Avatar universal

suddenly oily hair that won't correct

This discussion is related to suddenly oily hair that won't correct.

Question to the Dr.  

Could this be overactive sebaceous glands?  I have had sebaceous cysts in the past.  Could excessive sweating cause this to happen.  Sweating dries out the skin, therefore causing the glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss?  When your stressed, you sweat.  During menopause, you sweat.  In the summer, you sweat.  If your febrile, you sweat.

I am a 38 year old female and also started experiencing a heavy oily area around the crown of my head about 3 1/2 weeks ago.  I asked my Dr. and  he acted as if I was crazy.  He suggested I use Neutrogena shampoo once a week, which I started yesterday.  To add to the other comments....I am extremely stressed (thought that was it).  I am going through peri-menopause.  I have not changed shampoos in 15 years (I alternate head and shoulders and Pantene).  I have never had any problems with oily skin or oily hair ever.  I wash my hair daily and condition.  I have not changed my daily regimen in 2 years

One thing I have tried was applied Shower to Shower powder to my hair before going to bed and washed out in the morning (not the sexiest looking thing at night but it helps).  It drastically reduced the oil, but came back 2 days later.  The only thing I worry about is clogging the glands that are producing the oil, so I don't do it daily...maybe once a week.  I will try the Irish Spring soap, that will not clog the glands...just dry out the hair.  Another suggestion I haven't tried was go to a good hair dresser who has shampoos that change the PH balance of your hair (If this goes on another month I will try this.  It's kinda drastic.)

206 Responses
Avatar universal
Re: listerine

what a fantastic idea! thank you so much for suggesting it. i had the same inexplicable problem for 2 weeks, and tonight i did what was suggested with listerine, only substituting suave clarifying shampoo with neutrogena anti-residue shampoo. felt a strong tingling sensation as the listerine was settling in - it must have been the strength of the alcohol that dissolved most of the greasy gunk. i couldn't stand feeling the clumps of grossness even after washing my hair. unbelievable.

fingers crossed this won't strike again!
Avatar universal
I too have this sudden onset of oily/waxy hair only on the crown of my head.

I am 30 years old and have washed my hair the same way for the last 15 years.

I will give the listerine a try tonight but...


strange that it happens overnight and with no real other symptoms.
Avatar universal
I have had this same issue off and on since I was 19.  There seems to be no research out there on this topic, and I think a doctor really needs to study this phenomenon because it seems to happen to women across all walks of life.

In every post I've read across multiple message boards, everyone says that there was no change in hair care or diet - so I have to think this is a chemical imbalance of some sort.  There's just no other explanation for so many people having this exact same persistent problem without a real definite cause.  Everyone's symptoms are the same, and like the wax on my head, the mystery only continues to build.

The waxy greasy spot (centralized only around the crown of the head) will not wash out, despite washing, rinsing, and repeating multiple times.  The waxy/greasiness is still there when you step out of the shower, no matter how hard you scrub.  I'm tired of living in pony tails, I want my long pretty hair back!  The only thing I've found that works is spraying some "goo gone" adhesive remover onto my scalp and then rinsing out well - although this only provided mild relief and I don't think it's entirely safe... I'm definitely going to try the Listerine method tonight.  

If anyone has been to a doctor who has been able to provide any relevant information on the topic I'd really like to know!  I'm considering making an appointment myself, but due to the economy my company recently changed insurance to a very terrible HMO... so I'm basically without medical care unless it's an absolute emergency.  Hopefully someone stumbles across a reason for this condition instead of just another home remedy.
Avatar universal
you guys are my HEROES!!  all my life i have had thick curly hair, never had a problem, have dyed it off and on for years, and if anything its been on the dry side from time to time, just at the ends... until 3 days ago.

for 3 days i've been freaking out because all of a sudden at the crown of my head has been an incredibly oily patch, just like all of you.  it was disgusting, it looked horrible, felt horrible, and made me feel terrible.  so i did a search and came across your posting and thought, what do i have to loose.

it totally worked.  i used the Neutrogena Triple Renewal Weekly Cleanser and the regular Listerine and it totally worked.  i am beyond happy.  the only thing i would suggest is that i did get some Listerine in my eyes so i would recommend a buddy to help or to tilt your head backwards.  however, the tingling feeling on the scalp was actually really nice.

i'll post back again if for some reason the problem comes back after a couple of days, but so far so good.  if you dont hear back from me then it really is a great one time fix!

thanks again everyone!
Avatar universal
First of all Listerine is an anticeptic and anything in that line like Sea Breeze as long as there is no sulfa or peroxide involved.  I have forty five years of hairstyling experience and we have used Listerine for many decades.  It can be used on your face and for vaginal itching.  You may want to dilute it with water before applying anywhere, half and half or 3 part Listerine and 1 part water.  The correct way to shampoo your hair is not scrubbing harshly with your finger tips like most people do when they feel they have a scalp problem but use both hands and massage your scalp by opening and closing your fingers while moving over the scalp.  This will release the good oil for your scalp thus giving beautiful hair.  I may add harsh shampoos and hard water build-up are not helping matters.  A good sulfate free shampoo is an excellent choice and if your hair dresser is serious about your hair they will discount or even try the trial sizes until you are happy with a product.  If they are not interested in the health of your hair, you may want to ask others to recommend someone to you that does.  The price you pay for experimenting with various remedies without success can cost more than an experienced hairstylist.  I cannot use products with cocconut oil or sulfates because these cause open lesions on my scalp, yes we have allergies too.  I also see an allergist and dermotologist.  I wish the best for you all because your hair is your crown and glory and the first thing others notice about you.
Avatar universal
what would happen if i used crest pro health..im visiting a friend and its all they have in their bathroom
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