The Best Shampoos for Oily Scalp and Dry Ends


If your scalp is oily and greasy while your ends are dry and look frizzy, then you likely have combination hair. This is a term used to describe hair that has both oily parts and dry parts. 

It can be confusing trying to come up with the best hair care products, especially if your hair has multiple issues. Combination hair can feel particularly frustrating to deal with as it comes with conflicting issues from the roots to the ends. There are several variables that can create a combination of oily scalps and dry, frizzy-looking ends. 

The good news is, once you understand what’s going on with your scalp and hair and choose a good-quality shampoo,  it won’t take long to see improvements in your scalp and hair. Read on to learn all about combination hair and discover the best shampoo for oily scalps and dry ends on the market today. 

What causes an oily scalp and dry ends?

It may be frustrating to see and feel your scalp creating so much oil, but it does so with good intentions. Your skin’s role is to protect you from pathogens and irritants in the environment, and sebum helps it do that. However, certain factors can cause your scalp to overproduce sebum, leading to a greasy scalp. 

Additionally, the sebum is meant to travel down the outer layer of your hair strands, protecting your hair and helping it retain moisture. Yet sometimes, for a few different reasons, the sebum can be prevented from getting down the strands. This leads to oil buildup in the roots and dryness at the ends. 

Scalp type

You’ve probably noticed that some people have oilier skin than others, and this is because some people’s pores naturally create more sebum due to factors like hormonal differences and genetics. The same also applies to the scalp and hair follicles, which means some people’s follicles will naturally produce a lot of sebum, and other people may not produce very much at all. 

So, if your skin is often feeling oily, there’s a good chance your scalp is too. If this oil doesn’t make it down your hair strands to condition and protect your hair, oil can accumulate in the scalp and your ends can be left feeling dry and looking frizzy. 

Hair type

If your hair is curly or wavy, you may be more prone to having an oily scalp and dry ends. When hair is straight, there is a quicker path for sebum to travel down to moisturize and protect the strands. But curls and waves create a longer path for sebum to travel down, which can lead to a greasy look and feel in the roots, with a dry feel and appearance at the ends. 

Hair care practices

If your hair is washed too frequently or with shampoos that are too harsh, your naturally-produced sebum will be continuously washed away, leaving your skin unprotected, while any protective oils on your strands will be washed away too. 

Your skin then reacts by quickly producing a lot more sebum to protect itself. Frequent washing will keep washing it away, creating a cycle of an overproduction of sebum, without it being able to provide protective benefits to your scalp and hair. 

What makes a shampoo for oily scalps and dry ends high-quality?

Gentle surfactants

If your hair is feeling greasy and your ends are noticeably dry and frizzy, you’ll need to be gentle with your hair-washing routine. Surfactants are the ingredients in shampoo that lather and clean away oil and dirt, but if they’re too harsh, they may remove too much sebum from your scalp and hair. This will cause your hair to dry out and your scalp to overproduce sebum. 

To assist in rebalancing your hair and helping rehydrate your ends, a shampoo with sulfate-free cleaners will help you clean your scalp gently without stripping all of the sebum from your hair.

Hydrating ingredients

As well as dealing with the overproduction of sebum, you’ll likely be wanting to treat your dry ends too. The best shampoos for oily scalps and dry ends will contain gentle surfactants as well as specialized hydrating ingredients, such as hydrolyzed proteins or amino acids. 

These ingredients contain small molecules that can work into your hair strands and absorb moisture as they do so, hydrating the hair. They also create a light layer on the strands that will help limit moisture loss between washing without weighing your hair down or leaving it looking waxy or greasy.

1. Blu Atlas Shampoo


If the oil in your scalp has been building up for a while, you’ll need a thorough cleaning to remove it. The key is finding a balance between effectively cleaning, while also not stripping too much of the natural oil away. Blu Atlas shampoo strikes the perfect balance, providing a formula that effectively cleans your oily buildup while being gentle enough for regular use. Plus, it soaks your hair in some nourishing, moisture-promoting ingredients while it cleans.

Key ingredients

This shampoo contains three gentle, sulfate-free surfactants that work together to effectively remove excess oil from your scalp. Some people find that when they switch to a sulfate-free shampoo, their hair is left feeling heavy, greasy, and unclean. This may occur if the cleaning agent is too mild to clean out oil build-up. With three surfactants working together, Blu Atlas shampoo will leave your scalp and hair feeling fresh, clean, and light.

To help you treat those dry ends, this shampoo also contains hydrolyzed jojoba, well known for its nourishing and hydrating properties. Hydrolyzed jojoba is broken up into molecules small enough to work their way deep into your hair strands and provide hydration from within as they attract water to them. They are also small enough that they won’t get rinsed off your hair, so they’ll leave a thin, flexible coating on top of your strands, slowing moisture loss and allowing your hair to move and bounce without breakage.

Additional beneficial ingredients

Bonus benefits of this shampoo are that it also contains aloe barbadensis leaf and saw palmetto leaf extracts. The aloe extract can further assist in balancing sebum production, as it provides some soothing benefits to the scalp, helping reduce any irritation and inflammation that may be contributing to its over-production of sebum. Saw palmetto leaf extract nourishes and stimulates scalp follicles, promoting hair growth, and allowing fresh, conditioned strands to grow.

2. Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Shampoo


For coarse hair that’s curly or wavy, this Shea Moisture shampoo can help gently remove that oily buildup, smooth out the fizz, and rehydrate your ends, for silky, lustrous shine. 

Key ingredients

To rehydrate parched ends, this shampoo contains hydrolyzed silk proteins that will draw moisture into your hair strands and help strengthen the fibers in your hair, particularly useful for hair that curls and waves in multiple directions. The silk proteins also create a light protective layer on your strands, locking moisture in and increasing flexibility while also promoting shine.

The oily build-up on your scalp will be washed out by gentle cleaning ingredients such as decyl glucoside, a gentle surfactant often used in baby shampoos. This means you can be sure your scalp will be cleansed without irritation or having its sebum entirely stripped away.

Additional beneficial ingredients

Neem oil, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, will help reduce any inflammation on your scalp and clear out any unwanted bacteria that may be causing itchiness and flaking. Shea butter and coconut oil provide moisturization for your scalp, balancing sebum production, while hibiscus flower extract and rosemary leaf oil stimulate scalp follicles and blood circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth.

3. Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo


Those with hair that has a finer texture may find that shampoos containing butters and oils weigh their hair down and leave it feeling stiff and greasy. This Pureology hydrating shampoo is designed for those with finer hair who may find it difficult to clean a greasy scalp and hydrate their hair without leaving it feeling slick and weighed down. This shampoo will gently clean away dirt and oil while providing hydrating ingredients, leaving hair feeling light and soft. 

Key ingredients

Hydrolyzed wheat proteins will penetrate the hair strands, helping to repair damage within the hair and drawing moisture into it. The lightweight film produced by the hydrolyzed proteins will assist the hair to retain moisture without weighing down the strands. To gently cleanse the scalp, this shampoo contains several gentle cleansers that work together to provide a rich, creamy lather that easily seeps down through the hair roots and clears out excess oil without irritating the skin or drying it out. 

Additional beneficial ingredients

Green tea extract is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, providing nourishment to your scalp follicles and soothing any scalp inflammation while you cleanse. Eucalyptus and sage leaf extracts stimulate the scalp follicles and help promote hair growth.

4. Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo


For hair that’s nourished and free of frizz and flyaways, Living Proof provides a gentle shampoo that will clean and nourish the scalp while smoothing out the hair strands, preventing tangles and reducing dryness. 

Key ingredients

The primary cleaning agent in this shampoo is sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, which is a widely-used surfactant that is very mild and perfect for sensitive skin prone to irritation. It lathers and spreads effectively, working its way through the roots and cleaning away dirt and oil. Another shampoo that uses hydrolyzed jojoba proteins, this formulation will allow the water-absorbing molecules to hydrate your strands from within while also preventing too much moisture from escaping your hair between washes. 

Additional beneficial ingredients

To help smooth out the strands and protect the hair from damage, this shampoo contains red algae extract. Algae is full of antioxidants and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, providing nourishment to your skin, assisting in reducing bacteria buildup, and reducing any skin inflammation.

5. OUAI Detox Shampoo


If your hair has an extremely greasy feel with a waxy, stiff layer on the scalp and strands, you may be struggling with heavy product buildup as well as an oily scalp. Buildup can cause further drying and overproduction of sebum, as the built-up product layers prevent moisture and nourishing ingredients from working into your hair and scalp. 

It’s necessary to remove buildup so you can rehydrate your dry ends and balance out your sebum production. However, it can be difficult to remove heavy build-up without completely stripping your scalp and hair of its natural oils and causing dryness and irritation. Don’t worry, though, OUAI detox shampoo has you covered. 

Key ingredients

This shampoo is great for an occasional detoxifying clean. While it does contain several surfactants that are considered milder than standard sulfate cleaners, the primary cleaning agent in this formula, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, is on the stronger side of sulfate-free cleaners. 

That makes this shampoo great for an occasional deep clean every few weeks, particularly if you use leave-in products regularly. It will help you remove buildup without stripping away too many of your hair’s natural oils, while providing hydration and nourishment in the process.

Hydrolyzed keratin provides you with all the essential amino acids and peptides that are in your hair. During the deep cleaning process, they work their way into your hair strands and slot into any spaces in your hair, helping repair damage. The small molecules will also draw moisture into your hair, providing it with that much-needed moisture while you clean away all the excess oil and product buildup. 

Additional beneficial ingredients

Apple cider vinegar will assist in removing product buildup, clearing out any extra grease. The vinegar will also help alleviate any itchiness and flaking by balancing the skin’s PH and gently exfoliating the scalp, clearing away dead skin and bacteria. The vinegar can also aid hydration and increase shine in the hair by smoothing the outer layer of the hair strands, locking moisture into the hair and leaving it looking shiny. 

6. Pacifica Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo


Another shampoo with superb clarifying ability, this purifying and invigorating shampoo will effectively rid your scalp and hair of any heavy product buildup. Meanwhile, it will coat your hair in hydrating ingredients and stimulate your scalp to promote hair growth. 

Key ingredients

This is another shampoo that will work wonders for hair when used for an occasional clarifying deep clean to remove buildup and restore healthy bounce in your hair.  Cocomidopropyl betaine, a very mild cleaner, works in partnership with sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate to penetrate deeply into your roots and wash away waxy residue. 

Hydrolyzed soy proteins provide hydration as they penetrate the hair strands and draw in moisture. The proteins also help strengthen and smooth the hair fibers, allowing hair to flex without breakage and tangling.

Additional beneficial ingredients

Peppermint oil will create a soothing, tingling sensation on your scalp, helping to both stimulate scalp follicles and calm skin inflammation. Rosemary leaf extract also stimulates the hair follicles and increases blood flow to the scalp, encouraging hair growth, while willow bark extract gently exfoliates the scalp, clearing away dead skin cells and debris.

7. Abba Moisture Shampoo


This gentle shampoo is great for anyone with sensitive skin who is looking for something gentle enough for regular use. Its PH-balanced formula will help you regulate sebum production and reduce irritation and flaking for a healthy scalp and moisturized ends.

Key ingredients

This shampoo contains two very gentle surfactants, including cocamidopropyl betaine, perfect for very sensitive skin that is easily irritated. The shampoo will form a light lather to gently clean away excess oil without causing dryness on your scalp. 

While you clean, you’ll also receive a trio of hydrolyzed proteins to nourish and strengthen your hair and help restore moisture to your ends. Hydrolyzed quinoa proteins help strengthen your hair’s fibers and reduce breakage, while hydrolyzed soy and barley proteins attract water as they form a light layer on your strands, smoothing out the hair, slowing moisture loss, and promoting shine.

Additional beneficial ingredients

Olive butter is rich in antioxidants and will provide nourishment to your scalp and follicles while also moisturizing your skin as you clean. Peppermint oil stimulates the hair follicles and increases blood circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth while also soothing the skin.

8. Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo


Treat your senses to some aromatherapy with this shampoo that is formulated to gently remove grease at the scalp while nourishing and hydrating your strands with the added benefits of essential oils. 

Key ingredients

A healthy, balanced scalp will follow a cleanse with this shampoo’s several sulfate-free surfactants, ensuring your scalp is thoroughly cleansed and degreased without becoming dried out and irritated. Hydrolyzed corn proteins help to condition and moisturize the strands while preventing frizz and static. The proteins will lock moisture into the strands and smooth out the hair cuticles. 

Hydrolyzed wheat and soy proteins will provide additional hydration from within the strands while also forming a light, protective coating on your strands for enhanced hydration, flexibility, and damage reduction.

Additional beneficial ingredients

A multitude of essential oils work together in this product to help invigorate your senses and nourish and stimulate the scalp. Lemon oil, with its antimicrobial properties, improves scalp health by clearing out any bacterial or fungal overgrowth. It also nourishes and strengthens the hair follicles to aid in strong hair growth. 

Meanwhile, peach kernel oil, rich in antioxidants, provides nourishment and soothing benefits to the skin and helps remove any dandruff build up. Rosemary leaf oil increases blood circulation in the skin and stimulates the hair follicles to promote hair growth, while cypress oil aids in reducing scalp inflammation and assists in further strengthening the hair follicles.

9. A’kin Moisture Rich Shampoo


Another shampoo that is great for fine hair, this shampoo will help rid your roots of greasiness, smooth out any frizz, and reduce any tangles while repairing damage and moisturizing your ends. 

Key ingredients

Hydrolyzed wheat proteins will provide hydration and improve the structure of your strands as they work into the hair and lock moisture in. They can also help prevent any further weakening within damaged hair fibers by filling in any small gaps that have formed due to damage. 

Hydrolyzed rice proteins further enhance hydration in the hair and smooth out the hair strands to prevent tangling and bring out its natural shine. Rice protein is also known for its skin conditioning abilities and it will nourish and soothe your scalp as you clean. Several gentle sulfate-free surfactants make this shampoo great for regular use, effectively cleaning greasy roots without causing too much dryness on the scalp. 

Additional beneficial ingredients

Soap bark extract works with the gentle surfactants in this shampoo to create a rich, foamy lather that easily spreads through hair. It also has antiinflammatory properties, calming any skin irritation and flaking. Vitamin E will provide antioxidants to your scalp and hair follicles, aiding in healthy hair growth.

10. Ogx Biotin & Collagen Shampoo


If your hair is greasy, has dry ends, and is looking especially stiff and flat, this Ogx biotin and collagen shampoo will make a major difference. You’ll soon see your scalp cleaned, roots lifted, and your strands plump with moisture.

Key ingredients

This shampoo contains three gentle surfactants for thorough cleaning without stripping the scalp and hair of its natural protective oils. However, its primary cleaning agent is sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which those with very sensitive skin may find too harsh or irritating for their skin. If that’s you—but you still want fuller, volumized locks—you could use this shampoo occasionally to receive all the benefits while ensuring your skin remains calm.

To plump up your strands, hydrolyzed collagen peptides work into your hair and swell with moisture, helping to plump the strands up for a thicker, fuller look. With the grease and oil cleaned away, the plumped up strands will be free to lift at the roots, for that voluminous look you’re after.  

Hydrolyzed wheat proteins will also assist in creating volume in the hair by drawing moisture into the strands. They’ll also work their magic by creating a light layer on your hair to attract moisture and slow moisture loss without weighing your hair down.

Additional beneficial ingredients

Biotin, an essential B vitamin, will help combat dryness and breakage by nourishing the skin and hair follicles to aid in balancing out the scalp’s sebum production and growing thick, healthy strands.

Frequently asked questions

What shampoo is best for me?

To determine the best shampoo for your oily scalp and dry ends, you’ll want to get an idea of your hair type.First, identify if it is on the straight end of the spectrum, or leans more toward the curly side, and second, whether it is more coarse or has a finer composition.

Knowing whether your hair is more straight or curly is fairly simple. If your hair dries without many kinks, it falls toward the straighter end. If it dries with multiple kinks, has an s-shaped pattern, or has multiple ringlet shapes, your hair is classed as more wavy or curly. 

Curlier hair may need more assistance in the hydration and smoothing department than straighter hair. This is because sebum may have a harder time making it all the way from the scalp to the ends, so for curly hair, a shampoo with both gentle cleaners and hydrolyzed proteins is essential. You’ll want to look for a shampoo that has cleaners gentle enough for regular use, as oil will likely be accumulated in your roots quickly. Opt for a gentle shampoo to clear out oil buildup regularly without drying out your scalp and stripping away all the sebum.

To identify if your hair is coarser or finer, you can lay a strand of your hair on a plain surface and lay a sewing thread beside it. If your hair is similar in thickness to the thread, or noticeably thicker, your hair is more coarse. If your hair is noticeably thinner than the thread, then your hair is more fine. 

Coarse hair will cope well with a shampoo that has lots of added butters and oils. Meanwhile, fine hair is easily weighed down, so a shampoo without added butters and oils works best for this type.

What else can I do for an oily scalp and dry ends?

Brush your hair gently in the morning and at night. Brushing your hair at these times of day will help distribute the sebum produced during the night and day throughout your strands. This will help decrease oil buildup in your scalp and moisturize and protect your ends. Just be sure to gently remove any tangles from your mid-lengths and ends before brushing all the way down from your scalp to help prevent damage from tugging.

Only shampoo your scalp when you wash your hair. Focusing the shampoo on your scalp is the best shampoo method for a combination of oily scalp and dry ends. The shampoo will clean the excess oil from your scalp and clean any excess oil from the strands as it rinses out. This method will prevent you from removing too much sebum from your hair’s ends, helping it to retain moisture.

Apply conditioner to your mid lengths and ends only. When you condition your hair, focusing the product on your mid-lengths and ends will ensure you are providing the driest parts with moisturizing benefits without causing any product to build up on your scalp and cause more greasiness. You can also leave conditioner on your ends for a few minutes before rinsing it out for increased conditioning benefits.

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