you for this condition with a simple hair or scalp sample. Treatment involves both anti-fungal medication and and anti-fungal shampoos like t-gel. I plan on going to my dermatologist to get tested ASAP.
In case somebody can figure this out I will add my information. I am 50 a Panteen user however I traveled in Feb., April, May and June using something different each time.Whatever shampoo was provided by the hotel. In June I went to visit my daughter and used her Dove shampoo and conditioner and thought I hadn't rinsed well and had a very waxy sticky (think diluted glue or hairspray) area at the top back of my head. We were in a hurry so I re rinsed and left with the same result. I washed again the next time with the same product and the same result. I bought my usual "ice shine 2 in 1" and washed three times with a little gone but basically the same result. Whatever had been released into my hair that first shampoo was not going to break down and go away with anything I was using. I googled it and this thread came up. Yes the Suave and Listerine worked. Thank you! I am on Depo Provera and had to get my shot a week early because of my trip. Extra hormones? This happend while visiting my daughter and son in law who just moved into an apartment that had been tiled and grouted within the last several months? I have had neck surgeries years ago and sleep with a heating pad so I have always had sweaty head in the morning for the last six plus years but the apartment had a air conditioner on steroids and I actually woke up freezing a couple of times which is the only thing different there. Hope somebody can figure this out.
I also have had this oily waxy hair now all week despite the usual washing and conditioning. Today I went to get my hair cut- talk about embarrassing! I have now washed my hair 5 times and it's still waxy like everyone else.
I'm sure this is hormonal- I have an 8 week baby but this has not happened to me before with my other kids. I'm 28. Another reason it seems hormonal is that I have had a tiny bit of spotting and that can be from extremely high or low levels of estrogen in the middle of your cycle- not during menses.
My husband is on his way home from the store with some Listerine. Hahaha. :)
I had the same issue. I tried the banking soda and apple cider vinegar solution and it worked for me the very first time but it created another issue. The greasiness was gone on the day i used to wash my hair but my hair used to get even more oily the next day of wash so much so that I needed a wash everyday. Also I could feel more tension/pressure on my head as if someone is pulling my hair.
I found another more natural solution. 10-15 mins before going for bath put 1 whole lemon juice on your scalp and massage slowly. Now boil water and dip a towel in it. Squeeze it so there is not too much water falling from it and put it around your hair for 2 mins, then dip in the hot water again. Do this 3 times and leave the towel on head for 10 mins and then wash your hair with your normal shampoo. It did wonders for me. It's all natural and it works great.
I have been having the same problem. I am a female in my late 30's. The only time I ever get greasy hair is right before my period and that's only for a day or two. Rest of the time I have really nice looking hair.
For no reason about three weeks ago, it got really oily looking at the roots. Even when I washed it, I could see it was clumping and wasn't going to dry nice.
I thought it was my shampoo and changed it several times. Two expensive shampoos for coloured hair. Then a pharmacy brand. Then back to a supermarket shampoo I've used before and always suited my hair (I stopped using it because it strips the colour out). None of them worked. Getting desperate!
This is three weeks in a ponytail. Hair looking horrible, couldn't stand the greasy feel of it. Seriously thinking of cutting it all off.
Found this post, thank goodness. I went out and bought that t-gel that seems to have worked for others.
Hair so disgusting it didn't even lather first time. Second time it did. Result! Hair looks normal again.
Does really stink, though, but don't care. So glad I found this page.
Hello everyone-i had this exact problem being described after having completely normal hair the rest of my life. I tried everything possible and finally went to my dermatologist who gave me ciclopirox shampoo 1% -its prescription (i think its an antifungal shampoo maybe), and i use that now-no conditioner and works!!! Thank G-d!! You have to wash your hair with it, leave it in for 3 mins and then wash out. If i switch to another shampoo, like if i go away and forget to bring it, i am in trouble as my hair goes back to its difficult disgusting self-i really hope this helps everyone as much as it helped me!!!!! I don't know if itll work for everyone-just rly wanted to tell you all abt it cuz i know what its like to have this problem and not know what to do or where to turn.
I am going through this exact scenario! I woke up one day last week and had this problem when I got out of the shower. I knew it felt differently, but when I blew dry it, it was horrible (greasy, waxy). I thought perhaps I'd used too much product.
Each day it has grown progressively worse and I'm using no product aside from the shampoo/conditioner (also Pantene!) that I've always used and no other changes to routine other than I think my menstral cycle is about to return as my milk has significantly decreased from nursing my 9 mo. old. I am figuring it has something to do with hormones, however I generally have breaking out of skin, bloating, and so on but none of those symptoms are present (at least not yet). So perhaps the fungus or gland issue people have been suggesting?
I, too, had contacted my hairstylist and she too was baffled but suggested I get with my Dermatologist for an answer. I may do that if these suggestions do not work.
I will try the suggestions here and hope for the best!
Thanks SOOO much for sharing everyone- I was beginning to think I was going crazy (I know my husband was too!!).
I am so glad I found this forum! I have been having this issue for months now. I have been using Aveda products, in an attempt to go more "natural", so I know Pantene is not the culprit. Every time I mention my problem to a hairdresser, she tells me to use a clarifying shampoo once a week, but the results are always short-lived. I tried the clarifying shampoo/listerine trick yesterday and it actually worked! Thank you!
I am 41 years old and I suspect my problem is hormonal. The greasy build-up is always concentrated on the left side of my head, and it seems to get worse about a week before my period. Has anyone else noticed this sort of timing?
Anyway, I am so grateful for this forum, because now I know I am not crazy. Thank you again!
I have only recently had the very same problem. Woke one morning last week & noticed my hair seemed a little oily just at the top of the crown but ignored it.
Woke the very next morning, kaboom, oily/greasy hair right at the top on the crown.
It looks horrible & my normally soft shiny hair has gone.
I'm convinced it is due to a hormone imbalance (even if no one is noticing those particular symptoms!) The reason I say this is, I am approx. 25 days overdue for my period. (No, I'm not pregnant, lol.)
Hormone imbalance hadn't even occurred to me until someone mentioned it, & now I've worked out being overdue & the greasy crown - it all adds up.
Am going to go with the Listering suggestion & see if it works for me, but along with that, I'm also going to use something like a Promensil / Remifemin to straighten out my hormones a bit. (just in case!)
NIOXIN Scalp Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner for dandruff/seborrheic dermatitis. It works wonders.
I had the same problem with the greasy spot on the crown of my head. One use of the Nioxin took it out immediately. After about a month's use, I could start using my regular shampoo and conditioner. I think the spot may be stress-related because it appeared about a month after I started graduate school. I had also developed stomach issues similar to acid reflux around the same time (also probably stress-related). Another likely explanation is hormonal, but I've been on the same birth control for a couple years.
Just wanted to say thanks for putting up instructions on what to do with this unusual waxy, sticky, oily hair problem. My daughter 9, had this. We used the Suave clarifying shampoo with the original Listerine. Worked like a charm! =)
I too found a horrible greasy patch in the crown of my head and had no idea why,as I have always had normal to dry hair.I checked this site and saw I was not alone.The Suave and listerene really,really works!!! I used it once and back to normal.Drs really need to start listening to women. Thank you so much...
I suffered through shingles in early January, centered on the v1 and v2 nerves that cross the eyelid and extend through the scalp. The greasy/oily sensation started at that time and I assumed it was part of the effects of the virus. The shingles were relieved in a few weeks, but the oiliness has stayed and expanded.
I'm trying the Suave/Listerine combination tonight and will post results. Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions; home remedies got me through shingles, hope it does the same here.
All of sudden I, too, experienced the same greasy hair in the crown area. I am in menopause and normally have beautiful hair. I found this blog and discovered there were several suggestions on how to get rid of the oily hair. It just so happens that the first solution I tried WORKED. I used ½ tsp dawn dish soap mixed with 3 Tblsp listerine. I simply washed and rinsed my hair. I did not let the mixture sit in my hair for any amount of time. I also did not use conditioner. It worked immediately and oddly enough, my hair is silky and shiny. This process is drying out my hair a bit so I have been putting moroccan oil on the ends of my hair prior to using the blow dryer. I am thankful to all those who have commented on this issue because I was at a loss of what to do.
I, too, woke up one morning with waxy build up. I'd been using Pantene shampoo and conditioner for months. I live in Korea, and tried a Korean brand shampoo when my Pantene shampoo ran out, but still used the conditioner. Last weekend, I used the last of the Korean brand, and happened to find Herbal Essence in the store. After two days I woke up with that mess in my hair.
Being in Korea, I went to several stores and bought the only suggestions I could find: Listerine and Tea Tree Oil shampoo.
Listerine did not help. Tea Tree Oil shampoo worked a bit, but after two washes, it wasn't enough.
I tried vinegar. Even lemon juice. This helped a bit, but not nearly enough.
Desperate, I grabbed some baking soda. I added some water, just enough to make a paste, and starting at my scalp rubbed it on and up each strand of hair. I then left it on for half an hour just for good measure.
It worked!!! I'm now using the tea tree oil shampoo. I'm too scared to use the Pantene conditioner, so I'll be relying my Korean hair treatment at the salon.
Strangely enough, my teacher's assistant came in today saying she woke up with the same problem!! She used baking soda like I had and it came right out. Weird. (She uses a Korean shampoo with Pantene conditioner.)
Also, I am 41 and perimenapausal. My TA is 28 and is not.
I hope this helps!
SUCCESS! It's been over a year since I last posted in this forum and I'm happy to say my beautiful hair is back to normal! Let's back track a bit to understand why my hair suddenly became greasy and would not correct as well as massive (nearly 40%) hair loss. In 2012 I had surgery and unbeknownst to me, developed a reaction to the anesthesia, on top of this I was dealing with massive stress with a bitchy boss at work, the loss of my dad to cancer, and a revenue tax audit. And - my hormones in my body were changing due to entering peri-menopausal stage of life. Yikes! Well after much research on hair vitamins and trying various products I now have my hair 100% back to normal (see my earlier posts for details). The Nizoral worked to keep the grease to a minimum and the Nioxin 3 Shampoo and Conditioner have now become my main go-to hair products. I took massive amounts of certain vitamins, specifically for hair re-growth and health. Biotin is first and foremost.I found that the best Biotin is at GNC Health stores - it comes in 5000 mcg strength tablets and I started by taking one tablet every day for about 6 weeks and then boosted it to 2 tablets a day - one in the morning and one mid-day (that's 10000 mcg a day). I also took Iron and Vitamin C and B6 and B12. During this time I bought "Clip In" hair extension (the kind that is like a barrette and you can clip them into your hair and take them out again) I only wore my clip-ins when I was going out somewhere, other than that it was just my regular hair. I also stopped blow-drying my hair and straightening it. I now let my hair "air dry" for 40 minutes and then fluff it on a cool setting - and I only straighten on the weekends if I'm going out. I believe that the Vitamin regime and the proper hair products were key to fixing my hair, and trust me, it was not over nite, it took over a year and a half! I also de-stressed my life by applying for a position within my company to a different branch to get away from the bitchy boss (thank god!). Also I added more protein into my diet which really helped with my hair and skin and I stepped up my work out routine, which is a great stress-releaser. I can now go two full days without washing my hair and it has fully grown back in, healthier and better than before. I hope my tips help everyone else out there, because it ***** when you lose your "crowning glory" and nobody should have to be stuck with greasy hair.
This exact same problem started for me the day after I used my boyfriends Head and Shoulders shampoo and conditioner. I’ve never used it before but a sudden change in weather had both of our scalps feeling dry and itchy. It worked for him so I thought I’d try it too. Won’t make that mistake again. lol Within hours of using it, a patch about the size of an orange, formed on the top of my head close to my hair line and was soooo greasy, like I hadn’t washed my hair in weeks. But waxy too, which I had never experienced before.
So the next day, I went back to my Herbal Essence but the problem persisted. Day 3 I used lemon juice on my hair….nothing else….and the grease was STILL there. Day 4 feeling discouraged (and greasy), I grabbed the bottle of vinegar and doused my head in it. Rubbed vigorously, rinsed and repeated. It was a little better but not much. Then yesterday I read this blog. And this morning…well all I had was Original Dawn (hey, they use this stuff to gently remove oil from wildlife, it should work here) and the green Listerine. But thought…hey, it can’t get much worse. So I gave it a shot. While in the shower, I was skeptical because it wasn’t feeling any different than the days before. But here’s what I did…
Washed with Dawn
Poured 2 capfuls of Listerine on affected area. Rubbed in and let sit while I did the rest of my shower routine.
Washed with dawn one last time.
Used a tiny amount of conditioner on just the ends of my hair (I have long hair and I could feel the ends being a little on the course side whilst in the shower)
Rinsed really well.
Dried my hair as usual. Just a quick rub down with a towel and air dry it.
Result? Success!!!! Woohoo!!!! I’ve got my hair back!! So freakin’ thankful I found this blog!! I was completely discouraged when neither the lemon juice nor vinegar worked.
While the grease is 100% gone, I will do a second treatment tomorrow just to be sure then go back to Herbal Essence and hopefully the issue won’t reappear.
Ladies I have had this issue several times and I beleive it is a ph balance issue that can occue from weather changes hormonal changes, changes in hair care routine or medications, so many things can cause it. I have been using biolage normalizing shampoo everytime this occurs which has been 3 times in my life and it works very well. I have also tried the apple cider vinegar and it seems to help as well. I dyed my hair and the result was this oily patch so I read how hair dye is alkaline and vinegar is acidic so it makes sense. The only reason I tried the vinegar was because I didnt want to spend the money on the Biolage Normalizing shampoo. However the Biolage really works so if you have 20 dollars try that first.
Thank you for this solution! I have oily hairs which are started falling these days. I found toppik hair building fibers at http://www.folica.com/hair-loss/hair-loss-concealers/toppik-hair-fibers-27-5g as the best product for gaining the hair back. I feel so good now. You can also try this!
X-Smoker(Vaper) Can also be Dehydration from Smoking
DISHWASHING LIQUID TO CUT GREASE WILL ALSO CUT IT ON UR HAIR
Potential Reasons for Greasy Hair ( for me) who has Normal/Dry Hair/Skin
- Recent X Smoker (toxin release)
- I moved to e-Cigarettes or for those into it, Mods/Atty's that use Glycerin which can dehydrate users IF they don't drink tons of water. When a body dehydrates as it does for smokers/Vapours, it will compensate by producing oil.
-Approaching mid age, could be hormones (pre Menopausal)
- Like some others, I had just gone trhough a drastic winter of 2014/15 and for first time felt flakes of dandruff from a dry scalp.
Used Head + Shoulders for about a month or two but then ran out and used some other nameless shampoo. Thats when problems began. Noticed at first and just thought i was not cleaning often enough, or was toxins from having quit smoking.
- Few weeks later, it no longer became clean with hair washing and felt oily hours later when dry OR within 20 hours since last shampoo.
- Saw this thread. Cant find Sauve as few sell it and ones that do, its a new "recipe" and not as good as the old original one. So I chose not to buy it but tried other Organic/Natural Apple Clairifying Shampoo from Walmart as it was the only clairfying shampoo I could find. + Listerine.
- Didnt help at all. Tried 3 days in a row.
- 4th day tried Head + Shoulders but it too did not work
- 5th day used Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid in Kitchen to gut grease on dishes.
VOILA it worked!!!!!! Did not feel the need for Listerine although I had some and used it other days, but this time just rinsed my hair in cooler water + hair is perfectly clean again.
- Will now watch to see IF i need to do it again OR as i suspect, the grease on my hair earlier was too much for anything to cut through but the Dishwashing liquid was the fix---but it can also dry out hair with repeated use so waiting to see if that one fix, fixed it for good or a month, etc.
- I have had clothes in the past that got olive oil on them that the best laundry detergents would not get out. When this happens, I take dishwashing liquid, any brand, that is meant to cut grease and I dab on oil spot and run it back through the washer a second time, using dishwashing liquid in place of laundry powdered soap and it cuts all grease so there was every reason to think it would work on hair and it did.
- I suspect ANY well known brand of dishwashing liquid will do but I would use their original one meant for cutting grease or oil, rather than newer recipe if it were me and not an organic dish washing liquid or other trendy product.
Classic Dishwashing Liquid to cut oil or grase is all you need. Its often green in color but can sometimes be pale yellow too. I tend to buy the green one.
- Once clean DRINK TONS OF WATER especially if you are a smoker, X smoker now an e-cigarette user and I suspect large number of people noticing this greasy hair problem will end it, once the grease has been cut.
- I suspect in my case, none of the shamppos were able to cut through the amount of grease on my hair and it had coated the strands and follicles but the dishwashing liquid cut right through it all.
- It might leave your hair a bit dry to the touch but first time Id let ie be.
IF you need to use it again, u might want to lightly run har conditioner through ends of your hair but DO NOT rub it into your scalp or hair close to yur head asi t will likely contribute to the problem.
WHILE DOING THIS, make sure you soap/wash your face 2x daily as this excessive oil on hair can also help to bring pimples out on your face, which might be just due to hair rubbing on the skin OR running fingers through greasy hair or touching it to double check its still greasy, gets onto fingers and then onto ones face so amp up your cleanliness regime and DRINK TONS OF WATER TO REHYDRATE AND CLEAN SYSTEM while undergoing all of this.
Try and cut back on all junk food and/or sugars, etc!
Meant to add that I was considered abnormal by all female friends for never ever having pimples at any point in my life but once I got greasy hair, I also got pimples.
I just stepped up my facial wasing routine and made sure that if I did anything that cuased me to sweat I immediately took a baby wipe type wipy thing and wiped it all over my face, especially in T-zone around my nose, which in my case had never been oily but were a few pimples were coming up and as soon as I started doing that, even before i cut the grease on my hair, I stopped getting them.
The ones I did get may have been less of it being oil that was coming out of my skin as it might have just been fingers from hair touching face and/or hair touching my face but whatever the cause the stepped up cleansing of my face helped immensely.
This is not to suggest I was not washing my face, initially well enough for I was and it had worked all of my life but once the oil/greasy hair issue began, it needed more than my usual routine.
There is an antifungal ingredient in the juice that I use for Vaping my electrical cigarettes. In fact it is used in hospitals through the air system as it dries out moisture, the cause of many a fungal infection.
]The fact that I was using this WHILE my hair developed tis grease problem tells me it hasnt anything at all to do wit a funal infection, but more likey for me and perhaps others, either hormonal OR dehydration.
I would question whether most that developed this grease problem were people that did not have a great water intake, and perhaps drank more pops and sodas, than water??!! Perhaps coffees more than water, etc??!!
Smokers de-hydrate as so those that take up Vaping through e-cigarettes that don't amp up their water intake.
Once deyhdration sets in the body often produces oil to make up for the dehydration which is why its an area I would question for yourself, but I woudl doubt it has anyting to do with where you lay your head which city you live in or wose blowdryer you used, at least in my opinion.
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