The Best Shampoo for Oily Scalp and Dry Hair


Most hair products are marketed to a specific hair type – but what if your hair is a mix of those types? It can be incredibly confusing to know which products to reach for when you have combination hair. So what is the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair? 

Today, I’m here to help! In this blog I’ll discuss why your hair is the way it is, what you can do to balance your hair, and discuss which shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair is best. 

But before we dive into solutions and shampoos, let’s talk about why you might have an oily scalp and dry hair in the first place. 

What causes an oily scalp and dry hair? 

Finding the right shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair is much easier when you know what is causing your combination hair. Here are a few of the reasons why your hair might be unbalanced:

1. Overwashing

Overwashing is one of the most common culprits for combination hair. While you might think that regular washing would help an oily scalp, it could actually be the cause! 


Shampoo can strip the natural oils from your scalp and strands, leaving your hair lengths brittle and your roots in a panic. When your scalp is too dry, your body signals your sebaceous glands to start producing more oil. And voila!: combination hair.

Using shampoo every single day is unnecessary for most people, and can even be harmful. It’s important to understand how to wash oily hair properly to ensure your hair can find its natural balance. 

2. Hormones

Sometimes hormones get out of balance, and can cause your sebaceous glands to go haywire. This is true all over your skin, which is why many of us battle with acne during puberty (and even beyond)!

Of course, you have pores all over your scalp, too – so if you have an oily face, guess what? You could very well be battling an overly oily scalp. 

3. Fine hair

Oily roots and dry ends are all too common in people with fine hair. Each of those fine strands takes up a lot less space on the scalp, meaning all the oil glands are packed more closely together than in other hair types. 

If you don’t have the proper hair care routine for fine hair, it can be easy to develop an oily scalp. And, since the strands are so fine and delicate, it’s easy to dry out the lengths as well. 

4. Skin conditions

Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis could be contributing to an overly oily scalp. These conditions all cause an irritated and inflamed scalp that produces excess sebum. If you think you have any of these conditions, it’s important to visit a dermatologist. 

5. Sun exposure

If you are regularly exposed to UV rays, it can make your hair extremely dry. That’s because sunlight can break down your hair cuticles over time. This can leave you with dry, brittle hair and overcompensating roots. 

6. Heat styling tools

Just as the heat from the sun can be an issue, so can the heat from styling tools! While styling tools are very popular, there is no dispute that they are harmful for your tresses. Regular blow drying, straightening, and curling can leave your hair dry and damage-prone.

It can also increase sebum production at your roots, AND soften up the oils so they spread more easily down the strands – leaving you with an even more noticeably greasy look. 

So now that you have an idea what might be causing your combination hair, what should you do about it? And what is the ideal shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair?

How to take care of combination hair

Woman looking at her hair in a mirror while holding a Bars Over Bottles hair mask bar for combination hair

Before we discuss the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair, here are a few quick tips on caring for your hair type:

  • Avoid products that contain parabens, silicones, sulfates, and harsh chemicals. Opt instead for gentle products, like natural shampoo bars.

  • Try to spread out your washes to every 2 to 4 days. 
  • Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and protein. 
  • Go in for a hair trim regularly to remove the dry, damaged ends.

  • Choose shampoos that are geared towards oil control or scalp health, and conditioners that are hydrating – focus your conditioner at the ends of your strands.

  • Learn how to use leave-in conditioner or hair mask bars to provide extra moisture to your dry ends. 
  • Brush your hair regularly to distribute your natural oils more evenly. Choose a soft-bristled hair brush that won’t damage your dry strands.
  • Try to let your hair air dry as often as possible to give your strands a break from heating tools. 

Now that you have a few tips to care for your hair type successfully, let’s discuss the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair. 

The best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair

If your scalp is naturally oily, you don’t want a heavily moisturizing shampoo. Conversely, a clarifying shampoo (that you often hear recommended for oil control) is also a bad idea. Clarifying shampoos are too harsh and drying and will make your scalp produce even more oil as a result. 

A good shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair is one that isn’t too hydrating OR too drying. Any shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair should be sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free and not contain any drying alcohols or chemicals.

My shampoo bars are just such shampoos! 

When discussing the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair, there are two shampoo bars in particular that I would recommend: my Purifying Shampoo Bar and my Detox Shampoo Bar. 

My Purifying Shampoo Bar 

Bars Over Bottles Purifying Shampoo Bar

My Purifying Shampoo Bar is one of the absolute best shampoo bars for oily hair – which makes it great for an oily scalp, too! Don’t worry, this purifying shampoo isn’t nearly as drying as the average shampoo, so it won’t dry out your already parched strands. 

So how does it wash your hair? Well, this purifying shampoo uses green kaolin clay to remove impurities and wash away excess oils without making your hair more dry. It can also help to balance your body’s pH and improve scalp circulation – making your scalp more healthy. 

This refreshing shampoo bar also contains rosemary, mint, and lemongrass essential oils which can fight inflammation, protect against bacterial and fungal infections, and encourage hair growth.

If you DO want to pack on a little extra moisture after using this shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair, I recommend using a hydrating hair mask in addition to a specially formulated conditioner for dry hair

Detox Shampoo Bar

Bars Over Bottles Detox Shampoo Bar

My next recommendation of shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair is my Detox Shampoo Bar. This bar is great for all hair types - even dry hair and curly hair! That’s why I recommend it across the board for balancing your hair and scalp and giving you a total reset. 

This hair detox shampoo is what a clarifying shampoo wants to be. It provides an extra deep cleanse without stripping too many of your natural oils. It does this with activated charcoal, black clay, and eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils. 

Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been treated with oxygen to make it highly porous. These tiny pores help activated charcoal to adsorb (not absorb) impurities from your hair – such as dirt, oils, and pollution. 

This helps activated charcoal to deeply cleanse the hair and scalp, removing impurities and buildup that can weigh down the hair and make it look dull and lifeless. It can also regulate oil production, making it a great option for those with an oily scalp. 

Black clay is also known for its detoxifying properties, helping to draw out impurities and toxins. It can also tooth and calm your skin, so if any scalp conditions are contributing to excess oil, it can help improve your scalp health. 

If you use one of these shampoos for oily scalp and dry hair in conjunction with a moisturizing conditioner bar, you will certainly be able to attain better balance for your scalp and hair. And, if you one day find your scalp is no longer oily, I have a whole range of shampoo bars to suit every hair type. 

my beauty bars