Oily Scalp And Dry Hair: 7 Ways To Deal With It

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Ramona Sinha

You have heard about combination skin, but what about combination hair? Yes, it exists, and the struggle is real. Your scalp is never in harmony with the hair strands. You may have oily scalp and dry hair or oily scalp and frizzy or damaged hair.

Managing combination scalp calls for addressing a mix of concerns and conditions. It is all about striking the right balance, and this article discusses how to do that. Scroll down to learn how to balance the oily scalp and dry Hair and maintain healthy hair.

How To Tell If You Have Oily Scalp And Dry Hair

You have a combination hair type if:

  • Your hair feels greasy at the roots within a day or two of cleansing, and the hair ends are brittle and damaged and have split ends.
  • Your scalp is itchy, while your hair appears dull, lifeless, and frizzy.

Combination hair is easy to spot. Oily roots and dry ends are common in people with fine hair or long hair. Fine hair takes up less space on the scalp, leaving room for more oil glands. This makes the scalp greasy. Since the ends are the oldest part, the oil is less likely to travel to the ends, leaving it dry, brittle, and damaged.

Many factors can cause greasy scalp and dry hair. The reason is discussed in the next section.

The Causes Of Oily Scalp And Dry Hair

Overactive sebaceous glands cause an oily scalp. However, multiple factors control oil secretion. Your age, hormonal conditions, and gender can impact how much oil is secreted by your scalp.

Other factors may also influence excessive grease on the scalp. They include:

  • Excessive use of hair styling products may cause scalp buildup and greasiness.
  • Over-washing your hair strips the natural oils, triggering the scalp to produce excess oil to cover the loss. This may dry out the hair while leaving the scalp oily.
  • Weather conditions and excessive sun exposure can lead to oily scalp and dry hair.

You now know what might be causing your greasy hair. But what should you do to maintain a balance? Let us find out.

Ways To Deal With An Oily Scalp With Dry Hair

Follow these tips to maintain your oily scalp and keep the hair healthy.

1. Use The Right Hair Brush

Hair brushing help distribute the natural oils on your scalp to other sections of your hair. If you are not using the right hair brush, the natural oils may accumulate on the scalp.

Use a boar bristle brush to distribute the oils. Check the length of the bristles. It should be able to penetrate your hair well enough to massage the scalp and distribute the oils.

2. Use Continous Strokes

The hair brushing technique is equally important. Ensure you are doing it the right way. Start from the ends and work your way up. Detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb, and then use a boar bristle brush to comb your hair from the roots to the end. Use continuous strokes to ensure proper oil distribution.

3. Use The Right Shampoo And Conditioner

Consider using shampoo only on your scalp and avoid shampooing your hair ends often. Even if your scalp is dry, you could benefit greatly by changing the way you shampoo your hair. You may use a clarifying shampoo once in a while to cleanse the scalp and apply conditioner at the hair ends to keep them moisturized. For regular use, switch to a mild shampoo.

4. Wash Hair Only As Often As Needed

Set your hair washing routine. Depending on hair type, you may need to wash your hair no more than two times a week. Washing the hair too often may cause excess oil production.

5. Consider Using A Hair Oil

If you want to restore your hair’s drier ends, it is time you begin oiling them. If you feel that your scalp gets too oily, you can skip oiling it. However, oiling from the mid-length to the hair ends can add some moisture to your locks.

6. Trim Out The Ends

This habit will remove split ends that may give the tips a straw-like appearance. It will also help you maintain healthy hair.

7. Use Heating Tools Sparingly

Stop using heating tools excessively. This can also strip your hair of natural oils and make your scalp feel like it needs to produce more of it.

Still not satisfied? Perhaps you will find some respite in these additional tips to manage your oily scalp and dry hair tips.

Other Tips For Managing An Oily Scalp With Dry Ends

  • Use aloe vera gel on your scalp and hair tips. Aloe vera is an excellent moisturizer (1). It can help keep the scalp moisturized, preventing excess oil production.
  • You can apply tea tree oil to the scalp as it has antibacterial properties (2). It may help prevent bacterial conditions and scalp irritation caused by excess greasiness.
  • You can also use hair masks on the dry ends to keep them nourished, soft, and healthy.

To Conclude

Your scalp health has huge implications for your hair health. Oily scalp is not an issue as long as you ensure proper maintenance. The right cleansing and maintenance techniques can reduce excess oil production and prevent dryness and frizzy hair. Follow the tips mentioned in the article for striking the perfect balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use a high cleansing shampoo to remove excess oil from the scalp?

Yes, you can use a cleansing shampoo once in two weeks for thorough cleansing. However, excess use may damage the hair.

Is it true that there should be no oil on hair if I want to keep it healthy?

No, you need natural oils released by the scalp to maintain optimal hair and scalp health.

Should I comb my hair 100 times a day to ensure that my dry ends receive enough oil?

There is no evidence to suggest that combing your hair 100 times in a day can be of any significance. It is best to comb your hair a few times during the day. Excessive combing may stretch the hair and cause breakage.


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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.