Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Mystery of the Greasy Scalp

Okay, I know. The title is, well, disgusting. But you guys. Seriously, it has been quite a life-altering mystery. But since as of Friday it has been solved, I feel secure enough in my self-worth to share.

It all started a few months ago. I would wash and condition my hair and then blow-dry, as I had every day since like 9th grade (late bloomer, I know). But then one day a few months ago, there was this oily spot right on the crown of my head - right after I washed and blow-dried. I was like, "What the heck?" So, I talked to my fancy Aveda salon hair lady and she suggested that I only put conditioner on the bottom half of my hair, we got a different shampoo, etc etc and..... no change. In fact, it started getting worse. Now, this had never been a problem for me before. I've never dealt with an oily head. But in the last two years I have switched to a more natural shampoo with much less lather, so I was guessing it had something to do with the shampoo.

So what did I do? Confession: I started using baby powder. I know. Shame of all shames. But you guys. I had no other option. I could NOT get my hair un-oily. And the baby powder was a good temporary fix. It soaked that oil right up... for a while.

These shenanigans went on for several weeks until one day I was sitting in my boss's chair at work, you know, wearing the boss pants, and diligently working. (Okay, he may or may not have been standing over my shoulder telling me to do stuff.) Ha. Anyway, the ole boss man is rather tall, and with me sitting down, he had quite the bird's eye view of the top of my head. And let me tell you, that was NOT a pretty picture. I had used significantly more baby powder that day because, well, pardon the pun, it was all coming to a head and the oil was getting out of control.

So what did my ever-encouraging boss say to me after looking at my head? He said, "What is UP with your HAIR?!"

And that, my dear friends, is when it all hit the fan. I was found out. A fraud. I had a disgustingly oily head. And I was disguising it with baby powder - apparently too much baby powder.

I had no choice. I had to come clean. I told him what I had been doing, thus explaining the white gunk that had built up on the top of my head, that clearly I couldn't see, but he could.

He did what every other good boss would do and started looking up "oily scalp" on google. Let me tell ya, do not look up your symptoms on the internet, unless you want to be diagnosed with 1. cancer, or 2. an incredibly rare skin disease. By the end of the day, I was convinced I had a serious medical condition.

So the next day I wasn't going to let the oily hair win. I washed my hair MULTIPLE times in the shower and used NO conditioner. And what happened? Nothing. Well, Oily Scalp Award happened again.

I knew this called for drastic measures. Forget the natural shampoo; this was a crisis. So I bought Classic Pantene. I washed my hair at night and again the next morning, more than once. And I scrubbed. And lathered, rinsed, and repeated. And... voila. No oil.

Seriously you guys. No oil. So, I thought, maybe my hair just needed to be stripped of that oil and then it would all be okay. But as soon as I went back to the fancy shampoo, the grease ball made another appearance.

So this Friday I went to my hair lady and told her that we have a problem. I told her the story. I told her about the baby powder. She was my priest; I was in confession. I could tell she was trying to maintain an "everything you are telling me is completely normal" face while inside she was screaming "YOU PUT BABY POWDER IN YOUR HAIR AND ARE USING PANTENE?!!!!" But, she knows that this whole fancy salon concept is rather new to me, so she graciously asked me how much shampoo I was using. I said I was using a nickel size amount or so. And there you have it.

Apparently I should be using a half- to dollar sized amount. Apparently I should also be getting my hair so wet that as soon as I put the shampoo on I can get a good lather. Okay, who knew? All I knew is that this shampoo was expensive and if I was going to use it, I was going to have to make it last. I could make a little bitty bottle last several months, people. I am a penny pincher deluxe.

So I went home after that haircut, put a big ole dollop of that shampoo in my very wet hair, and glory be, I had a really soapy lather. I rinsed. I blow dried, and I swear to you, I could have been on shampoo commercial. I'm pretty sure there was cheeseball music playing in the back ground as I finished my hair with my texturizing product. I might have danced around. I might have screamed. It was such an out of body experience, I don't even know remember what I did. What I do know is that the crisis is solved - my hair was no longer oily. At all. In fact, it looked pretty awesome. Thank you, Lord.

I also know this post is ridiculously long and pretty out of control. But I had to share just in case I could change someone else's life.

One question: Has anyone seen the show "New Girl" on Fox? OMG I LOVE it. K thanks.

Happy Tuesday!



  1. Yay for solving the problem!!

    So tell me the difference/benefit of a natural shampoo; I've been wondering.

  2. I'm glad you figured it out, and I'm glad it wasn't any of the terrible things Jeff found with Google.

  3. LOVE New Girl. Doug told me that I'm her, and I'm not really sure it was a compliment since she's pretty dorky, haha...;)

    Congrats on the hair revelations. Although if it was me, I might just switch over to good ol' Pantene since it is cheap! :) That's one thing I've always done, paid good money for my hair cuts and hair color (well, I still found a reasonably priced gal, but regardless, I leave those two things to the professionals), and then I just use Garnier Fructis from WalMart, and thank goodness it's been working out great.

  4. My hair sylist would have said the same thing about Pantene. She hates it. But she also won't let me buy name brand shampoo at Marshall's/ Ross either...

    I kind of had a similar problem a while back, so I can totally understand! My issue was that my curly hair isn't supposed to be washed more than 2ish times a week, and due to working out I was washing it every day, causing more and more oil to be produced. It sucked.

    You go to they gym frequently, right? So I want to know why no one has invented a line of hair care products for the gym rats....

  5. which shampoo did you use to get rid of it exactly? I've been having this problem all week and i'm so frustrated and tired of lather rinse repeat!

  6. I have been searching the internet because I have had the same problem for months... I figured it was hormones, but I realize I just use a pinch of shampoo and barely get a good lather. I'm going to use a lot... right now! This has been ruining my life, I always look and feel dirty!

  7. It worked. I am so mortified to think that this cause of great distress was from improper washing?!?! Did the problem clear for good or return?

  8. For the past week I've had an oily patch too (not the first time)! I use a natural Shampoo and was worried that it may have been causing the problem. I Googled about it this evening and found your post. I've just shampooed (with more than I normally use), scrubbed well, rinsed in apple cider vinegar (I use this as my conditioner anyway), blow dryed. .. and done! My hair is awesome:-) Thanks so much for your post! !


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