Oily Scalp and Dry Hair: How To Fix In 6 Easy Steps

If you’re struggling with an oily scalp but have dry hair then you have what is known as combination hair. We reveal a few ways to combat this condition and to effectively restore balance in your strands so you can enjoy healthy, glowing locks.

Oily Scalp and Dry Hair

An oily scalp and dry hair is the result of an overproduction of sebum oil. Signs include oily roots and a greasy scalp while your hair strands feel brittle and damaged. A few reasons that cause combination hair include lack of moisture, excessive sebum production, and the overuse of heat styling products.

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How Do You Know If You Have Oily Scalp and Dry Hair?

We highlight a few simple methods to easily identify whether you have an oily scalp and dry hair commonly referred to as combination hair:

  1. The first step is to wash and condition your hair using a shampoo and conditioner. If your hair begins to feel dry and your roots appear greasy and oily within 48 hours after washing, it is a sign that you are prone to an oily scalp and dry hair.
  2. If you have colored your hair or used bleach on your strands it may result in you experiencing dry hair while your scalp will feel oily and greasy
  3. Look out for the appearance of split ends as this may be a sign of dry hair lacking moisture
  4. Another sign includes an oily scalp that feels itchy or irritated while your strands appear damaged and brittle

What Causes Combination Hair?

Combination hair tends to be characterized by an oily scalp and dry hair.

It is a sign that your body is producing an excess of natural oils in your roots, and they are becoming trapped on your scalp.

As the oils remain congested on your scalp the strands become dry and brittle. This is due to a lack of nutrients and moisture being deposited down the hair shaft.

The trapped oil leads to an oily scalp. In order to restore the balance to your hair, you will need to create a happy medium throughout so that the oils are evenly distributed.

Leading Causes of An Oily Scalp

  • An excessive sebum production
  • Hormonal factors
  • A non-balanced diet
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis which is a common skin condition. Symptoms include an itchy and inflamed scalp and even signs of dandruff
  • Skin Conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Genetics

Leading Causes of Dry Hair

  • Daily blow-drying can lead to dry or damaged hair. The heat from the blow-dry may further stimulate the oil gland which increased the oil secretion
  • Changes in the weather such as extreme temperatures of hot or cold
  • Heat styling tools
  • Exposure to the sun can cause damage to your hair due to the UV rays
  • Over washing your hair

The Best Hair Care Routine for Combination Hair

Combination hair requires a bit of specialized care. Your scalp and strands require different attention to effectively suit their needs.

For example, treating your dry hair with a nourishing conditioner may moisturize your locks but lead to an even more oily scalp.

And vice versa, targeting your scalp to remove the build-up of oils may lead to even drier hair. The best method to care for combination hair is to treat both areas targeting your oily scalp and dry hair, respectively:

1.Use gentle hair products

Our first recommendation is that you limit washing your hair and applying biodegradable shampoos and conditioners a couple of times per week.

A gentle sulfate-free shampoo is best as it will clean your hair without stripping away any of your scalp’s natural oils in the process.

It is also likely that shampoos containing sulfates may contribute to further irritating your scalp and your hair will become more dehydrated as a result.

During your cleansing routine, try to focus the product on your scalp. Limit applying shampoo onto the ends of your hair to re-balance the oil concentration.

2. Don’t use conditioner on your scalp

Our second recommendation to effectively care for your oily scalp and dry hair is to apply conditioner to the bottom half of your hair avoiding your scalp.

If you are prone to having greasy roots and an oily scalp, it’s best to limit further hydration to that area. Simply leave on the conditioner for a minute or two and then rinse off the formula completely.

For days in between washing and conditioning your hair, we suggest applying a dry shampoo on your roots to combat the appearance of an oily scalp.

Also Read: How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp? (Best Advice)

6 Simple Ways to Combat an Oily Scalp and Dry Hair

how to Combat an Oily Scalp and Dry Hair

1.Use a Good Quality Hair Brush

Did you know that brushing your hair every night before bed offers great benefits to your overall hair health?

For the best results, simply apply continuous strokes from the top of your head starting at the roots to the ends of your hair in one fluid motion. This will help to redistribute the natural oils in your scalp and will result in your hair having an added shine.

Brushing your hair also helps to stimulate the blood flow and remove product build-up commonly found in combination hair.

By applying smooth strokes through your hair with the brush it will redistribute the natural oils throughout your strands naturally adding hydration.

This method is more effective when a good-quality brush is used. We highly recommend a bamboo hair brush as they are great for detangling curly strands, reducing static, and even adding shine to your locks. They are also biodegradable, which is another advantage,

2.Use Dry Shampoo between Washes

Incorporating a dry shampoo into your hair care routine is a quick yet effective way to absorb excess oils that have built up in your roots causing an oily scalp and dry hair.

We suggest limiting the number of times you wash your hair in a week and apply a dry shampoo for the days in between. Your hair will appear refreshed while the product will help to limit the oil contained on your roots.

3.Get Your Hair Trimmed Regularly

For those of you worried this would result in permanently having shorter hair, this is not the case.

A small trim works wonders on your hair and will actually aid hair growth. A regular trim helps to effectively care for combination hair and will result in your hair becoming strong and healthy.

The cut only requires a small chop so that any split ends are kept in check and that any dry or damaged hair cuticles are removed.

For those with naturally fine or coarse strands, your hair may be more susceptible to breakage. A trim will help to eliminate split ends that could be impeding new growth.

For the best results, we recommend having a trim every six to eight weeks.

4.Apply a Hydrating Hair Oil to Your Locks

If you are experiencing an oily scalp and dry hair you may be under the impression that you need to avoid applying any oils to your hair.

The good news is that a hydrating hair oil may do wonders for your hair and will work to give your dry ends a much-needed hydration boost.

Hilary’s - Natural Hair Oil for Dry, Damaged and Frizzy Hair

Hilary’s – Natural Hair Oil for Dry, Damaged and Frizzy Hair

It will also help to add shine and lock in the moisture. For the best results, apply the oil only on your mid-lengths being careful to avoid your scalp and roots.

5.Use Natural Ingredients

For the best care in managing combination hair, we suggest using gentle products that are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients.

Try to avoid using products that include harmful ingredients such as parabens, silicones, and sulfates. Natural products will help to maintain the overall health of your hair and encourage growth.

6.Limit Exposure to Heat Styling Tools

Did you know that how you style your hair can have an effect on the moisture balance in your strands and could lead to damaged and dry ends?

Daily blow-drying may further dry out your hair strands and could lead to hair loss and frizz.

Another side effect is that the heat from your blow-dry or styling tools will distribute heat to your scalp which stimulates further production of oil from your glands.

To combat this, we suggest setting your blow-dryer to a lower temperature or limit your exposure to heat styling tools.

Also Read: How Long Should I Massage My Scalp? (4 Easy Ways)

Best Products for Oily Scalp and Dry Hair

If you’re looking to choose hair care products ideally suited to combination hair that effectively target an oily scalp and dry hair, we recommend using natural ingredients.

Try to opt for products that are sulfate-free and don’t include any parabens or synthetic ingredients.

Natural oils work best as well as mild shampoos and conditioners.

We recommend adding the following items to your haircare routine:

Miracle Leave-In Oil Plus Keratin from It’s a 10:

Miracle Leave-In Oil Plus Keratin from It’s a 10:

Applying Miracle Leave-In Oil is a great way to add nourishment and moisture to dry locks.

It will serve as a source of nutrients without creating any additional build-up of natural oils in your roots.

The formula consists of sunflower seed extracts and green tea and includes vitamin C which is great for adding shine to dull hair.

TONI & GUY Cleanse Dry Hair Shampoo

TONI & GUY Cleanse Dry Hair Shampoo

If you’re looking to tame unwanted frizz for a silky-smooth finish, this dry hair shampoo from Toni & Guy is an ideal choice.

The product is specifically designed for dry hair and absorbs excess oils on your scalp to help re-balance the moisture levels.

Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask:

Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

This intensive hydrating mask works well to add moisture and nourishment to dry or damaged hair.

If you’re looking to correct the effects on your hair from heat damage, this deep conditioning mask is lightweight but highly moisturizing.

Ouai Repair Conditioner

Ouai Repair Conditioner

This repair conditioner from Ouai is great for adding hydration to damaged hair and is free from silicone, sulfates, and parabens.

It’s also suitable to use on a sensitive scalp containing all-natural ingredients. Your hair will feel nourished and softer after a few uses.

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