Sticky residue on hair no matter what I wash it in

by Dee

My hair has developed a residue that makes it look oily even after I wash it. I can tell while I am drying it with the dryer that it still has the problem.

I have used every shampoo available from my local drug store and still can't get rid of this problem. It feels as though I haven't rinsed the shampoo or conditioner out. It's normally long black silky strands now it's just a clump and is sticky!


Here is a general article with advice on how to deal with oily hair.

List of Solutions (Based on your comments and contributions)

Read also:
A Meditation on my Experiences with Sticky Hair since the 1970s

Oily Hair and Possible Solutions

- Contributed stories by people who experienced oily hair

Comments for Sticky residue on hair no matter what I wash it in

Add to discussion or post comments

Oct 13, 2016
UK - Fairy Liquid
by: Shelby

I had this problem and it was making me so upset!

Last night I went and bought fairy liquid, I decided to buy one that did not have as many harsh chemicals and I used about 4 pumps on my hair last night - just my crown and avoided the ends.

My hair instantly felt better even while I was working the fairy liquid in! I woke up this morning and my hair is FINALLY back to normal!

I would recommend this to anyone if you have that sticky greasy residue that you can't get rid off.

Thanks for giving me answers.

Oct 06, 2016
Finally got rid of it!
by: Anonymous

I got my sticky waxy hair from 3 months of using a shampoo with essential oil daily and didn't recognise the warning signs that it was drying my scalp out till too late. Tried over 20 shampoos (paul m, tea tree, clarifying, nourishing, neutrogena, nioxin, klorane, conditioner, dandruff etc) as well as remedies like ACV (oozed even more wax!)& mouthwash to no avail (though admittedly only using each for 1-2 times before moving on). The clarifying shampoos only dried out the scalp/hair without removing the wax and nourishing shampoos added to the difficulty of drying my hair.

Since my hair didn't dry well, the moist scalp environment triggered my dermatitis flare-up. Dry shampoo was my best friend since it at least made my hair look normal and not like I'm walking around with a wet head of hair. Been through 3 doctors (who can tell me nothing except prescribing steroids for my dermatitis) and scalp detox treatments (2-4 sessions each) by 2 salons but waxy hair always back on 2nd day post-session. Only thing I didn't try was baking soda and Dawn (though I did try facial wash) for fear of making my dermatitis worse.

Finally used a shampoo with silicon (Bioken Enfanti) which I've avoided for the longest time, thinking since it will coat hair, it might at least make my scalp less moist and susceptible to dermatitis. And so it did and after a while, I find that certain patches of hair near the scalp were dry after blow-drying though the rest was still covered in sticky, which made me think it might just need a last push. Went for a salon's Aveda scalp treatment (essential oil massage, shampoo - Rosemary Mint & scalp conditioner - Aveda Men Pure-Formance Conditioner) and after months of persistent sticky hair, I am finally rid of it and one week counting. Hope it keeps up!

Oct 05, 2016
Vatika shampoo

Even i was facing the same problem. I tried apple cider veniger, but it didnt work. then i tried Vatika shampoo which contains cactus & garlic. with the single wash my hair came to normal. you guys also can try this. Vatika shampoo worked for me.. hope it will work fr you too.. all the best everyone.

Oct 03, 2016
Reason why
by: Anonymous

Okay so I have had this issue and there's an article about it. So it could be one of two reasons why your hair might be sticky. 1: putting too much leave in product in your hair. 2: not washing your hair frequently. If you just keep washing your hair and rinsing it out thoroughly then it should go away after awhile.

Sep 30, 2016
Use Johnson's No More Tears Shampoo!!!!
by: Anonymous

Leaves hair soft and shiny. I also noticed I shed less hair when brushing it.

Sep 24, 2016
I used dish washing liquid!!
by: Anonymous

2-3 days age I used normal oil on my hair that I often use. But next day I applied shampoo and when my hair dried I noticed that they are still so oily. At first I though I haven't wash out the shampoo well. No next day I again applied shampoo in my hair and washed it pretty well. But it was so surprising that my hair still looked so oily and it felt very sticky when I touched my hair. I couldn't find any reason behind this problem. i googled my problem and found this forum this morning. Seeing the discussion I decided to use dish washing liquid and I did so. The sticky see has decreased a lot but haven't fully gone. Whatever the condition is better now. Alhamdulillah. Thanks to the people who gave the suggestions.
May be applying the same process tomorrow will help me get rid of this problem completely In Sha Allah.

Sep 24, 2016
Dawn Detergant
by: Anonymous

After reading all the posts I realized I was not the only one suffering from a coating on my hair after dying it.
So I trotted out to the kitchen and grabbed my bottle of Dawn dish soap. I figured my hair could not get worse than it already was! Well to my pleasant worked!! I could tell that after I washed my hair felt quite stripped so I slathered on some conditioner and let it sit for about five minutes. I rinsed and blow dried and everything was A Okay!!

Sep 14, 2016
Hair extensions
by: Anonymous

I have this problem now on my human hair extensions, feels and looks coated with something, feels & looks awful no matter what shampoo & conditioner I use! I can tell as soon as I blow dry it. I first noticed this after I'd dyed it at home. I'm going to try some washing up liquid & a good conditioner tonight!

Sep 12, 2016
tried and tested
by: Anonymous

I get this condition once every 4-5 months particularly when i am stressed out.
Stressing out and washing your hair over and over again makes it worse so tip # 1: don't panic your hair will be fine. Tip #2: don't wash them repeatedly!

I found a cure that works like magic..every single time.. It might seem gross but it helps so why not:)
1 egg, 1 tablespoon yogurt and half a tablespoon mustard seed oil ( i think any oil will work but i use this)
Mix all well.
Put it in your hair...let it sit for 1-2 hours or until dry!
Shower the usual way shampooing twice to get rid of that egg and voila you have hair as soft as never before..with no wax at all!

I have tried it many times and it works every-time:):)

Sep 04, 2016
Washing up liquid
by: Anonymous

I had the exact same problem, I could only tell that it was still sticky when I started drying it with a blow dryer. I have very long thick hair which I take care of a lot and get regular hair cuts to keep it healthy and thick at the ends but when my hair started getting sticky (especially at the roots) I was considering getting all cut off. I decided to look it up to see if anyone else he the same problem and came across this website where I read in the comments to use washing up liquid I was a little skeptical to do it as I was worried it would dry out my hair but I decided to try it anyway. As I was washing my hair with it my hair started feeling dry but after putting conditioner on it it felt fine again. When I started to dry it I could tell the sticky substance had gone. I am so thankful I looked on this site because no matter what shampoo I used it didn't work
I totally recommend trying the washing up liquid, it worked for me now my hair is soft and back to normal.

Aug 29, 2016
Hard water
by: Anonymous

Try washing your hair somewhere else (with a different water source) or use bottled water. Hard water will build up on your hair and make it act just as you've described. It happened ultimate me, and I thought the salon screwed up my color somehow and damaged my hair. I showered at the gym one day. Difference was day and night.

Aug 23, 2016
Dishsoap for the win!
by: Anonymous

I had my hair dyed from an almost white blond to dark brown and it felt great for a few days and then after probably the second wash it got this heavy, play doe type feel to it. It lost all its texture and I had to start wearing it up every day because it looked so greasy and nasty. I just read a comment about the dishsoap and felt desperate so I gave it a try. It freaking worked!! I put a hair mask on it afterwards and it honestly feels like it used to again. Thank you !

Aug 23, 2016
dishwashing liquid worked!!!!
by: Anonymous

my hair became sticky like that for 2 days and i cleaned it again because i think maybe the shampoo didnt wash out well but after i wash it , it still like that so i google it and i see that its not only me that met this problem and i decided to use dishwashing liquid and rinse it off and put hair conditioner on it and WOLAAAA! it worked just wow omg and i feel so soft right now and i wish that my hair wouldnt meet that kind of problem anymore

Aug 21, 2016
Nizoral - A Lifesaver for Greasy Hair
by: Anonymous

My hair went through almost year with this weird sticky greasy feel to it, it was gross, even after I showered and washed it, it still looked limp and greasy, and it was also losing a lot of strands. What I didn't know was it was the result of a surgery I had three months before and also changing hormones due to perimenopause. Apparently, the anesthetic used in surgery (whether awake or asleep) has a weird effect on your hair, causing your hair to fall out, get extra greasy and limp. combined with hormones out if whack, it's a double wammy. I tried everything, dish soap, apple vinegar cider, tea-tree shampoo, anything and everything. The ONLY thing that worked was something I found in the dandruff aisle - it's called NIZORAL - and you only need a few drops lather, wash and rinse then do your regular shampoo. Your hair will dry up and be fuller and better. Only use Nizoral twice a week as it's very strong. Once whatever it is that's making your hair freak out and go weird is gone, you can stop using the Nizoral, and just use it occasionally on those extra greasy weeks during your period.

Aug 18, 2016
by: Anonymous

I got a build up of hairspray for using it daily and regular shampoo did mot remove the sticky waxy feel.I googled and researched what's in hairspray . Found out that most hairsprays contain acetates and copolymers , they are glue ingredients .

Aug 06, 2016
Dishwashing liquid and baking soda
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much u guys, for your advice! My scalp has been itchy and my hair has been greasy and clumpy as if I hadn't rinsed it properly, for about 2 weeks! I was so scared to put dishwashing liquid in my hair as I have a wedding to go to today so if it flopped, it would be a bad day for it to flop in, but I was desperate! So I mixed it with some baking soda and wow! Squeaky clean and soft! Also, your comments have made me realize it's my hair dye conditioner I've been using at gym (because of the small bottle size). Also, thanks for bringing my attention to the panthenol-i have noticed that the shampoo that makes my hair feel sticky contains pantheon lol. I'm so grateful to u marvellous ladies! Xx

Jul 27, 2016
Baking Soda Works
by: Anonymous

I had that sticky dreadful waxy coating on my hair where it looked as if the shampoo wasn't washed out of it and forget blow drying it. It was like trying to blow wave greasy hair. This was mostly on the top of my head. I washed my hair with the normal shampoo and conditioner that I use - towel dried it, made a paste up of bio-carb soda and water and massaged it through my hair (like I would have done with a treatment) - leave for 10 minutes, wash out and wha-la!! No residue. Hair was soft and back to normal

Jul 15, 2016
Baking Soda Fix
by: Charlotte

This post has been so useful for suggestions! I have had this issue for about a month now, I have very fine, thin hair and it was very obvious and I felt very self conscious about it. I tried the apple cider vinegar method which did nothing for me. For a quick fix I then tried the baking soda method in which I mixed approx 2tbsp of baking soda with about 100ml of water and poured it over my head when wet and thoroughly rinsed followed by a soft shampoo. My hair does feel dry which I did expect but can say that I'm really not bothered because the greasy residue is completely gone! I intend to use coconut oil in a few days on the ends of my hair to try and add some moisture back in. I'm going to switch my shampoo/conditioner as I've recently changed which could be the cause and avoid applying coconut oil to my roots which I have done in the past...

Jul 09, 2016
I agree that the residue is impossible to get rid of
by: Anonymous

my hair looks like I have not wash it in weeks. It is sticky and hard to get rid of this. When the hair looks less sticky then the color is almost gone.

Jul 07, 2016
Dish Soap
by: Anonymous

dish soap really works, it doesn't even matter if its the cheap kind. Thank you so much!

Jun 22, 2016
always have this problem
by: Amelia

It's just a build up of shampoo it's not dermatitis or anything.

Buy a clarifying shampoo, I use Pantene and I promise you it will work straight away.

You can also use dry shampoo for a quick fix or try some swimming shampoo that removes the chlorine

Jun 15, 2016
by: Anonymous

One solution- apple cider vinegar. This helped my hair like nothing else. I left this in my hair one day for 30 minutes and it got rid of the filmy sticky residue on my hair almost entirely. I started using it every time I wash, which is once every 3 days and used tea tree oil shampoo and a good rich violate conditioner and after about 3 or 4 applications of this, it got rid of all of it!!! I think a good conditioner is also key to what helped. You would think the opposite because you think you need to clean your hair rather than add more moisture to it, but that is the opposite. I think this helps
Bring a chemical balance back where needed. I get Brazilian blow outs every 3 months and that has also helped. But the main ingredient I give the most credit to is the apple cider vinegar. It also serves as a good detangler!!!

Jun 11, 2016
fdown, stopped all sugars,fruit
by: Anonymous

I found out why my scalp/hair was sticky 4/5 days after washing, it was Candida/Thrush, my hair was falling out. I was so run down. I gave up all fruit, sugar, chocolate etc, it has taken me about 6 months so far. I rinse my hair with 1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar to 3/4 water . I am now feeling much better ,my hair is now showing signs of growing back. I can now eat a little chocolate, but I don't have sugar at all. Joan

Jun 05, 2016
Bumble and Bumble
by: Lauren

I had this exact same problem. I normally shower in the evening and towel dry my hair before I go to bed. Anyway one morning I woke up and looked in the mirror to find this weird sticky residue in the front section of my hair on the topside of my head. My first thought was that I'd not completely washed out all of the shampoo, so I popped back into the shower to re-wash my hair. But then when I dried my hair the sticky residu was still there, I was so confused because I hadn't done anything differently compared to my normal shower routine. Luckily I had some dry shampoo that seemed to solve the problem temporarily but I knew as soon as I got back into the shower the stickiness would return! We were having issues with the shower at the time, the temperature was constantly up and down so I think this had something to do with it as your hair produces more oils in hotter temperatures. After searching online for a while I found an article about clarifying shampoos that strip all the gunk out of your hair without being too damaging in the process. The one I chose was Bumble and Bumble - Sunday Shampoo. It was a little pricey (around £20) but by this point I was desperate. I used it straight away with my shower turned down to a lower temperature. About 80% of the residue was gone after the first wash, after the second wash it was completely gone! I was so relieved. And a bonus was that my hair felt even better than before.

Hope this helps!


Jun 04, 2016
10000% works
by: Matilda

I had a horrible sticky residue in the roots of my hair for just over a week. I tried everything! Stopped conditioning, stopped using hair oils and heat protection creams, double (sometimes even triple) shampooing. I even bought a clarifying shampoo that didn't work either. I was so frustrated, it was really getting me down! Then a girl o work with told me to try washing my hair with washing up liquid. I was a little cautious of this idea because my hair gets very dry very easily. But, I washed my hair with washing up liquid and I worked so so well! So give it a shot, you won't regret it!

May 14, 2016
Found the remedy
by: Dee

After dealing with this I found out what works. I made a paste of regular baking soda and water (sometimes I put a little gentle shampoo with it) and applied it to my hair in small sections. Starting at the roots and pulling it through to the ends. I let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinse. I followed this by a moisture conditioner and made sure I rinsed it very well. the problem went away.
It will come back about 1 every 3 or 4 months but doing this again will "cure" it. I am not sure what causes it....stress...hormones...what I am eating or not water heater(now that is a new one- no one else in the family has this issue) or just my age. (50s) but I found the cure for it so until I can figure out the root cause, at least I can get rid of it.

May 13, 2016
Sticky residue
by: Laura

My 11 year old grandson had this! I thought at first he didn't rinse conditioner out and sent him back into the shower. It still was there. He washed it over the next couple of days, and I extra washed it when I saw it still there, but it wouldn't wash out. We tried the dawn dish soap tonight and blow dried it, and it does seem to be gone. After reading the thread and some mentioning it may be a fungal thing, my thought is that fungas needs a moist, warm spot to grow. We have been washing his hair at night in the shower, and then when he goes to bed, his hair is still damp (his hair is at a longer length). From now on I will be sure his hair is completely dry before he goes to bed, and that may help, if it is indeed a fungas.

May 06, 2016
Answer for Mandy from England
by: Classic Ruby

Hi, to Mandy....I spent several years as an assistant at an upscale salon, and I remember my training, and many a customer, coming in with this exact problem. ...after straight bleaching or dyeing hair to a color that uses a lifter/bleach built in, the customers hair would be sticky. ...sometimes even gummy and has lost that hair quality. Nothing, no conditioner, hot oil treatment, etc could fix it....often this would happen when the customer had done the color /bleaching job themselves, although a few had been the unfortunate victims of a crappy, lazy and improperly trained, or negligent stylist.

This sounds entirely like a case of over processed bleaching. When bleach is left on the hair too long it literally destroys the hairs cuticle and shaft, and what you're left with is a gummy, not quite intact, string of matter.

I suggest you run, not walk, to a VERY good color technician. ..they may be able to, over the course of time, remedy the condition of your hair, although usually these cases were kinda beyond repair and it was more a goal of keeping the hair intact long enough to grow out so that you don't have to Bic it all off and start again.

While I'm a firm believer in DIY for beauty and health, bleach jobs that require a high level of processing , such as going from brown to ash blonde, or getting a permanent bright red on naturally black hair, or lifting black out of the hair, is best left to a trained and experienced professional. Or if you insist on doing it alone, DO NOT overdo it on processing times and volume strengths etc.

This will usually mean that your transformation from being a raven haired beauty to an ash blonde babe will take several applications over a couple months, which would be the case if you went to a pro to do it, they aren't trying to gouge you for more money by making you come back several times, they're trying to maintain the integrity of your hair shaft....and to save you from the devastation of gummy horrid hair and the resulting kojak style you'd have to sport to be rid of it all. Sigh

Your comment was a few weeks ago, hopefully you've seen a pro and you got the best case scenario for this disaster! XO <3

May 05, 2016
How to flush hot water heater
by: Anonymous

Hi could you explain how to flush a hot water heater? I do not have a water tank i have a combi boiler

Thanks in advance

May 01, 2016
The real culprit
by: Anonymous

The real culprit is your hot water heater. Sediment, such as calcium, builds up. Your hot water heater needs to be flushed. You'll be surprised at the nasty looking stuff that comes out. Fixed my sticky, dirty hair problem immediately.

Apr 25, 2016
Apple cider vinegar
by: Anonymous

It works!!!!!!

Apr 17, 2016
Sticky hair that breaks
by: Mandy, England

Hi just wondering if anyone can help? I recently used color b4 to remove red out my hair as I'm going back blonde, but ever since using it when my hairs wet its sticky. I can't even get a brush threw it. I have tried everything even washing my hair in washing up liquid, nothing works, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
thank you X

Mar 10, 2016
Sticky hair and hair loss
by: Anonymous

I have been experiencing oily hair after I shampoo for months and now I am experiencing hair loss. My dermatologist I was sent to gave me a prescription like nizoral and it makes it better the day I use it but next day my hair is flat and oily. I have tried this remedy for a few months. My dishes now are seeming greasy after I wash. I live in an old apartment building. I'm wondering if it's the old pipes? I'm going to try to get a water test kit from somewhere. My hair is thinning badly and I have a bald spot on the crown of my head about the size of a quarter but overall thinning too. My doctor says it might be male pattern baldness. I am devastated.

Mar 06, 2016
Same issue
by: Melissa

I've had this same issue now for about a month. I first thought it was our water softener filter so we changed it. Still there. We even got a new hot water tank, we knew it was going bad and was thinking that maybe the nasty stuff built up inside was making this happen.. Still there. Only thing I could do is add dry shampoo to get through a day of my hair down, or I would just be wearing it up. I've been using head and shoulders shampoo and pantene for conditioner (i know it's bad for ur hair but I've never had issues before) so nothing has really changed.
I used dawn dish soap last night and used a new sample conditioner afterwards and when I dried my hair it was all gone! Tonight I went back to my normal ways and am hoping that when my hair drys it will be back to normal. I'm thinking it was wax build up from possibly all different things and the dish soap took it all out. I will be changing my conditioner so I can hope for this to not happen in the future. But at least I know that dish soap does work to fix the issue, thanks to this website. I was hesitant at first to use dish soap because of some of the comments, but I figured I had this handy and it's either gonna fix it or leave it the same. I was done with the issue!

Mar 06, 2016
New water filter = shampoo that won't wash out!!?
by: Mary

We have well water and the filter was just changed. I washed with a shampoo/conditioner combo (I use all the time) but it was impossible to get it all out. It felt disgusting - sticky and full of residue. It was impossible to fully brush and blow dry. Once mostly dry, it looked greasy and felt disgusting.

Is the filter to blame? We have never had this problem before - is there a specific filter we should be using for well water?? I know it's not a dermatitis problem (same thing happened to multiple people) and it's not the shampoo - I use it at a different house all the time and it rinses out.

Please help! I don't want to always use dish soap when I'm washing my hair.

Feb 23, 2016
by: Anonymous

I always tell clients and friends to never buy your shampoo and conditioner from a drugstore. Unless you are buying it from a salon I would say don't trust it. Even at Target, they sell high end hair products (Bumble and Bumble) but a lot of time those products only have about 25% of the actual product that's supposed to be in there (B&B) and the rest is God knows what else. Or those products are expired so they aren't going to do the job you need them to. Pantene, Tresseme, Aussie, etc. all have a lot of harsh chemicals in them and leave a waxy residue on the hair which will leave your hair looking super shiny but also very tangly! So go see your hairstylist and talk to he/she about what products would be best for your hair

Feb 22, 2016
Talcum powder!!
by: Sumaiya

Use talcum powder! Massage with talcum powder on ur scalp and it absorbs all the oil from ur scalp and makes it so silky and smooth! Wash after 2-3 hours and you will see that the problem is solved! It worked on me! I hope it works on you guys! All the best!💕

Feb 21, 2016
sticky hair from high ph
by: Anonymous

The higher the PH of the water the more the hair is sticky. I did a PH test of the water coming out of the faucet and it is over 9. That would explain why vinegar would help solve the problem. Too high a PH would be helped by an acidic cure. I suspect that nearly every post on this page is because of water that is too high of a PH. The only cure would be to add apple cider vinegar as a rinse to take away the build up.

Feb 21, 2016
symptom of seborrhea dermatitis
by: Anonymous

I've done so much research on this. it seems that this problem is linked with fungus growing on the scalp, the same fungus that causes seborrheic dermatitis. shampoos that contain zinc and other anti fungal agents such as head and shoulders seem to work well. to rid of this problem, try a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar/water, put it in a spray bottle, and hop in the shower. wet your hair thoroughly, then spray the effected area with the ACV/water mixture. leave it in for about 5-10 minutes. THEN, rinse it out, and apply head and shoulders shampoo, massaging your entire scalp thoroughly. leave the shampoo in for about 4-5 minutes so it can break through the grease. rinse with cold water, and BOOM! hope it works guys.

Feb 20, 2016
You people are life savers! Dish Soap for the Win!
by: Anonymous

I recently donated 17 inches of my hair and then had a medical procedure where I wasn't allowed to shower for 24 hours , I'm not sure which was the culprit or if it was the combination of the two , but for the first time in my 30 years of life my hair felt gross sticky stuck together and it was spreading fast! My hair is now barely long enough to put it in a pony tail so I put up as much of it as I could I was shampooing 2 sometimes 3 times in the shower and it still felt gross , I tried putting a ton of dry shampoo in my hair to the point that it was white from the amount that was in there , finally at my wits end I googled and came across this the only remedy I had on hand was dish soap

so I hopped back into the shower with my dish soap washed it twice with dish soap then did a hair mask for 10 minutes blow dryed and my hair is completely back to normal now! You guys are seriously life savers!

I think the hair mask made all the difference in restoring moisture my hair doesn't feel dry at all!

Thank you so much!

Feb 09, 2016
Dawn worked!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

I was mystified by the waxy texture of my hair which all began two months ago. I was no longer able to straighten it since there was almost no body whatsoever!! I actually began to feel a lack of confidence and finally tonight I googled 'sticky waxy hair' and I'm so blessed that I discovered this site which recommended several solutions. I chose to try "Dawn" dishwashing liquid and after one shampoo my shine has come back! My hair looks bouncy and clean!!! I noticed it right away after blowdrying. I welcomed the fluffiness!I also conditioned. I plan to wash it thoroughly again in a few days since I do feel a difference in texture still at the crown of my head in a small area. But overall the result is drastic! I am so happy and grateful for this information. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Feb 06, 2016
Waxiness use Tony and Guy Cleanse shampoo and Herbal Essence naked shampoo
by: Anonymous

I read someone's comment about this further down on this site. Whoever posted it THANKYOU

My hair looked like someone had put candle wax on the crown of my head. I looked ridiculous with this matted hair. I have this morning used both products which I went out to buy from Asda at 0600 this morning.

The improvement in this waxiness is amazing. There is a small patch of waxy feel left but nothing another wash later won't break down.

The T&G shampoo was £4 and a small bottle of the Naked shampoo was a £1, so definitely well worth spending the fiver to correct the awful mess I was faced with.

So once again thank you for your post. It literally has made my day.

Best wishes

Jan 24, 2016
by: Anonymous

Chelate, chelate, chelate! Chelating is a clarifying shampoo for your hair, just like you get a product buildup and you need to use a clarifying shampoo to get that out. Hard water also deposits minerals and chlorine in your hair which can build up this feels like a kind of waxy feeling in your hair especially after you've washed it! Normal shampoos don't get this out you need a chelating shampoo i hear Joico makes a good one its called Kpack clarifying they didnt have that ulta when i went so i got Paul Mitchell shampoo 3 which is great you will notice a huge difference in your hair, but do it maybe once a month if you need to its not a daily shampoo. I hope you check this out trust me its amazing!

Jan 23, 2016
by: Anonymous

I've had this condition for two days. Today I tried lime and it worked great. I applied directly lime juice into the sticky hair area, and rinsed it thoroughly. My hair is so soft now.

Jan 21, 2016
Epsom salt. Works like magic
by: Anonymous

Lather on the shampoo and on the crown of your hair, slap on one handful of Epsom salt. Gently massage it in. Then rinse off.

Jan 19, 2016
I need help too!!
by: Anonymous

A few days ago, my hair roots and a ways down, were very oily and sticky. When I feel my hair with my hands, my skin is left with a sticky feeling. I keep washing my hair and nothing changed. Help!!!

Jan 17, 2016
Worth a shot
by: Anonymous


I have very thick long hair . It's been about a week with a devastating greasy / wax buildup at the top of my head and only in one spot. I always used dove conditioner but recently switched to dove color safe since I colored my hair . I am going to try the suggested options and see what works . Fingers crossed !!!!

Jan 15, 2016
no residue
by: Anonymous

Same thing would happen to me no matter what shampoo and conditioner I used. Kept changing shampoo brands until Organix and it keeps my hair shiny without all that added oily looking residue. You can't feel any of it in your hair nor can you see it. I think you should honestly try it.

Jan 13, 2016
Tony&Guy and Herbal Essences
by: Anonymous

I've had this now for over a month and it was getting annoying! I tried swapping products but everytime I washed my hair it would still be waxy and horrible. I read through these comments and took into account the silicone and sulphate in products and how a clarifying/cleansing shampoo could work and went on a mission to different shops to try and find products that would help.

I found that Herbal Essences products list that there's zero silicone and sulphate so I got a few, they were affordable at 1-2 pound for shampoo, conditioner and heat protection serums.
I also found a Tony&Guy shampoo in the cleanse range that is called 'Advance Detox'. It says in the description that it is for removal of excess products and dirt. It recommended the nourishing hair mask afterwards so I picked up both on offer 2 for £8 in Asda.

I used the T&G products and instantly my hair was shiny, soft and greaseless! No wax, no grease, just perfect. I'm now using the Herbal Essences and my hair hasn't been greasy since! Plus there's still loads of the T&G products left as I only needed it once so if it does happen again I know I'm covered. Highly recommend!

Jan 01, 2016
by: Anonymous

Help!! My hair is looks oily and is very thick and weird in the roots. This just happened and I don't know what to do.

Dec 27, 2015
Got it sorted
by: Barbara

I tried a lot of suggested remedies including apple cider vinegar and Listerine but the thing that finally removed the build up was Paul Mitchell's Special Tea Tree Oil Shampoo - it was expensive (compared to my usual shampoo) but the relief at removing the waxy build up was worth every penny.

Dec 20, 2015
Me too
by: Anonymous

I just began having the problem nothing works! I spent half an hour in the tub just scrubbing, nothing. Don't try it!!

Dec 05, 2015
by: Anonymous

I recently developed this problem as well. I did some research and found out it was product build up from using heavy silicones. Once a washed my hair extensively with clarifying shampoo and then again with regular (but silicone free shampoo) my hair was back to normal. May take a few washes, but its definitely silicones. You would need silicone free shampoo, conditioner, leave in, moisturizer, and styling serum. Hope this helps

Dec 03, 2015
Hair Residue
by: Anonymous

I have always had straight and very fine hair (but a lot of it) I always used whatever shampoo my mom picked up from the drugstore. Well, in high school I started getting this clump of oil on the back of my head/crown area. I would wash my hair every day, and every day, that same area would still feel oily. I even spent a long time making sure I rinsed thoroughly, but no luck. I was so embarrassed.

I then started keeping a few shampoos in the shower (L'Oreal, Head and Shoulders, etc...) and switching every few days. That *sort* of worked...This constant switching continued through college. After that, I read about the diluted apple cider vinegar rinse. I tried that at least once a week, and that also worked for a while.

Finally I got so fed up, I went into my local Lush store. I told them my woes, and they spent almost an hour with my talking about different products. I left with a few samples...And wouldn't you know it? After a few days of using the products, NO OILY GROSS SPOT. I finally settled on "Fairly Traded Honey" for my shampoo, and "Veganese" for my conditioner. I also stopped washing my hair every day because I realized it was drying it out, which in turn made it produce MORE oil. I only wash a few times a week, and use their dry shampoo for non-hairwash days.

It's been 4 or 5 years since I've had any problems of that sort. Does the shampoo cost more than drugstore shampoo? Yes. Is it worth it to me? Absolutely! If you have the means, I recommend trying the shampoos from Lush. My hair has never felt softer or smells better. AND no unsightly gross hair.

Nov 24, 2015
Dry shampoo
by: Anonymous

Try dry shampoo!! I washed my hair every day and it made it worse but I had to or it would get really greasy! So I washed it with a shampoo for children so it was really gentle and then the next day instead of washing it just used a lot of dry shampoo, I can now wash it every other day without dry shampoo and the problem is solved!!

Nov 19, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have recently started a new medication and I'm not sure if that's the reason, but for two weeks I have had disgustingly greasy, waxy hair at the crown. At first I thought I didn't rinse it out enough but after multiple washes, it wouldn't get clean. I was so embarrassed and felt so gross. Finally I found this thread! I went in the shower and used dishsoap and though it's not perfect, it feels soooo much better! There is still some grease near the back of my ears, but all the grease and wax at the base is gone! I think I will wash it one more time. I have extremely dry and coarse hair so I am not sure if it will damage but I finally feel like I can wear my hair straight again! Thank you!

Nov 09, 2015
Do NOT use dish soap!!!
by: Anonymous

Dish soap is sooo bad for your hair!! The reason why it works is because it's stripping your hair of all essential oils and moisture. Try using a clarifying shampoo once a week then following up with your regular shampoo. It is a lot less harsh than dish soap! I highly recommend seeing a hairdresser and getting a scalp treatment to help balance your scalp along with switching to professional products. Yes they may cost more than shampoo at cvs but they should last a lot longer because they are highly concentrated. Drug store shampoos coat your hair with silicone which only worsen the problem!

Nov 04, 2015
by: Anonymous

I keep having this problem, the time before last I had to use fairy dishsoap before washing my hair to stop it. When I got the greasy patch again 5 months later, the dish soap didn't work. After dealing with it for 2 weeks I went to the hairdressers. The funny thing was after she washed my hair it was fine!

I was quite annoyed as I had told her my problem and she was even expecting it to be horribly sticky like it usually is but it wasn't! Which obviously looked like it was just something I was doing wrong! But anyway it worked! I had successful beautiful hair for a good 3 days and I was so scared to wash it again because I had a feeling it would return, but it didn't! Now my hair is fine and I've washed it twice since the hairdressers (I tried using more shampoo and repeating it like the hairdressers do). Before, I was using barely any shampoo as I thought that too much was what was causing it, but in fact more may be better?!

So go to the hairdressers!! Because at least if it does go greasy when they wash it then they can understand your problem and try to sort it out, if not, you could potentially have grease free hair for a good few days and then possibly afterwards as it seems to have fixed mine! FOR NOW. And don't be embarrassed about going, when they wash it they normally do that first so they probably won't notice it anyway but its worth telling them your problem! If one hairdressers doesn't work, try another!

Oct 29, 2015
Medical Issue
by: Anonymous

Please, please research seborrheic dermatitis. It's a naturally occurring fungus that's overactive and causing excess sebum (the waxy/greasy build-up you're noticing). A good product will get help, but only temporarily - it will come back again in a few days/weeks. It needs to be treated long-term. All the reviews below of "omg thank you it worked!" are all one-time user comments, no follow-ups weeks later. Be mindful of this when considering any of the remedies below; they're temporary fixes. You need to treat the cause, not the symptoms.

Oct 28, 2015
I used a bar of Soap. It works like a charm.
by: Anonymous

So a few days before I came back to Hong Kong from England , and then I started having this sticky and weirdly shiny hair just in the roots of my hair on top of my head.I first thought I didn't wash my conditioner out but the stickiness was still there after I washed it a several times and with different shampoos.And then my dad suggested that I use soap , I tried it because I was really desperate .And it worked!!! I will see whether my hair is still like that after I go back to England (maybe it's the weather). Anyways , don't use too much soap else it will wash away the natural oil that your hair needs to grow.

Oct 20, 2015
Permanent solution idea
by: Anonymous

I used the tgel for a few days then switched to neutrogena Anti residue shampoo and I use it once a week and it hasn't come back! Dish washing soap is so bad for your hair and strips all the oil it needs to heal itself.

Oct 20, 2015
Permanent Solutions?
by: Anonymous

I have had this awful problem for the past year and a half. I'm 21 and it seems to happen every 4-5 months very suddenly!

The last time this happened in May, I came on here and read about the washing up liquid. I put some on my dry hair, rinsed it out used my normal shampoo and it worked! However, I then found that if I didn't use the dishwashing soap before shampooing, the greasy patch would come back every time! So I'd been using dishwasher soap every time I've washed my hair since May. Now it's stopped working!
I tried the Neutrogena T-gel shampoo which has improved the greasiness but by no means fixed it. We need permanent solutions because even if you use another technique, e.g vinegar, and it works, does that mean you have to continue to use it like I did with the fairy liquid? And surely enough it will stop working after time as it did with me and it can't be good for hair but it was the only thing that stopped it! Now I can't find anything that works!

Oct 01, 2015
Dishwasher soap alternative! Works!!!
by: Anonymous

A few months ago I started to get waxy hair around the top of my head, just below the first layer of hair, I thought it was conditioner first of all but it wouldn't wash out! I eventually turned to google and found this site, I tried to use dishwasher soap twice but it only kept it away for about a week. I also tried putting olive oil on it so I guess you could try that as its meant to stop excess oil being produced, tea tree didn't help either! I had tried switching shampoos and even taking vitamin tablets to balance out hormones as they're meant to be causes. One night I washed my hair in the bath instead of the shower and used "l'oréal kids" which I know is for children but I was desperate! Anyway it made it so much better! But it was still there on the right side of my head slightly. Then I turned to "osmo effects detoxifying Shampo". It doesn't smell great but after you wash it out you can't smell anything. It's now the night after and the waxiness still hasn't come back! If you've run out of options try this! It's not drying either like the dishwasher soap is!

Sep 29, 2015
Not on top of my head
by: Diane

Hi on Saturday I washed my hair as usual but when I dried it I used tresemme mousse on it. By Monday I had the sticky stuff behind my ears. Would it work for me to use Dawn dishwashing liquid to remove it. I have washed my hair twice with Nizoral and it seems to have disappeared but I have to wait and see

Sep 28, 2015
Washing Liquid
by: Anonymous

how often or for how long would you need to use dish washing liquid on your hair in order for the residue to go and when can you go back to using normal shampoo and conditioner???

Sep 19, 2015
by: Anonymous

I've tried the dish soap and it worked! However, three days later the waxy feeling was back. Right now I've stopped using shampoo and conditioner with silicons. I'm using the Alberto vo5 which does have sulfate. It seems to be working, but I still have my days where my hair feels nasty and waxy. Would this take months for this residue to get out of my hair? I hate it haha

Sep 14, 2015
A Meditation on my Experiences with Sticky Hair, since the 1970s
by: Anonymous

Basically a meditation on the kinds of hair/scalp problems revealed and discussed on this site... Read more

Sep 14, 2015
Thanks to dish washing liquid
by: Aditi

I used have long straight silky smooth hair from childhood. I m 30years old now. This has happened to me for the very first time a few months back. I used Johnson's baby hair oil just in my hair. I washed it in the next morning. The problem started since then. I was having stinky greasy hair which I never had before. I tried almost every brand's shampoos, i even used the most harsh detergent powder but nothing worked. When I used detergent powder, it was okay for that day only but the next day when I used shampoo the greasiness was back again. I thought I was only person on earth facing this wired problem. Then I Googled this afternoon and found this forum. Some of the ladies suggested dish wash soap/liquid. I couldn't wait but use it instantly. OMG!!! I have got back my sexy hair again! It did no harm to my hair, I didn't even use any conditioner. Thanks a lot ladies. May Allah bless you.

Sep 10, 2015
Somaluxe Shampoo
by: linda

Both my daughter and I had 'sticky' hair at the same time, rather weirdly! Never had it before and then started researching it and found it was quite common. The Somaluxe Shampoo came recommended by my doctor so I decided to try it - after the first wash, the difference was amazing. Immediately after rinsing I could feel my hair as 'squeaky' clean again for the time in weeks / months. Now it has fully air-dried, my hair is back to it's usually dry bounce once again and feels daughter said the same. So pleased and happy to spread the word that the Somaluxe Shampoo works for sticky hair!

Sep 03, 2015
Wax after home dye
by: Anonymous

I had the worst wax feel to my hair after a touch up of my roots with clairol dye. I had a wax feeling (and many broken ends) from brushing. It lasted for 4 weeks. The only thing that worked was a concoction of dawn dish detergent and baking soda with a rigorous scrub. To rinse, apple cider vinegar. You can put conditioner on your hair when done and blow dry: you will notice the wax feeling is gone!

Sep 01, 2015
by: Anonymous

I wash my hair every day and i get this
twice a year. For me, this happens because i over wash which actually produces more oil!

Aug 27, 2015
Neutrogena T gel
by: Anonymous

I was having this same problem for weeks! sticky residue gunk that would not go away no matter how much I washed it or used dry shampoo. luckily, I found this feed yesterday! I did not want to try dish soap, so I decided to try the Neutrogena t gel shampoo a few people suggested. this did the trick! No more sticky residue in my hair! Honestly, it doesn't have the greatest smell, but my hair feels so soft and clean! It seriously feels like I just got back from the salon. I would definitely recommend this shampoo!

Aug 26, 2015
by: Anonymous

Ok so I have been dealing with this hair FOREVER and I was SICK OF IT!!!! It made me so frustrated!! My hair was stringy, greasy, waxy and just....GROSS! No matter what I washed it in. Then I saw this, and tried to wash my hair with dawn soap. And wow. These results...! They're amazing!! My scalp feels refreshed and it's not waxy, greasy, or stringy! I am so pleased! I used my dawn soap (a normal size) and scrubbed it until my scalp was about scratched. Then, I took about 10 minutes cleaning it out VERY thoroughly. After that, I used a Nexxus conditioner and put about a quarter size and about 1/4 of that size on the top of my head and scrubbed that as well. I felt amazing! It felt like I had just come out of the longest, most refreshing shower ever!

Aug 24, 2015
Praises to the person who though of dishwashing soap!!!
by: A Thankful 13 Year Old

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I have always had clean hair, as well as a clear face, so when my hair suddenly became greasy and wouldn't stop being so, I panicked. Google, of course, was my first resort, and you guys are lifesavers. :))) School starts in 10 days and there was no way that I was going with greasy hair. I had tried nearly everything - pestering my mom for clarifying shampoo, the apple cider vinegar technique, switching brands - but nothing worked. Tonight I was so desperate that I would try anything. If this didn't work then I was planning to ask for my head to be shaved (dead serious). As soon as I had done one wash with the dish soap, I had already felt a difference in my hair texture and weight. I followed through with another wash and my hair was back to normal again, except this time smoother and silkier. It looks so much better straightened than it did before. I'm sure that it will improve my confidence. :) So thank you and I definitely recommend the dish soap, especially Dawn!

Aug 23, 2015
What dishwashing soap should I use ?
by: Rebecca

Thankful to have run across this thread- what dishwashing brand is everyone using?


Aug 18, 2015
by: Anonymous

Do you have hard water? If so, this could be the reason for the waxy feeling on your hair. Try something with soap nuts(you can make your own or get a soap nut shampoo bar from chagrin valley soap and salve).

Aug 16, 2015
Selsun shampoo
by: Anonymous

Just add up Selsun shampoo with your regular shampoo and lather it up on your hair and rinse them off real good, it works on me this morning as I was suffering from a residual-greasy hair for two days, thank god for the Selsun. Selsun is commonly use to treat dandruff, hence, don't be using it on the daily basis if you are not suffering from any scalp and dandruff problem.

Aug 06, 2015
by: Anonymous

I just tried baking soda mixed with shampoo yesterday and it has taken the gritty, thick layer right off of my hair- thank god! It dried out my ends a little (being platinum blonde), even though I did condition them, however once my hair had completely dried I just put a little bit of Argan oil on the ends before bed. I woke up this morning and my hair is nice and luscious and non-greasy after 2 months of it being horrible! Am absolutely ecstatic about this cheap method of making my hair normal again

Aug 05, 2015
Greasy Hair
by: KAY

Mine cleared up after 3 month's as my doctor had said. It's been fine for 2 month's & then today after I'd washed it it's gone back greasy again....just in time for my holiday 😈..ggrrr

Aug 04, 2015
Dish soap is terrible for your hair!
by: Anonymous

Dish soap takes away the oils from your hair which is needs! I used t gel and anti residue shampoo by Neutrogena and it's completely gone and hasn't come back. Be careful ladies!!

Aug 03, 2015
How long and where do you put the dishwashing liquid?
by: Anonymous

Hey guys, how long for and how much of the hair do you cover with dish washing liquid? Just the roots or the entire head? I have platinum blonde hair and this has been happening to me as-well, I had only ever had fools and it started happening after I had my entire head done.

Aug 03, 2015
Finally found a solution!
by: Anonymous

So after drowning my hair in Bicarbonate powder, apple cider vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, washing liquid, Proscribed hair washes, I finally went to Lush and pleaded for a solution.
They gave me 'hair doctor' which is a hair treatment, 'daddy-o' which is a shampoo and 'veganese' which is a conditioner - I left the hair treatment in for a tad longer and scrubbed until my hands were sore then used the shampoo and conditioner as normal.. When it came to blow drying my hair I was nervous as hell BUT IT WORKED!!
My build up was excessive so if anyone can get their hands on these lil beauties, give them ago!

Aug 02, 2015
by: Richard

As a bloke with longer hair, I just wanted to say the dish-washing liquid really did the trick. Couldn't get my shampoo to lather for the life of me, and I was growing more desperate by the day with my hair turning to greasy straw. One wash with the stuff and it's back to its old self again. I know many will be skeptical, rightfully so (I wasn't too sure myself about trying it), but I suggest just washing your hair with a bit (you really don't need a lot) of dish-washing soap once, to try it. No harm done if it doesn't work. But if you have the same problem I did, it probably will! That stuff is pretty rough on the hair and the old scalp, so keep that in mind, use some conditioner or something like that.

Aug 01, 2015
I am not alone!
by: Donna from Suffolk, UK

I have this afternoon turned to a Google search because I couldn't understand what was happening to my hair.
The last few days it has been as though I haven't washed it or I felt like I hadn't rinsed through properly after conditioning.
I had been using a Dove conditioner which I'd not used previously, because I had dyed my hair and was worried about the condition. It is obviously too much and doesn't suit me.
I just used a Tresemme deep cleaning shampoo 3 times and my hair feels a lot better, but tomorrow I will give the washing liquid idea a try.
I can't tell you how dirty and uncomfortable this had been making me feel, like a lot of other ladies who have posted, I have fine hair, so with this residue weighing it down it was really looking bad.
I feel so much better for just knowing I'm not alone - thank you for all your comments. I will check all my hair products for silicone when I go upstairs, I have a feeling the colour correcting shampoo and the dove conditioner are probably the culprits...

Jul 31, 2015
waxy greasy hair
by: Anonymous

I just tried washing up liquid and baking soda after 3 days of greasy and waxy roots. My hair is still damp but it feels so much better when i touch it. Thank you to all you ladies who provided their suggestions as ive just calmed down after panicking and finding this forum! :-))

Jul 31, 2015
I found a product that works!
by: Verity

Honestly dish soap is bad, because it strips the hair of its natural oils... I know it sounds gross, but if you create a hair mask using only 2x egg yolk (not egg white), applying onto wet hair and leave for 20 mins, really does work wonders! Another remedy that worked for me was tea tree shampoo from the chemist, I have had the great results with those two! I've also found an organic shampoo called "Herbs and Honey" by Wild PPC herbs- which is an Australian brand. It contains essential oils peppermint, rosemary and sage and also contains nettle. This has been by far the best product and I'm currently on my third day no wash which is amazing for me because this waxy residue was not going away. When it first happened to me I was desperate and using baking soda which is like dish soap and was drying it out and making my hair brittle.

Jul 30, 2015
How long does it last
by: Anonymous

I have to wash my hair every night. Has anyone had any success with not washing it for at least two or three days using dish soap???

Jul 25, 2015
Palmolive Dish swap WORKS!
by: Anonymous

It is so hot here in Toronto and the days keep going on and on. This morning, I took a shower. As I dry my hair, the roots of my hair started sticking together. The comb did not seperate. Thank to this sue of comments, I used Palmolive dish swap (original) and boy did I see a difference!

Now I can flaunt my hair anywhere. I have a reception to attend tonight. Woohoo!!!

Jul 25, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem of sticky hair (especially near the crown of the head) but I recently bought this LUSH shampoo bar (,en_US,pd.html) that made my hair so much silkier. I was wary of purchasing the bar because I wasn't sure how many washes it would last, but an employee said it would be around 60-100 washes, but we'll see how it holds up! Other 'clarifying' shampoos didn't do the trick, but this helped very much even with only a couple washes. I've found that it's also really important to make lots of bubbles with a lot of shampoo to cover every part of your hair, and rub it into the scalp. Hope this helps!

Jul 19, 2015
Does it last???😬
by: Anonymous

Around two days ago i began to notice that my hair felt sticky and looked oily, so i started looking for solutions and came across this awesome cite and tried the Palmolive dish-washing solution. IT WORKED!!!!!.. Now, my question is does it last? Will it make my hair last without that oily/waxy feel for a while???

Jul 15, 2015
by: Anonymous

Thank goodness for this thread, it was happening to me for the past 3 days and was really starting to annoy me the dish soap worked and my hair isn't all sticky and gummy anymore! I think it was from the hair product I've started using but I'm not sure. Either way so grateful for this thread!

Jul 15, 2015
I Found Our Problem
by: Amanda B

Hello everyone,
Over the past couple of months my hair has felt like my conditioner was not rinsing out and no matter how many times I was rinsing my hair the waxy residue stayed. I have platinum blonde hair and use a lot of high end products so I did not understand why this was happening to me till I did research and talked to professional hairstylists in Las Vegas to figure out the problem. If you do not have a hormone imbalance then the problem is product build up from silicon. Silicon sometimes will not enter the hair molecule in environments with dry heat causing an intense product waxy build up due to staying on top of the molecule. This can happen in cold environments too but if you live in the west coast for sure stay far away from silicone. Silicone can be found in mainly heat protectors, shampoo, detangler, and some conditioners. Before buying shampoo or any of the products listed, make sure it is sulfate free. Also Google the word for silicone, because most of them have a hidden word that starts with an A. I had this problem and I fixed it without using dish soap, vinegar, or baking soda. I bought Paul Mitchell Shampoo 3 which is a clarifying shampoo. The first night I used the product it felt like the wax got worse in my hair but all I did was apply and rinse. This did not work. The second night I applied it on the waxy areas only and let it sit for five minutes. Literally all of the wax build up is gone. I am going to do it one more time. Also with this product you need to deep condition your hair. Use unrefined coconut oil from Trader Joes. Put the oil in your hair for an hour and then wash it out with sulfate free shampoo and a light conditioner. If you have platinum blonde hair use pureology platinum. If you have natural hair use pure 100 or pureology hydrate. I hope this helps! Stay away from silicone and chlorine. Also Aveda has good silicone free products.

Jul 15, 2015
by: Anna

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! The sticky hair was very random and sudden for me, and I was extremely stressed out because no matter how many times I shampooed it would not come out! I even tried the baking soda paste on my hair and that did nothing at all! But this website saved me from so much more stress, one vigorous wash with regular Dawn dish soap and my hair is back to being weightless and flowy! THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH!

Jul 01, 2015
Finally I'm clean!
by: Anonymous

Dishwashing soap is the best! I was very happy with the results. I just tried it and now I'm partying my hair is clean. goodbye dirty sticky gummy spot. I also tried apple cider vinegar before the dishwashing soap but it didn't work and made my hair worse and it smell bad.

Jun 30, 2015
Clean, soft and fluffy!
by: Rose

I posted a while back. What worked then didn't continue effective! I've continued on trying different things and have concluded this:
1. Using dish soap and baking soda will ruin your hair! Those products strip the hair of oils and proteins that naturally are produced in the follicle. What's left is hair so dry that "normal" shampoo can't help. That hair is so thirsty so it holds onto anything that is a liquid! No wonder we're all feeling the clumpy, waxy stuff. It's stuff that the hair has absorbed!
What do we do then? We strip it all over again! DONT CONTINUE PLEASE!!!!
2. I've found L'Oreal Total Repair that contains ceramide. This is so perfect!!!! Please try this and finish using a conditioner too. Ceramide is a protein that builds up the hair shaft and the results are amazing!!!! Discontinue this stripping madness and let's rebuild our lovely locks! 😀

Jun 30, 2015
by: Anonymous

I have been taking a medication called Clomid for fertility issues for the past month. It seemed like the next day after I took my medication I had a gummy residue in my hair! It may be the extra hormones increasing the oils in my hair and scalp, I have no idea!? As I was drying my hair I just figured I had not rinsed the conditioner completely out. So I put my hair up, and went to work. That night I took another shower and THOROUGHLY rinsed my hair (I'm talking 30 minutes of scrubbing and rinsing). Low and behold as I was drying my hair the gummy residue reared it's ugly face again! After about a month of trying different shampoos including, Dove, Head and Shoulders, and Pantene Pro V, and wasting all of my money I ran across a blog that said to use dishwashing soap. So I ran to the cabinet thinking all hope was lost and I'd forever have a bun on the top of my head. I put green apple dish Dawn soap in my hair just as I would shampoo and let it sit for the rest of my shower. At the end of my shower I rinsed my hair and put some conditioner in to help with the dry aftermath of the Dawn soap. I blow dried my hair and BOOM it was completely gone. This was after a whole month of gummy hair! It totally works. I now use Bio Lace by Matrix (shampoo and conditioner) to maintain my hair and it's never felt so soft and healthy!

Jun 30, 2015
anyone tried to solve it with another conditioner?
by: possible solution

So, a few years back, I went to a salon and after they used their conditioner on my hair, it became waxy and greasy looking, similar to a lot of comments I read here. My first instinct was to use a shampoo to wash it out and stop using conditioner. After a few days with greasy hair, I decided to use my conditioner again and that worked!

I'm not sure whether this solves anyone else's problem but this could be an easy solution to some. I only use kiehls conditioner now. This evening, for some weird reason, I tried another conditioner and again my hair went waxy. I just used my kiehl's conditioner again and it's gone. I think it's the glycerin in the other conditioner.

Jun 29, 2015
thank you...
by: Lorraine

I've had this for days now and feel dirty, so greasy and clumsy. Washed my hair loads but no improvement..

Washing up liquid saved the day, I washed it, towel dried it, applied more washing up liquid, rinsed, washed it again and my hair is clean. Thank you.

Jun 24, 2015
Dishwashing liquid!
by: Anonymous

So glad i found this page. Had this problem for bout a month. Thought it was just me for not washing my hair properly, but as days pass by i noticed my hair getting oilier and waxier, even immediately right after shower. Didnt suspect my shampoo until i read the comments. Been using Dove for years but something must have triggered it to have that waxy reaction lately. Was skeptical of the dishwashing liquid at first, but its midnight, i have no vinegar or baking soda, and i was really desperate and could barely sleep thinking i have to live with incurable waxy hair forever. Tried washing hair with dishwashing liquid and OMG my hair is as soft and fluffy as it used to be several weeks ago. Thank you!

Jun 24, 2015
I also blame Dove!
by: Aschlea

Last month I bought Dove conditioner, I only conditioned my ends but I felt a waxy, sticky residue when my hair dried. I bought hair dye to touch up my roots, thinking this would help remove any buildup, nope. It's been a month and I use head and shoulders shampoo (which normally strips your hair and makes it feel sooo clean) and I've gone back to my favorite Pantene conditioner, still have that sticky junk at my roots! I'm so excited to try dish soap and baking soda tonight!!! Thanks for all the info on this topic- I thought I was the only one going through this weirdness.

Jun 21, 2015
I finally found a cure for the greasy stringy hair!!!!!!!!
by: Verity

I have been suffering from the waxy stringy hair now for nearly over a year. I had thought of giving into shaving my hair off completely (I don't think I could pull off the G.I Jane look) and wear a wig.... I had been experimenting with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It worked amazingly a few months ago but then when I tried a few times more, I didn't get the same results. The oil/waxy texture just wouldn't budge!!!!😤 The last few weeks I have been experimenting with organic honey mixed with hot water with a few added drops of tea tree oil. This works but I find that the secret ingredient is egg yolk!!! I put that on wet hair first thing as a repair mask for 20 mins, wash out with COLD water, then pour the honey/ tea tree over as a shampoo rinse then finish off with the apple cider vinegar diluted with water. Now I've done the egg yolk 3 times and its the best results I've had yet. I have read on the forums that it is most likely caused by seborrhea dermatitis/ hormones. I've been bleaching for many years now and only recently last year went dark again. I'm now gradually going back light, so the egg mask is vital for my weakened hair. PLEASE if you have damaged, fine and greasy hair like myself, TRY this and let me know if it works for you! I just had to share this because, I see that there are sooooo many women, going through the same stress as I myself and still am looking for a more natural alternative solution. Good luck everyone!!!! ☺

Jun 21, 2015
waxy hair
by: Carrie

I dyed my hair a few days ago with nice n' easy dye..... I have used the hair dye brand before but this time used a different colour (darker shade). while I was drying my hair I noticed the top of my head felt greasy/waxy and clumped together a little. I just thought I haven't washed all the conditioner out. But today I washed my hair twice with shampoo and didn't apply conditioner to the area. But Its still the same!!! I'm sure its just the dye or conditioner... tonight I am going to put a tea tree, apple cider and baking soda mix on my hair to see if it does anything. Hope it works - Its super gross!!

Jun 14, 2015
Tried it all
by: Michele

I'm so glad I turned to the web and found this blog. My waxy, stringy, matted hair seemed to come out of no where! I have hard water so I figured it had something to do with that. but clarifying shampoo did nothing, Malibu treatments did nothing... I even cut it thinking the ends must be the problem. After reading other people's experiences and one more shampoo I went over the edge. I used baking soda dry on dry hair, apple cider vinegar and regular dish detergent. It's a hair is back to normal. Thanks everyone.

Jun 07, 2015
Very happy
by: Nancy

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful advice.
My hair had also gone waxy and no matter how much I washed it, it just looked lank and greasy. I have been to work all week looking like I hadn't washed in months. Blow drying made it worse. I have a short bob and my hair is fine and relatively thick but it was literally clinging to my scalp.
Yesterday I washed in in coca cola on the advice of someone I talked to, it worked a bit but still so greasy looking. Last night I turned to Google and found this thread! Today I am going to a christening and thought I'd try the fairy washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda and hey, my hair looks great again, all sleek and clean.
I made a dry mix of fairy and bicarbonate, rubbed in into dry hair then showered. I gave it another wash in fairy and could feel it sneak when it washed off. I put my usual conditioner on the ends and rinsed.
Will wash in fairy again tomorrow for good measure then go back to normal.
I can only assume the nice and easy conditioner that comes with hair dye mixed with an error but of head and shoulders 2 in 1 which I had thought was just shampoo!
Just can't tell you how happy I am!
My diet is pretty good and can't blame hormones so really must be the above.
Thank you all so much for your fab advice

Jun 03, 2015
by: Anonymous

this has been happening to me for a while too!! It's crazy because this never happened to me before until I moved into my new apartment back in November and eversince then my hair would always have that greasy waxy residue left behind after all my showers no matter what! Its crazy because none of my shampoos were able to take it out but only my Garnier which is weird, i didn't like my Garnier shampoo but i always had to use it just bc i was annoyed of the waxy feeling and how it made my hair look so limpy and gross. Idk what else there is left to do! I don't wanna keep up with this, maybe it could have been the different water thats in my new apartment ...

May 27, 2015
Dishwashing soap is sucha saver!!!!!!
by: Pie

I've been experiencing greasy and waxy hair on the top of my head for a few months now, and it makes my hair super flat. I thought that it was like conditioner not totally rinsed off so i went back into the shower and tried to get rid of it, but to no avail. And it really frustrates me because it has never happened before. Previously, there was a time it happened and i thought it was my shampoo so i switched it around and it stopped for a while. A few months ago it came back. After reading the comments regarding the dishwasher i gave it a try because I'm super self-conscious about it after my hairdresser commented about how oily my hair is and asked if i washed my hair. I was embarrassed because i did. And OMG to whoever who found out about the dishwasher soap thing, I LOVE YOU!!!! It freaking worked!! I haven't felt my hair this awesome since foreverrrrr! It was sucha touching moment i almost cried. LOL. And of course, dishwashing soap cannot be used frequently because of how drying it is for your scalp but it works for a one time use and of course I have to find the culprit. I was looking through the comments and saw a lot of negative comments on Dove products and it made me realised that it could be my Dove wash off conditioner. I'm currently using Sunsilk shampoo and I don't think its the cause got my whole family uses it and they don't have this waxy problem and as for the conditioner, I'm the only one who uses it. And it also occurred to me that this waxy problem didn't happen to me when i was using sunsilk conditioner almost all my life. So.... bye dove conditioner. I'm so dumping it and a big shout out to the person who discovered the method of using dish washing soap!! <3

May 26, 2015
Oily hair at crown from clips
by: Linda

My oily hair experience is from using claw clips to pull up my hair at the crown when hair is wet and then going for walks out in the sun. Some residue from the clips were melting into my hair. I've used claw clips my whole life and never had this happen before. It's very strange. Anyhow, my hair dresser said to mix 1/2 cup baking soda to 1 cup of hot water and massage it into my hair. It did work! The residue was gone with one application. It took a couple of washing and conditioner to get the dryness out of my hair, but the oily residue is gone. I won't be using clips anymore when going in the sun!

May 24, 2015
I found the cure and the culprit
by: Melissa

Thank goodness I found this message board! I couldn't work out if it was the water in new area I was living in or the shampoo or the hairbrush or even my sheets! My hair was waxy and greasy at the roots, sticky to touch and even left waxiness on my hands if i ran them through it. It looked disgusting! It was worse when I washed it then before. No matter how hard I scrubbed with shampoo, It would not go away. I even washed it 3 times in 1 day but nothing worked. Then I found the cure, Fairy dish soap! One wash and I have my beautiful hair back just like that. The culprit, Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil! I had been using it about 2 weeks and it had clearly caused a waxy, oily build up in my hair. That will be going straight in the bin!!!! Thank you to this website! Xxx

May 21, 2015
by: Anonymous

TRY SEARCHING Trichosporosis OR White piedra. I have same issue and its the closest Ive come so far to a actually term for that issue

May 20, 2015
Waxy residue in hair
by: Anonymous

I have been having this problem for about 9 months on and off. I moved to a new area around the time that my hair had a waxy residue in it that would not wash out no matter how hard a scrubbed it. I got the Ion Hard water shampoo and boom it was gone!

May 16, 2015
Awful Sticky Hair
by: Kay

About 5 weeks ago me & my Daughter got attacked by 3 girls...& since then every time I wash dry & straighten my hair it's thick grease. It's mainly at the front of my hair & it starts about 2 inches down from my scalp. The doctor said that it's due to the stress of the attack & that it will rectify itself. I'm lucky in that I have curly hair so when I'm not at work I can leave it to dry on it's own & the grease isn't visible but I straighten it for work & then have to plaster it in dry shampoo which then makes my hair dry & brittle & because I comb the dry shampoo through it's also snapping my hair......I need something...anything to put my hair right if anyone can help..Thanks. .

May 14, 2015
dish soap
by: Anonymous

Thank goodness for this site/thread! I read your suggestions yesterday and decided to try the dishsoap this morning. AMAZING! I just used Dawn that I had at home and I washed my hair with it twice this morning then applied conditioner (just the the hair and not up top by the roots) and wow the greasy/gumminess is gone!! My hair feels amazing, soft and shiny! Thanks for your suggestions! No need to go and buy expensive shampooing products!

May 12, 2015
by: Anonymous

USE VINEGAR, i highly recommend it. As i went through the same thing
wet you hair a little
apply mixture 1/2 a cup vinegar and 1 cup water
leave in for 10 mins
wash out
Hope it helps

May 05, 2015
I figured it out!
by: Anonymous

This started happening to me approximately 3 years ago…I would shower and as my hair dried I noticed a sticky / waxy feeling to part of my hair (in my case just the top) which was not at all the same thing as oily hair. I initially thought the plastic from my brush had melted while drying my hair, or I had improperly rinsed, or some weird product had been spilled in my hair somehow…

It would happen on and off, sometimes lasting only a few days, other times for weeks. I would try endless things to fix it: change shampoos, shower twice a day, not wash my hair for 3 days, airdry, blowdry, stop conditioner, try dish liquid (dawn or fairy) and it would eventually go away without me truly understanding the cause of it, or which part of what I had done solved it…

My most recent episode was quite persistent (>2 weeks) and none of my "old" tricks were working… So I started researching and analysing my situation more closely and finally figured out the root cause!! I realized this only happened to me when I am in areas that have hard water. Minerals/ions which are found in hard water can interact somehow with your hair and/or shampoo to create this sticky substance. It usually appears suddenly, I suppose because a threshold "reaction point" is reached

The key to getting rid of this is using a chelating agent. Chelating agents improve rinseability by binding with metals and minerals and removing them from the hair. The most common chelating agent used in hair products is EDTA. Shampoos which I have found that are high in EDTA content are:

- Johnson’s tip to toe wash (works better than johnson’s baby shampoo for me)
- John Frieda Brilliant Brunette
- Kerastase Divalent
- I am sure there are others, but these are the ones that were available in my area…

Another potential solution is to wash / rinse your hair with distilled water.

I just used the Johnson’s tip to toe, washed my hair 3 times, rinsed with bottled water, and it was back to normal! I now use only EDTA containing shampoos and the problem has not recurred!!

Hope this information helps!

Apr 21, 2015
To Rose
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comment Rose. I think you right. Its all about maintaining balance. I use clarifying shampoo once a week and in hot months sometimes twice a week. Using strong detergent like dish-wash is not a solution but I see no harm if used ONLY ONCE to get rid of persistent buildup, however continue usage could easy damage scalp. Diluted apple cider vinegar is also great to kill any fungus that might cause similar problem.

Apr 21, 2015
Sticky build up
by: Rose

I've done most things mentioned. I think natural moisture in hair is stripped away when some of these methods are used. Eventually this stickiness feeling comes back after a few days when going back to "shampoo".
I've just tried "LIVE CLEAN" moisturizing shampoo and my hair feels great! (for now)
I've researched why this happens...I'm thinking as we age, our hair loses some moisture due to hormonal changes. Hair is not able to absorb nutrients these shampoos offer so therefore build up occurs.
Use a (close to) natural hydrating shampoo and continue to use Neutrogena to clarify when needed.
Hope this is encouraging!

Apr 20, 2015
Gain dish soap
by: Anonymous britt

I dye my hair every four months and I also have hard water. I always get sticky and gummy hair and I usually have my mom buy me Malibu from Sally's. I was tried of having to always spend money on it. So today I googled gummy hair and found this site. I didn't have dawn but I used gain and one wash and my hair feels brand new!!! Also I just bought a universal shower head filter that helped out a lot too thank u guys so much for all the comments;)

Apr 17, 2015
by: Brittney

I have had this issue for months. Ever since I started fertility treatments my hair and skin have gone haywire. Using an African black soap shampoo with tea tree oil helped for awhile, but never got rid of the oily look, just made it better. So I tried a clarifying shampoo in the same brand ( SheaMoisture) and it was about 75% better. The next shower I used it again, making sure to be very thorough. My hair dried as oily and nasty looking as ever. Finally I tried T-Sal, a neutrogena shampoo with salicylic acid. Everything I read said the most likely culprit was dermatitis caused by psoriasis or hormones, and the shampoo was meant for psoriasis. Tried it just a bit ago and dear God my hair hasn't looked so good in months. I have my beautiful hair back! Truth be told I think this was an issue long before I noticed it, because I don't think my hair has looked this good in well over a year.

Apr 13, 2015
by: Amy

Oh my GOD I just experienced this super strange sticky/oily residue problem! It is the weirdest thing because in all my 30 years, I have never experienced this before. I washed my hair on Thursday, threw it up in a dewdrop bun (I have very long hair), used hairspray, and didn't take it down to wash until Sunday...perhaps this was too long to not wash my hair and keep it up, and the hairspray mixed with oil and dirt and got sticky? Oops. I've used the hairspray many times before, used my same shampoo (Head & Shoulders) and conditioner (Pantene), used the same shower/water here in MA, I've even thrown it up and not washed it for a few days before... Anyway, I got out of the shower, let my hair air-dry for a bit, then went to the bathroom to blow dry the rest, and when I started to part it, it was all sticky, looked oily and kinda clumpy at the roots. My scalp was also severely dry and flaky. My use of Head & Shoulders typically prevents this. The state of my hair was freaky! Since I had just washed it, it was totally weird and gross, so I threw my hair up again. That was yesterday. Washed it again today, twice to be sure with Head & Shoulders and then a Pantene shampoo, but when I got out and pressed on the roots with my fingers, it was still sticky. I googled and came across this thread (THANK GOODNESS) and jumped back in the shower with my dish soap! (Palmolive Pure & Clean) It felt squeaky clean after washing twice. I used my conditioner on my ends but not near the scalp at all, to be sure. My hair isn't totally dry yet, but my roots and stuff feel totally normal and soft again! WHAT A RELIEF. The grease and grime-cutting formula of dish soap works wonders. Still don't totally know why it happened, but I won't be going 3 days without washing my hair again. O_O

Apr 05, 2015
THIS WORKS baking soda + dish soap
by: Sarah

I just rubbed a bunch of baking soda in my hair and massaged it into my scalp with water in the shower, then washed my hair with dish soap. While my hair was still wet but towel dried I put in some deep conditioner. Now my hair feels good as new amazing and I have been suffering from the residue problem for so long! It seriously feels amazing like right after you leave the salon!! Try this you will not regret it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr 03, 2015
by: CanadianGirl

I have had this issue for nearly 3 years. I moved from central mexico (after living there for 5 years) back to a small town in canada. It was about a month after moving back that I noticed that I had sticky hair on the crown of my head - I washed and washed my hair thinking it was only dirty.... I went on the internet and i have literally done EVERYTHING everyone has said to do - I tried all the hair products and nothing helped - FINALLY I washed my hair with dish soap and that seemed to work. HOWEVER, it did not last, my hair went back to being sticky AND my hair started to fall out!!!!! SO EVERYONE WHO IS USING IT STOP NOW!!!! Just to clarify I used dish soap about once a week to wash my hair for almost 3 years and I noticed patches of hair falling out. When I noticed this, I stopped using the dish soap and have been wearing my hair up for last 4 months. Over the past 3 years I have thought that maybe it is because of the difference in water that made my hair turn sticky - but mexico's water is horrid and the town that i currently live in has such clean water that it's basically only filtered (so it couldn't have been that) i have thought that maybe it was the difference in temperature (mexico-hot, Canada-coldish), however i have read on the internet about people who haven't mentioned temperatures (so that couldn't have caused it either), Anyways, it doesn't matter how it started I HAVE FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKS!!!! Just this week I bought Neutrogena TGel Shampoo (Tar Shampoo) and I used it on Monday - I washed my hair 2x and it felt DRAMATICALLY BETTER!!! I washed my hair again last night and it IS AMAZING!!! My beautiful hair is back - I blew it dry and straightened it and it;s AMAZING!!!! I cannot even believe it!!! It smells bad but who really cares (my boyfriend says that I smell like the "open road" hahaha) - 3 years people, NEUTROGENA TGEL WORKS - go get it!!!!

Apr 02, 2015
I have the cure!
by: Ashley

I like many others realized one evening that my hair felt as though I hadn't rinsed out my conditioner. I went right away to the shower to get it out and realized that no amount of washing would take it out. I was devastated it was like I put a handful of hair wax in my hair and it wouldn't wash out right on the top of my head. I tried everything dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, you name it I tried it. I went to the pharmacy and grabbed a bottle of Tgel I figured it was worth a shot of I could get passed the stink of it. After 3 washes my hair didnt feel waxy but was still greasy looking so I went to the pharmacy last night and got Neutrogena Anti-residue shampoo i used it last night in the shower twice and I woke up this morning to soft happy normal hair! I feel so relieved! The cure is Neutrogena! Tgel and the anti residue shampoo saved my hair from Doves disgusting waxy residue and I will never use dove again! I emailed them asking a few questions including what caused this and I have yet to hear back from them. Lesson learned no more cheap shampoo I'm not risking this happening again!

Mar 30, 2015
thanks a lot
by: Anonymous

Dish wash liquid does work wonders... i m so glad i found this post

Mar 20, 2015
Dish soap
by: Katie

I was having this same issue for the last few days and I just felt so gross because my hair has never felt like this. I normally use Pantene but I bought dove the last time I was in the store because it was on sale and I had coupons and everything else I use made by dove is great. I have been wearing my hair up a lot due to a crazy work schedule and just not having time and when I wore it down it was curly with products in it so I didn't notice the gross texture that had developed on the crown until I blew it dry the last 2 days. I tried scrubbing with other shampoo I had figuring I had just not rinsed all of the product out or maybe was in a rush when I showered and didn't get all of the shampoo or conditioner out. I was about to make an appointment with my hairdresser but I figured Id Google it first since I knew i wouldn't get an appointment right away anyway. Thankfully I did and I tried the dish soap and it worked beautifully! I have my old hair back and I chucked the dove in the trash!

Mar 14, 2015
by: longwinded

I realize a lot of people here just had the need for a really strong clarifier (i.e. dish soap), but I think my problem has been a fungus, whether it came from the Nice n Easy, wet hair or what, I'm not sure. Everything I've tried on the internet/ this list has worked for a bit but then the general disgustingness comes back.

With that said, the only thing that feels like it's starting to work is Monistat (yes, the cooch cream). I won't get into the details here, they're well documented on long hair forums as a method to grow hair faster - by way of clearing up fungus that resides on many people's scalps. Look into it!

I'm applying it every time after I wash my hair, and it is starting to feel less dirty less often. With every application my hair is starting to feel more like it's old self. I've been diluting it a lot though... I should try it straight.

Part of the effectiveness also lies in being able to leave this in your hair for extended periods of time, unlike an anti-fungal shampoo. I so far dilute it out of fear of it making my hair greasy... but it really doesn't, as long as you get the name brand version. There's glycerine in the generic versions.

I hope the science behind some of this helps some of you. If anything isn't clear or you think you might have a fungal issue, ask, I follow this board. Not a doctor but I've done a lot of research and it's really hard to find any info on scalp fungus that's not dandruff or ringworm.

Mar 14, 2015
Dish soap?? Seriously??
by: Anonymous

I was reluctant and skeptical, but I decided to give it a shot - what's the worst that could happen? Extra-clean hair?

I'm glad I tried it. I decided to skip the wash-out conditioner, because I still don't know what caused the problem, so my hair feels a little rough and I'll have to use some leave-in conditioner today, but it's worth it. I have my hair back.

Thank you, internet.

Mar 10, 2015
Re: Anonymous
by: Leila

Have you tried using a clarifying shampoo? That should work better than any non-professional shampoo, dish soap, lemon etc. If a clarifying shampoo doesn't make it go away, because it's near your scalp you might want to see your doctor, my hair stylist told me that there's potential for it to be a skin/scalp condition. Hope that helps!

Mar 10, 2015
Oh my god help
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. All along my middle parting. I have tried NINE different shampoos. I've tried washing up liquid. And pure lemon juice. And a combination of all the above.
Tonight I gave it 7 shampoos, two washes with washing up liquid and used lemon juice. I actually have a headache from all the washing. I'm in Ireland but had this problem in Australia. I'm on the same pill I've always been on and the only thing that has caused me stress in the last month is my hair.
It's almost clean right now after all the abuse I gave it. But it should be sparkling.
I'm at my wits end and have genuinely considered shaving my head

Mar 10, 2015
sticky greasy hair
by: Anonymous

I was the same, for 2 weeks I have suffered this problem, after reading this I have just tried the washing up liquid and I'm very pleased it has worked 😁 so pleased I looked this up. Thankyou to everyone who suggested W.U.L x

Mar 06, 2015
Thyroid ..
by: Anonymous

Before trying any different things on your hair get your thyroid checked out ...that's all it could take ....

Feb 20, 2015
It's Probably Just Build-Up!
by: Leila

Hi everyone! I found this website when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my hair!

I noticed when I was sitting in class one morning that the hair on the left side of my head, starting around the top of my ears down, was sticky/waxy. I figured I hadn't washed out all my conditioner for the night before, since I shower at night and sleep on it wet.

I made sure for my next two showers that I washed out all the shampoo and conditioner, I didn't use my leave in conditioner from Lush either, just in case it had something to do with it. I ended up calling my hair stylist at the end of the week because it was still persisting no matter how much I tried to wash all the stickiness out and the hair on the right side of my head seemed to be getting the same waxy/sticky texture as well.

She told me to come in and let her see my hair, it was probably just build-up and asked what kind of shampoo and conditioner I used.

Basically she told me that 'drug-store' shampoos like the shampoo I had been using (Dove) have a lot of 'fillers' that will eventually build up in my hair and that you should switch up your shampoo and conditioner every few months if you use them. It made sense, I had been using Dove for quite a few months around the time this happened but previously I would go back and forth between Dove and Herbal Essences which seems to explain why it hadn't happened before now.

She told me professional grade products are the best way to avoid this because in this case, you're getting what you pay for (maybe a sales pitch, but I have utmost trust in my stylist that she isn't just trying to make a buck).

To fix the issue she said a clarifying shampoo would do the trick but that it might take a few washes with it for it to all go away because I have really thick, long hair. She also said not to use a clarifying shampoo more than once (or twice max) a week.

I ended up getting a brand called Unite and it's absolutely amazing! Their clarifying shampoo did away with most of that awful texture and I used their moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for the washes in between and by the time I was going to use the clarifying shampoo again, all the build-up was gone.

It is a professional grade product though, and the price tag was a bit heavy, somewhere around $80 CAD (I'm from Canada) for the clarifying shampoo, the regular shampoo and conditioner, as well as a spray in conditioner for after the shower. These products are also 100% vegan and cruelty free!

I understand that you might be tempted to use dishsoap since it's a cheap, quick alternative to investing the money in professional grade products and it's totally your own prerogative, but I don't suggest dishsoap simply because their whole focus as a product is getting rid of oil, meaning it'll strip your hair of its natural oils causing it to be dry and try to overcompensate by producing even more oil than normal.

Good luck to you all struggling with this! I know it really upset me while I was dealing with it and I hope you find great solutions that work with your budgets and hair! :)

Feb 20, 2015
Washing up liquid is my new best friend!!
by: Anonymous

About 99% of the comments on here suggest trying washing up liquid/dish cleaner...whatever you call it depending on where you live (I'm in UK) and that's for a very good reason - they are right!!! I feel I should give credit where credit is due.

Literally in the last couple of days I've noticed the hair around my parting was kinda greasy as if I hadn't rinsed it properly - it felt like second or 3rd day hair straight after washing and drying. I tried tea tree shampoo (though I think it was mostly just scented) and that helped a little, but it was only today when I gave in to my superstition and tried washing up liquid that I got a result!! My hair feels fantastic! It hasn't felt this good for a while actually.

Seeing as WUL is used for cleaning dishes, it's got ingredients in it which are great grease-busters, which is why I think it helps. I don't think it's a good idea to use it every day (though it's obviously safe enough to get on your skin when you're washing up!) but I think I'm going to start using it once a week to keep the grime down. Of course, everyone;s hair is different so this might not work for some people's hair, but it did for mine so I definitely recommend giving it a go if you're having similar problems. I'm just glad I found this thread and got a quick solution before suffering for weeks! Honestly, give it a go - you got nothing to lose!

Feb 20, 2015
Dish Soap helps 100%
by: Adrian

I've been recently prescribed an ointment for my scalp psoriasis and I've noticed that after taking shower my hair were sticky. I've washed them 5 times with head&shoulders but it didn't work at all. After 2 days I've started looking for a solution and I've read that dish soap helps whit this kind of problem but. I've tried it and I'm so happy i did. I don't know how good/bad it is for the hair or scalp but it sure helps when it comes to sticky hair. I honestly recommend dish soap to everyone who have similar problem!

Feb 16, 2015
Dove Quench is the Worst !!
by: franny1949

I have thick, coarse, naturally curly hair. Ever since Nexxus discontinued their "Headdress" leave in conditioner have had problems. Had coupons for Dove's new "Quench" line of products and ordered all of them on Amazon. Had high hopes after reading their ads that this is perfect for my type of hair, as well as positive customer reviews. Take it from me - THIS PRODUCT IS THE WORST ! After using the shampoo, rinse out conditioner, and the leave in, my hair expanded into a huge, dry, frizzy mess. Add to that, a thick, oily residue that didn't come out after two shampoos with my Nexxus Therrape, which i've used for years, no problems.

Shampooed with Palmolive dish liquid last night - it seems to have removed the residue thank goodness ! Will return to my normal products in a couple days.

Called Dove and complained - they're sending a postage paid return label, I'll send it all back and receive a full refund.

What a totally crappy product !

Feb 13, 2015
It happened to me too!
by: Barbara

I had the most horrible sticky, waxy build up after using Dove Shampoo. I tried clarifying shampoos, vinegar and listerine all based on stuff I had read online. The thing that finally worked for me was Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Shampoo & Conditioner - I was so relieved.

Feb 11, 2015
Thank goodness! I TRIED THE DISH SOAP
by: Clay

I have been struggling with this for past weeks, I was not sure if it was because of my new dieting ? was it because of the new medication I am taking? I am use to always having my hair down, but since I started working out a lot and playing soccer. I thought maybe just maybe it was because of my hair always being put up and I was sweating. But I tried different shampoos and nothing worked. I logged on here and said try dishwashing soap and I thought of the duck commercial and thought hmmm .. Let me try. I was scrubbing for a while but my hair looked and felt amazing after I blow dry it. Now I will sleep happy and will have a better hair day tomorrow!


Feb 04, 2015
Sticky hair
by: Anonymous

My 13 yr old daughters been complaining for weeks that her hair feels greasy after washing! Now today I colored my hair and my hair feels sticky!! So I washed my hair again and it's worse!!
I'm wondering if it has something to do with using all the water in the water heater! Cuz my daughter always takes LONG showers but me I take quick showers except today I had a hard time getting everything out of my hair!!! HELP

Feb 04, 2015
Dishwashing Soap work greats!
by: Chris

I was washing my hair more than 8 times, the greasy feel still couldn't get rid from hair, I was frustrated, sad, and anxious! At first, the greasy area just a small patch, after I washed my hair it getting bigger and bigger! And then i saw this post, it was surprised me, a lots of comments about using "dishwashing soap" and I was like "really?!" , hahaha, but please believe me the result will amaze you! Finally now I can really feel my hairs! Thanks a lot! XD

Feb 02, 2015
To Andreea
by: Anonymous

Use your regular shampoo again. You shouldn't keep using dishwash all the time. If it came back then there is something causing it. Try to find the cause. Dish-wash liquids is not a permanent solution but a one-time treat like a reset button to get rid of the problem. Perhaps you should change your regular shampoo.

Feb 01, 2015
Dish soap works!!!
by: Andreea

I had forgotten how clean hair feels like. thank you!!! i had tried everything ,shampoos from the pharmacy, rainforest from body shop sulfate free but nothing worked. so happy i found this site. I just tried Fairy dish liquid and it worked! I had this problem for a few months but now i am not sure what to do next time, use again my dish liquid or should i get back to my regular shampoo?

Jan 26, 2015
Cytéal Solution after shampoo twice a week!
by: Kitty

I have been struggling with this issue for 2 weeks and could not understand what the heck was wrong! Of course my first reaction was to wash my hair again to get rid of the stickiness, rubbing my scalp well concentrating on the affected area (which at first was only at the crown). But this did not help at all. I got so frustrated. As the days went by, the more I washed my hair the more areas of my scalp got affected. At that point my only solution was to see a dermatologist. Since I live on a tropical island and it is actually summer over here, the doctor said that because of the fact that I have thick long black hair, it retained the heat and my scalp couldn't breathe. He recommended to use Cytéal solution twice a week, lathering it on the scalp mainly on the affected areas and letting it sit for about 4 - 5 minutes after doing my shampoo. The first time I did this there was major improvement! And the second time, GONE! :) I will still use the solution a couple of times again just to be on the safe side.
I hope this comes in help to someone, especially living in a hot area.

Jan 25, 2015
Dishwashing soap WORKS
by: Anonymous

This is literally so amazing. I have been struggling for the past week with my hair. I have been washing my hair up to 10 times a day to get this sticky residue out. Unfortunately nothing has worked. I could tell while washing my hair that the residue hadn't gone away and it was incredibly irritating. I was just laying in bed now hoping when I wake up tomorrow and washed my hair it would go away, and I stumbled upon this and got up, went in the shower at 10:00pm and tried the dishwashing soap. THE RESIDUE IS GONE AND I AM SO EXCITED. I didn't use any conditioner and so far it (my hair) feels and looks great. This is amazing.

Jan 22, 2015
Dish Soap & Vinegar
by: WavyBlonde

I noticed my hair was very sticky and waxy after a trip to the salon a few months ago. I had a scalp treatment and the problem went away. Last week I noticed the same thing happening. I have thick, wavy blonde hair and don't use many products. I shampoo'd and conditioned like usual then when I was almost done blow drying I noticed the waxy, sticky tangled mess at the crown of my head. The next day it was worse and had spread. I used sunlight dish soap, a rinse mixture of red wine vinegar, lemon and water and finally a light shampoo with baby shampoo. Just finished another blow dry and my hair is clean, shiny and fluffy. Hope this helps others!

Jan 17, 2015
Dawn soap
by: Anonymous

Haha. I have to laugh because I don't usually believe things you read on the internet. Last night I had dyed my hair and washed it like normal this morning and it was greasy so I went looking for a cure. I found the one about using dawn soap and was skeptical. But OMG it works. I didn't lose any color or shine either. Thanks to everyone sharing their advice.

Jan 17, 2015
Update - Neutrogena T/Sal
by: sadaboutmyhair

Okay ladies, right after i posted last comment i tried the t/sal first . I had a bottle here already thanks to my boyfriend who uses it for his dandruff. I washed my hair focused mostly on the crown area making sure i scrubbed it in really well . Left it in for about 2 minutes. Rinsed and skipped conditioning it, which was probably the hardest thing ever for me to do ( i have hair down to my butt so conditioner is everything to me. ) I blew dry my air and thankfully THANKFULLY it worked. Also, without conditioner, my hair is still as soft and silky smooth as if i used it. So, if you're having this awful, horrible issues i recommend using the t/sal a.s.a.p . No vinegar. No dish liquid. No lemon juice . I think the bottle of shampoo cost around 7$ . I wish you all luck, and hopefully someone soon will have an exact cause on this atrocious hair problem .

Jan 17, 2015
Oily bulid up at crown .
by: sadaboutmyhair

Thank god I'm not the only one experiencing this . It started about a week ago and no matter how much i wash my hair it won't go away . At first i thought i wasn't rinsing my hair well enough after conditioning it . But after 5 washes and no conditioner, it was still there . I have never ever experienced anything like this ever . I'm going to try the t-gel first . I'll post after and let you guys know .

Jan 16, 2015
Dawn Soap
by: Anonymous

I used dawn dish soap and it helped! Thank you!

Jan 11, 2015
Nice n easy 'no no'
by: Maria

It is defently the conditioner , I have the same problem 5 day after using the nice n easy conditioner , thank for all the tips, hope they work for me , it's been driving me mad trying to figure out what I have done to cause this problem, now I know, DO NOT USE.

Jan 05, 2015
RE: 10 year
by: Anonymous

Hi, I think you should try apple cider vinegar rinse instead. Mix 1 part apple cider with 4 part cold boiled water. Use after last shampoo and rinse the hair and scalp with the mix.

Jan 05, 2015
10 year with sticky residue on hair
by: Anonymous

Hi - We moved to Cali 3 years ago from NY and just this year my daughter is being having hair with a sticky residue. I thought she wasn't washing her hair good. You know she is still just a kid. So I washed it for her and made sure that the shampoo got in areas where I saw the residue. That did not work. Besides the residue, her scalp in that area seems extremely dry. I just made an appointment to the dermatologist. I am willing to try the dishwashing detergent but I don't think that will take care of the dryness on her scalp. Has anything worked to take care of both at the same time? Please help me.

Jan 04, 2015
Thank you :) - dish soap works
by: Little Marshmallow

I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone on this thread. Like all of you I have had horrible sticky hair (weirdly only on one side) for months, thought it was my shampoo/conditioner so have tried every product on the market without any success. So, after reading this thread have just washed my hair in washing up liquid (I'm in the UK so no Dial but just used the supermarket brand (rhubarb and raspberry!) I had in the kitchen and my hair is absolutely residue free!! I would love to know what causes this but for now I am so happy and I can't stop touching it as it feels so clean, soft and well normal!!! So, to anyone else reading this who is suffering from the same thing dish soap works, comes in multiple lovely fragrances I've discovered and is about 1/10th of the price of shampoo and conditioner so a result all round :) Thanks Ladies xxx

Dec 29, 2014
My solution to the problem :) - diluted vinegar
by: Anonymous

I've been having sticky buildup at the crown of my head, especially near the roots for the past 1 week. Couldn't wash it off with shampoo/soap/detergent. I tried vinegar, poured lots of vinegar in a bucket and diluted it with water and stuck my hair in it for a good 15 minutes, made sure my scalp was exposed to the solution as well. Tada! sticky ick was gone and my hair felt soft and clean :) Be warned of the smell though.

Dec 29, 2014
Neutrogena anti residue shampoo was a miracle after trying so many other ideas on here
by: Anonymous

I've been having this problem for a few months now. I've had it in the past a few years ago and it always tends to be in the winter when my skin is also dry. I tried baking soda and it did nothing but dry my hair out. Then I tried baking soda with apple cider vinegar and followed up with dish soap. It worked but left my hair dry and dull feeling. Also, the residue was back within a short time.

Last night I was at the grovery store and happened across Neutrogena anti residue once weekly shampoo. I washed my hair with it twice last night and my hair instantly felt so clean and soft and was full of body again. I used it again this morning just to give it a good fresh start and then styled it and my hair dried faster than it has in months and is so soft and silky! I plan to continue using once a week! And it was only $5.99 which makes it totally affordable for a once weekly treatment.

Dec 27, 2014
sticky residue in hair
by: Margie

I'm gonna try Tgel cos Lord knows I trier everything else, Vic soda, washing up liquid, soap, vinegar None worked, it's depressing my hair just feels weird :'(

Dec 27, 2014
check water softener!
by: heathee

I had this problem for 8 months after moving into our new home. I have thick hair, use no styling products, and shower every other day. I had used the same shampoo for years. My family members didn't notice a problem, but i was at wits end. I tried switching shampoos - including expensive clarifiers. I tried dawn, which did work at first, but not long term - and severely dried out my hair. I cut my hair short hoping it would rinse better. I talked to several stylists who were all baffled. I had resorted to expensive blow outs - which worked fine, and should have been a tip the problem was home water. Our softener died shortly after moving in. Once repaired, my hair began getting better immediately and is now fine.

Dec 25, 2014
SALT !!!
by: Anonymous

Try putting in some salt on your hair when you have your shampoo lathered and wash it with warm water. Hopefully this helps, it did for me and i had the same problem as you. Good luck :)

Dec 24, 2014
Thank you so much!
by: Anonymous

I henna my hair once a month (made up with green tea) and have done for two years with no problems. In the last two months I have added indigo to help with my first grey's. I have never had any problems. Two weeks ago I used a different henna supplier as I could not get hold of my usual brand. After using my henna and indigo mix I noticed the hair at the crown of my head felt as if I had used a wax styling product. Two weeks on it was feeling worse and was really noticeable. I found this thread and the advise for cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid so I mixed the three and rubbed it into dry hair then rinsed. Like another contributor I noticed the rinse water was brown. Just blow dryer my hair and it is back to its baby soft natural self! Amazed and delighted. I have no idea what the cause was or whether it will come back but it is wonderful to know there is a cure. Thank you to everyone who posted. Your comments gave me the confidence to try this and its worked!

Dec 23, 2014
Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo
by: Anonymous

I had this same problem recently. My hair suddenly had a waxy build up by the crown of my head and wouldn't go away no matter how much I washed it. After reading that someone else said it could be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, I tried Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo, which has salicylic acid in it. I washed my hair with it once, leaving on my scalp for a few minutes before rinsing it off, and that took care of it! I plan to use the T/Sal Shampoo once a week from now on and wash my hair with T Tree Oil Shampoo all other days. I really recommend this Neutrogena Shampoo because it got rid of this frustrating problem really quickly and easily.

Dec 23, 2014
To Trinity
by: Anonymous

Try clarifying shampoo first. Try dish washing liquid if you have not colored your hair otherwise it will fade it.

Dec 23, 2014
Sticky Hair.
by: Trinity

I'm 12 years old, about to turn 13. I had used this Olive Oil Formula in my hair, its shampoo and conditioner, I used it once and it left my hair sticky and my hair is usually soft and silky, but after using this product it left my hair feeling gross. Other family members in my home are using it and it doesn't have this affect on them. So I stopped using the Olive Oil stuff and switched to the kids shampoo, 2 In 1. That somewhat worked but my hair didn't feel soft, it felt dead. So I used that a few times then when I went to take a shower i saw that my mom had gotten the regular Shampoo and Conditioner that I usually used before this whole thing happened. I've been using that stuff for a few days now and my hair is still feeling sticky as if something got in it. I don't know what to do and I really hate the feeling...I was going to try the dish soap and washing it with that but does it really work? and after I use it once can I go back to the regular Shampoo and conditioner?

Dec 18, 2014
Be aware of smell - vinegar
by: Anonymous

Yesterday suddenly I got this sticky hair and thought if I wash it with soap it will go away. Today I had an interview and tried to wash my hair desperately many times. After I saw this site I run to the bathroom dumped vinegar and then washed with my kids shampoo. My hair came back as before as silky. However, when I was driving I sensed that I still smelled vinegar:( So I opened my car's window tried to get rid of it. Hopefully I won't get sick, the weather was freezing. Interview went well but I am not sure about the smell...I guess I should have tried dish soap first. Still can smell vinegar...

Dec 17, 2014
AWARENESS: Sticky Clumps of Dandruff
by: Anonymous

I've been dealing with the same disgusting & embracing sticky funk in my hair for a few months now. LADIES, THE PROBLEM COULD BE AN OVERACTIVE THYROID! It's mostly common in women of all ages & caused by stress/depression. I'd recommend searching symptoms of Hyperthyroidism if the problem is not going away & if you're experiencing other problematic symptoms due to it. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. I have super thick dark curly hair & now I can't even run my fingers through my hair without breakage. Forced to wear a bandana over my head so my hair or little pieces of my dandruff/scalp won't fall out all over the place. I've never tried the dish liquid remedy before & it seems to do the trick for some time. I'm about ready to get in the shower! But seriously ladies, the problem can be more than just a mix of bad products, be aware!!

Dec 15, 2014
Thank you thank you a thousand thank you's - washing up liquid worked!
by: Anonymous

For last 3 weeks I've had oily wax like clumpy hair AFTER washing! Haven't been able to wear my hair down and last few days have really got into a state about it. I found this site and washing up liquid was mentioned numerous times. So this morning with my fairy platinum in hand i ran a bath then washed my hair twice. Noticed the different as soon as I began rubbing it in!!! I am amazed! It worked! But the bath water after was a dirty and had a brown dirty rim all around the tub, I shower everyday, I'm clean, I don't use any other products apart from s&c, my hair isn't coloured, it's dark brown and long. So seeing that grimey ring around the bath was a shock! Obviously had come from my hair. Dried my hair and it's back to its silky softness in fact it's better! Honestly can't believe washing up liquid worked! Try it!!! I was about to spend £30 on a treatment!

Dec 12, 2014
I have same problem - waxy hair
by: Anonymous

All of a sudden (and it has never happened to me before) this week I cannot get rid of a waxy buildup on my hair! It's mostly at the back, inner part of my thick hair. I blame the old sample bottle of Garnier Fructis shampoo I stupidly used on Monday. I feel gross. No luck washing it out with normal shampoo. Neutrogena anti residue did not work! I think I'm going to try baking soda and vinegar and dish soap.... ? I'm desperate

Dec 12, 2014
Gummy oily hair on crown of your head
by: Anonymous

This is likely caused by a fungus which is caused by temporary hair color. You have to get rid of the gummy stuff with a strong detergent(dish soap with out lotion in it) and then cure your scalp with a medicated shampoo, Then Use a clarifying organic shampoo that is sulfate free. Then don't use temporary hair color.

Dec 11, 2014
Finally, a cure! - vinegar + t-gel shampoo
by: Anonymous

Ok ladies,

Whatever this condition is, it is the most frustrating thing in the world. It's like over night my hair was a oily, goopy mess and the more I washed the worse it got. You all know what I mean. After reading tons of blogs and posts I have found a sure way cure by combining a few ideas. I took 1 cup of white vinegar and diluted it with half cup water. I soaked every inch of my hair in the vinegar-water solution, concentrating and massaging at the crown. I let it sit for 30 mins. Then, I took coconut oil and massaged that through the hair. Let that sit for about 10
Mins. Finally I washed my hair with the t-gel shampoo two times. Each time I let the lather sit in my hair for a few minutes. I also conditioned my hair with a fekkai conditioner.
I don't know what caused this. Old or cheap quality conditioner? Perhaps a type of dermatitis. What ever it is, just glad I found a solution that works. I plan to rinse my hair with vinegar once a week to make sure this never comes back again. But I might try apple cider instead of white vinegar. Hope this works for you ladies! Best of luck!!!

Dec 10, 2014
washing up liquid works!
by: Anonymous

I dyed my hair with nice and easy home dye and have been using their conditioner ever since. I began to develop a sticky clump of hair at the back of my head which would not go away regardless of washing. After reading the helpful comments I used washing up liquid on dry hair, applying it to the effected area and left it on for five minutes. I rinsed with just water and it's about 90% better. One more wash and it will be perfect. It really worked!

Dec 04, 2014
Sticky waxy hair after every wash no matter what
by: Anonymous

Omg I am absolutely joyous by the tips given above. I have had the same problem of greasy/waxy hair at the roots for weeks and Every time I washed it the result was the same. It felt sticky all the time and was so upsetting after a while! Read the comments above and used dish washing liquid and vinegar as in Vietnam I couldn't find baking soda or cider vinegar. Thanks so much everyone for your tips. Vinegar and dishwashing liquid worked a treat my hair is now normal and silly again :)

Dec 02, 2014
PCOS - Sticky hair due to high levels of DHT
by: Anonymous

I had this issue last year. Nothing I tried has lasting results. Ended up going to the dermatologist and by this point, my hair had started to thin also. I figured this was because of all the washing I did to combat the problem. After some tests, I got diagnosed with PCOS. The sticky hair is due to high levels of DHT. Ladies please please look into it. I was searching for an answer for so long. So many women don't even know PCOS exists ( I didn't before I got diagnosed). I wish I knew sooner. Look into it, it may be your answer!

Nov 27, 2014
Sticky residue on hair
by: Marge

I just tried using soap but it didn't work initially it felt like it did but as its drying i can feel it getting very very tacky. I didn't want to use washing up liquid cos i just coloured my hair 2 days ago and i dont want it to come out as im going away next weekend! i dont want to have tacky dull hair , is there anything that definitely works and leaves my hair looking the way before this happened?? Any advice i'll be so grateful!

Nov 24, 2014
Bicarbonate of soda & cider vinegar
by: Anonymous

After days of sticky, waxy, greasy hair I used baby shampoo, bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar, worked a treat!! My hair is back to normal and really shiny.
Thanks to Anonymous who recommended this (dated Sept 11th).

Nov 23, 2014
Thank you - Fairy Liquid and Baking Soda mixed
by: Teresa

Thank you so much. Last weekend I stayed in a beautiful hotel in London, the bathroom products were great so I used their shampoo and conditioner, I do think the hard water didn't help. Ever since I've had exactly the same problem, greasy looking hair which feels sticky!!! I was getting so upset but found your site. 1 bottle of Fairy Liquid and some Baking Soda mixed straight onto my scalp (dry hair) and it's back to normal, thank you again xxxxc

Nov 22, 2014
Sticky hair nightmare! - Baking soda, vinegar, Dawn, Pantene
by: Anonymous

I wash my hair every single night before bed and let it air dry over-night, I only use conditioner at the ends of my hair, I never use hair spray, gel or any other hair styling products. I woke up two days ago with stick/waxy reside at my roots on the top of my hair. I haven't recently switched to any new shampoo/conditioner products or introduced anything new into my hair care routine. I thought maybe I accidentally got some conditioner at the top of my head or maybe didn't rinse my shampoo well enough? That night I hopped in the shower, and did my normal shampoo/conditioner routine making sure to scrub the top of my head a little extra with shampoo. After I got out of the shower as my hair started to dry I noticed it was still sticky at the roots!!

Today I went to the store and bought: Pantene clarifying shampoo, original Dawn dish soap, distilled vinegar and baking soda. I came home and with dry hair I applied a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to my roots, I let this sit for a few min. and did not rinse. Then with my hair still dry I lathered my roots with the dawn dish soap. I let the mix of vinegar, baking soda and dawn sit on my roots for a few min. before getting in the shower. I rinsed everything out and lathered again with Dawn dish soap. After rinsing this out I lathered with Pantene clarifying shampoo. I'm not sure if it was just one of these products or the combination of all of them but my roots ARE CLEAN!!!! Thanks goodness, I was freaking out! I hope this helps someone with this problem.

Nov 18, 2014
Thanks! - Dishwashing liquid
by: Jo

I've had a very similar problem with my hair feeling waxy and greasy even after I had just washed it. This seemed to happen even though I have mainly been using sulphate free shampoos and don't use very many hair products. After reading the suggestions here I used Sunlight dishwashing liquid (Dawn is not available where I live) and it really seems to have helped! My hair seems much lighter, less waxy and back to how it was before all this started. Thanks!

Nov 17, 2014
Greasy hair - Tgel shampoo + Palmolive dishwashing
by: Anonymous

I encounter this problem before. No matter how much I wash it, it never went away. It was not my whole head it was only at a certain section. I went looking online too for some answers/solution. Someone recommended to wash my hair with Tgel shampoo (which has coal in it) and Palmolive dishwashing liquid. After a couple of washes it went away. I was so grateful I had my clean hair again. Try it and I hope it will work on you so you will be able to have the clean hair again.

Nov 14, 2014
by: Anonymous florida

Add me to the list with sticky hair. I stopped using Clairol Nice'n Easy hair color and conditioner and now use L'Oreal Preference. I use " It's A 10 shampoo plus Keratin," which is sulfate, sodium chloride and paraben free. I use Pureology Essential Repair as my conditioner. After two treatments not using Clairol, my hair is the same as before I started with the stickiness.

I didn't know about the Dawn and baking soda, so maybe that works better. I think the idea about the alkaline and ph of the hair really makes sense.

These products I am using are pretty expensive, but when I look at all the shampoos and conditioners and what I have spent on them, I have no complaints to have my soft, not sticky, shiny blonde hair back. After two yrs w/ this problem, I wish all of you good luck to get rid of it. Thanx for the great blogs and all the information!!

Nov 09, 2014
Sticky waxy hair!! - washing up liquid
by: Anonymous

Omg!! So glad I found this page! I am now experiencing the same problem after using Clairol nice n Easy perfect 10 conditioner!! (Little did I know it was that at the time of having this waxy sticky greasy residue that wouldn't come off no matter how many times I washed my hair and kept reapplying the conditioner to my hair as I thought it would help stop my hair drying out with all the washing I was doing to try get this sticky waxy residue out!!) anyway I tried baby shampoo, didn't work, then washing up liquid which didn't work either!! Until.... I read further down about the hair being waxy( like a candle) so obviously if you wet ur hair, water will just run down it n anything else you apply to try wash out the conditioner... So I rubbed washing up liquid into DRY hair and combed through etc before rinsing! And it actually worked!!! I missed a bit, as few parts are still sticky but will do it again tomorrow!! I can't believe this happened! Won't be using conditioner from hair dyes or buying that brand again!!

Nov 06, 2014
3 click person about dye
by: Anonymous

Yeah, no problemas at all with hair dye since I washed the goop out with dawn. Now I use baby xampu, my derm said it's very good cuz it's for baby so less chemicals. She also said it's important to keep switching xampus every week or so, but that I should buy very very cheap ones that have no smell, cuz those are made with the least amount of chemicals or go for the VERY expensive ones, never in the middle. She said NEVER EVER Fructiss, for some reason I forget, and if you do go the cheap route, to avoid ones with citrus smells, use the bland ones. She said the same for conditioners: either go the cheapest there is, or the most expensive, never in between and never ones with smells. Just another tip. And to change xampus & conditioner every week, even if always alternating between the same 2, cuz it makes the hair "work" harder to adapt to it's PH Or whatever. But she said baby xampu is always a very good option: not a lot of chemicals (I mean doesn't even burn eyes) super bland, can be used lots if you have to wash hair everyday like me cuz I'm an athlete, etc. My hair still dyes beautifully...

Nov 05, 2014
Hair help
by: Anonymous

Has anyone had luck with dye after they do the dawn trick? I tried it but still some parts of my hair won't take color like it use to.

Nov 04, 2014
SOLUTION!!!! - vinegar - Dawn DishSoap
by: Anonymous

I've had this problem last year, (waxy, sticky greasy looking hair, mailing on the crown, worse when using heat {hair dryer/ straightener} after lots of internet searches, i found one that worked...distilled white vinegar...put it directly on your scalp (dry hair), and and massage it into your scalp.. it works amazing..i had to do it twice. However, i just had the same problem for the last 3 weeks, and that did not helped a little, but not like before, so back to the internet i went.. i found a great new solution, Dawn DishSoap (blue) ...i went with my vinegar first, in my dry hair, massaged it in, let it sit for a bit, then rinsed it out used my shampoo, rised, then did the dawn dish soap, washed it with the soap, let it sit for a few mins, then i used my shampoo, rinse, conditioner, sit for 5 or so mins, rinse, did another conditioner round, 5 mins and rinsed (im so tired of this waxy hair, want it gone!!!). .worked great!!!!! had to do it for a couple days, but today (drying now..), it FEELS and LOOKS so much better, 95% better if not 100 (im scared to look..),

Oct 30, 2014
My Saviours!! - Dishwashing liquid
by: Anonymous

Thank you Ladies!
Whoever came up with dishwashing liquid, you are a queen!
I've also been using herbal essences and this is the second time my hair has just been shocking! Sticky and clumpy, yet it looks oily. It's only the roots right at the front, but the soap worked wonders. Does anyone have any suggestions of shampoos and conditioners that won't do this to my hair again?
Either way THANK YOU!

Oct 28, 2014
gloopy hair
by: Anonymous

HI. I just had the same problem. It's not hormones, not diet or water for me just a combination of different shampoos building up in my very fine hair. Result horrible, sticky, waxy mess in my normally shiny hair. Will try dish washing soap. Someone also recommended normal liquid Dettol soap.

Oct 24, 2014
To the person getting desperate
by: Anonymous

Hi, you said you don't color your hair or use products etc., the problem is (I'm going to say w a fair amount of certainty) in your diet. You need to eat more greens, foods w anti oxidants (blueberries, avocados, kale) cut out any diet soda, cut out sugar, wheat... These are all poisons and affect each one of us differently. I mean, if you don't use hair products/artificial color and yet keep trying to fix it from the outside but the problem keeps returning, clearly the problem is inside of you, not outside. I'd say go to a dermatologist, but most importantly, go to a nutritionist first. We are what we eat... And I don't mean to sound high-horsey/moralistic/GwenythPaltrow annoying at all, cuz trust me, I had to learn the hard way too. I changed my entire diet and everything now works, grows, happens better... Try it. Also, you can give your system a quick & effective reboot-restart with the lemonade master cleanse. 11 days of a little sacrifice and you'll see your life change for the better in a way that you will never go back...

In the meantime, try a homemade paste of egg yolk (pure protein for your hair), squeeze half a lemon in there and add baking soda, massage that well, leave in for about 15-20 mins then soak your hair in some apple vinegar mixed w water (smells and tastes disgusting) & try to gently comb it while the vinegar is in your hair, then rinse w cold/warm water (to not cook the egg on your hair lol) and wash/lather with Dawn liquid detergent, which should remove excess unwanted gunk. That should temporarily help the oiliness, but if I were you I'd look for long term solution and it doesn't seem to be external, but internal. Best of luck!

Oct 16, 2014
by: Anonymous

At first i was skeptic of the use of dish soap, Dawn, Palmolive etc, but i finally gave in and used it and it really does work! For a week i was struggling with the same condition many of you are dealing with and let me tell you now USE DISH SOAP! I used it just once with a quick wash and my hair went back to normal!

Oct 09, 2014
To the person who advised Dawn... Thank you!
by: Sticky No More

After much rinsing, Dawn dish soap finally did the trick. I was using Herbal Essences, and it made my hair sticky, flaky, and nasty. Definitely not the brand for my hair.

Oct 04, 2014
You guys are brilliant! - conditioner from dye can DIE!
by: Anonymous

Hi all, I have never used any products in my hair, always had long wavy brown/blonde hair. Last week I decided to cut it just above my neck to donate it to an ORG that makes wigs for little girls who are cancer patients and lost their hair during chemo. I figured my hair is so good, grows so fast, why not make a child happy. Ok, so I do this, then for the 1st time in my life, decide to have a bit of fun with my hair.

I dye it ombre/California style (in a salon of course, I have no clue how to do these things) then a friend suggests we do some blue tips for fun, that they fade quick from Splat, I was like "why not?" so we did it and I loved it immediately while it was still drying (it was below the ombre, just the tips really). I showered in her bathroom & she said "here, use this conditioner, it's meant to be a hair repair type of mask for people who put dye in their hair" I was reluctant cuz I had just done it once, didn't think I needed it, but did it anyway. It was the conditioner that comes in the box of hair coloring dye to make it blonder (by L'oreal - I don't know the name, I've never used these things) and as soon as I come out of the shower I can feel that my roots right where I part my hair felt like someone had poured wax all over it. It felt sticky, disgusting, stiff, and I looked crazy with this really short hair with ombre and now blue tips lol. I'm not much of a freak out kind of girl, but I was upset.

I worked out, sweated tons, & thought "next time I wash it comes out, no worries". Well, the next time I washed at my home with baby shampoo and whatever conditioner is in the bathroom, I really don't care or pay attention, it only got worse. I couldn't understand what was happening since I hadn't even put any coloring in my roots.

I searched in the brain of all ignorants, google, found this thread, and want to thank the crazy woman who had the insane idea to go into her kitchen, grab dish washing soap and put it in her hair. But from other tips in this thread I really tried everything - performed a sort of exorcism you might say. Sorry if this gets long, I just really want to be thorough in what I did since it was unclear from some reports if you put the soap with the hair wet, etc. Here is a step by step of my process that worked perfect and my hair is better then ever.

I covered my hair in coconut oil to protect it from any further damage (nobody mentioned coconut oil, but I live by it and use it for everything, including body & face moisturizer) then, just to be sure, put a little olive oil as well into my hair - note, I did not drench the scalp with neither, just lightly grazed the scalp, but I drenched the strands of hair with both oils. Then I took the baking soda - and with no measurement, just on the eye really, poured it into a bowl, the I poured the ENTIRE content of a full bottle of dish washing soap (I'm in Brazil, so there is no Dawn here, I used whatever was there, it was transparent and coconut based dish washing soap), I mixed it with the baking soda.

In ANOTHER bowl I mixed my baby johnson's shampoo with more soap washing detergent and more baking soda, and put in 3 packets of vitamin C. It became foamy and orange.

In another BIG PAN I poured an half a bottle of vinegar and mixed it with filtered - no measurements, all on the eye. I mean, these are all natural ingredients...

I got into the warm shower, got my entire disgusting/oily/wax-like hair and first put the mix of dishwashing soap with baking soda. It felt clumpy but so what? I lathered it in very well into all my hair. I do't think I left it on for more then 5 minutes (lathering the whole time in the affected area). I watered it with warm shower water. Then I put the mixture of johnson's baby shampoo, baking soda, MORE dishwashing soap and 3 packets of powdered vitamin C, and lathered that mixture into my hair. I let that stay on my head (lathering the entire time) for about 5 minutes. Then I rinsed this off with the vinegar mix I had left ready. All of it. I really drenched my hair in it. I combed my hair thoroughly with the vinegar mixture in it, which smells and tastes disgusting.

Then I rinsed my hair and WASHED IT WITH DISHWASHING SOAP AGAIN! lol I know, excessive, but I was determined it was going to be ALL GONE that day and no more of this. I lathered that in very well into the affected area. Then I rinsed well and washed it with my baby johnson's shampoo (now as if I was entering the showering and shampooing normally, the normal amount I usually do, normal lather, etc) and rinsed it. Got a very bland conditioner and used it only in the tips of my hair, did not go near the scalp. I combed it thoroughly with the conditioner. I could already feel the difference. Washed that off very well (probably stayed under the running water combing my hair for a good 5 minutes). Got out of the shower, dried my hair, and it looks PERFECT, with the ombre, blue tips and all. It actually looks and feels better then before! It did however fade out the blue a bit, but by this point I didn't care, I just want the disgusting wax.oily feeling out. My hair is now silky smooth and I really appreciate my crazy ladies who put all kinds of crap in their hair to look beautiful! You all rock. Thanks so much :) Maria

Sep 24, 2014
Awesome news! - apple cider vinegar + distilled water
by: I was the last poster...

Ok guys, update time! My hair is back! Its not waxy anymore! It was definitely the hard water. I washed it with bottled distilled water and it feels wonderful again! here is what I did, although I'm not sure all these steps are necessary.
First, i rinsed my hair with apple cider vinegar and i left it in there for 10 minutes. then I rinsed that with distilled water. Then I shampooed and rinsed with distilled water, and repeated. I added conditioner, rinsed with distilled water, and tada! My hair is nice and soft like it used to be! Good luck, and let me know if this works for you!

Sep 14, 2014
Dawn Dish Soap
by: Anonymous

Thank you to all who commented about the dish soap! The nice n easy is what did it for me, and am currently waiting for my hair to dry to see if the gunk came out of my hair! Hopefully it works! Fingers crossed!

Sep 11, 2014
sticky waxy hair solution - cider vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
by: Anonymous

for the past couple of weeks I've had a problem with my hair, I'd wash it without conditioner and still it would be clumpy, waxy etc. I had a look on some of the websites and they suggested the cider vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, i was dubious but was starting to get desperate so i gave it a go, the way i did it was by using a gentle baby shampoo, squeeze out a bit more of the shampoo than you would normally use and mix in three heap teaspoons of bicarb, wet your hair and rub the shampoo/bicarb mixture into the affected waxy area, leave it for 5 mins, then using a tall drinking glass make a mixture of half vinegar and water, (i made two glasses) pour them over your hair, it will fizz like crazy, rinse your hair with clean water, then wash your hair with baby shampoo, rinse and then dry. My hair feels clean, every strand separate, i can get my fingers through it, amazing!

Sep 04, 2014
Please read my story, it just might help you! - Baking Soda
by: Relieved

Thank goodness I found this thread! I feel like it saved my life. At the very least, it saved me from shaving my head! Like so many others posting here, I developed a dull, sticky residue on the crown of my head which constant washing would not remove. Instead, it just spread it further through my hair. I suspected it had something to do with coloring my hair since I'd done so a few days before the residue appeared and hadn't changed anything else. But the product I'd used was Clairol Nice n Easy which I've been using for over five years with no problems. In fact, I love the results I get with it. I figured I mustn't have rinsed all the dye out and was kicking myself while I washed my hair with everything from clarifying shampoo to dishwashing liquid to baking soda. But nothing worked, in fact the problem got worse, and I was becoming frantic, even avoiding leaving the house because I was so embarrassed about having hair that looked like I hadn't washed it in a month. It was dull, clumped together, stuck to my head and I could barely get a comb through it.

In desperation, I spent days searching online for a solution and yesterday discovered this blog. Instant joy! Just realizing I wasn't alone was so reassuring and as I read through the comments, I began to put the pieces together. I realized that each time I tried something new to remove the residue, I followed up with - you guessed it - the conditioner that came with the box of Nice n Easy. I was so worried that the constant washing would dry my hair out and fade the color, that I used the gloss conditioner to "restore" it each time. To think I was washing the problem out of my hair over and over again only to put it right back in! Long story short, I repeated one of my previous attempts, this time followed by my regular condition NOT the one that came with the hair color and just like that, my hair's soft, shiny and back to normal.

What worked for me was combing baking soda through my hair while it was still dry - really working it into the affected areas - and then washing it with Dawn dishwashing liquid. The baking soda is key because it absorbs the residue, allowing your hair to separate so it's not all clumped together when you wash it.

While I realize that not everyone's problem here is caused by the Nice n Easy gloss conditioner (since some say they don't even color their hair) it's obvious that in my case, that was the culprit. I think what we're probably dealing with here is a particular ingredient that's common to various products that have been used with this result. Regardless of the cause in any individual case, I hope my solution helps someone out there! Meanwhile I want to sincerely thank eveyone who's taken the time to share their stories here.

I'm so grateful to all of you!!! You gave me hope when I had none and helped me to not only fix the problem, but learn what was causing it so I can prevent it from happening again. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Sep 04, 2014
OMG its China!
by: Kennedy

OK, why are so many of us living in China all having the same problem! I lived in Beijing for six months and never had this issue, suddenly, I move to Chengdu and then to Fuzhou and, all of a sudden, I'm getting the exact same waxy hair problem!

I think it's the water! I doubt we're all using the same shampoo, and I even brought a travel bottle from home and had the same issue. I'm going to try the dish soap thing, but if that doesn't work, I'm going to try washing it with bottled water (which sounds insane but I read that hard water might be the culprit).

Will report back with findings.

Aug 27, 2014
Waxy hair gone- DISH SOAP
by: Anonymous

I've had waxy hair for months-- for WAY too long. I was so embarrassed I didnt tell anyone. I just kept switching shampoos and spent tons of money. I used generic dish soap and washed twice in the shower and it WORKED. my hair is normal again! WHAT A MIRACLE! THANK YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH. I hope it lasts! Even if I have to do it again- not a huge deal. THANKS!

Aug 23, 2014
Finally figured it out - Cause:brands that contain panthenol
by: Lynn

I think the cause of sticky hair for everyone is different, but after Googling this problem at length for the last year I was unable to find a solution that worked for me. Finally I ended up analyzing the ingredients of the 10 shampoos I've tried in the past year to see how the ones that didn't cause wax were different from the ones that did. The culprit was panthenol! Which means that Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Shampoo that so many suggest did not work for me either because it still contains panthenol.

I want to share this because I think it's highly misleading that all these Internet forums claim that the "rumors" around panthenol causing wax buildups are all false. In fact, the waxyness for me is worst when using Nexxus, and one of their main ingredients is indeed panthenol.

Ever since I stopped using any brands that contain panthenol, my hair's FINALLY returned to normal. This is after - again - trying tons of different brands, as well as baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and other homemade treatments.

Aug 21, 2014
Thank you!! Dawn♡
by: Anonymous

A month or so ago I, too, began feeling a sort of residue on my hair after washing it. It felt oily and greasy, but especially very sticky and waxy as if there was a ton of residue left in it, even though there wasn't any. Most areas of my hair looked almost clumped together, and seemed worse when I used heat on it (such as a straightener). It felt very heavy sometimes, and didn't feel good at all since it also became unusually tangled in the shower or if I ran my hands through it!! I still wonder, why did it even start?

I washed it out over and over, and I think over the span of a few weeks, I used over five different types of shampoos and conditioners... only washed it every few days… never used any products… nothing worked!

With all of that said, I'm really glad to have found this page!! Thank you especially to Anonymous from July 2nd and July 14th for mentioning using Dawn. I did the same as the July 2nd poster: I rinsed my hair a bit, poured the Dawn in my hands and covered it all over my hair, and then let it sit for about 7-10 minutes and washed it out. I used a very small amount of conditioner afterwards too, on the ends.

But I was so glad that as I was rinsing it out, I faced hardly any tangles and stickiness!! Now that it's dry and straightened, my hair is almost back to normal (the front and sides still feel a little waxy/oily, so I will use the Dawn again when I wash my hair next time)!! I'm really glad that I don't have to deal with it now!

Thank you so much to everyone who has recommended using the Dawn!
Who would have thought, after spending all that money on so many different products, that a dish soap liquid would be the fix! I never would have guessed. Thank you so much everyone who has posted, again!

Aug 01, 2014
Dawn & Baking Soda- Next up Cider Vingear
by: Tori

It really works! So I have really long, wavy hair. All the sudden my hair for the past month on the crown of my head has felt sticky and greasy almost like there is candle wax stuck to my head and hair! It has been so terrible...I switched shampoo & conditioner 3 times, bought a new shower head, scrubbed and scrubbed and it would not go away. I blonde hair so it was really noticeable and started making me feel very self-conscious. I finally found this post and decided to try it, I used a tablespoon of baking soda, one drop of dawn and my normal shampoo and lathered it up in my hair. I kid you not, as soon as I began rinsing I immediately felt a difference. I was so happy I almost cried, I never write blogs but I have to share this with anyone that is suffering from this issue! I can still feel a bit in my hair so I am going to repeat this with cider vinegar rinse next week. I was worried my hair would feel dry but with a little leave in conditioner it feels fine. I hope this helps ladies!

Jul 27, 2014
by: Anonymous

I struggled with this problem for a long time. I had thick, sticky residue near my roots no matter what I used on my hair. Then I found a solution! Frizz Ease by John Frieda. I started using this shampoo and the residue completely disappeared. Now, even if I use a different shampoo the residue doesn't come back. Clarifying shampoo also seemed to help!

Jul 18, 2014
Bar soap works like magic
by: Anonymous

I had that problem for a week. Tried using different shampoo but nothing works. Just used bar soap to wash my hair upon recommendation, and the sticky & oily feeling is gone immediately. Highly recommend the bar soap method. Any regular one will do.

Jul 14, 2014
Dawn definitely works!
by: Anonymous

I have been beside myself trying to get rid of the annoying sticky area at the crown of my head. I have been using Clairol Nice & Easy hair coloring and conditioner. I will use something else now! I used Dawn (the one advertised to save wildlife) and it did the job that Tree Tea shampoo could not. Thank you makers of Dawn! If it removes oil from birds, it will definitely work on your hair!

Jul 14, 2014
Dawn works!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

It really works. I used the one that had the logo "dawn saves wildlife". I felt safe using this mainly because I've seen the commercials where they help wash ducklings with matted oil and other tough substances out of their coats. Seems pretty relatable.

Jul 12, 2014
Definitely useful. - Tea Tree Shampoo
by: Nidhi

I was suffering from this problem since 1.5 years. I had tried cidar vinegar, neem leaves and lemon mixture etc.It all worked for few days but later my scalp was again greasy. I was fed up like hell... Then I found out that tea tree oil works best for such problems. I am using PAUL MITCHELL TEA TREE SPECIAL SHAMPOO and even its Conditioner... it has worked wonders. Along with my greasy scalp I have got rid from dandruff even. 1.5 years wasn't a small amount of time but finally I got rid in just 1 attempt and I have continued using it.

Jul 10, 2014
Baking soda with shampoo really works
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the remedy of baking soda with shampoo i got relief other-wise i was just washing and rinsing again again and my hair were getting more greasy

Jul 02, 2014
Dish washing liquid works!
by: Anonymous

Omg I panicked yesterday when I found this patch of sticky and waxy hair at the top of my scalp. After multiple shampoo cleanses, I still couldn't get it out! And after googling, I came across this life-saving page! I tried dish washing liquid once but I didn't use too much because I was worried about damaging my hair. The result? About a 40% improvement! And because it was too late to shower once more (I had already done so 5 times), I went to bed. This morning I applied a generous amount of dish washing liquid and left it in my hair for about 5 min. After that, I rinsed it out and used a small amount of conditioner. And guess what? My hair is all nice and smooth and wax-free now!

Jun 24, 2014
It worked!
by: Angel

The combination of baking soda, vinegar and Dawn dish soap took care of the problem! Now my dilemma is what conditioner to use after I use Nice n easy hair color? Any suggestions?

Jun 17, 2014
Nice'n easy is nice 'n greasy!
by: Angel

Like many others on here I have the patchy greasy residue in my hair. I spoke with a Clairol colorist online today and she told me it was the conditioner and I respectfully disagreed with her since I have used the product for years to keep my "natural dark blonde" hair! I had tried using the foaming Dawn with no luck but tonight I'm going to try the baking soda, Dawn, listerine and vinegar! I'm going to try it all I opens of getting my hair back!
I'm so glad I found this blog after Googling my issue. Clairol is obviously aware of the problem but won't come "clean" about it, excuse the pun! I'm off to the shower with my fingers crossed.

May 31, 2014
sticky hair
by: kerry B

Thanks to your comments i went to my cupboards pulled out the baking soda , and the fairy washing up liquid, and one wash later, hey presto I'm fixed, i will never use the conditioner in a hair dye box ever again!
Thanks to you all xxxx

May 28, 2014
Dish Detergent WORKS!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

Yes!! I just used dish detergent in my hair and it took away ALL of the sticky residue in my hair!! :D thank you:)

May 21, 2014
I believe its the water!! Not the hair products!
by: Betty

I don't dye my hair. I rarely use hairspray. Changed shampoos so many times the bottles are lined up in the shower .. I know too many people with this problem in my area. So I believe it to be the water... When blow drying my hair I can smell what seems like "swampy" or "stagnate" water.

We have lived in this house for 7 years and never had this problem. I called the city asking questions about the water. Left messages, but no one will return my call...

Apple cider vinegar has worked temporarily but its back again... I will look for the product mentioned for fungi treatment.. Nizoral

I will return here to leave a comment if it returns...

May 13, 2014
To Beth
by: N.F.

Thanks for sharing your research. You are right about alkaline and cuticle and also that stripping sebum can cause extra production of natural sebum. Also shampoos with acidic PH like fruit shampoo can close down the cuticle and result in much smoother hair. However most people here experienced greasy hair after using the conditioner that comes with hair dye. I don't think hair dye in itself are the cause! But you made some very good points.

May 12, 2014
possible reason WHY this is happening to us!!
by: Beth

HI everyone.

I have been researching this problem for the past couple of days. I too found that after I washed my hair, it would still feel sticky and greasy. I was really confused because I felt like I had been paying extra attention to my hair and scalp lately. I tried to use natural shampoos and conditioners, as well as regularly use coconut oil treatments. I had even been experimenting using ACV and baking soda. I thought that there was no way that I could possibly "clarify" my hair any more.

However, since researching it, I think I found out what the problem is. Ive read that many people here have found this happened after they used a hair dye. Both Hair dye and baking soda are very alkaline (over 7 on the Ph scale) and they both open up the cuticle of the hair and raise the ph levels of your hair (which is usually around 4.5) After using a very alkaline substance, you are supposed to use an acidic one to bring your hairs levels back down.

What must have happened is that both the dye and the baking soda (or perhaps even very alkaline shampoos) have stripped away the sebum of our hair ( which is more acidic) which makes our hair unable to defend itself against bacteria or fungus etc.

THEN, because all the sebum was stripped away so forcefully, our scalp went into TOTAL overdrive mode and 'waxed' our hair in order to protect itself--making it appear oily.

The solution I suppose would be to restore our bodies (especially our scalps) natural PH levels. That is why people have been finding success with using vinegar and other acidic rinses. Beer I believe is almost the exact same level as our hair, but we may need something more acidic to counteract the high alkaline.

I am not a scientist ( by any means) and I may have gotten something wrong, but this is the only reasonable explanation that I can come up with for this mess on my head. I sincerely hope this helps someone (or maybe someone can expand on it) because I have also been going crazy with this for ages.

good luck!

Apr 15, 2014
Schwarzkopf instant volume powder
by: Anonymous

I have used this powder before and it washed out fine. The only thing that changed was that I moved house and the water here is heavier/tastes funny and I had my hair treated with a keratin straightening treatment. This time when I used this volume powder the area that I put it in wouldn't wash out and it felt like it had a waxy residue that looked greasy when dried. In the process of trying all the suggested remedies!

Apr 12, 2014
Nizoral shampoo works!
by: Anonymous

I got this shampoo and it got my hair 90% better. This was only one wash, but I bet that my hair would be cleared completly after another few washes. If you have thick hair, the stickiness will be present, just another few washes and it'll be gone. Light hair would come out at 1-3 times of use.

Apr 02, 2014
by: Anonymous

It is possible that you have a fungal thing/ seborrheic dermatitis - similar to dandruff but no flakes, lots of oil, weird smell. If you've tried everything else, try Nizoral. It gets rid of the fungus. Sometimes it's hard to figure that out because the symptoms aren't exactly like dandruff.

Apr 01, 2014
no luck for me
by: marduk

I've been having a similar problem.. i had long hair and its like there is something sticky right at the scalp.. i got it cut short to try to fix it (regularly) i have tried so many things including everything here.

Over 2 years later i still cant brush my hair.. I perform music on the stage and don't have the heart to shave my head

Mar 30, 2014
Dawn works!
by: Anonymous

Awesome! All I did, was wash it with Dawn and problem solved!!! Thank you,

Mar 27, 2014
by: Anna

This happened to me too, and after washing, deep cleansing washing, and trying every shampoo in the house and it not helping, I googled and here I am! One wash with a baking soda/Dawn mixture, and VIOLA! My hair is back to normal! THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Mar 01, 2014
Just happened to me!
by: Ella

Just finished the clean up. Bought perfect 10 color. Worked fine. Used the included conditioner, went to blow dry and the roots of my hair (about 2 inches from the root) had a weird, waxy, greasy residue. The rest of the hair was fine.

I freaked out, yelled at my boyfriend, and started googling. The paste of dish soap and baking soda worked.

I first made a paste and rubbed it in the almost dry hair, washed out. Realized I missed some spots. Grabbed the soap and baking soda, mixed it in my palm in the shower and got out the rest.

I tried calling customer service. Only open Monday - Friday till 6pm pacific time. Do most women dye their hair during "normal business hours"???

They need to take this conditioner out of their boxes!!

Mar 01, 2014
Salicylic Acid
by: Anonymous

Salicylic Acid is the best remedy for me lately. I discovered this while I was basically trying everything in my bathroom, after trying almost everything else on this page didn't work.

I think this would indicate that a medicated shampoo like Nizoral would work well, but I didn't even do that. I just used some generic facial toner with SA in it, squirted in my shampoo. Try it! It's the closest I've come to feeling fully "clean" yet...

Feb 28, 2014
found a fix
by: Christine

I too have had this same problem for a couple of weeks- sticky, waxy feeling hair. So gross! I'm not sure if it is from the hair dye conditioner (like many have mentioned here), new shampoo I started using (Prell) or the water at this new place I just moved into. Anyway, I read through these posts and yesterday I tried doing the Apple Cider Vinegar treatment. It didn't work :-( Today I mixed Dawn dishwashing liquid and baking soda. It suds up really nice. And it worked!!!!!!!!! My hair is soft, shiny and with no residue at all. I am so happy. I just hope it stays this way.

Feb 27, 2014
Same problem
by: Anonymous

Hi, i used locoid hydrokortison emulsion on scalp and i have greasy sticky build up in hair. It went worse after I used glycerine shampoo. My hair is always greasy and i have greyish residue. Baby shampoo, lemon and clarifying shampoo didn't help. What can i do? My hair is brittle and dry but the build up makes it look greasy.

Feb 17, 2014
I hate Nice & Easy
by: niki

I have also developed this problem with a chunk of hair on the top of my head 3 days after using Nice & Easy hair color. I will never use this again!

Feb 15, 2014
A different solution to this problem!
by: Relieved in Florida

I too found myself in the predicament of trying to figure out how to get the waxy residue out of my long hair after it mysteriously appeared after using Clairol Nice n' Easy color conditioner. I had used this before and never had a problem so, like so many others I figured I hadn't rinsed it completely out of my hair. Seven shampoos later (including regular, clarifying, weave-glue removing, etc.) and the waxiness had just moved from my crown to the back of my head. I tried the olive oil treatment, as well as the Dawn dishwashing detergent and nothing helped. I then decided that it wasn't a waxy buildup - which all the grease cutters should have been able to remove, but rather I had to approach it as true WAX.

That started another round of GTS'ing (Google That Sh**). I found a bunch of discussions that talked about NOT using water which makes perfect sense since the water will just run off the wax or create a barrier to whatever product you are using. Then I found site about cleaning anything and I felt the end was in sight. The poster had beeswax in her hair and was told by a bee keeper to try an orange citrus cleaner/solvent in a soy oil base. She found BioKleen Citrus Soy Solvent at a health food store and it worked for her. (The label actually says gentle on skin!) The only problem was I couldn't get the BioKleen Citrus Soy Solvent anywhere in my neck of the woods and I didn't want to wait for an online order to arrive. So I went to Whole Foods and looked for a similar product. I found CitraSolv instead. It does not have the soy oil base but rather an orange peel oil base. It does have a caution on the front that it is an eye and skin irritant but on the back states that prolonged and repeated contact with skin should be avoided. I figure a short exposure might be ok and I was desperate so I decided that I would chance it. IT WORKED!!!

I put the CitraSolv in an applicator bottle and put it on my dry hair. I thoroughly combed it through, massaged it a little and let it sit for about 5 minutes (10 total). I then rinsed it out very well (another 10 minutes) and did NOT shampoo or condition. I just finished blow drying my hair (on warm not hot and no products at all for fear they might react with any residue left behind) and aside from being a bit dry, my hair seems to be wax free and ok. I'm ecstatic. I'm not sure I needed to leave it on for the extra 5 minutes and my scalp is burning a tiny bit but not enough to bother me. I think it probably has a very low pH due to the orange peel oil and that is why it is an irritant. The BioKleen product is probably much gentler due to the soy base.

My plan now is to not do anything for a few days and let the natural oils replenish themselves because I'm sure they were all stripped out as well (hence the dryness). I really need to color my roots but I'm not going to until I'm positive everything is ok. And my hair (and house) smell wonderful from the orange scent!

Jan 30, 2014
Dish washing liquid worked for me
by: Anonymous

I had the same bizarre problem for weeks after coloring. Washing my hair with dishwashing liquid worked like a charm! Heaps of gratitude for whoever figured that one out! I just used what I had - Seventh Generation I think - so it doesn't seem limited to Dawn. Thanks for this thread!!

Dec 21, 2013
Sticky hair residue resulting in major breakage
by: Anonymous

I use L'Oreal and have experienced the same as all of these other posts, except my hair used to be all one length. Past my shoulders. Now, I have "bangs" and 4" - 6" pieces along the part and top of my head. I washed it again after I first noticed it feeling this way and trying to comb it out, resulting in major breakage. My hair looks like a frizzy mess. I even tried trimming up the ends myself.
I tried mixing extra virgin olive oil w/some pantene conditioner, wrapping my hair in a plastic bag and then wrapping a wet towel I microwaved. This was only a temporary fix. I'm afraid to use the Dawn because my hair is all ready so dry.

Dec 10, 2013
by: Barbtarbox

I have also thrown out/ sworn off all proctor gamble hair products. Look them up!

Dec 10, 2013
Coconut water!..finally!!!(?)
by: Barbtarbox

I keep wanting to like coconut water but I just can't get past the taste. I bought some mixed with lime, mint, and aloe (Dole "world" brand) thinking it might taste good, but no.

Since I couldn't drink it, I thought it looked like something I should be trying on my hair! I had tried EVERYTHING on this post, and what feels like the entire Internet. Everything else had only worked for a day or two.

I poured the whole jug over my hair and left it in for 5-10 minutes, then shampooed (with a mild hotel shampoo even) and conditioned.

I realize that the other ingredients might have also helped, but coconut water was the primary ingredient, and it is supposed to be antibacterial. I should also mention that I cleaned my brushes with water and some bleach in conjunction with this.

After doing this I could tell immediately that my hair was "fixed", but the real test was letting it go without washing...
I was able to go 3 days before it started feeling dirty... Like a "normal" person!!

I posted previously about chlorine water working, it did work for me temporarily, but the issue ended up resurfacing in the following months/ year.

It's only been a few weeks since I used coconut water (one time). I wore my hair down today for the first time in I don't know how long, and it looked good! I'm thrilled.

Nov 22, 2013
sticky residue hair
by: Millie

I honestly thought I was the only person with this problem until I came across this site. Like the rest of you my hair started feeling sticky at the roots and about 2 in. down. It was driving me crazy trying to get my hair back to normal washing and rewashing it. Thank you for the tips I am going to try the baking soda and apple cider vinegar tonight. I am hoping it works for me. Thank again everyone

Nov 18, 2013
Solved it with Morning Fresh
by: Growlcat

I just thought I hadn't paid enough attention to conditioning, so was appalled when I washed my hair the next day and the sticky stuff was still in my hair (and worse, it had spread!) Finally tracked it down to the Clairol nice n easy conditioner that was left over from a hair colour. I've used this a lot so was surprised that it would suddenly have this effect.
I tried everything to remove the stuff, including dandruff shampoo, Sards wonder soap, methylated spirits and olive oil. I finally removed it by washing my hair with a combination of eucalyptus oil and Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid. Be warned though, the eucalyptus oil is very strong so don't use too much.
Anyway, the Clairol went straight into the bin and I will never use it again.

Nov 15, 2013
klorane oil control shampoo with nettle
by: Anonymous

This waxy crown thing happened to me for the first time 3 days ago. My hair was sooo greasy even after showering, and no amount of washing helped. I want to share my experience in case it can help someone!
First of all, I've always been a bit prone to dandruff. But the day this mysterious greasy thing happened, I also happened to (1) feel extremely stressed at work, (2) have my period, and (3) use Head and Shoulders shampoo for the first time in years. I don't know if the waxy crown thing was a result of one or all three of the above factors. Anyway the sticky mess didn't go away even after I changed shampoo and washed my hair up to 6 times a day.
Finally I read on one of these forums about a shampoo called Klorane Oil Control with Nettle. I bought it after work today, shampooed with it, and the sticky waxy crown is GONE! My hair is now clean and soft. As the shampoo doesn't really lather, I used about twice the normal amount, rubbed it well into the greasy patch, and left it on for a minute before rinsing. Really hope this advice helps someone or many out there struggling with this problem!!!!!

Oct 13, 2013
Fun trick that helped significantly
by: BarbTarbox

I've had this issue for about 2 years now, I still don't know if it's product-related... from cheap dry shampoo, or that one time that I used nice 'n easy when it was on sale, eww...(Garnier is the best) or if it's hormonal, I don't know...

I've tried everything out there, I mean everything. Brown Listerine and Neutrogena clarifying shampoo (not necessarily together) have helped a bit, but not completely.

Something somewhat unexpected helped me get my hair almost back to normal this summer though, and it's a pretty fun "treatment"! My husband and I went to a water park, and after basically being doused for 8 consecutive hours with chlorine water- coming home and deep conditioning, I felt like I was almost at 100 percent! All of that "abuse" stripped my hair and helped me feel like it was somewhat back to normal.

I have to say that I feel the dirtiness and stickiness slowly creeping back, and still not knowing the root cause, I at least feel hopeful that this can be managed, and will maybe eventually go away.

Oct 06, 2013
FINALLY! - baking soda and baby shampoo
by: Diane

My sticky residue finally went away after I used a paste of baking soda and baby shampoo. I left it on for at least an hour while I was doing other things. Then I washed it out with cheap Suave clarifying shampoo (twice). Didn't expect a miracle after trying so many different "recipes", but a miracle is what I got! All my leftover Clairol conditioner tubes went in the trash. Never again!

Oct 04, 2013
Fix parmolive dish washing liquid!!!
by: Anonymous

I too had the same problem, it's your shampoo and conditioner!! I'd been using mine usual forever until 3 days ago and i developed this terrible wax/tacky build up on the roots through to mid hair level. Simple fix - I washed my hair with parmolive dish washing liquid concentrating on the roots, hair felt like straw for a day because it stripped away all the build up but better than a greasy tacky look. I changed my shampoo and conditioner the next day and next nights wash - back to normal.
Parmolive dish washing liquid and product change!! Easy
My issue would definitely have something to do with the waxes or alike in the product, I wash my hair every day and blow dry it too and never before had this problem. My belief is that the heat from the hair dryer intensified what ever build up the product was leaving behind - perhaps these companies have found something cheaper to replace in their products causing allot of us this mystery epidemic!!!

Jul 11, 2013
Not quite gone
by: Bec1978Leo

Omg! Nice n easy! And to think I almost bought a second box! I was considering calling my doctor because of this sticky residue. I don't use products in my hair other than dye.I don't even blowdry. However the Dawn didn't work. Is there a certain line? Maybe I'll go to a salon and do a deep cleanse. Wonder if I can get Clairol to foot the bill.

Jul 10, 2013
nice n' easy my a**!!!
by: stevieretro

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who posted about the Clairol products or I would not have found,my answer. I used Nice 'n Easy on my natural hair a week ago to cover up some random gray starting to show (I'm 38, getting older stinks). Anyway, was hesitant to use anything but had to do something, and this shade was closest to my natural color. Well, not only did it turn my dark blonde hair peach, it didn't do a damn thing for the gray, and then after using the box conditioner this weekend I got the same ”symptoms” as everyone else- greasy, waxy clumps on the top and crown of my head. No matter how times I washed it since I still looked like I had dreadlocks.

Stumbled upon this site through my tears tonight, washed it with Dawn and conditioned with my regular Pantene (not much, just enough to detangle). I am thrilled to report it worked!!

Thank you so much everyone, I was really really worried about this!!! Oh, and I emailed Clairol when I first did my hair about how crappy their product was regarding the color, and they sent me a refund.

Jun 30, 2013
Glad to know I am not alone
by: Anonymous

So...after reading 10 or more posts on this thread I feel sooo much better. I also thought I was going crazy and forgetting to wash out conditioner rousing conditioner instead of shampoo.I used Natural Instincts for about 10 years and obviously have been very happy with it. However 4 days ago I colored my hair used the conditioner included with the color and now my hair is a sticky greasy mess! I am going to try some of the remedies but also put a complaint into Clairol. again, Thanks everyone for sharing!

Jun 19, 2013
Greasy sticky hair
by: Anonymous

I took a shower today and after I let my hair dry I found that the top of my hair was greasy and sticky. I washed it again and still the same problem. So I looked at this page and found out others were having the same problem. I tried dawn dish soap. I washed my hair with it three times and now that it is dry I do not have the problem anymore. So anyone who has this problem try dawn dish soap before you spend a lot of money on other products.

Jun 01, 2013
Sticky hair after using clariol conditioner from the perfect 10 box
by: Anonymous

My hair felt sticky and gummy. I tried washing several times and it still did not come out. I used another brand of conditioner and combed it through and it took out most of it out. Good luck and I hope this help someone else.

May 19, 2013
To: Damsel in Distress

Try something like Listerine mouth wash first - That won't fade your hair color.

Dish washing liquids might help but it will also effect your hair color and that should be your last resort.

May 18, 2013
Long blonde
by: Damsel in Distress

Hi, I'm 16 and I have NEVER died my hair. It is lower back length, and very blonde. I hopped out of the shower one day, and the crown of my head was covered in this greasy oily film. I thought I hadn't washed it well enough. So I washed it the following day. It didn't get any better, so I tried again the day after. Still gross. So i went back to my normal reutine of washing it twice a week. Now two weeks later, it is still oily and greasy. I love my hair, and I want to be able to wear it out, but with the muck, I can't. I live in Australia, so I don't know if we have that Dawn dish washing liquid. Is there anything else you can suggest, that won't change the colour of my hair at all? Because its an extremely rare shade of blonde, and I couldn't stand it if it changed.

Apr 28, 2013
Nice and Sticky!
by: Anonymous

Clairol Nice & Easy was what did it for me. I am 24 hours in and no better yet. Multiple dish soap washes. Think I will try the apple cider or baking soda next. What is all this doing to the rest of my hair?!! I am panicking that I will have to cut all my hair off.

Apr 22, 2013
Yucky, sticky hair...
by: Chez

Thank goodness I found this thread.....I was beginning to think I would have to live with manky, sticky and dirty looking hair forever. Same as many of you, I have been using Clairol nice and easy hair dye for years and the conditioner that goes with it without a problem - until last week. Everything you have described, I suddenly got after washing last week. I too thought I must have forgotten to wash the conditioner out! I am now excited to read about vinegar and dawn detergent!! What is a concern though, is that after all this time, this happened 'out of the blue' seems like Clairol need to look at what is in their conditioner. That seems to be the common theme. What is also surprising is the number of people that have been affected! I was blown away by that..

Apr 11, 2013
Bad hair
by: Anonymous

My daughter has suddenly been struck with this sticky residue in her hair even after washing, it feels like product build up as there are specs of white dandruff, I said she was using too much product or not washing and rinsing well enough, so have changed shampoo but no better. She used Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends before and she is now trying Head & Shoulders 2 in 1 conditioner, it does not look so greasy but is very dull near roots and looks and feels heavy and sticky not light and clean as it should. Thank god for this thread, going to try the washing up liquid next time she washes her hair hopefully this will get resolve the problem.

Apr 01, 2013
Clairol Natural Instincts Creme
by: Anonymous

Glad this thread is here! I've been using Clairol Natural Instincts for years and have only had this problem twice (this being the second time). I JUST did my hair 2 days ago and it has this horrible waxy feeling to it, regardless how many times I shampoo or condition. Anyways, I just tried Dawn dishwashing liquid and will see how it feels after it dries. I'm definitely writing to Clairol and complaining. I have no idea what's in their random boxes of hair dye, but yuck. Don't feel like playing Russian roulette with my hair!

I just had a Live Chat with Clairol and they're going to reimburse me for this product. I would suggest people complain and expect the same! Good luck, ladies.

Dec 26, 2012
This is a fungal problem
by: Anonymous

How many of you tie your hair in a bun or loose wind on your crown ??? This area gets hot and the damp causes fungus. Listerine is said to be good for soaking feet in to help kill nail fungus.
This is why you should not tie hair up or wrap in a towel when hair is not dry. Also heat on hair dryer would just make it worse... Just saying.

Had this problem on and off and usually a fungal creme works but just a trying detergent in the morning sounds good

Dec 23, 2012
What worked for me when I had the same problem
by: Leah

Hi all! - I stumble upon this thread when I was fed up with a persistent greasy patch near my scalp/bangs, even after washing!

I don't use anything on my hair except shampoo and conditioner, so I was so confused when this icky, waxy spot showed up. First, I thought I didn't rinse well enough. Then, when it continued, I thought it was my shampoo. When it kept happening, I started researching cures.

Everyone's hair is different, but mine (which is its natural color, average thickness and length) worked when I:
-Washed with Ion Clarifying Shampoo, left it for 4 minutes, then rinsed well.
-Then, I massaged four capfuls of Listerine into my scalp, and before rinsing, massaged in a handful of dish soap. Then I rinsed again.
-Finally, I rewashed with the clarifying shampoo, waited another 4 minutes, and rinsed with cold water.

Hope this helps!!!

Nov 29, 2012
Silicon is the problem
by: Anonymous

It seems to be any product I use that contains silicon creates this problem over time. i think the silicon bonds with the natural oils in the hair and creates this sticky film. I have thrown out my Tresemme shampoo and conditioner as these contain silicon and make the problem worse. I've been using organic care shampoo and conditioner which is a cheap organic shampoo and conditioner containing no silicon and this has helped alot. I also use redwin tea tree shampoo that contains sulphate and tea tree oil, it really strips out the oils from the hair and leaves it feeling very soft and clean.

Nov 15, 2012
Listerine will fix this
by: Anonymous

Just saw from another forum and this worked. Wash your hair with a silicone-free shampoo (pantene make many) and then pour Listerine where you felt the stickiness. Just let it set there for a few minutes and then rinse it out. I just tried it this morning and it totally worked. Must be the mint and eucalyptus in it. Maybe essential oils would work, too, but he Listerine was a lot handier for me. Good luck!

Jun 08, 2012
Clairol nice & easy conditioner problem and fix
by: Dena

I had the exact same problem as nearly everyone here. Suddenly this sticky, oily, grime film on my hair at the root going about two in. down the hair shaft, and only on a small area of my head.
I seriously thought something was wrong with my scalp, but after much research and tracing back anything I had done to my hair differently short of my normal washing and styling. About a week before narrowing down my problem I dyed my hair with Clairol nice&easy foam, followed directions and rinsed out dye, then added a portion (I never use the entire packet) of the conditioner that came with it.

When my hair was drying I noticed that in one area it felt like I didn't get it rinsed well, I figured it would wash out my next washing. So that night I washed my hair, and it was worse! I kept washing for days and my hair wasn't getting better, and parts were getting very dry so I thought I would use another dose of the conditioner packet. Bad idea, my hair was about 100 times worse.

I really still something was wrong with that part of my scalp. So I researched and found this site, read that everyone is having same issue. So the next morning I washed my hair with dish washing soap, paying close attention to the trouble area, I washed and rinsed 3 times. It was all gone! My hair was back to normal! I used the target Method brand soap. It really wasn't too drying to my hair. I'm contacting Clairol to complain, I have used their product for years and never had this problem, so they changed something and aren't fessing up!

May 20, 2012
Hair was sticky and gelly and kinda clumpy
by: mr.bro

I'm a 19 yr old male, and same as the other comments on this page, my hair was sticky, gelly, kinda clumpy, and felt really oily (only at the top of my head). It was like that for a week, even after every shower, until I decided to Google my problem and came upon this site. Someone said to use Dawn dishwashing soap on the problem area...AND IT WORKED!!! I just finished washing it out and my hair is normal again! Try it, I hope it works for you all!

Apr 23, 2012
Sticky Greasy Hair - Dawn dish soap
by: Anonymous

I noticed the problem yesterday. I thought that I just didn't rinse my hair out enough, but this morning, I noticed that my roots just weren't clean, like there was a film in my hair, no matter how vigorously I washed it. Looked online, and was about to go out and buy clarifying shampoo when I found this site. Tried Dawn dish soap, worked like a charm. THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!!!! :)

Apr 21, 2012
Greasy look
by: danielle

We recently got a water softener installed and i thought this was suppose to help your hair will now i am getting a very greasy look just on the top of my head by the scalp no matter how much i wash rinse and repeat it is still there has anyone else had this happen after they had a water softener installed

Apr 06, 2012
Dishwasher liquid worked for me
by: Catherine

I noticed the same problem with my hair a couple of weeks ago. After reading this page I tried using dishwasher liquid (like someone before, I also live in the UK and we don't have Dawn here, I used Tesco's own brand liquid - quite cheap). I was worried about damaging my hair with it so I did something that was suggested by someone earlier - gave my hair an olive oil mask before washing it with the dishwasher liquid - thanks for the tip. It seems to have worked, but I have literally just done it - my hair isn't even perfectly dry yet - but the sticky residue on the crown of the head seems to have gone.
I had not dyed my hair for months before the problem started and I hadn't used Clairol products either - I had been using Pantene for a month or so before I noticed the problem. I also used Pantene hairspray, so I'm thinking maybe it's the accumulating effect of the three - I had never used one brand so intensively before - it's always been a mixture of brands... I'll have to see if the problem comes back.

Mar 15, 2012
Definitely Clairol Perfect 10 Conditioner
by: Colleen

So happy I found this forum. I have used Perfect 10 many times with no issue. I saw it on sale in Walgreen's a few weeks ago for $4.99/box, so I happily bought two. I colored my hair about 3 weeks ago with no issue. This past Sunday, I ran out of conditioner so I found a tube of the conditioner that comes with the hair color & used that. Like others here, when I dried my hair it felt like I had not rinsed out the conditioner & was very oily. I was in a rush, so I threw it up in a ponytail & went on my way. I have since washed my hair with several different shampoo/conditioner combos for the past week & the oily spot only got worse. My hair is very thin to begin with, so it looked terrible. I found this forum today & ran out and bought clarifying shampoo & brown Listerine. I just tried it & it really did seem to help - my hair is much, much softer & doesn't feel nearly as greasy. I am hoping that another wash or two will cure it altogether. Thank you so much for your tips! I am convinced, after reading all of these posts, that it is due to that conditioner & am relieved that there is not something wrong with me!

Mar 12, 2012
It,s definitely Clairol hair colour
by: Mo

I have been colouring my hair for years and never had any problems, but since I used a Clairol colour two weeks ago, I have this horrible greasy film over my hair, I have washed it every day and nothing has made any difference, so will try the advice given. I am so fed up as my hair looks dreadful especially at the roots and it feel like I have someone else's hair on my head. My own hair was silky and soft and dried very quickly, now it takes ages to dry and is frizzy but flat, dreadful!!! I intend to write to Clairol to express my concerns!!!

Feb 27, 2012
Fairy liquid
by: Anonymous

OMG Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who suggested using dish wash liquid - it worked brilliantly. I've been really confused why my hair was clumpy and greasy no matter how many times a day i washed it. I used herbal essences, and i've been using them for a while, but i only started getting this recently. However, i just got out of the shower, and despite my hair still being damp, i can already see the dishwash liquid worked - Thank you again to everyone for the tips! Life savers!!!

Feb 26, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank god I found this blog I thought I was going crazy, I too thought I hadn't rinsed my hair properly, I've been washing my hair 3 & 4x's a day and it just won't go away!! I've gone ought and bought some dawn now so thank you ladies!!!

Feb 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

Dishwashing soap worked!!! I didn't have Dawn but had Dove and it worked! Tried Ajax first but that did not work. Note: It's obviously not just any dish soap that does the trick.I am so happy to have my hair back! I had the same sticky residue as well! I color and use Clairol's Nice & Easy for years and have never had this problem until recently. I certain it has to be the after color conditioner as well that's the culprit. I have to admit I have been using it several times per week and not just weekly as indicated. I will never be surprised by how easy it is to Google a problem and find all you out here with a solution! So grateful and happy my hair is normal again!!!

Feb 16, 2012
Dishwasher seems to help
by: Anonymous

Mixed a little Lux lemon washing up liquid with the same amount of white grape vinegar and seems to have helped - got the advice off a hairdresser after trying just apple cider vinegar, which didn't work. Put the washing up liquid/vinegar mix on wet roots where the stickiness is, rub in gently (not hard as very drying to the scalp), leave for 5-10 min then rinse and shampoo normally. Can't say if it's a permanent solution as only just tried it but the stickiness that appeared from nowhere about 3 weeks ago seems to have gone for the first time, for now at least!

Feb 15, 2012
Dawn + Baking Soda = AMAZING
by: ~T-Bird~

I had to do this twice and larger amounts since I have longer/thick hair, but per my last post, I tried Dawn and it worked!! I tried once with just pure Dawn Dishsoap, and while it certainly helped, there was still some residue. I mixed a handful of Dawn and handful of Baking Soda, massaged into my hair, let it sit for three minutes, then did light conditioner only on the ends. It worked!! Problem is 95% taken care of. I'm going to try again tonight with some especially stubborn areas, but yay for dishsoap and baking soda!!

Oct 31, 2011
Sunlight dish detergent worked
by: Anonymous

I have been using a shampoo bar for about 2 months. Sometimes I get a waxiness while my hair is wet but it dries fine.

Yesterday, I left the suds on for a couple of minutes and my hair felt very waxy and matted.

I rinsed with water and a touch of lemon juice--it was worse.

I tried baking soda and vinegar to no avail.

Today, I washed my hair as usual and it was still sticky and waxy from top to bottom. It looked as if I put an overload of mousse in it. It could stand on its own, and felt filthy!

I went to the kitchen sink and used my Sunlight dishwashing liquid in a foam dispenser (not the super concentrated formula, I just refill the bottle with the regular one). I wet my hair with hot water and then used 3 squirts, rubbing my hair between my palms. I didn't massage it into my scalp.

I rinsed well, no conditioner or anything else.

Right away I felt a difference. My hair is springy, feels lighter and very clean.It is shiny and soft. I figured I had nothing to lose since it felt like straw right before I tried it.

I don't dye my hair or use products more than a couple of times a month.

Good luck!

Oct 09, 2011
by: Anonymous

Greasy/tacky residue on crown of scalp, excessive hair loss and a slight burn on the crown of my head.
I used Clairol Nice 'n Easy w/color gloss conditioner and Herbal Essences shampoos and conditioners for years and have never had this problem. I have read so many complaints, and it seems to not be one product individually. I AM BOYCOTTING ALL Proctor & Gamble products! ALL!

1. Throw out Herbal Essences, Pantene, Clairol etc.. (basically anything distributed by P&G goes in the trash)
2. Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo (2-3 washes and residue is gone). $5
3. Organix Tea Tree & Mint shampoo and conditioner (natural/organic ingredients) $5-6 a bottle (find it at Target, Wal Mart, CVS, etc...)

Oct 06, 2011
by: Julie

I have the same waxy patch of hair problem after using Pantene and Aussie... after much research online, I found the CURE!! Go out and buy Suave Clarifying shampoo and original brown Listerene. Shampoo and rinse your hair TWICE with the Suave and then pour 3 capfuls of the Listerene over the waxy area. Massage it in with your fingertips for a minute and then let it sit for at least five minutes, then rinse. Voila! Your hair should be cured. If it is only 95% cured, do the process all over again and it will definitely be back to normal. I am living proof that this works because I get the oily/waxy hair patches about twice a year and the Suave/Listerene combo has yet to fail me!!!

Aug 07, 2011
Dishwashing liquid is the key
by: Anonymous

I've been facing this problem for weeks until I came across this forum just about an hour ago. I immediately went to try my house dishwasher (mama lemon) and it works instantly. Thanks for the advice (:

Aug 01, 2011
Sticky Hair problem solved
by: Anonymous

Thank you to all on this thread. This problem was driving me crazy!

For me sticky hair happened in one city - San Antonio. Whenever I came to our condo here, I got sticky gummy hair, using the same products I use elsewhere. I'd go to Austin or chicago, and the problem went away.

I just tired the dishwashing detergent trick (Palmolive for me) and it worked. I think it must be something in the aquifer water here.

Jun 12, 2011
Vinegar works!
by: Anonymous

I don't recall how this 'tacky' thing on my roots began but it looked like my hair hadn't been washed in a long while.

Changed shampoos tried L'oreal, Garnier, Head & Shoulders, Vaseline (brand shampoo not vaseline the petroleum jelly) didn't work.

Tried olive oil, dishwashing liquid (not Dawn, didn't have it around), hand soap, body wash etc etc

Vinegar mixed with hot water seemed to do the trick, as soon as i dipped my hair in it, immediately felt soft without the tackiness... so happy.

May 08, 2011
by: Iris Epping

I have the exact same issue. I know it seems random. But I tried beer on my hair. I poured in 3 heineken bottles and rubbed it in, then i let it sit for like a minute. Then I rinsed it. It feels much better now. I will write again once its dry. :)

Feb 17, 2011
Contacted P&G - problem known
by: Anonymous

I contacted Procter & Gamble who makes Clairol products. Here's what they told me:
It's the color seal gloss that builds up. Many people's hair may only need the richer conditioning on the ends and middle, but not near the crown or scalp.

Feb 16, 2011
Dawn dish soap works!
by: Esti

I was freaking out because all the sudden i had an oily patch of hair at first I thought it was the heat protection I had sprayed.. after 2 days of oily hair i thought it a comb i used that had left over hair dye, and began freaking out.. but actually it was the dove conditioner i had been using after reading this thread and saw people complaining about dove products, i decided to use dawn dish soap and it WORKED!!

Feb 15, 2011
dishwashing liquid!!!!
by: Anonymous

My 11yr old daughter has had a problem with a tacky residue in her hair at the crown. I thought she wasn't rinsing her hair properly. Tonight I shampooed her hair 11 times, conditioned it twice and had her lie in a tub full of water in the hope it would 'rinse' the stickiness out. Nothing worked. In desperation I googled the problem and found many people used dish-washing liquid. I tried it once and her hair is beautiful and soft! AMAZING. Thank you so much people.

Jan 22, 2011
Something everyone everywhere has access to... Garlic.
by: Gertrude

The reason the Listerine has been so successful is because it's and antiseptic, and will kill disease forming organisms. So is garlic. I have been trying to figure this out for months now, and have discovered that waxiness is a waxy form of dandruff! I never had dandruff in my life!

Those people who are just suddenly getting an oily patch, waxy is where it's heading.

So here's the kicker.... Dandruff is caused by a fungal infection. Chances are it's not just in your hair follicles either, so Google "fungal infection" and check the symptoms to make sure you don't have a full on systemic infection.

Okay, so here's what I did....

Since I had a systemic infection, I ate organic garlic for three days (9 cloves per day, raw).

For my hair, I also washed my hair with garlic (2-3 crushed cloves) in olive oil (made the night before), let it sit in my hair for 15 minutes, then did a vinegar rinse (1/3 apple cider vinegar - or white - to 2/3 water). Then I washed my hair with my shampoo twice, then put in the conditioner. I did this two days in a row. My hair is beautiful again, and I no longer have any other symptoms.

Of course I did this over the course of a weekend when I planned not to see anyone, and yes, I stunk, the garlic made me sweat, but it cleaned out everything.

Good luck everyone, I know how this can play on your self-esteem. Not fun. :-/

Jan 19, 2011
Dawn Original worked for me!
by: quinnsab

I've had the greasy/sticky hair issue for just a couple of days.

All started 3 days ago. Initially I thought, "maybe I didn't rinse my hair enough" But the problem continued despite how many times I lathered or how thoroughly I rinsed.

Greasy patch was localized the front-center portion of scalp. Don't use ANY products. Been using Herbal Essence approximately 6 months.

Dawn Original worked wonders for me. Squeaky clean after first wash.

Jan 13, 2011
Selsun Blue
by: Anonymous

Selsun Blue Shampoo is the remedy! What you've got is caused by a fungal infection or a yeast. I have had it myself too. Apple cider vinegar also helps, but Selsun Blue is a medicated shampoo which you can buy at CVS or any pharmacist. Be aware that you wash your pillowcase in the washing machine and put your hairbrush in a bowl with water and a little bit of Selsun Blue shampoo too. Good luck!

Dec 20, 2010
by: Pretty Princess

This is my testimonial for lovely LISTERINE. The sticky residue was TERMINATED beautifully by LISTERINE ! I can't even imagine that tiny Listerine can healed my beautiful hair.

I'm pouring almost 8-10 cups of Listerine into my scalp and rubbing it gently, I leave it about 5-10minutes. Then applied A-to-Z Mineral Shampoo (sorry if I were wrong spelling the name, actually I forgot the name ) and washed it out,...

VOILAAAAA; My gorgeous hair is back !
Please accept my BIG thanks for you girls for recommended LISTERINE for my grossy sticky hair. Love you all ♥ Very recommended and BIG thanks to my lovely boyfriend for accompanied me every-time. Lovely kiss ♥

PS : Listerine, don't know how about the others whom tried it, but it works for me though.

Dec 08, 2010
Water source impact
by: Anonymous

Your water source have a big impact on result. Soft water combined with certain conditioners can result in greasy hair. When rinsing in soft water your hair feels more slippery and greasy and makes it more difficult to rinse. Its because the property of soften water reduce its ability to bind with conditioners molecules and conditioners molecules stick to your hair and scalp rather than rinsed away.

Hard water also has its own properties which in itself could be drying and irritating for certain hair types. The reaction between hard water Ions like Ca++ and Mg++ and conditioners or shampoos create an insoluble sticky residue like a film coating your hair and scalp and will make it appear dry, rough and greasy.

Using a dish-washing soap is effective because it contains a very powerful detergent that can remove those residues but it can also harm your scalp and hair if used too much.

The real solution is to find the right shampoo and conditioner that works best with your water supply.

Nov 25, 2010
Olive oil and dawn finally worked!
by: TinaH

My daughter came to me a few days ago complaining of a greasy sticky spot on the crown of her head. I know from past experience that if you have died your hair and over-processed it, it can cause your hair to feel like this. But, while we did dye her hair a couple of days prior to this problem, we had only died the underneath side of her hair, not the crown (she wanted the bottom layer of her hair black). Since I knew the problem couldn't be over-processing, I turned to the Internet and found this site.

After the vinegar & water treatment failed, we tried ... read full story

Nov 13, 2010
My strange fix to the problem - Beer + Baby Shampoo
by: Anonymous

I have long blonde beautiful hair. normally.. its naturally straight, and I never use any hair products other than shampoo and conditioner (that i apply only to the ends of my hair, never to scalp).

One night after washing my hair like normal, it had this really greasy and sticky spot on the crown of my head. I eat very healthy, and try to avoid oily foods. I immediately jump right back into the shower and from there on couldn't get the spot out of my hair. I was so embarrassed I was forced to wear my hear up in a ponytail to cover the spot. I tried everything to get it out and nothing seamed to be working, i did the Vinegar washes, and the backing powder, i put baby powder, and all sorts of clarifying shampoos, with no conditioner. I was so up set and running out of options, and no college girl wants to wear a pony tail to every event and party there is at Halloween.

My hair dresser wasn't sure what was going on and her only suggestion was beer, and baby shampoo or to the dermatologist. So i tried it and it worked like a charm!!!

I started with pouring 3 or 4 long neck miller lights in my long locks and let them sit for just a moment or two, then washed them out, then applied baby shampoo (wall-mart brand) and washed it out, and TA DA, beautiful hair again. I washed my hair once a day for two days, and my hair was back to normal, and i haven't had any more problems with it, and its been about a week.
Hope this helps!

Nov 11, 2010
Best shampoo- Umberto Giannini detoxifying shampoo
by: Anonymous

I was using herbal essences this week and my hair got that clumpy sticky stuff in it at the back, but i got Umberto Giannini detoxifying shampoo and it worked in one wash...
Scrub your scalp where the sticky bit is and comb through your hair then rinse it out, i did it again an my hair is completely back to normal. Can be purchased from boots and its about £5 a bottle, smells good too.

Sep 17, 2010
This really works and will save $$ - Dawn and Suave Clarifying Shampoo
by: Anonymous

I frequently use Nice and Easy and came across this site when I began having sticky, clumped hair on the crown of my head. I washed my hair several times, tried scrubbing it til my scalp hurt and it only got worse. I decided to try dish soap. I had Palmolive at home and that didn't seem to work so I went to the store and bought the basic, plain Dawn. I also bought Suave Clarifying Shampoo (like $1.00). I used the Dawn and scrubbed really good and then used the Suave to get rid of the smell of dish soap. Instantly my hair was 95% better(and it was bad!) I am going to skip a day of washing then repeat the same thing I did. I asked a friend who was a hairdresser and she said dish soap is the key. All in all, a $4.00 fix!

Sep 12, 2010
UK Solution - Fairy Liquid!!
by: Anonymous

I had this same problem that appeared out of nowhere and have had it the last 3 days. I came on here and noticed the comments about dawn dishwasher and thought I'd try fairy liquid instead (I was at the desperate stage!!)

It worked amazing - not a sticky patch of hair in sight! I just used normal fairy and water - can't actually believe it worked!!! :o)

Aug 12, 2010
Vinegar Rinse
by: Anonymous

A vinegar rinse of 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar rinse is the only thing that worked for me. Good luck! You will have to use it every day for 3-5 days for it to begin to work, then you can use it once a week.

Jul 27, 2010
Lank greasy hair - Rubbing alcohol solution
by: Anonymous

It seems to me that there are two separate complaints in this forum: individual sticky spots that some link to hair dye products, and a problem with general oily lankness that may be related to build-up from shampoos, conditioners, or from chemicals in water.

I think I have the latter problem: lank, greasy hair with no body. I do use Herb-a-tint natural hair dye, although my hair always improves for few days after I colour it, as though the dye has removed the build-up, though it soon returns.

This has been annoying me all summer and a vinegar wash only made it worse, while a baking soda rinse had little to no effect (I didn't scrub with soda though - just made up a solution I used as a rinse). Then I noticed some people on various sites recommending Listerine mouthwash, and it occurred to me that perhaps the key ingredient was alcohol, so I mixed about two tablespoons of plain rubbing alchohol into a cup of warm water and brushed it into my hair, shampooed as usual with Joico shampoo for colour treated hair, and voila, the problem vanished.

I though perhaps the alcohol might damage my hair, but it doesn't feel damaged - just feels clean, soft and shiny!

Jul 12, 2010
Sticky way residue on my hair - White vinegar
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have had the same problem for the last five days i used a shampoo with avocado oil on my natural oily hair and then i used a blow dryer that raised the heat in my roots and i didn't completely dried them so this kind of hair fungus appeared.

Solution: White vinegar and after that lemon for about an hour and occasionally massaging the scalp with a glove cause it's a bit gross and a towel on my shoulders then finish up with head and shoulders shampoo for dandruff and oily hair

After that blow dry it with cool air
That worked for me

Jul 01, 2010
Dish soap worked like a charm
by: Anonymous

A few days ago, I noticed the sticky/waxy build-up. It wasn't too bad at first, and I thought I had just missed a spot when rinsing my hair. This morning, it was a mess. I washed my hair furiously with shampoo, but I could tell even before I dried my hair that it was still there. I grabbed the Pantene clarifying shampoo from under the sink and jumped back in the shower; this time, it felt a little better, but it was clearly still there after drying my hair. That's when I found this website, and you guys, I love you all so much. I grabbed my dish soap (Palmolive, apples) and jumped back in the shower for the third time this morning. I wanted to be thorough, so I really rubbed it in. I dried my hair, and voila! Gone. Completely gone. I'm way behind schedule now, but it's gone!

I've used Perfect 10 for several years now, and this has never happened before. I do believe it is the conditioner that comes with it though, because in the past I only used it once every other week but this week I used it twice in one week--oops.

Anyway, I feel so relieved now. Thank you!

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