Here’s how to deal with an oily scalp and dry hair ends 


An oily scalp can trigger a slew of unpleasant hair care problems. Explore the causes of an oily scalp and learn how to treat it with advice and tips from our experts.

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1. What causes an oily scalp?
2. Causes of oily scalp along with dry hair
3. How to treat an oily scalp?
4. What to look for in an oily scalp shampoo?
5. When to see a doctor?

The secret to great hair is a clean and healthy scalp. All your hair care woes literally ‘stem’ from the scalp if you neglect it. A healthy and balanced scalp gives you strong, beautiful hair. While some people are blessed with a healthy scalp, others battle the repercussions of an oily scalp. Though a bit of oil is essential for your hair to look hydrated, if you wake up with greasy, oily hair that appears plastered to the sides of your face, you may be have some hair care problems at hand.

An oily scalp is the main culprit behind other hair care problems and getting to the “root” of this problem is the only way to find the right oily scalp treatment. This requires some understanding on what causes an oily scalp. So, here goes:

What causes an oily scalp?

Oily, greasy strands are unappealing and do nothing to make your hair look good. The primary causes of oily, greasy scalp are:

  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis:

Seborrhoeic dermatitis condition irritates and inflames your skin. You will notice pink, scaly areas developing on the skin’s surface, especially where there are a lot of oil glands. These oil-producing sebaceous glands present in your scalp eventually cause dandruff.

  • Skin conditions:

Several skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause red, scaly patches to appear on the scalp. Both these skin conditions are caused due to immune dysfunction.

  • Genetics:

Your genes determine the thickness of your hair and how much oil your scalp produces. So, if you have an oily scalp, you have your genes are responsible.

  • Stress:

Stress triggers a lot of unpleasant conditions and oily scalp is one of them. Increased stress levels can cause the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and overproduce sebum which is a waxy, oily substance that helps your hair look healthy, only if it’s produced in moderation.

Causes of oily scalp along with dry hair

So, do you have an oily scalp and dry hair? It may sound contradictory, but the combination of oily scalp and dry hair is quite common. So, how do you identify this hair type? If your hair is dry and brittle at the ends and your scalp feels greasy at the roots within 1 or 2 days of washing, you have this hair type. Sebaceous glands cause the oily roots in your scalp, and the dry ends are caused by a variety of factors at play. This includes:

  • Sun exposure
  • Over-washing
  • Your hair type
  • Weather
  • Drying products

People, who are used to colouring or using bleach on their hair, are most likely to develop oily scalp and dry ends. The oily part of this combination can make your hair appear dull, slick, lifeless, and stringy. Whereas, the dry ends can make your hair appear damaged and frizzy.

How to treat an oily scalp? 

You need to show your oily scalp the same amount of love and care that you shower on your tresses. This doesn’t mean that you smother it with products that guarantee a clean scalp. Certain hair care tips prove to be perfect for oily scalp treatment.

  • Rinse your hair with cold water

Hot water can stimulate your sebaceous glands and encourage them to produce more sebum. Instead, use cool water to rinse your hair, as it will close your hair cuticles and prevent the glands from going into overdrive. Also, give yourself a scalp massage to distribute the oil evenly throughout your hair.

  • Refrain from shampooing daily

As much as you’d like to keep your scalp squeaky clean, do not shampoo your hair daily. Doing so can strip your hair of the naturally occurring oil. Although, you can trust your sebaceous glands to replace the lost oils ASAP. You need to train your scalp to be less greasy. Try washing your hair no more than 2 to 3 times a week and ease into the washing schedule by replacing one of your wash days with just water, no shampoo.

  • Condition carefully

The conditioner is meant for your hair, not the scalp. When you apply the conditioner close to your roots, you are preparing your tresses to transform into an oily mess. Apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair where it’s needed. This way, your scalp won’t get oily, nor would your hair ends feel dry. Rinse thoroughly to not leave any residue behind.

  • Rinse well

Regardless of the shampoo and conditioner you use, ensure that you rinse it off thoroughly. You can’t leave behind any residue, else it would trigger your scalp to produce more oil. You need to understand the difference between how your hair looks and feels.

  • Use dry shampoo

You can’t wash your hair every day or live with dirty hair. Instead of relying on your shampoo, bring in dry shampoo as a trusted hair ally. A dry shampoo does an excellent job of absorbing oils from your hair roots without you having to wash it! Moreover, the products also offer your hair more volume and keep an oily scalp at bay. Comb your hair to distribute the product evenly across the lengths of your hair.

What to look for in an oily scalp shampoo?

Treating an oily scalp with dry hair is an easy task when you are armed with the right shampoo and conditioner. You need a shampoo and conditioner that will clean your scalp and get rid of the sticky mess and moisturise your hair at the same time. We know what will fit the bill perfectly— Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Shampoo. This cleansing shampoo gives you 7 major benefits- fights dry scalp, relieves irritation, calms itchy scalp, reduces redness, great scent, controls flaky scalp, and leaves your hair looking great.

Follow up this shampoo with Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Anti-Dandruff Conditioner that locks in dandruff-fighting power and gives you a healthy scalp and great hair.

When to see a doctor? ?

If your oily scalp does not show any improvement despite using a good shampoo and conditioner, and adhering to good hair care habits, it’s time to consult a doctor. If some skin condition triggers an oily scalp, you need to visit a dermatologist right away.

An oily scalp and dry hair can be a weird combination, but with a carefully-created hair care routine and some reliable hair care products, your scalp and hair will feel refreshed and clean inside-out.