Why Do I Have a Dry Scalp but Greasy Hair?

Having a dry scalp but greasy hair isn’t as much of a contradiction as it may seem. Many people associate a dry scalp with things like dandruff. However, dandruff is often caused by a build-up of oils on the scalp that causes itching and flaking.

Your body tends to work against itself when you have dry scalp. It recognizes that something is off. So, it starts producing more natural oils, essentially working overtime to make up for the lack of oils already on your scalp. Unfortunately, that can cause a build-up of those oils, giving your hair a greasy appearance.

But, there are ways to treat dry scalp and greasy hair at the same time. First, it’s important to understand what might have caused your dry scalp in the first place.

Once you know the reason, you’ll be equipped to find the right treatment – one that can give your scalp the nutrients it needs. That will leave your hair feeling light and healthy, not oily and heavy.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the main causes of a dry scalp with greasy hair. We’ll then explore the best treatment options so that you can enjoy instant relief.

What Causes a Dry Scalp with Greasy Hair?

If you have a dry scalp and oily hair, you may wonder what caused the dryness. There are several factors commonly associated with the condition, so let’s look at some of the most common reasons:

Scalp Psoriasis

You can have psoriasis on many different parts of the body. It is the overproduction of cells. When it occurs on the scalp, it can cause itching, flaking, and dryness. The flaking it causes may appear to be dandruff, but the two types of flakes are not the same. You can get some extra information on psoriasis of the scalp in this post

Dry and greasy scalp


The cause of eczema is unknown, but it can affect anyone. According to the National Eczema Association, over 30 million Americans deal with the skin disorder.

It can cause symptoms like:

  • Dry skin
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Rough patches of skin

Too Many Hair Products

Oftentimes, certain hair products can strip your hair and scalp from sufficient nutrients.

The chemicals used in certain shampoos, conditioners, or salon products react differently with everyone. If you don’t believe additional factors are affecting your scalp, look closely at the hair products you’re using. Have you started using anything new? Also, blow drying your hair can add to the dryness.

Extreme Weather Conditions

Sometimes, dry scalp can be affected by the weather around you. If you live in a cold environment, the harsh temperatures can affect the moisture level of your scalp. Your scalp can also be damaged by exposure to the sun, so take extra care during the warmer months of the year.

What Causes Greasy Hair?

Greasy hair stems from the body’s overproduction of sebum.

Sebum isn’t a bad thing. Your hair actually needs it in order to stay soft and waterproof. It’s when too much sebum is produced that the oily look and feeling becomes a problem.

Some of the most common causes of greasy hair include:

What Causes Greasy Hair but a Dry Scalp?

If you have oily hair, but your scalp is dry, the causes are narrowed a bit.

It’s most likely that the problem is in the products you’re using. Not every hair care product is suitable for all hair types. If you have thin hair, for example, heavy conditioners can cause it to become weighed down and look greasy.

Too much product can also cause oily hair, especially when it is concentrated in one location. Or, you could be using products with too many chemicals. If your products are cheaply made, these chemicals are usually used as fillers, and they can really weigh down your hair.

They don’t nourish your scalp in any way, and can actually dry it out. In the meantime, however, they can give an oily appearance to your hair.

Dry Scalp but Greasy Hair

What Are the Best Treatments for a Dry Scalp and Greasy Hair?

There are plenty of ways to treat a dry scalp, even if you have oily hair. It starts by using the right products. Be sure to use a shampoo specifically designed for greasy hair once every day. Try to avoid letting the shampoo penetrate the scalp. Instead, just work it through your hair. If it penetrates the scalp too much, it can dry it out even more.

Other effective solutions include:

  • Use a salicylic acid shampoo. This helps to soften the skin of the scalp.
  • Dust your roots with hair powder to soak up extra oil.
  • Use a hot oil treatment (such as jojoba oil) each week for your scalp. Be sure to rinse out the oil completely when you’re done.

You can also help to restore the pH balance of your scalp with a simple home remedy.

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a clear shampoo and wash your hair as per normally. Rinse with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water – about one cup of each.

To prevent having a dry scalp and greasy hair in the future, try the following:

  • Use conditioner on the ends of your hair. Don’t rub it throughout your hair or let it get onto the scalp.
  • Use a shampoo with tea tree oil to help balance out the pH of your scalp and hair.
  • Avoid touching or playing with your hair too much.
  • Avoid overly hot showers, or showering too often.

Put an End to a Dry, Itchy Scalp and Oily Hair

These contradicting problems are more common than you might think. Change your hair care routine to target the symptoms of both issues. Oil production can be increased too much if you’re using the wrong products or using them too much.

That can weigh down your hair and cause it to look greasy, while the chemicals in those products strip the moisture from your scalp. If you have a dry scalp but greasy hair, finding a balance is important.

Keep your hair and scalp perfectly hydrated by making the most of the hair products you use. When you use products specifically designed to nourish both the hair and scalp, you’ll notice less dryness, itching, and flaking.

We recommend Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair & Scalp Treatment. You’ll then be able to live with hair that is light and healthy, instead of heavy and greasy.