Unpleasant smell emanating from your tresses may put you in an awkward situation. Before this obnoxious odor of your hair becomes the reason of your embarrassment, take some measures to avoid it. Smelly hair syndrome is the main cause of this stinky condition. People with oily scalp mostly face this problem. Overactive sebaceous glands on the scalp, poor personal hygiene, excessive sweating, more exposure to chemicals and environmental pollution, hormonal imbalance, bacterial and fungal infections are some factors that contribute to reeking hair. Both men as well as women can have this problem.
However, stinking hair is not at all a serious condition. It can be alleviated by adopting some dietary measures and natural remedies.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Smelly Hair
1. Tomato Juice
Tomatoes are natural pH balancers that act as cleansers and give you odor-free hair. Extract the juice of as many tomatoes as required, depending upon the length of your hair. Massage it all over your hair. Leave it on for about 20-30 minutes. Then wash with a mild shampoo. It can be applied twice a week.
Note – Tomato juice lightens your hair color.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps neutralize fetid smell and also reduces oiliness. It is an effective remedy. Blend water and baking soda in 3: 1 proportion. Douse your hair with water and apply this paste on your wet hair. Wait for 5 minutes and then rinse. Use this remedy once in a week.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar reinstates your hair’s normal pH, averts frizzes and adds luster. It cleanses your hair and eradicates all those elements that may cause smell. Mix ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water. Then simply rinse your hair with this solution. Leave it for a minute before washing it out.
Alternatively, mix ½ cup of organic apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water and add 3 drops of an essential oil such as rose, lavender, or any other. Spray the solution on your hair. Wash off after a few minutes with cold water.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice works incredibly great for both skin and hair. It not only cleanses hair and scalp, but also renders a pleasing fragrance to your hair and makes them smooth and shiny. Lemon helps you get rid of dandruff and scalp infections.
Get two lemons and squeeze the juice in a cup of water. Spray this mixture on your hair after rinsing them with a shampoo. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash off with plain water. Use this remedy once or twice a week.
If you have fungal infection on scalp, mix the juice of one lemon in one cup of plain yogurt. Apply it on your hair and wash after 30 minutes. Do this once in a week.
Alternatively, combine lemon juice with rosemary or lavender oil. Massage with this solution and leave it overnight. Do this 2-3 times a week.
Note- Lemon juice can lighten the color of your hair, if used for a long time period.
5. Honey and Cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon possess antibacterial and antifungal properties which keep you from infections. Just add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 30 minutes. Then mix 1 teaspoon of honey in it. Spread this on your scalp and leave it for 45 minutes. Rinse off with water. Later on, wash with a shampoo.
Moreover, you can also consume a mixture of honey and cinnamon powder. Take one tablespoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon powder and blend them properly to make a paste. It will make your tresses stronger.
Note- Honey and cinnamon hair mask may lighten your hair.
6. Olive Oil
Apply olive oil all over the scalp and massage gently before washing your hair. Olive oil has incredible soothing properties which will lessen itchiness and bad odor.
7. Onion Juice
Onion contains powerful antiseptic and antifungal properties that are ample to dump all your hair woes. Grind some onions in a juicer and gently apply the onion juice on your scalp. Wait for 30 minutes and then rinse off with a shampoo.
8. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Add 8-10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in your shampoo and massage it on your scalp. Then, wash your hair as usual.
9. Milk of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia will cut down excess oil present in your hair which, generally, adds up to the bad smell. Directly apply milk of magnesia on your scalp. Wait for an hour. Then, shampoo your hair.
10. Orange Juice
Orange juice checks the excess oil present in your hair and sloughs off dandruff. Besides, the peels of orange deodorize your hair.
Fill a jar with orange peels and pour in apple cider vinegar. Store this in cupboard for 2 weeks. Thereafter, strain this infusion and store it in the refrigerator. Put two tablespoons of this liquid in a 12-16 ounce spray bottle containing water. Spray it on your hair after washing with a shampoo. Rinse it off after a few minutes.
Alternatively, boil orange peel powder in water. Let it cool. Rinse your hair with this solution. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then wash.
You can also apply orange juice directly on your hair, and then rinse it out after five minutes.
Use vodka to clean your locks and get rid of smelly hair. It also stimulates hair growth. Mix one tbsp of vodka in a bottle of water. Spray this solution after shampooing your strands. Don’t rinse afterwards. Repeat this once in a week.
12. Garlic Oil
Garlic oil is loaded with powerful antiseptic and antifungal compounds. It also contains sulfur which kills the smell producing yeast and bacteria. It is easily available at drug stores or beauty stores. However, it can be prepared at home as well, by heating coconut oil with some garlic cloves.
13. Egg White
Take yogurt according to the length of your hair. Add egg yolk to it. Mix well and spread it on your strands. Rinse off with cold water after 20-25 minutes.
Herbal Remedies for Stinky Hair
Thyme lessens bad smell in hair. Boil two cups of thyme sprigs in two liters of water for 15 minutes. Put a lid on it. After the solution cools down, strain it and use this herbal tea to clean your tresses.
15. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera heals various scalp problems. It prevents hair loss, conditions your hair, and reduces both dandruff and smell. You can use it once a week.
Apply fresh aloe vera gel or juice on your hair and scalp after shampooing. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then wash it out.
Alternatively, you can also add one tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of aloe vera gel to your shampoo.
16. Margosa Oil
Margosa oil can effectively treat scalp infections. The antiseptic properties of margosa oil do away with bad smell from hair. Use this remedy once in a week.
You can add this oil to your shampoo.
Or else, apply a few drops of this oil on your scalp. Massage for a few minutes. Leave it overnight. Wash your hair with a shampoo next morning.
Prepare your own margosa oil at home, by boiling a handful of margosa leaves in water. Allow it to cool, and then, strain the solution. You can use it once in a week.
17. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has been proved to be the most effective way for getting rid of smelly hair. Owing of its antifungal and antiseptic properties, it relives scalp from inflammation and itching which mainly cause odor in hair. Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. Dry them with a clean towel and apply 5-10 drops of lavender oil. This will cost you very minimal.
18. Tea Tree Oil
It cleanses the stinky hair naturally, and antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil helps cure the scalp infections and evades microbial growth. This oil will also reduce dandruff and scalp acne.
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in some water and apply it on your scalp. After 20 to 30 minutes, shampoo your hair.
Alternatively, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo.
Another option is to mix a little tea tree oil with olive oil or jojoba oil, and apply it on your scalp daily.
Wash your hair regularly.
Change your pillow cover, towel and hair brush frequently.
Eat a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water.
Use a shampoo that contains salicylic acid and sulfur.
Spray your body perfume on combs to give fragrance to your locks.
Minimize consumption of foods like garlic and onion, as they have pungent smells.
Do not tie your locks until they get completely dry.
Don’t use conditioner in your roots.
Don’t over brush your hair because it pulls out the oil from the scalp.