Itchy, dry, flaky scalp paired with greasy locks. This can be such a confusing situation for many. Wouldn’t treating your oily hair cause your scalp to become worse or if you treat your dry scalp wouldn’t your hair become oily? Thankfully, the answer to this is no. You can use a home remedy for dry scalp and oily hair which sorts out both problems leaving your hair beautiful and healthy scalp.
But How do I Have Oily Hair but a Dry Scalp?
Your hair may be oily because your scalp is working too hard to try and fix your dry scalp. Dry scalp can be caused by a variety of things from hormonal imbalances to using too many harsh chemicals, to the weather being cold and dry. Many people may be struggling with psoriasis or eczema on their scalp. They can scratch so much that their scalp bleeds. These conditions can be due to allergens, stress, and/or dry skin in general.
Some people are just predisposed to having oily hair and whether their scalp is dry or not their scalp is prone to producing too much oil. Other causes can be a lack of hair washing. You may have heard that to keep your scalp and hair healthy that you shouldn’t wash your hair too frequently, but this doesn’t mean that you should never wash your hair or at least do a hair rinse.
You could also be using products that dry your hair and scalp which triggers the response first mentioned. If your diet is poor, you don’t exercise regularly, or your body struggles to balance your hormones due to a condition, hormone imbalance could be the cause as well. But, not to worry, let’s check out some home remedies for dry scalp and oily hair.
How to Treat Dry Scalp with Oily Hair
Treating your scalp as soon as possible is best as leaving it can result in hair loss and the more you scratch the more you hurt and inflame your scalp.
1. Get Rid of Shampoo and Conditioner Containing Harsh Chemicals
One of the most drying ingredients in shampoo is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This is what makes the shampoo foam and is found in many personal care products. There are also other chemicals such as parabens that can interfere with your hormones, not something you want if that’s what’s causing your dry scalp oily hair problem.
- Tea Tree
- Lemon balm
These essential oils can also help if you have dandruff which can be a side effect of psoriasis, eczema, and oily hair. If you have dandruff, you may find that a natural dandruff shampoo (these will usually contain tea tree or ginger) may even help for your oily hair.
Note: Try to skip a day or two between washes, a dry shampoo can be used between washes, as can baby powder made from cornstarch or tapioca flour. This will help to prevent oil from being removed too harshly from your scalp but refresh and minimize the oil in your hair. You’ll also want to use only a little bit of conditioner if at all on your hair.
2. Helpful Rinses
Use one or more of these options once to twice a week unless otherwise specified. You can use them in a final rinse or leave them on for 15 minutes and then rinse them out with water.
- Apple cider vinegar: Once or twice a month, rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar diluted in water to balance your scalp pH. The smell will go away as it dries.
- Baking soda: Dilute a spoon of baking soda in water and rinse your hair it to balance your scalp. You can also add a little bit of baking soda into your shampoo to achieve the same effect.
- Green tea: Green tea has lots of antioxidants and also has antibacterial properties to nourish your hair and scalp and combats dandruff.
- Black tea: Black tea makes hair shiny and can help with the natural highlights in dark hair. It has tannins to remove excess oil and helps to prevent hair from falling out. Use it twice a week.
- Nettle tea: Nettle tea is great for oily hair and reduces inflammation on the scalp.
3. Minimize Heat Styling
Sometimes there is nothing that compares to how good your hair looks and feels after using a hair dryer, curling tongs, or flat iron. But constantly using these on your hair can cause dry scalp. You may benefit from giving your hair a little break.
Try these simple steps to minimize frizz when air drying your hair:
- Don’t rub your hair with a towel, but rather gently squeeze out the excess water with your hands.
- Then apply some leave-in conditioner, alcohol-free mousse, or whichever product suits your hair.
- Spread an old t-shirt on the bed or a table and position your head in the middle, then wrap the t-shirt around your head like a turban.
- Alternatively, use one of those microfiber hair wraps.
- Leave your hair in there for at least 20 minutes, but you can also leave your hair in there until it’s dry.
- For natural waves or a curly effect, remove the “turban” after 20 minutes and make little braids or put your hair into a bun and leave it until completely dry before undoing it and revealing beautiful waves.
But, if you can’t help it, try these tips:
- Try not to use heat styling every day.
- Apply a product that offers protection from heat.
- Wait for your hair to be around 3/4 dry before blow drying it.
- When using the hair dryer, hold it away from your head and don’t leave it on one spot for too long.
- A nozzle on the hair dryer keeps the air from going anywhere other than you direct it which is good for styling and for your scalp and the rest of your hair too.
4. Do a Hot Oil Treatment
You don’t need to do a hot oil treatment so much as a warm oil treatment. Moisturizing your scalp with the correct oils is really helpful for combatting dry scalp with greasy hair.
For oily hair the best options are:
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Amla oil
These oils are light and will not clog your pores. Just massage the oil into your scalp and leave it on for at least an hour before rinsing. You can also leave it on overnight. Cover your head with a shower cap or towel to keep the oil where it belongs and keep it warm. Do this once or twice a week.
Tips and Precautions
- Before using anything with essential oils in it, first, do a patch test. It’s also important to speak to a doctor first if you have a health condition, are on chronic medication, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- Avoid very hot showers as hot water is very drying.
- When rinsing out conditioner or oils, use warm water as cold water will prevent them from rinsing out properly which further enhances the oiliness of your hair.
- Try to stop scratching as this only irritates your scalp and increases flaking. What’s more is that if you have eczema and you constantly scratch it this can lead to hardened skin.
- Cut out junk food and processed foods as much as possible as well as meat, dairy, and alcohol. These foods fuel hormone imbalance. Eat whole grains, a variety of fruit and vegetables, and include healthy fats like avocado, fatty fish like salmon or sardines, nuts, and seeds in your diet to help to balance your hormones and give your skin and hair the nutrients that it needs.
- Exercise regularly as this will also help. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy, this will help you to be more consistent. Activities like dancing, walking, gardening, and cleaning also count as exercise.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water or a combination of water and herbal teas every day.
Please let us know if these remedies have worked for you. Everyone is different and may respond better to some remedies than others. It can also take time. If you haven’t seen an improvement in a few weeks, try one of these dry scalp remedies.