Everyone has a different hair type, and all hair types come with their own obstacles. Dealing with dry hair, oily hair or frizzy hair can be difficult, but what if you have a combination hair type? If you have an oily scalp and dry ends, you most certainly aren’t the only one — and there are plenty of others dealing with the reverse. After all, having a dry scalp is no walk in the park either.
Fortunately, there are many tips, tricks, and products that can help you deal with the twofold issue of hydrating your oily scalp and adding some moisture to your dry ends.
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Do you have oily scalp and dry ends?
How do you know if you have an oily scalp and dry ends? If you have dry, brittle, or split ends, and your scalp feels oily and gets greasy at the roots within 1 to 2 days of washing, you likely have this combination hair type.
People who colour or bleach their hair tend to develop an oily scalp and dry ends as colour treatments like bleach are known to strip your locks of the natural oils that keep them soft and nourished.
An oily scalp tends to be itchy and cause your hair to appear dull, lifeless, slick, and stringy. Dry ends, on the other hand, appear frizzy and damaged. An oily scalp and dry ends are definitely easy to spot, and the sooner you can identify your problem, the easier it will be to restore your locks.
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What causes oily roots and dry ends?
Oily roots, for one, are caused by the sebaceous glands in your scalp. These glands produce excess sebum which is then carried down your hair shaft and can cause your hair to appear greasy around the scalp.
According to The Kit, oily skin can be genetic or caused by hair products. The reality is that many products, especially organic products containing essential oils, can contribute to excess oil at your roots.
When left untreated, an oily scalp can cause dandruff, fungus, or even seborrheic dermatitis. The latter refers to the common scalp condition that can appear as scaly patches on your scalp and contribute to hair loss.
Dry ends, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of genetics, environmental factors, and hair practices including:
- Sun exposure
- Hair type
- Drying products
Tips for treating an oily scalp with dry ends
Don’t let oily hair roots and dry ends get the best of you. The presence of hair professionals, specially designed products, and hacks developed by the internet’s DIY-savvy users have made it easy to find the right tips and tricks to salvage your locks.
These tips for treating an oily scalp with dry ends will make your hair routine a lot easier, and your locks a lot healthier. Your scalp and your hair will thank you:
1. Make sure you are using the right hairbrush
A common misconception is that brushing oily hair just makes hair oiler, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Brushing your hair can help redistribute natural oils from the root of your hair throughout your locks and to any dry ends. Armed with the right hairbrush, you can better redistribute the natural oils in your hair to combat an oily scalp and dry ends.
The wrong hairbrush can make it harder to detangle your hair and adequately distribute the natural oils in your locks. For example, boar bristle brushes are known for evenly distributing the natural oils from your scalp throughout your locks. To find the right brush for your locks, it’s also important to identify the right length of bristles. For example, if you have thicker oily hair, it will be harder to penetrate to your scalp with shorter brushes.
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2. Brush Your Hair in Continuous Strokes
You may not even realize that the way you’ve been brushing your hair has negatively impacted your locks.
When you brush your hair in continuous strokes from root to tip, you evenly redistribute the oils throughout your locks instead of keeping them at the root of your scalp while simultaneously leaving your ends dry. Continuous brushing from top to bottom will also help stimulate blood flow, remove any buildup of products like shampoo and gel, and generally help your hair look healthier due to the more even distribution of natural oils. Still, be sure to avoid over brushing as this can stimulate oil production.
3. Reconsider Your Shampoo & Conditioner Routine
If you shampoo your entire head of hair when you wash your locks, consider changing up your routine. Instead of shampooing all of your hair, it’s better to apply shampoo just to your roots where its needed.
Shampooing the roots will help you to get rid of any buildup of dirt or product around your scalp without getting rid of any of the natural oils that keep your hair nourished. When you use a conditioner, however, consider applying the product to only the bottom ends of your hair. It’s also a good idea to let your conditioner sit while you shave or finish up your shower to give it a bit more time to really nourish your locks.
When it comes to combination hair, it's important to develop a strategic shampoo and conditioner routine that combines different strategies to ensure both ends of your hair are getting treated separately.
4. Pick the Right Products
The thing is, there are a lot of questionable ingredients found in common hair products. When you are shopping for hair products, opt for products that don’t contain:
- Mineral Oil
- Denatured Alcohols
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Coal Tar
5. Consider Washing Your Hair Less Often
When you have greasy or oily hair, it’s common to feel the need to wash your hair more often to combat the grease. The reality, however, is that washing your hair can have the exact opposite effect. Make sure to identify how often you need to wash your hair based on your hair type.
When you wash your hair, you strip your hair of its natural oil. Your body responds to this by overproducing sebum to replace the lost natural oils. It’s a vicious cycle that you can’t win until you rebalance your locks by washing your hair less frequently.
6. Make the Most of Dry Shampoo
We’ve already established that overwashing your hair and applying too much shampoo can have less than desirable results for your oily scalp. That said, no one wants to have dirty hair. This is where dry shampoo comes in.
Dry shampoos make it quick and easy to absorb your root’s excess oils without having to actually wash your hair. These products also help to provide your hair with some more volume and will buy you some time to let the natural oils in your hair to redistribute themselves. Dry shampoos don’t even need to be expensive as you can even make a DIY dry shampoo if you feel so inclined.
Overall, dry shampoo allows you to take longer breaks between washing, which will help your hair to regain some balance.
7. Hydrate Your Hair with Hair Oil
We know how this sounds — more oil for oily hair? Hear us out. Applying a hair oil to the ends or even mid-lengths of your hair can help restore some moisture to your dryer ends without adding more grease to your roots or oily scalp. All you need is to apply a few drops to the ends to add some moisture and reduce the appearance of dry ends.
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8. Get a Hair Cut
Chopping your hair is a great way to deal with your oily scalp and dry ends. That said, heading to a hair salon right now isn’t feasible, and once salons open up again getting an appointment is going to be brutal. Fortunately, you can always consider giving yourself an at-home hair cut.
9. Stop Touching Your Hair
We’ll say it louder for the people in the back: STOP. TOUCHING. YOUR. HAIR. It can be incredibly tempting to run your fingers through your hair, twirl your locks, etc., but handling your hair with your fingertips that also produce oils can actually make your hair more oily. Avoid touching your hair and adding more oils from your face and fingers.
10. Invest In a Scalp Scrub
A good scalp scrub can act as an exfoliant and effectively get rid of dead skin, dirt, and any other buildup from your scalp. The best part? You can also make DIY hair scrubs using ingredients that you probably already have at home.
11. Apply Less Heat to Your Hair
If you are dealing with an oily scalp and dry ends, it may be time to lay off the blow-drying or flat ironing. Applying heat to your hair tends to make your hair even more oily as your hair’s natural oils can roll down your locks that much easier when they are straight. Straight locks also sit closer to the scalp, which makes it easier for the oils from your scalp to transfer to your hair.
On the flip side, styling your hair with waves or curls will not only make your locks more voluminous, but will also slow down the transfer of your hair’s natural oils. Try challenging yourself to at least a week without using heat!
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Product recommendations for oily Roots & dry Ends
Best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends:
The Kérastase Specifique Balancing Shampoo is a vitamin-rich shampoo that is specially designed for scalp health. The shampoo helps to rebalance your scalp by cleansing, removing oils, and regulating overactive sebum production.
Unlike other harsh cleansing agents, this shampoo is infused with glycerine for a more gentle, mild cleansing that helps to balance your scalp and leave your locks smooth and soft instead of dry and dull.
Best conditioner for oily scalp and dry ends
The Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-in Conditioner is a much-loved product by hair enthusiasts. This conditioner is incredibly moisturizing, nourishing, and hydrating, making it ideal for those with an oily scalp and dry or damaged ends. Because it’s leave-in, it gets to sit in your hair and work its magic all day.
Best hair mask for oily scalp and dry Ends
The thing about hair masks is that some (like pre-shampoo masks) are best for before your shower, while others are better to apply on your ends after the fact. We love the L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, a silicone-free clay mask that can help absorb the grease on your roots. For after the shower, we suggest utilizing the System Professional Hydrate Mask on your dry ends for extra moisture.
Written by: Brittany Rodrigues