Smelly hair, as the name suggests, is characterized by an unpleasant odor emanating from the hair and scalp. It can be caused by a condition called smelly hair syndrome. It can haunt people of any age and is not related to poor hygiene.
Oily hair is more prone to this condition because it picks up environmental pollutants and strong smells more readily.
Also, factors like stress and hormonal imbalance can contribute to this embarrassing problem. Scalp psoriasis and infections, particularly fungal infections, are also causes.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the most widely used home remedies for smelly hair because it helps neutralize foul odors and reduces oiliness.
- Mix one part baking soda in three parts water.
- Rinse your hair with water and apply the baking soda paste on your damp hair.
- Leave it on for about five minutes and then wash your hair.
- Repeat the process once a week.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works as a natural hair clarifier and removes product buildup that can contribute to smelly and oily hair. It also helps restore your hair’s normal pH, adds shine, and prevents frizzes.
- Add one-half cup of organic apple cider vinegar to two cups of distilled water and mix in three drops of an essential oil such as lavender, rose, or others. Spray the solution throughout your hair and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse it out with cold water.
- You can simply rinse your hair with a solution of one-half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water. Leave it on for about a minute before rinsing it out.
You can also use apple cider vinegar after the baking soda remedy. Do not use it more than twice a week, though.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is excellent for your skin as well as hair. It will leave your hair smelling fresh and clean. Plus, it will promote smooth, shiny hair and fight problems like dandruff and scalp infections.
- Dilute the juice squeezed from two lemons in a cup of water. After shampooing, work the mixture into your hair and scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Do this once or twice a week.
- If you have a fungal infection on your scalp, mix the juice from one lemon in one cup of plain yogurt. Work it into your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this once a week.
- You can also combine lemon juice with a fragrant essential oil like rosemary or lavender and leave it in your hair overnight. Do this two or three times a week.
Warning: Lemon juice will lighten your hair over a period of time.
4. Tomato Juice
Tomato juice helps remove foul odors from your hair. Moreover, the acidity in tomatoes helps balance the pH level in your hair.
- Apply fresh tomato juice on your scalp.
- Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it out.
- Do this once or twice a week.
Warning: Tomato juice is likely to lighten your hair.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that help cure the problem of stinky hair caused by scalp infections. It will also reduce scalp acne and dandruff.
- Dilute a little tea tree oil in water and apply it on your scalp. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then shampoo your hair.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo (two drops per ounce of shampoo). Shampoo as usual.
You can use either of these tea tree oil remedies once a week.
6. Neem Oil
Neem, or Indian lilac, oil can be used to treat scalp infections and consequently smelly hair due to its antiseptic properties. Use it once a week.
- You can use neem oil like tea tree oil by adding it to your shampoo.
- Alternatively, you can apply a few drops of this oil on your scalp, massage, and leave it on overnight. Shampoo your hair the next morning.
- If you do not have neem oil, boil a handful of neem leaves in water. Cool and strain the solution. Use it as a hair rinse once a week.