Suddenly Greasy Hair

suddenly oily hair that won't correct

I think it is something autoimmune that doesn't have a name yet

My reply to the following questions on oily hair at the crown of head

I suspect you are dealing with something autoimmune.  It does seem odd.  There are autoimmune issues related to follicles. The first poster commented on having perioral dermatitis & rosacea both of which are follicle disorders & probably autoimmune. A couple of posters commented on having used epoxy spray paint or having paint / stain exposures.  I think the harmful component in those is the same as the harmful component in carpet cleaning.  So avoid BUTYL or 2-butoxyethanol.  Gamma globulin is given as a help to those with sudden onset Kawasaki disease, and I found that it also helps for autoimmune action on platelets (which is similar autoimmune action as that against the red blood cells).  So avoid this chemical & maybe symptoms will subside or back off.

I found some info on Seborrhea of the Scalp.  "Sebum is the oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands in the skin. This "skin oil" has a protective function of keeping skin from losing moisture and becoming excessively dry, and providing a layer of defense against potentially infectious micro-organisms. Seborrhea is the medical term for excessive production of sebum," "Because the largest sebaceous glands are on the face, scalp and groin, these areas are subject to become excessively oily due to seborrhea. All sebaceous glands distribute sebum through a connection to hair follicles, making sebaceous glands and hair follicles the functional units for dispensing sebum to the surface of the skin. The anatomical proximity of sebaceous glands and hair follicles explains why oily skin and oily hair usually occur together in seborrhea."

I have seen so many responses to this same problem, surely someone would have a solution already.
1 week ago I washed my hair to find it still greasy on the top, never happened before.
My hair dresser also suggested checking hormone levels, which I have done and they have come back as normal
Please let me know if anyone has found a solution. jamo40  1-20-09
I am 31 years old and had very few dermatological problems in the past, save perioral dermatitis and rosacea.  In the past week, the crown are of my head became VERY oily feeling.  Even immediately after washing my hair.  The rest of my hair is normal, only around the crown of my scalp.  I went to my salon and they did a detoxifying treatment which did not solve the problem.  Nothing has changed in the last couple weeks that I can think of.  I have been exercising quite a bit more.  I used an epoxy spray paint two weeks ago and did not protect my hair.  I showered that night to wash out any overspray.  Can you please help me??  I look like I have not washed that part of my hair in weeks! jeepgirl 12-30-05
I am experiencing the exact same sudden oily phenomenon as jeepgirl.  I am 41 and have no real skin disorders, ailments or other; I did just have surgery a month and a half ago and have wondered if the anesthetic (general) had anything to do with it.  If you have any info in this regard I would love to know.  1-12-06
I am 25 and am having that same problem.  It just started happening.  I have tried washing my hair twice no conditioner and it still looks horrible. my mom reminded me that this happened to me when I was younger and our hair dresser suggested Prell, because it will strip your hair.  Well I tried that and it didn't work, so I decided to use something stronger.  I used a bar of Irish spring soap and now my hair isn't oily.  Not sure how long it will last, but it worked for today.  1-12-06
Very odd, isnt it? I woke up one day about 1-1/2 weeks ago and had the very same problem. It started as a 1 or 2 inch spot at the crown of my head an has steadily gotten larger (most of the top of my head) and is very oily and gross! I've never had oily hair in my life and this is really very embarrassing! Even right after I wash my hair, it's so oily it leaves my hands oily. It's horrible!! Somebody has to know what this is!!  1-30-06
I have the same problem too... and it just happened 3 days ago.  cbabb, would you please tell me where can I buy the Irish soap bar?  I'm also going to see a dr today and hopefully, there'll be a solution and will keep you posted if I got anything from the dr.  Is anyone's situation getting better?  I'm just so worried that I'll have to be stuck with the forever oily hair for the rest of my life... 1-30-06  The problem is going away after I washed with Prell.  Though it might not work for some of you as mentioned in the previous mesgs, it might worth a try since different people reacts differently and have different level of severity for the problem.  Another thing is, my dr. said this could be caused by stress, which in turn, affects the hormone and causes the production of excess oil.  I know it's not new, but I'm just providing some additional info.  Good luck to you all. 2-3-06
I am having the same exact problem.  It just appeared out of the blue.. I've tried so many things in the last 2 days.. I just don't know what else to do.  I can't think of anything strange that I have encountered lately and I havent changed anything else either.  Has anyone found anything out yet??  1-31-06
Fellow sufferers, finally! I have been searching for you! (Sorry, though, that anyone is experiencing this). I first had the condition in June. No hairdresser, dermatologist, or online resource recognized it.  I was told I just had waxy product build-up (I use no product), and to wash with Head and Shoulders.  Didn't work.  'It' ran its course over about a week and a half, and gradually cleared up.  It is back again, yesterday affecting about a square inch, and today spread over the entire crown.  Bad news:  I believe it is an infection of some sort, and CONTAGIOUS.  In June, a coworker showed me this mysterious waxy/oily thing with her hair, a thing what in the world it could be. 1 week later, I had the same strange condition.  A few weeks after her incident, her 6 yr old daughter experienced it. 2-2-06
Irish spring soap you can get at any store, I think.  Or you could use Zest, just something strong that would dry your skin out.  The week that I got it, was a week after my boyfriend of 5 years broke up, and I was talking to a friend about the spot on my head, and she said that she had that too, and it happened to be about the time her and her boyfriend broke up.  So I am thinking that maybe it is a stress related thing.  I dunno.  I just know that about once a week I have been using the bar soap and it has helped a lot.
I am a 34 year old woman and just started experiencing the same problem a couple of weeks ago.  The shampoo/conditioners I use are in tall lime green bottles (Fruit something) that I purchased at Costco. I wanted to mention that incase we are all using a similar product.  As one person wrote - I too had been exposed to some paint and stain fumes at home for about a week.  I'm not sure if that can have such an effect on hair. Let's face it we can blame just about anything on stress - but I have not been under any more stress than usual lately. There must be a stronger shampoo on the market that will have the same results as the Irish Spring Bar of soap, without costing a fortune.  Although at this point I'd be willing to pay extra to get rid of this problem.  I'm glad to hear I'm not alone out there - good luck to each of you and may me find a solution soon! ~ ekb in Laguna Hills, California   2-3-06
I'm very confused. It seems in another forum that this was caused by Garnier's Fructis shampoo.  However, I don't use that shampoo.  I use Lux and Vidal Sassoon.  So what is this?  I have had it for four days now and it won't go away.  Very scared...  8-10-07
I am so glad to have found this site - the same thing started about 2-3 weeks ago to me, firstly I thought I hadn't washed product out of my hair, then I changed shampoos - nothing helped. I seriously believe this is hormonal - it scares me to think this could be early menopause - I am only 30, but I do believe this has something to do with our hormones. I am not overly stressed, however I have had some stressful moments the past few years, and currently I am feeling the best I have felt in years, and I have spoken to my friend who is a naturpath who says it could possibly be just my body's way of letting go of stress. Us women go thru way too much if you ask me!  I don't know what is fully behind this BUT I am determined to find out how to at least get rid of this horrible oily hair! I feel dirty and unwashed!  Sydney - Aus 8-12-07
suddenly oily hair that won't correct  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.)   2-19-08
I have all the sudden gotten an oily/waxy scalp at the crown of my head. It is oily even right after I wash it.  This has been going on for about 2 weeks and I know it is not because I am washing my hair wrong or not rinsing enough.  Does anyone else have this problem and how long does it last?  3-14-08
Has anyone discovered an answer yet?  I have all the same symptoms as everyone else and haven't discovered anything to make the oil go away!  8-17-08 
Last Wednesday, after a particularly stressful few days and a 48 hour stomach virus I awoke with extremely oily hair.  I, too, wash and condition my normally dry hair everyday.  I, too, went to my Dr. who put me on Zoloft.  It's been a week tomorrow and it is no better.  In fact, it is worse - it started in the top and then went to the left side, etc.  No one I have talked to has ever heard of this.  I have a call in to my GYN but after reading the postings above, I believe I will contact a dermatologist. 9-9-08
I have the same symptoms. Suddenly waxy feeling hair at the crown of my head and within days now it is going more toward the top and right of my head. I too shower daily and have taken extra time to make sure I am rinsing thoroughly and I have used head and shoulders to see if it helped but it seemed worse that day. Did anyone find an answer?  It's crazy!  9-18-08
Around September my hair became very oily at the crown of my head. The second week in October I had my gallbladder out. about 10 to 14 days later my hair cleared up. I was thrilled. One week before Christmas my hair became oily again, and continues to get worse. I am still experiencing some pain in my stomach, could this mean that I'm still sick? I'm really scared. Does this mean I need to have something else removed to have beautiful hair again, ha ha.? I definitely believe my hair is oily because something is wrong with me. Someone please try to give me an answer!   1-5-09
I think you are being exposed to the autoimmune causing chemical in cleaning products/ paint, etc

BUTYL or 2-butoxyethanol. It is too strong in carpet cleaning & many other products

Do you recall a flu or ongoing 'cold?'

That is what exposure looks like

Also early on signs of gall bladder issues often with removal goes with the pattern

as do the Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome symptoms ... CFS, FM

What kind of work do you do?

New people in your life

Do you have FATIGUE? headaches?

some thoughts I have for help

I think this oily hair is some type of autoimmune issue that doesn't have a name yet
seborrheic dermatitis?

Follicle Disorders Content Feedback: Perioral dermatitis

The structure from which each hair grows is called a follicle. Muscles, oil glands (sebaceous glands), and nerves extend from the follicle into the next layer of the skin the dermis.  Perioral dermatitis (POD) is a disorder of the follicles in which pink bumps (papules) appear around the mouth and sometimes around the eyes. Rosacea is a disorder of the follicles and surrounding skin that usually occurs on the forehead, nose, and chin.  Follicle Disorders -  folliculitis: infection and inflammation of the hair follicles;  keratosis pilaris (KP) is a condition in which the hair follicles become blocked with hair and dead cells.  Autoimmune Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)  Milia is a condition that produces tiny white bumps on the face under the surface of the skin. The bumps are caused by the retention of old skin cells and oily material within hair follicles.
Diseases of Autoimmune or Unknown Origin Affecting the Scalp ... A greasy- looking scalp is unsightly and excessively oily hair is both unattractive and ...
Healthchannels forum, An online health community from, Inc. ... Autoimmune Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata) Lichen Planopilaris. Lupus and Hair Loss ...


I think it is something autoimmune that doesn't have a name yet