Got Oily Roots with Dry Ends? Here’s How to Deal with Combination Hair

Woman looking at oily roots/ dry ends

As anyone with oily roots/ dry ends knows, keeping your hair looking and feeling clean, healthy, and well-loved generally feels pretty much impossible (especially in winter!). Finding products that will adequately care for your hair without causing the roots to feel instantly oily is a constant battle – and not one you win very often, if ever! 

Well, fret no more. HerStyler is here to fill you in on all of our most cherished tips and tricks that will help you balance out the look and feel of your combination hair like never before. Keep scrolling to find out more…

Why Do I Have Oily Roots and Dry Ends?

Woman looking at her oily roots/ dry ends

Before we jump straight into the tips, you’re probably wondering how you get oily roots and dry ends in the first place, right? Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of reasons why this might be happening to you. Here are some of the most common:

It’s Genetic

Unfortunately, like many hair and skin issues that we encounter, for some of us, oily roots and dry ends are all down to genetics. Some of us just naturally overproduce oil on our scalps whilst our hair remains dry and brittle nearer the ends. But don’t despair! Just because it naturally occurs for you doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to counteract the issue. Just keep reading!

You Have a Skin Condition

For some, the reason for combination hair (oily roots/ dry ends) comes down to a skin condition. Whilst it’s always advisable to see your health care professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your specific skin issues, it’s worth knowing that there are a few main types of skin conditions that are notorious for causing oily roots/ dry ends. 

The first is Psoriasis. This condition can make the skin on your scalp red, scaly, sore, and overly oily. Another is Eczema (or dermatitis). This is a condition that can cause the skin on your scalp to appear noticeably more oily or even waxy to the touch. 

If you suspect you have either of these conditions, don’t self-diagnose as that could make the problem worse!

You’re Washing Your Hair Too Much

Washing your hair every single day, or even every other day, is just too much for some scalps. Whilst you’re sucking the moisture from the ends of your hair by scrubbing at it and sudsing up every day, your scalp quickly gets the message. Oily roots become inevitable as your scalp fights to restore the balance of your hair. 

This results in a scalp that feels greasy very fast. And yet, there’s no time for these nourishing natural oils to make their way down to your dry ends to revive them before you’re back in the shower and lathering up your locks! The result? Oily roots with dry ends.

You’re Over-Styling with Heat Tools

We all know that too much heat styling is bad for our hair. Even if you’re super careful and always use a heat-protecting spray. Constant exposure to excessive temperatures is eventually going to take its toll on your precious tresses and can often result in oily roots/ dry ends.

Generally, heat dries out your hair. Since we’re using our heat tools mainly on the mid-lengths and ends of our tresses, they become dry and brittle quite quickly – especially when the dial is turned all the way all of the time! Meanwhile, the roots are left to become oily before the rest of our hair has a chance to catch up. This then leaves you with the dreaded combo – oily roots/ dry ends.

You’re Not Using Your Best Products Correctly

Trust us, we know the allure of irresistible hair products. A silky smooth hair conditioner, luxurious masks, and moisturizing shampoos are our vibe! That said if you’re using a great number of highly moisturizing products or you’re simply using a few but all the time, your hair will feel overwhelmed and unbalanced.

You’re Over-Brushing or Constantly Touching Your Hair

Don’t get us wrong, keeping your hair tangle-free is essential for hair health. Not to mention, trying out a ton of new hairstyles from season to season is one of our favorite pastimes! 

That said, over brushing and constantly touching your hair can sometimes cause the roots to become more oily much more quickly. The oil from your fingers can easily transfer into your locks as you touch and, whilst that might not be a problem for dry ends, it can be for naturally oily roots! 

It’s the same reason why constantly touching your face can make your skin break out! The transfer of grime and oil from the outside world transfers onto your strands, making your hair feel dirty and oily to the touch.

So, what’s the solution?

Now that we know most of the main reasons why oily roots/ dry ends occur, let’s move on to how we can start dealing with the issue. You’ll be glad to know, HerStyler has plenty of simple tips that you can start implementing right now!

Condition the Ends… and Only the Ends!

Woman conditioning hair

Whilst it might be tempting to spread that gorgeous conditioner or hair mask all over your tresses for a truly intense treatment if your roots are usually very greasy, it’s likely you don’t always need it. 

Instead, we highly recommend sticking to conditioning just the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. This will provide extra love to the drier sections of your hair that could do with a boost. However, it won’t saturate the more oily parts. They create enough oil for themselves already! 

Now, we’re not saying you should never condition all of your hair. Just wait until your combination hair feels a little more balanced to do so. Even then, use any highly moisturizing products sparingly. Otherwise, you’re likely to notice oily roots/ dry ends once again.

Invest in High-Quality Hair Care… and Use it Right!

HerStyler shampoo and conditioner

If you’re someone who loves to crowd their dresser with every conditioner, spray, hair oil, and hair mask under the sun, we get it, we are too! These products are great for your hair and can make it feel renewed in between trips to the salon.

Just remember, applying too many (or the wrong) hair products to your locks can seriously affect how your locks balance themselves out in terms of how oily they feel. Overuse these products and you’ll be left with, you guessed it, oily roots and dry ends!

The answer?

It might sound overly simplified but – read your labels!

We’re all guilty of picking up and using a product on our hair just because we love the packaging, how it smells, or because it was recommended to us by a friend with great hair! The truth is, many of those products may not be right for your hair type. So always check! 

If your hair is super-fine and the conditioner you’re using is for thick hair, for example, trust us, you’re going to notice issues! That kind of formula will weigh down your finer locks and make them very oily very quickly. 

Are you putting a gorgeous serum into your strands because the ends are dry? Think about how much you’re using and don’t be afraid to switch things up as your hair changes. Just because it recommends two pumps, does your hair need that much? Alternatively, is your hair super long and thick and needs a little more serum to pamper it and give those dry ends a healthy-looking shine?

Once again, there’s an element of trial and error but once you find the products and quantities that work for you, your combination hair can change drastically for the better!

Find a Hair Washing Routine That Works for Your Specific Hair Type

Woman washing hair

Though following ‘rules’ for hair washing might seem tempting, the truth is, everybody’s hair is different. Some say you should wash your hair daily, others say every other day or even just once a week. HerStyler says, do whatever works for you and your hair specifically.

How do you find out what works for you?

Trial and error!

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you exactly how many times a week you should be washing and conditioning your hair because no one timetable will work for everyone. Instead, we can tell you how to work out which routine will work best for you. Spoiler alert, it might take a little time and patience!

The best way to find out what works best for you is to simply try out different styles/periods of hair washing! Start by washing your hair every other day for at least a few weeks and see how that works. Then, switch to every other three days. If neither of these work, leave it for four days or even a week. The key is to give it time as you won’t see the long terms results in just a few days. A few weeks or a month should be enough time to see how your hair responds and improves. Eventually, you’ll work out which is right for your glorious tresses and it’ll be worth it.

Brush Your Hair… Just Don’t Over-Work it

Woman brushing hair

As we covered before, brushing your hair too often or constantly running your fingers through it can make your hair become oily much more quickly. This is because the oil from your fingers transfers into your locks. That said, brushing your hair is still important and, if you do it right, can help to balance out combination hair. 

We suggest simply brushing your hair through once in the morning, and then only doing so again if it happens to become particularly tangled.


It’s pretty simple!

Brushing your hair not only stops dry ends from tangling up and becoming dry as they rub against each other, but it can also help to distribute the oil through your hair at a more even rate. 

After all, most of the reason your roots are more oily and your ends are drier is because the natural sebum that is produced from the hair follicles on your scalp doesn’t have time to reach the lengths and ends your hair before it’s washed away again. 

Because of this, many of us resist brushing because we think it makes the problem worse, but that’s not so! Don’t avoid brushing, simply do it sparingly and we bet you’ll quickly notice a difference.

Get Treatment for Any Skin Conditions

Dermatologist looking at scalp

If you know your oily scalp issue is the result of a skincare concern, don’t put off seeking treatment. Your doctor or a registered dermatologist is your best point of contact. Even if you only suspect a skin condition, they’ll be able to advise you.

Reasons for not putting off an appointment?

We have many!

Firstly, it may be a very easy fix. You might think your skin condition feels like the end of the world. However, most are very treatable or can at least be considerably eased with proper treatment, so don’t suffer in silence!

Secondly, if your combination hair issue is down to a skin condition, simply leaving it alone or trying to treat it yourself could easily make things worse. You might not have the issue you think you have or you could be using the wrong products to treat it. Speak to someone who knows and let them advise you on the best treatments so you don’t go making yours worse.

Another great reason to see a professional? Confidence! If you have an oily scalp/ dry ends, you may feel like your hair never looks how you want it to. This can lead to confidence issues and can get you down. Have the problem seen to and you’ll soon feel much happier with how your hair looks and feels!

So, which of our tips speaks most to you, and will you be implementing them right away? We hope so! Just remember, unless you’re seeking advice on a medical skin condition from a health care professional, then nobody knows your hair better than you do! 

Don’t be afraid to mix things up with the products you choose, how you brush your hair, and how you long you leave it between washes. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you!

Looking for more hair care tips? You’ll find everything you need at HerStyler!

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