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How To Manage Oily Scalp And Dry Ends

Dealing with oily scalp dry ends? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about caring for “combination hair”.

When it comes to your hair concerns, it’s easy to focus on  just one thing, whether that’s frizz, damage, or excess oil. The truth is, however, that you’re likely dealing with more than one major hair concern at a time. One of the most popular hair concern combinations we’ve seen is an oily scalp and dry ends. These issues may seem like complete opposites, but it’s actually a very common occurrence to deal with both at once. 

Dealing with both oiliness and dryness at the same time? We tapped Tamiko O’Connell,  Kérastase artist, to break down everything you need to know about caring for oily scalp dry ends. 

Good hair day by @ingridbetancor.

Why is my scalp oily and ends dry? 

An oily scalp occurs when your sebaceous glands are overactive. This can happen due to product buildup, over-shampooing, and other environmental factors. These glands produce the natural oils known as sebum throughout your hair, which help keep your mane naturally nourished. When you produce too much sebum, however, this creates excess oil on your scalp. 

If these natural oils get stuck to the scalp area and have trouble moving their way down your strands, you might also deal with dry, brittle ends. This can happen most with certain hair types, particularly curly or thick hair. 

Good hair day by @jodielapetitefrenchie.

What to do if you have oily scalp and dry ends?

While a few spritzes of dry shampoo might seem like a quick fix for oily roots (and it can be), it still won’t stop the issue from recurring—and what about your ends?  Leaving dry hair unattended for too long can also lead to breakage or frayed, brittle ends. While it may sound like a daunting task, there are a few easy swaps you can make to your hair care routine to mitigate oily scalp and dry lengths. 

Not sure where to start? Read through our best oily scalp dry ends care tips below. 

Good hair day by @rachel_redd.

Brush your hair often. 

There’s an old wives tale that brushing your hair makes it more oily, but that’s a misconception. Regularly brushing your hair actually helps to distribute the oils on your scalp throughout the rest of your mane (which is key to achieving soft, supple ends). We recommend brushing your hair once a day. 

Pro tip: If you’re dealing with an oily scalp, be sure to use a boar bristle brush. This type of bristles help evenly distribute natural oils throughout your hair. 


Specifique Argile Equilibrante Cleansing Clay
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Specifique Argile Équilibrante Cleansing Clay

A purifying cleansing clay for oily hair and roots

Old price New price $51.00
One size available
8.45 fl oz

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Try a purifying cleansing clay.

Similar to managing combination skin, caring for oily scalp dry ends requires you to use hair products that target both concerns. While combination skin requires both hydrating and oil-absorbing ingredients, combination hair (i.e., oily scalp and dry skin) will also need a mix of the two. 

If you have an oily scalp, we have a secret to share: The best product to kickstart your routine with isn’t a shampoo. Give your oily scalp a weekly detox while keeping the rest of your strands nourished with a cleansing clay, like Kérastase Specifique Argile Equilibrante Cleansing Clay. According to O’Connell, this product is a triple threat for managing an oily scalp and dry ends. 

“Ceramide is going to help improve the hair fiber’s ability to resist breakage and lock in moisture,” O’Connell explains. “Amino acids help gently cleanse and balance the hair fiber, while [the] clay is going to act like a sponge for excess sebum.” 

If greasy roots weigh your hair down, this cleansing clay even helps boost volume! Unfamiliar with applying cleansing clay to your hair? Starting with wet hair, apply the Kérastase Specifique Argile Equilibrante Cleansing Clay to your roots. Lather and pull through lengths before rinsing thoroughly. 


Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo
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Kérastase

Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo

A balancing shampoo for oily hair and roots

Old price New price $36.00
One size available
8.45 fl oz

20% Off + Free Ship!


Choose the right shampoo. 

While cleansing clay is a gamechanger for managing your hair concerns, you’ll still need a salon-quality shampoo to use throughout the rest of the week. If you’re searching for the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends, we recommend Kérastase Specifique Bain Divalent Shampoo. This shampoo targets both oily scalp and dry ends with aformula that deeply cleanses and purifies the scalp by removing excess oil, while ingredients like vitamin b6 and amino acids nourish the hair leaving you with softer, shinier strands. 

Good hair day by @dorotaczaja.

Wash your hair less often. 

Sound counterintuitive? Maybe, but trust us—washing your hair less often can benefit oil-prone scalps. Shampooing too often can strip your scalp of its natural oils causing your sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum to counteract the dryness—which can lead to greasy hair. We recommend shampooing only two to three times per week, depending on your hair type. 

Good hair day by @gorjesshair_.

Avoid touching your roots. 

Those sebaceous glands we mentioned are all over your body, including your fingertips. While running your fingers through your mane can be super satisfying, the oil on your fingers may lead to build up oil on your scalp. 

Good hair day by @helenamatic.

Don’t skip your haircut appointment. 

When it comes to caring for dry ends, getting your hair trimmed is crucial. Dry, brittle hair can lead to breakage, so you’ll want to head to the salon for a dusting every six weeks or so to keep your ends as healthy as possible. Trimming can snip away any frayed ends to keep your mane in tip top shape. 


Specifique Masque Rehydratant
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Specifique Masque Réhydratant

An intensely moisturizing gel-masque for dry, dehydrated hair

Old price New price $63.00
One size available
6.7 fl oz

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Hydrate your mane. 

If you have dry ends, restore moisture with hydrating hair products. Start by adding a hair mask like Kérastase Specifique Masque Rehydratant to your routine. This formula rebalances hair’s essential hydration levels, bringing back that softness, smoothness, and shininess that your mane might be missing.  

“The gel-like texture is going to absorb into the hair quickly and help the scalp feel refreshed and revitalized,” O’Connell says. 


Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo
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Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo

A fine fragrance root and hair refreshing dry shampoo.

Old price New price $36.00
One size available
5.3 oz

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If you’re in a rush, use dry shampoo to remove excess oil. 

Like we said earlier, dry shampoo isn’t the ultimate solution for managing oily roots. A few spritzes of this miracle product, however, can be good in a pinch. Try a formula like Kérastase Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo to instantly absorb excess oils at the root without build-up or texture. It also leaves your hair with a long-lasting, luxurious fragrance. 

Interested in more expert hair tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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