hair story

Oily scalp and hair loss

Hair roots come with sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance called sebum. In fact, this sebum benefits the hair but excessive sebum production is the cause for oily hair.

An oily scalp is caused by over-reactive sebaceous glands on the scalp. The oil attracts dirt more easily, produces dandruff, and makes your hair stick together. In the worst cases, the sebum glands clog the hair roots and may cause excessive hair loss and dandruff.

Causes of excess sebum secretion include genes, hormonal imbalances, humidity, diet, etc. Hormonal imbalances as found during pregnancy, menopause, or puberty can trigger an oily scalp. Some internal diseases can cause increased sebum secretion too.


The body regularly sheds dead skin cells as new cells are formed, which is a gradual and natural process. If this process speeds up, it produces excessive amounts of dead skin cells causing dandruff. In poor hygiene and neglected cases, Seborrheic Dermatitis or Scalp Eczema is formed.

Continued neglect can slowly lead it to become infected, causing the rough patches to become red, itchy and painful. Severe cases of patching on the scalp can result in a certain degree of peeling and hair loss. Sometimes, fungal infection makes the condition worse. Hair regrows when the infected and inflamed scalp areas are treated properly.

In Bangladesh, we are observing large numbers of neglected cases of oily scalp with infected Seborrheic Dermatitis resulting in hair loss. Sadly, before medical treatment, they try almost all old techniques (oil massage, castor oil, XYZ oil, E cap) which makes the situation worse and delays healing and treatment.


Scalp hygiene and care is very important; shampoo more frequently and use cool water.

Pick shampoos for oily scalps and dandruff, though these are only temporary solutions.

Scalp treatments are suggested according to cause. Usually 3-4 treatment sessions are required to completely cure the situation. Treatment of oily scalp with pH balancing delivers longer lasting results.

Eat a balanced diet of healthy fats and carbs.

Oral supplement of tab apple cider vinegar and fish oil is helpful.

Use a deep moisturising hair mask once a week.

Treat your scalp and hair once a month for oil control, pH balancing and removal of build-ups.

It is advisable to consult a trichologist if the problem is unmanageable and also for suggestions on correct hair care.


Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed