Oily Hair in Children

Children of all ages experience oily hair. The most common ages, however, include infancy and adolescence. Although infant bodies and teenage bodies share very little in common, this particular condition gives them a commonality. Although not medically necessary, there are some things parents and teens can do to combat oily hair.


Newborn babies and infants sometimes experience oily hair, causing a condition called cradle cap 3. Babies receive extra hormones from their mother's sebaceous glands during labor and birth. The hormones cross the placenta and cause them to produce extra oil on the scalp that turns into a yellow scaly texture. It also happens on the face, forehead and diaper area, according to the Hair Boutique website 1.


During the adolescent years, consisting of the preteen and teenage years, many children experience oily hair. At the beginning of puberty, the sebaceous oil glands produce much more oil than before puberty, states the TeensHealth website. This not only causes oily hair but also acne on the face and body.

Time Frame

Oily baby hair and cradle cap typically begins during the first 3 months of age, states the Dr.Greene.com 3. It only lasts, however, until about 8 or 12 months. Adolescent oily hair, on the other hand, lasts longer because teens' bodies produce the sebaceous hormones. Those who experience noticeable oiliness could experience it all throughout the teenage years.


Treating oily baby hair entails shampooing often, perhaps once a day. Then, to loosen the cradle cap scales, use a fine toothed comb on the wet scalp 3. This type of treatment, however, isn’t necessary. The condition corrects itself usually within the first year. Treating adolescent oily hair also includes shampooing at least every day. Using a shampoo meant for oily hair typically works best, followed by a conditioner for oily hair.

Interesting Fact

Oily hair does have its benefits, especially during childhood. Head lice don't survive well in an oily environment, according to Cozy's Cuts for Kids 4. In fact, one way to prevent the spreading of head lice is to rub a couple of drops of olive oil into the scalp daily. Those with oily hair need no additional oil to prevent the lice from reproducing.

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