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Reviewed by Dr. Diana Rangaves, PharmD
If you experience excess oil around your scalp and dry ends, you have what’s known as combination hair. There are products out there specifically designed for your hair needs, and lucky for you, we’ve gathered them on this list of the best shampoos for oily scalp and dry ends!
What Causes an Oily Scalp?
Everyone has sebaceous glands on their scalp, and it is in these glands where a natural mix of oils (called sebum) is created to keep skin from drying out. In some people, however, these sebaceous glands become overactive, producing more sebum than necessary, leading to an oily scalp and hair that gets greasy quickly.
There are a few different causes for overactive sebaceous glands. Sometimes this can come from seborrheic dermatitis, which irritates the skin and leads to dandruff and excess oil. Other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, may also lead to more oil than necessary. In some people, genetics are to blame, causing an oily scalp and oily skin. Whatever is causing your oily scalp, you can do something about it!
What Causes Dry Ends?
There are a lot of habits and conditions that lead to dry hair, but when it’s specifically the ends of your hair when you have an oily scalp, here is what could be behind it:
- Over Washing. Of course, if your hair often looks greasy, you’ll probably wash it frequently. The problem with doing so is that you can overwash your hair, leading to dry ends. Lots of shampoos for oily scalps contain harsh surfactants that strip moisture from the hair, giving you both extremes at different ends of your hair.
- Exposure to UV Rays. The sun’s rays aren’t only harmful to your skin—they may negatively affect your hair, too. UV rays cause the lipids that keep hair shafts moisturized to break down, leading to weaker and drier hair.
- Heat Styling. If you regularly style your hair with heat tools (such as straighteners, hair dryers, or curling irons) or use chemical straightening or curling processes, you could be drying your hair out.
- Not Using Conditioner. You may think you don’t need conditioner when you have an oily scalp, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Not using conditioner can lead to dry, brittle hair, which no one wants. If you’re concerned about over-moisturizing your scalp, simply apply conditioner to the ends of your hair and skip the scalp altogether. That way you get the best of both worlds!
- Using the Wrong Products. The reason for your hair woes could be as simple as turning to products that aren’t suited to you and your hair issues. This article will guide you toward the best products that serve your oily scalp and dry ends!
What Can You Do About an Oily Scalp and Dry Ends?
Once you’ve identified that you have an oily scalp and dry ends, you can do something about it. Here are a few steps to take:
- Try a New Hairbrush. If you have long hair, you probably know that brushing it isn’t just about getting all the kinks out—it helps distribute oil evenly, too. With an oily scalp and dry ends, make sure you have a high-quality brush and use it daily, getting those oils from your scalp to your hair tips.
- Wash Your Hair Less Often. Another option is to cut down on the frequency of your hair washing. Experts recommend washing hair every 2-3 days. You may need to adjust that number depending on how thick or fine your hair is, but use it as a guideline. That may regulate your natural sebum production and may stop harsh products from stripping moisture away from those ends.
- Incorporate a Conditioner Into Your Routine. If you’re just using shampoo, time to add a conditioner to the mix. Again, if you’re concerned about an oily scalp, just apply conditioner to the ends of your hair for added hydration.
- Don’t Touch Your Hair. The extra oil from your hands combined with your over productive sebaceous glands spells trouble! So to avoid worsening that oily scalp, keep your hands away from it.
- Cut Down on Heat Styling. Frequently using high heat to style your hair can leave hair dry and damaged. So let your hair air dry occasionally and find other ways to style it that won’t leave your ends dry.
- Upgrade Your Shampoo. What is the easiest and perhaps most effective step you can take? Switch to a better shampoo! There’s no excuse if you’re dealing with this hair issues. Start with our list of the best shampoos for oily scalps and dry ends, and kiss bad hair days goodbye.
What to Look for in a Shampoo for Oily Scalp and Dry Ends
As you browse through the hundreds of shampoo options, look for shampoos that will help with your oily scalp and dry ends. The key is to find shampoos that focus on scalp health, using ingredients like tea tree and aloe vera to soothe and clarify the scalp to regulate oil production. Gentle surfactants will wash away that extra grease without stripping your ends dry, and natural hydrators like jojoba oil or hydrolyzed proteins ensure that ends stay healthy and properly moisturized. The following shampoos will surely improve your scalp and hair health!
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
Solving both oily scalp and dry ends is no small task, but Blu Atlas makes it look easy with this shampoo. The formula is made of 99% ingredients from natural origins, so you can trust it to gently coax your hair back to its healthiest expression without causing any damage. Plus, it has an incredible scent—you can choose from the herbaceous Classic scent or a fun and fruity Coconut Apricot!
How does this top the list of best shampoos for oily scalps and dry ends? The combination of ingredients works to regulate sebum production and hydrate thirsty hair. Specifically, this formula relies on jojoba oil, which mimics sebum and penetrates the scalp, allowing your skin to think there is enough sebum present so you make a little less. This allows you to skip that greasy root look. The natural oil also works with aloe vera to restore moisture to those dry ends.
You also get added benefits in the form of volume from saw palmetto, and strength from biotin. Let us warn you—once you try Blu Atlas Shampoo, you’ll never want to use any other product on your hair again!
2. Living Proof’s No Frizz Shampoo
When silicones appear in hair products, it’s usually for their anti-frizz capabilities. The problem is that silicones create a buildup that coats the hair, leaving it greasy looking, which is the last thing you need if you already have oily roots. That’s why you should turn to Living Proof’s No Frizz Shampoo to tame flyaways and treat both an oily scalp and dry ends.
With a gentle proprietary Amino Cleansing Complex, you get a thorough cleaning that’s also lightweight. Then jojoba esters take care of frizz while soothing those dry tips. And algae protects hair from environmental aggressors. This combination removes excess oil without removing any moisture, leaving hair clean and healthy from root to tip.
3. Redken Amino Mint Scalp Shampoo
Next we have a shampoo designed with oily scalps in mind. The product sinks into hair, removing buildup and balancing the scalp’s pH for major refreshment. While getting rid of oil and soothing your scalp, this shampoo also moisturizes hair, eliminating those pesky dry ends. The best part is that the results only get better over time!
Peppermint extract is what invigorates the scalp here, while amino acids reinforce each strand of hair with increased moisture. There’s also citric acid to reduce frizz and salicylic acid to refresh the scalp. With menthol and peppermint, this shampoo also smells and feels super energizing.
4. Ouai Detox Shampoo
This detox shampoo removes the dirt, oil, and product buildup contributing to that oily look, leaving you with fresh hair every time. Apple cider vinegar dissolves buildup and leaves hair soft. Keratin strengthens hair to ward off damage, and glycerin provides in-depth hydration. Without the presence of harmful additives like sulfates, this shampoo is also safe on those dry ends!
5. OGX Refreshing Scalp and Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
This best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends gives your scalp an instant pick-me-up, thanks to tea tree and peppermint that provide a satisfying tingle. Witch hazel plays the astringent part in this formula, getting rid of buildup and oil so you don’t have to worry about looking greasy. With this solution from OGX, you get an extra-strength formula that is tough on grease but gentle on the rest of your hair, keeping those locks smooth and strong. We also love the scent of this formula—a tantalizing mix of peppermint, vanilla, and tea tree!
6. Nécessaire The Shampoo
This fragrance-free shampoo gets right down to business, removing the dirt and buildup that leads to an oily scalp. Coconut-derived surfactants in this formula contribute to a deep clean, and celery extract melts away buildup. Then niacinamide, panthenol, aloe vera, and sodium hyaluronate take charge of your hair’s moisture levels, providing hydration that lasts. The result is no more dry ends or oily scalp, plus thicker, healthier looking hair!
7. Oribe Serene Scalp
You may not assume that dandruff and oily scalp come together, but they certainly can. This Serene Scalp shampoo takes care of dandruff while refreshing the scalp and imparting tons of moisture to dry hair. It can also fix scalp irritation in a heartbeat, and works great on color-treated hair.
The key here is citrus extracts, which balance moisture levels in your scalp and hair. Sugarcane also hydrates, pea sprout makes hair more resilient, and salicylic acid removes buildup and dead flakes of skin to refresh your scalp. Then the Oribe Signature Complex (a blend of botanicals that includes watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss) neutralizes free radical damage to keep your hair out of harm’s way. While this shampoo is pricey, it can surely treat your oily scalp and dry ends!
8. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
Get a fresh start when you use Bumble and Bumble’s Sunday Shampoo. It busts buildup and sops up excess oil, gives you a thorough cleanse, and leaves hair hydrated and bouncy. While sodium laureth sulfate is sometimes considered too harsh an ingredient for hair, in this formula it’s used sparingly in order to provide a superior clean. Then ginseng, sage leaf, rosemary, and glycerin hydrate and strengthen hair, promoting well-nourished locks. While this shampoo isn’t ideal for those with color-treated hair or sensitive to sodium laureth sulfate, it is effective for those looking for a deep clean!
9. Pattern Cleansing Shampoo
Chelating agents attach to leftover dirt and oil in hair, encasing these particles so they’re easily rinsed off. It’s those agents that power this formula, leaving you with clean and fresh roots without a trace of grease. This shampoo also contains conditioning agents like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe to ensure that your dry ends get the moisture they’re craving. There are plenty of soothing ingredients to ensure a happy scalp, too!
10. Kevin Murphy’s Balancing Wash
It’s possible to find gentle and effective products, like this Balancing Wash from Kevin Murphy. Applying this product to your hair gently attaches to the scalp, removing dirt and oil and balancing your hair’s moisture levels. Wheat amino acids are to thank for the extra body when your hair dries, while sage extract lessens the appearance of greasy hair. Grapefruit provides important vitamins, and ylang-ylang takes care of oil at the scalp level. For a little extra help in the hydrating department, you get a dose of green tea well!
11. Bio Balance Organic Citrus Shampoo
This Organic Citrus Shampoo reins in oil production in the scalp, kicks dandruff to the curb, and ensures calm, clean, and hydrated hair. Licorice ferment tackles itchiness and flakes, apple fruit extract nourishes hair, green tea moisturizes and cuts down on inflammation, and rosemary extract locks in moisture while purging bacteria from the scalp. Reviews rave about this shampoo’s effect on their scalp as well as the appealing smell!
12. Davines Solu Shampoo
If you put a lot of time and effort into your hair, Solu Shampoo may just be your best bet to get rid of that oily scalp and dry ends. It’s built to power-clean your scalp, eliminating excess oil and all the other stuff that doesn’t serve you. To take care of dry ends, Solu Shampoo turns to buckwheat to restore damaged hair and seal up split ends, plus panthenol to seal in moisture. Users are astounded by this shampoo’s effects and are happy that it provides both a serious clean and some major moisture, unlike other clarifying shampoos out there that are too harsh for some hair types.
13. Virtue Full Shampoo
This best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends is also great for those with limp or dull hair, giving it a little extra volume while taking care of greasiness and dryness. It also has the ability to heal hair damage over time, strengthening each strand of hair to be more resilient. Alpha keratin is the key ingredient in this formula, a protein identical to the one found in hair so it can mend broken strands.
Pink pomelo rejuvenates with important vitamins, hydrolyzed quinoa promotes moisture retention, and biotin reinforces hair and boosts growth. Coconut-based surfactants scrub away oil and buildup, gotu kola prevents hair loss, and baobab protein addresses dryness for smoother hair.
14. Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo
This shampoo focuses on clarifying the hair and soothing the scalp, leading to relief from oily roots. It all starts with colloidal oatmeal, a scalp-calming ingredient that gently cleanses. Apple cider vinegar then removes the gunk at the roots, and propylene glycol allows hair to retain moisture so you can avoid dry ends. The result is a gentle clarifying formula that gives new life to your hair! Users especially comment on how shiny their hair looks after use—but in a good way rather than the overly oily way.
15. K18 Peptide Prep Shampoo
While this shampoo comes at a higher price than some others on this list, it works so well that you can skip extra days between shampoos—an unimaginable feat for those with greasy hair! The pH optimized formula cleanses and hydrates, then reinforces hair to keep it strong. Plus peptides kick in to boost hair growth, so you may end up with even thicker, healthier hair! Reviewers say that they are happy with the mild clean this provides, and how it seems to improve the overall quality of their hair, making it look healthier and softer while keeping it more manageable.
16. Olaplex No 4C Clarifying Shampoo
When it comes to hair, shine is good, but oil is bad, which is why you should use this clarifying shampoo from Olaplex, built to restore shine while cleaning your roots. This formula relies on a Broad Spectrum Clarifying System to get rid of impurities, then turns to the Olaplex Bond Building Technology to repair broken hair on a molecular level. Users with both oily scalp and dry ends swear by this shampoo, saying it leaves their hair feeling cleaner than ever before without drying.
17. Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
This shampoo from Avalon Organics transforms dull hair, using aloe vera, lemon essential oil, quinoa protein, and vitamin E to clarify strands and give them a moisture boost. If you’re eco-conscious, you’ll be happy to know that this vegan formula is also biodegradable and certified both by the NSF and EWG. It contains both detoxifying ingredients and soothing ingredients, with a little extra dose of moisture in the form of natural oils and aloe vera. Definitely one of the best shampoos for oily scalp and dry ends!
18. TPH Honey Fresh Shampoo
When you have both an oily scalp and dry roots, the key is to find products that get rid of the oil, but also contain moisturizing ingredients to counteract the drying effects of a thorough clean; this shampoo from TPH by Taraji does just that. It can potentially rid your scalp of buildup (even from hard water!), and get you that satisfying clean all while soothing and moisturizing with aloe, willow bark, and honey. Be prepared to leave the shower with a whole new head of hair!
19. Dr. Barbara Sturm Balancing Shampoo
When you have combination hair, balancing is the name of the game! That’s why this 100% clean and vegan product is one of the best shampoos for an oily scalp with dry ends. And camellia, lavender, and algae work together to soothe an irritated scalp. Pro vitamin B5 repairs damaged hair, sunflower sprouts and tara extract protects your hair from harmful rays, and hyaluronic acid replenishes your hair’s natural moisture.
This formula cleans and provides ample moisture to lift your hair and make it bouncy, shiny, and healthier than ever. Users claim that their hair stays cleaner for longer when they use this Dr. Barbara Sturm miracle product.
20. Alpine Provisions Vetiver and Sage Shampoo
This may look like a hipster water bottle, but it’s actually a powerful shampoo for your combination hair! And a sustainably packaged one at that. Surfactants scrub away excess oil, leaving room for aloe and jojoba to bring on the moisture. Since jojoba oil also is similar to the naturally produced sebum in your scalp, it may also help your scalp regulate sebum production, cutting down on the amount of oil you feel in your scalp over time.
Vetiver oil is also included in this formula to give hair extra vibrancy while treating dandruff. Then sage extract nourishes the hair follicles and leaves hair with a healthy luster. Users say that this shampoo works well to subdue frizz and keep dry ends moisturized while cleaning and balancing the scalp!
21. Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
Sometimes regular old surfactants can’t get the job done and it’s time to call in the big guns, like this Degrease shampoo from Maple Holistics, designed to deep clean oily hair with a blend of powerful botanicals. While it successfully removes dirt, oil, and other impurities, it does so without stripping hair, leaving moisture and nutrients in its wake.
Jojoba oil is to thank for this shampoo’s moisturizing and sebum balancing properties, while peach oil serves as an emollient to fix up those dry ends. Lemon oil imparts shine, and rosemary moisture, hydrolyzed corn, and wheat proteins fix hair damage, cypress oil helps hair grow longer, and basil oil promotes scalp circulation. Plus, this formula has left out all of the bad boys of hair care, including phthalates, silicones, formaldehyde, and alcohol, treating your hair to only the best and safest ingredients.
22. Herbal Essences Blue Ginger and Micellar Water Shampoo
You’ve probably heard of micellar water before, as in the potent cleanser that attracts dirt, oil, and impurities, and effortlessly rinses them away. Because of the ingredient’s moisturizing properties, it is an ideal solution for those with an oily scalp and dry ends. Galangal extract also helps with scalp purifying, removing flakes for an instant health boost.
Birch bark extract makes an appearance in this formula to help protect hair from harmful chemicals and lends anti-inflammatory properties to your scalp. Then Australian sea kelp makes hair smoother, dissolving tangles, and conditioning deeply to make dry ends a thing of the past. This shampoo’s scent consists of ginger blossom, musk, and floral notes, making for a refreshing hair washing experience!
23. Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
In this best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends, you get both clarifying and moisturizing benefits, which is just what the doctor ordered. The pH-balanced formula tends to be greasier, removing all kinds of impurities and buildup that prevent you from clean-looking hair. Then it provides hydration in spades, with aloe vera and sunflower seed oil taking the lead.
A bunch of ingredients in this formula, like soybean oil and mallow extract, provide superior nutrition to each strand of hair. Matricaria soothes to avoid scalp irritation, coltsfoot reduces inflammation, and nettle regenerates hair follicles to cut down on thinning. Then, thyme provides antibacterial and antifungal properties to chase away any microbes that could negatively affect hair health.
You may think that having both oily roots and dry ends makes your hair a living contradiction, but the reality is that combination hair is common! Now that you’ve looked through the best shampoos for oily scalp and dry ends, you have the tools you need to solve your hair woes.