7 Effective Ways To Deal With Oily Scalp And Dry Hair

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS
By Ramona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach

Everyone has different hair texture, color, and unique hair problems. Some have an oily scalp, while others struggle with dry hair. But what if you have oily scalp and dry hair? You may then need to address a mix of hair issues and conditions. Using the right products in the right balance can help.

This article explores the causes of oily scalp and dry hair, the ways to deal with the condition, and some important tips for managing this hair type. Keep reading.

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.

The combination of oily hair with a dry scalp comes with its own set of challenges and specific hair care routines. Excessive use of hair styling products, overexposure to the sun, and overwashing your hair strip the natural oils of the hair and trigger overproduction of oil. Using the right brush and products, and trimming split ends can help keep your hair healthy. Additionally, you can use ingredients such as aloe vera or tea tree oil to combat greasiness and keep your scalp hydrated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a very oily scalp cause hair loss?

Yes. Excess sebum secretion or natural oils in the scalp may congest the pores and lead to buildup and irritation. This may weaken the hair roots and lead to hair loss.

Why is my scalp oily even after shampooing?

This may be due to improper cleansing and buildup caused by excess oil production from sebum glands. Regular shampoo cannot thoroughly clarify the scalp. Therefore, you must use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove oil buildup from the scalp.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have oily scalp and dry hair, it means you have a combination hair type.
  • Overactive sebaceous glands, your age, hormonal conditions, and gender can impact how much oil is secreted by your scalp.
  • To deal with an oily scalp with dry hair, use the right hairbrush in continuous strokes, the right shampoo and conditioner, wash your hair only as often as needed, use hair oil, trim out the ends, and use heating tools sparingly.


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Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She... more

Dr. Shruti Chavan

Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee... more