Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

Why is my scalp (at the crown) suddenly very oily?

I read other responses to a similar question.  I'm in my 40's and have always had normal hair.  About three days ago, this oily thing started.  First day, I washed my hair, conditioned it and dried it only to discover that the hair at the crown of my head was grossly oily.  I figured I over-conditioned it, so the next day I used conditioner only at the bottom of my hair.  Same problem.  Today, same problem.  Thinking back, the only thing I've done differently is to use Nice 'n Easy hair color instead of L'Oreal but this was about 10 days ago.  Although, I must admit, my hair was too dark and I used Dawn dw liquid and then Pantene Clarifying Shampoo to try and fade the color faster - both pretty stressful to hair.  Any ideas from folks with the same problem?  Does this go away??

This discussion is related to suddenly oily hair that won't correct.
98 Responses
Avatar universal

Try to observe the scalp condition and this time do frequently shampoo your hair. Vigorous shampooing may be able to help. I would think that this may be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. If that is the case, it  may be caused by stress and weather. Seborrheic dermatitis has also been associated with fungal or yeast infections.

Try to frequently and vigorously wash your hair. This may help alleviate the conditions.

Avatar universal
This same thing happened to me for like a week, and I kept trying diffrent things to get rid of it, but I finally found something that worked.  I got a shampoo with tea tree oil in it and really scrubbed my scalp, and it was not oily anymore.  I would suggest trying this.  You can get Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo.
Avatar universal
I have this same thing, and though it *****, I'm relieved to find others with the same problem!  Mine started out of nowhere, a small spot on the crown of my head, and gradually grew over a week or so.  The only thing that helps for me is using Neutrogena shampoo and no conditioner.  The shampoo completely strips the hair and scalp.  You rub it into your hair, and just leave it on your scalp in the shower for quite a few minutes.  This made it much better, but it dries the hair out.  I read another discussion on here that maybe relates this problem to Garnier Fructis shampoo (in the tall lime green bottles).  I've used this shampoo for about a year and haven't thought of switching.  I'm going to try a new shampoo and conditioner and see what happens.  I also don't use any hair product and no medications, which I've heard people suggest could be a problem.  Also, stress, but I have very little stress right now.  This problem has come back about every 6 months for me, but it's been more frequent lately.  It *****!
Avatar universal
Just wanted to let people know that the word that seems to be blanked out in my previous post is not a swear word or anything close to it, and I have no idea why it's being censored.  The word is what a vacuum cleaner does to pick up a mess.  So instead of using that word, which we apparently can't say, I'll replace it by saying "It's not fun!"  :-)
626901 tn?1261876405
may i suggest to both of you that you try a professional shampoo called nioxin.  it contains tea tree oil, but unlike a lot of those shapoos, there are different formulas so you can play around a bit and find the one the works best for you.  I use the one for colored hair myself and it controls my dry scalp and my oily hair.  Many salons have sample bottles that you can get for free to see if it helps.
Avatar universal
I am having the exact same problem. It started Saturday morning, I thougth I hadn't gotten the conditioner out of my hair it was mainly in my bangs, now today Monday it has traveled from my bangs through the crown of my head. I tried changing shampoo, changing the brush I use, washing my hair with vinegar, washing it with Ketoconazole shampoo. Nothing seems to work. I also dyed my hair with Nice n' Easy 8 days before this started. It has progressively gotten worse each day.  I am going to try using a baking soda paste in the morning. Maybe that will help. I am wondering if it has something to do with the Nice n' Easy (although I've used that brand before and never had an issue) I use Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner daily. (I only use conditioner on the ends)
Avatar universal
Me too!  (oily crown)

I'm 47.  I've done absolutely nothing different than I have for years.  I too, thought it was unrinsed conditioner but after 3 shampoos I still can't get rid of the oil at the crown of my head.  SOMEONE out there has to know what this is about and WHY it happens and HOW to get rid of it.  I hate it.
Avatar universal
I'm 69 and my hair started getting oily a couple of weeks ago. It's driving me crazy. I tried changing my shampoo from Dove Pro Age to Herbal Essence, but it didn't help. I'm going to try bar soap next. Who'd think you'd have greasy hair at my age?
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I also have had this condition which started very suddenly for about a month.  I'm 39.   Same as the other members,  it started on the crown of my head.  No amount of shampooing with regular shampoo will wash this sticky nasty substance out.  I will try the suggested shampoos from the other members:  'Paul Mitchells Tea Tree Oil, and Neutrogena'.  

I have come to realize though,  that this hair problems started a week after I started taking Natures Own Omega 3 ultra super strenght fish oil.   Yes,  I should have probably made the connection weeks ago but I didn't.   I'm going to stop the fish oils and see if the hair returns to its non-greasy original state....
Avatar universal
I had this problem.  It plagued me for 2 months.  I finally quit using any conditioner whatsoever for about a month.  The spot gradually went away.  Then I slowly reintroduced conditioner to see if it would come back.  It's been about a month now and I'm back to my regular hair-cair regemin with no sign of the problem returning.  I still have no idea what happened, but I'm glad it's gone and hope it never comes back.
Avatar universal
I, too, had this happen very suddenly.  I thought I hadn't rinsed well, or there was something on the head wrap.  I can't get rid of it.  So when someone finds a solution--please post it.
1028559 tn?1252111967
I've read all your posts and it seems that no one knows the answer to this question.  I am 62 and have had excessively dry hair all my life!  So, for the crown of my scalp to suddenly become oily really worried me.  I am on heart medication and was looking to see if that might be the cause.  I've used Nice and Easy color too but I've used it for years.  This started about 2 months ago.  I did just like everyone else...washed all my hairstyling tools...changed shampoo...made sure all the conditioner was rinsed out...all to no avail.  I hope someone can come up with some kind of answer or at least a solution to this problem.
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions