How To Take Care Of Smelly Scalp


No matter how much deodorant or fragrance you slather, you can’t get rid of the odour emanating from your body. Well, the smell may not be from your body, but a place you least expect – the scalp. The sultry weather is to blame. So are many others like your hair care routine, the products you use for it, and sometimes, the food you eat! Scalp and hair odour is a real thing, but can be tackled with a few tweaks.

Why do my scalp and hair smell bad?
An oily scalp is typically the reason why it stinks up there. Secretions from the sebaceous glands plus bacteria that feed on them equal foul smell. Excessive sweating, can add to the problem. Combined with poor washing habits, you have a recipe for disaster and a distinct smell that gets you noticed for all the wrong reasons.

However, smelly scalp and hair could also point towards underlying conditions like an infection of the skin or hormonal disturbances – things best diagnosed by dermatologists. The condition could also be because of your diet – excessive amounts of yeast in your favourite foods is also believed to cause scalp odour. 

What can I do to treat oily scalp?
First and foremost, practice good hair washing habits. Ensure that you shampoo your hair frequently to keep it clean, but don’t overdo it, because stripping your hair and scalp of natural oils may cause your sebaceous glands to compensate by producing more oil than necessary. Using a gentle, aloe-based formulation can help if you need to wash your hair every other day. Also, never apply conditioner on the scalp –  the creamy formula can cause greasiness or lead to build-up, and in turn, an unpleasant odour.

Can home remedies help?
Simple home remedies can also sometimes work wonders. DIY recipe fans often swear by essential oils like tea tree oil. Dilute the oil with a carrier oil or water and apply to the scalp. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing off with a gentle, preferably sulphate-free shampoo. The antimicrobial properties of the essential oil help keep smelly scalp at bay.

What about diet changes?
Cutting back on yeast in the food you eat may help, especially if good hair care habits or home remedies don’t. It may be a tad cumbersome, but check product labels for yeast. If you’re consuming foods rich in this fungus, stay away from them for a while and see if it helps resolve the issue.

And when nothing works?
It’s time to pay your dermatologist a visit! The doctor can check for infections or other conditions of the scalp, which are causing the foul smell. He/she may prescribe medicated shampoos or lotions that soothe your scalp and restore it back to health. Or pills, if the condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance.

Got a DIY recipe to treat smelly scalp or hair? Share it with us below.

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