What does it mean when your hair smells bad? Scalp smells are often characterized by an unpleasant, annoying odor that seems to radiate from your hair, head and scalp. Here’s the big surprise: It is not necessarily related to poor hygiene. You might wash your hair several times a day but the smell never goes away. Sometimes if you have very oily hair, it may capture pollutants and chemicals in the air and hangs onto them, creating an unpleasant aroma. If you are wondering “Why does my scalp smell?” you are not alone. This happens to thousands of people every day. The key to fixing the problem is to understand where it comes from.
Why Does My Scalp Smell?
Here we have found 6 main causes for smelly hair. Read through and find out why your scalp smell.
1. Over Washing
If you wash your hair too often, you might actually wind up having a smell scalp. This seems counter-intuitive because washing is supposed to help eliminate odors. But when it comes to your hair, over washing just strips away vital oils that protect it. Your body compensates by creating even more oil. The result is that your hair captures many more odors, even though you wash all the time.
2. Lack of Washing
On the other hand, not washing your hair enough can have the same effect. The less you wash your hair, the more oil builds up. When you go for more than 3 days without washing your hair, the natural oils build up, and the bacteria that live there naturally begins to die. This creates a terrible scalp smell.
3. Reactions from Products
Some beauty products can actually have a bad reaction with your natural oils. This means that once you put the shampoo or other product on your hair, they interact in a way that creates a bad smell. This is true no matter how good that shampoo smells coming out of the bottle! Switching products can help immensely.
4. Fungal Infection
In some cases, fungal infections can take hold in the oil glands, and that can lead to a bad smell on your scalp. This is often called tinea capitis, and it is contagious – so it is possible that everyone in your household could get it. This can be passed through contaminated materials, such as combs, clothing or even a close hug.
5. The Function of Sweat Gland
The apocrine sweat glands on your head can produce a certain kind of fatty sweat. This kind of sweat will attack and break down any bacteria it comes into contact with, resulting in a bad odor. Since oil can prompt more bacteria growth, you might wind up with a terrible odor on your hair. Keep in mind that these apocrine sweat glands appear wherever there is hair on your body, so you might have the same problem with other areas, too.
When you are under a great deal of stress, many things change in your body. Excess oil produced by your scalp are among the changes, which means that the usually harmless bacterium there grows faster. It also means that the oil captures more of the odors in the air, holding them close to your scalp.
How to Deal With Smelly Scalp
Smelly hair or scalp is normal not a big deal and here we provide 8 ways of handling smelly scalp.
1. Shampoo Your Hair Wisely
Improper washing your hair is one answer to “why does my scalp smell?” You might want to begin with shampooing your hair on a regular schedule. Don't be lazy and don't over wash them. Once every other day seems to be fine for most people. After a few weeks, your oil glands will produce much less oil, and the smell will begin to go away.
2. Odor Targeted Shampoo
Sometimes you need a little help from shampoos that reduce the odor of your hair. This might be true if you have tried other remedies and can’t figure out what is going on. These shampoos focus on reducing oils. Try some that are designed for those with dandruff, those that contain zinc, or shampoos that use tar.
3. Try Dry Shampoo
If you find that your hair is smelly during the day, use dry shampoo to help eliminate the odor. Dry shampoos contain ingredients that are meant to dry out the oils in your hair and that can lead to a much fresher scent. It can also help eliminate some of the oil, which could help the root cause smelly odor.
4. Fight Smelly Bacteria
Using an anti-bacterial body wash on your hair can work wonders to reduce scalp odor. That’s because the body wash can kill bacteria that might grow on your head, and give you fresher, cleaner skin – as well as a much more pleasant smell.
5. Try Baking Soda
This is an all-natural remedy that is known to help neutralize odors. To use it, mix 1 part baking soda in 3 parts water, and apply it to a wet scalp for 5 minutes at a time. You can do this once a week for the best results.