How can I Get Rid of Smelly Scalp and Hair?  

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Everyone loves to smell good. Bad odour is something that everyone would want to avoid. While you can easily conceal your body odour using perfumes or deodorants, getting rid of hair odour can be of concern.

In this article, we will deal with the ways that can help you get rid of your scalp and hair odour, naturally. But before that, let us look at the causes of it for a better understanding of the problem. Read on to find out!


7 Methods to Combat Smelly Scalp and Hair Naturally

If you have noticed the above problems that make your skin and scalp smell bad, here are a few things you can do about it. These easy tips can help you naturally get rid of your hair and scalp’s bad smell.

1. Lemon juice

lemon juice

In order to get rid of the unpleasant smell from your hair, you can give lemon juice a try. Lemon is said to have bactericidal properties and, as per anecdotal evidence, can also help you get rid of dandruff. This, in turn, will prevent your scalp from smelling bad. The procedure is quite simple.

  • Add two teaspoons of lemon juice to two cups of warm water and stir the mix.
  • Once you wash your hair using a mild shampoo, rinse it finally with the lemon water mixture you prepared.
  • Let it stay for a few minutes, and then using plain water, wash your hair again.
  • You can try this twice a week.


2. Using Apple cider vinegar

Applecider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is also said to have antimicrobial properties. It can be used to treat the scalp and hence help in getting rid of the unpleasant smell. Make sure that you dilute the apple cider vinegar before using it on the scalp. Here is how you can use it.

  • Prepare a mixture by diluting ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar into ¾ cup of water.
  • If you want, you may add a few drops of lemon oil to it.
  • Use the solution on your scalp and massage gently.
  • Leave it like that for about half an hour and then wash it off.

Warning: Apple cider Vinegar must not be used in case of eczema.


3. Using an aloe vera mask

aloevera mask

Aloe vera can prove to be a good home remedy in conditions of seborrheic dermatitis. Aloe vera is said to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. You can use an aloe vera mask on your hair to see the results. It can help in getting rid of the bad smell from hair.

Take some pure aloe vera gel and apply it to your scalp while it is still damp. It can help soothe your scalp and, at the same time, leave it smelling good. You can apply aloe vera gel on your scalp once or twice a week.


 4. Using Tomato juice mask

Using Tomato juice mask

As per anecdotal evidence, tomato juice could be capable of helping you get rid of hair odour. It can cleanse and kill the bad smell of your hair.

  • You will have to extract some juice out of a tomato and massage it all over your scalp.
  • Let it sit for nearly 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Wash your hair using a mild shampoo.


5. Using garlic oil

Using garlic oil

Garlic oil can prove to be quite effective against the unpleasant smell caused due to bacterial and fungal activity on your scalp. It can also prove to be good for your hair health due to its antimicrobial properties. Here is how you can use it:

  • Take a few garlic cloves and turn them into a paste.
  • Add this paste to about two teaspoons of coconut oil.
  • Using a sieve, strain the mix to get a consistent liquid.
  • Apply the mix all over your scalp as well as on your hair.
  • Let it sit for around 30 minutes, and then wash the mixture off using a mild shampoo.

Tip: It is advisable to do a patch test before using ginger on your scalp. It can be irritating for some people.


 6. Essential Oils

essential oil

Using essential oils is another way to get rid of your hair’s bad smell. All you need to do is this:

  • Choose an essential oil of your choice (preferably the ones known for antimicrobial activity) and add a few drops of it to some carrier oil (almond oil/ castor oil)
  • Apply the mix to your scalp and hair.
  • Let it sit on your hair for about 30 minutes, and later wash your hair using a gentle shampoo.

Tip: Tea tree oil is known for its antimicrobial activity while it also makes your scalp smell fresh. You can also go for any other essential oil of your choice.


7. Use a shampoo for a smelly scalp.

Use a shampoo for a smelly scalp.

A reason for smelly scalp could be dandruff or other hair infections. Using a mild shampoo, free of harsh chemicals, particularly made for this purpose, can solve your problem. Washing your hair with shampoo will prevent your hair and scalp from smelling bad.


Tips to prevent smelly scalp

You may be able to prevent your hair and scalp from smelling bad by keeping these few things in mind.

  • In some cases, the cause of smelly scalp could be oily dandruff, treat that, and the problem will be solved too.
  • Make sure to wash your hair frequently. This will help from preventing oil and sebum build-up.
  • Always use a mild cleanser for your hair and scalp with a mild fragrance.
  • Fight the urge to scratch or touch your hair constantly. Doing this will only aggravate the problem.


Possible causes of a smelly scalp

In case you have been noticing a weird smell coming off of your hair, you must consider the following reasons that could be responsible for it.


1. Sweat

Excessive sweat can be one of the reasons for all that bad smell your hair is emitting. If you are a gym person or go for heavy activities, make sure to take a shower later. The sweat trapped in your hair results in an unpleasant smell.


2. Pollution

Pollution can be another reason causing a bad smell in hair and scalp. The dust particles can stick to your hair, making it smelly.


3. Scalp infections

Scalp infections may also lead to a bad smell coming out of your hair. Conditions such as yeast infestations, oily dandruff, scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis can cause your scalp to be smelly.


4. Not washing your hair frequently.

Oils and sebum start building up on your scalp if you do not wash your hair frequently. This makes your hair greasy as well as smelly.


5. Hormones

Hormones can also play a role in affecting your hair and scalp. Excess production of androgen by your body may also result in increased production of oil from skin glands. This, in turn, causes oily scalp, which can also lead to odour.


6. Hair products

Be careful while you choose the hair products to use. Certain products can cause an oil build-up on your scalp, resulting in a bad hair odour.



What should I look for in shampoo to treat smelly scalp?

Shampoos with sulphur can help you get rid of a smelly scalp. It is said to fight bacteria that make your hair smell bad.


Why does my hair smell bad even after shampooing?

If your hair continues to smell even after you have washed and shampooed it, it could be simply because your shampoo is ineffective. Your shampoo might not be able to fight the microbial that cause your hair to smell. You must use a shampoo that is anti-bacterial and antifungal. It will help a great deal in fighting the bad smell of your hair and scalp.



Hopefully, these easy methods will help you get rid of that unpleasant smell coming from your hair, and you won’t have to feel embarrassed anymore. If the problem continues to persist despite all the efforts, you should try seeing a doctor for it.

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