Remedies to cure smelly scalp

Posted by Meerika Khanna on

Managing a smelly scalp or hair is never easy. The signs can range from a little unpleasant smell to an unbearable odor along with inflammation and itching as well. When it comes to the solution for the smelly scalp, the answer depends on various factors such as the cause behind it, the hair routine of the individual, and much more. 

To get to the root cause behind this very common problem of the smelly scalp, Earthyskin has taken significant insight from several experts. Read further to find out what causes your scalp to smell, and how you can easily fight against this problem. 

Common causes of a smelly scalp 

Have scalp or hair that have been plagued by unpleasant odor? Here's a list of some common reasons that you can blame for your smelly scalp.


1) Excessive sweating

craniofacial hyperhidrosis - also known as the situation of sweating excessively from the scalp and face, is one of the common reasons behind smelly scalp. Hyperhidrosis is experienced by people who have a higher concentration of sweat glands. It can be an outcome of other factors such as stress, illness, and menopause. These factors stimulate the sweat glands, making them more active. 


2) Washing your hair too frequently

Yes, you read that right! Washing your hair too often can be problematic for you in the long run. It's even a bigger concern if you use hot water and harsh shampoos as well. Frequent hair washes with hot water or harsh shampoos result in stripping away the natural oils from the scalp. This leads to making the scalp dry and smelly. A dry scalp can also trigger the sebaceous glands, resulting in the over-production of oil in the scalp. This worsens the problem of smelly scalp and hair. 


3) Wear same headwear

Hair hygiene is not just restricted to washing our hair and following certain hair routines, but also what we put on our hair. Not cleaning and washing your caps, hats, and scarves regularly can result in making your hair and scalp smelly. Wearing such headwear for a long period of time can lead to excessive sweating and other scalp problems. This is the reason that experts have recommended using headwear made from light and breathable fabrics. 


4) Not washing the hair enough

Just like washing your hair too frequently is an issue, not washing your hair enough is also a problem. Our scalp naturally consists of bacteria and yeast that work to remove the extra oil and dead cells from the scalp. When someone doesn't wash their hair often, these bacteria build up on the scalp and release acids with foul smells. Neglecting the hygiene of your hair is one of the biggest causes of the build-up of sweat and oil on the scalp. Washing your hair regularly is the door to have fresh smelling hair and scalp. 


5) Inflammation

If you are experiencing other scalp problems, along with the problem of the smelly scalp, these scalp worries can be associated with something serious. Smelly scalp and hair can also be an outcome of underlying skin problems, metabolic and hormonal disorders. Scalp problems like inflammation, irritation, and dry scalp can also be responsible for the bad odor of your scalp. 


How to make your scalp smell better? 

Now that you are familiar with what causes your hair and scalp to smell bad, let us look at a few ways of making your scalp smell better:

1) Frequent hair washes

There is no fixed number for how often one should wash their hair. The number of hair wash an individual requires is widely variable and person-specific. We all have a personal idea that if we don't wash our hair by a certain time, it will start to appear dull and dry. The longer your hair will remain unwashed, the more sebum and dirt will get accumulated in the scalp. Washing your hair regularly will help in regulating the oil production in the scalp. 


2) Natural oils

Natural oils have been in several hair and scalp care practices for a long period of time now. These oils are packed with healthy nutrients as well as antifungal and antibacterial qualities. These qualities combine to fight against the bacteria and fungi present in the scalp. These bacteria is usually one of the root causes of smelly scalp. Therefore, these oils are proven to be one of the best remedies against unpleasant smell of hair and scalp. 


3) Minimise sweating

If you are one of those people that are prone to excessive sweating, it can be beneficial to use medicated solutions. As stated above, excessive sweating leads to a unhealthy and smelly scalp. Hence, minimising sweating should be one of your aim to have a better smelling scalp. Topical agents like aluminium chloride can be used to minimise excessive sweating. Alternatively, one can opt for those remedies that come as a wipe and throw pad or prescription liquids for cutting down on excessive sweat.

4) Wash and clean your headwear

Be sure to always add your hats, caps, scarves to your laundry day. Washing all of your hair wears and accessories on regular basis is highly recommended to fight against the problem of smelly scalp. Sebum and other such hair chemicals get trapped in the hats or caps wore by us. When you wear your hair or cap on clean hair, the trapped chemicals rub off against your clean hair and scalp, giving you a smelly scalp again. Hence, make sure to wash your headwear on regular basis.


Having smelly scalp or hair is very common and normal, but unpleasant as well. Hence, making an effort to fight against smelly scalp should be one of your top priority. Make sure to follow the above-listed tips for a consistent period of time for maximum benefits. A healthy and fresh smelling scalp is the foundation of healthy hair as well. So go and give your scalp the care it needs for it to have a beautiful smell and say goodbye to your smelly scalp.

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