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How To Make Your Hair Smell Good All The Time

How To Make Your Hair Smell Good All The Time

Hair that looks good is one thing. But hair that smells just as amazing as it looks?! Well that’s the good-hair-day dream! Your hair holds on to smells exceptionally well. Which is great for the good smells, like the scent of your shampoo; and not so great for the less good ones, like sweat and product build-up, smoke, cooking smells, etc. If your hair or scalp smells unpleasant, or you just want your strands to smell delicious all day long, you’re in the right place. Because we’re telling you how to make your hair smell good and breaking down the best hair habits, tips and natural remedies to maintain better smelling hair longer. And it’s all ahead now!

Understanding Hair Odor

First things first. Before we can discuss hair that smells good or how to get rid of smelly scalp, it’s important to understand the science behind hair odors, the most common causes of smelly hair and to identify the root cause of the unpleasant smell to effectively address it. Let’s take a closer look at these things below.

The Science Behind Hair Odor

Bacteria live naturally on the skin, feeding off sweat and sebum. Your scalp is the perfect breeding ground for this bacteria, leading to an unbalanced scalp microbiome that can cause your roots to literally stink. 

Common Causes of Smelly Hair

So why does my scalp smell even after I wash it? Several factors can contribute to smelly hair, besides an oily scalp or excessive sweating. Product build-up from styling products such as hairspray or gel, can trap bacteria and contribute to odors. And certain lifestyle factors, like smoking, exposure to strong odors or pollutants and inadequate hygiene practices can also influence the scent of hair.

Importance of Identifying the Root Cause

Identifying the underlying cause of your hair odor is a must to effectively address the issue and make your hair smell amazing. Address your hair care habits, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures to pinpoint potential triggers for hair odor. You may need to seek professional advice from a dermatologist or hairstylist, as it may indicate underlying scalp or hair health issues.

Basic Hair Care Practices for Great Smelling Hair

Some basic hair care practices will keep your hair smelling fresh, like using a good-quality conditioner to keep your hair moisturized, choosing the right styling products that leave a pleasant scent, incorporating a leave-in conditioner and consulting with a dermatologist or hairstylist for personalized advice on managing hair odor. A more thorough breakdown of each is below.

Importance of Using Quality Conditioner

Don’t underestimate the importance of a high-quality conditioner to keep your hair moisturized, smooth, and fragrant. Conditioner helps replenish moisture loss during shampooing, preventing dryness and dullness in the hair. Conditioner smoothes the hair cuticle, which can help seal in fragrance from other hair care products and prevent environmental odors from penetrating the hair shaft. 

Choosing the Right Styling Products

Choose styling products that not only suit your hair type and desired hairstyle, but also leave a pleasant scent. Opt for styling products with light, fresh fragrances that complement your personal preferences and lifestyle. avoid overloading their hair with heavy or strongly scented styling products, as this can lead to product build-up and potential odor issues.

Incorporating Leave-In Conditioner

Incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your hair care routine to maintain your hair’s fragrance throughout the day. Leave-in conditioner provides hydration and protection to the hair without weighing it down or leaving a greasy residue. Choose leave-in conditioners with natural, botanical-based fragrances for a refreshing scent that lasts.

Consulting with Professionals

Consult with a dermatologist or hairstylist for personalized advice on managing hair odor and maintaining nice smelling hair. Schedule regular hair appointments to address any underlying scalp or hair health issues that may be contributing to hair odor. And seek their guidance when selecting hair care products and establishing a customized hair care routine tailored to individual needs.

Practical Tips to Keep Your Hair Smelling Good

Still wondering how to make your hair smell good? By incorporating a few tips into your routine including regularly cleaning your hairbrushes to prevent the accumulation of product residue and bacteria; washing your pillowcases and scarves frequently to avoid transferring odors onto freshly washed hair; and detangling your hair gently to minimize breakage and prevent unpleasant odors associated with tangled hair. Let’s dive a little deeper into each below.

Cleaning Hairbrushes Regularly

Regularly cleaning your hairbrushes is important to remove any accumulated hair, product residue, and bacteria that can contribute to hair odor. Neglecting to clean hairbrushes can transfer old odors back onto freshly washed hair, diminishing its fragrance. To clean your hairbrushes, remove hair strands, soak the brush in warm soapy water, and thoroughly rinse and air-dry it.

Washing Pillowcases and Scarves Frequently

Washing your pillowcases and scarves regularly will help prevent the transfer of oils, sweat, and odors onto freshly washed hair. Sleeping on dirty pillow cases can reintroduce old odors to hair, compromising its freshness. Use gentle laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners that may leave residues on pillowcases and scarves, which can affect your hair’s fragrance.

Gentle Detangling Techniques

Detangle your hair gently to minimize breakage and prevent any unpleasant odors associated with tangled hair. Start from the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots using a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush. Be patient and avoid aggressive brushing or pulling, which can damage the hair cuticle and lead to frizz and breakage.

Using Warm Water for Hair Washing

Use warm water instead of hot water when washing your hair to prevent stripping away natural oils and causing dryness. Hot water can open the hair cuticle, making it more susceptible to damage and moisture loss. Rinse with cool water after washing to help seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture, enhancing fragrance and shine.

Natural Remedies and DIY Hacks

There are also several natural remedies, DIYs and hacks to keep your hair smelling fresh, including lemon juice and rose water, a hair spritz of essential oils known for their scents and nourishing properties and dry shampoo. More on each below. 

Refreshing the Scalp with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural remedy for refreshing the scalp and eliminating odors. The acidic properties of lemon juice help to balance the scalp's pH levels, reducing excess oiliness and combating bacteria that cause odor. To use lemon juice as a scalp treatment, dilute it with water and apply it to the scalp with a spray bottle or cotton pad, then rinse thoroughly.


Homemade Hair Spritz with Essential Oils

Try creating a homemade hair spritz using essential oils like lavender, rosemary or peppermint, for their refreshing and aromatic qualities. For a simple DIY recipe, add a few drops of these essential oils to distilled water or witch hazel, and mix in a spray bottle.

Hacks for Dealing with Specific Hair Issues

A hack for dealing with oily hair or dandruff while keeping your hair smelling fresh, is to use natural remedies like cider vinegar or tea tree oil in your hair care routine. Use them as scalp treatments or add them to your shampoo or conditioner.

Benefits of Dry Shampoo

Use dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and neutralize odors between wash days. Dry shampoo works to absorb oil and sweat from the scalp, refreshing the hair and adding volume without the need for water. Choose dry shampoos with natural ingredients and light fragrances to avoid overpowering scents and potential scalp irritation.

Keep Your Hair Smelling Great

Everyone wants hair that smells as good as it looks. But your hair is really good at holding onto scents, both good and bad. So it can be a challenge to maintain hair that smells good all the time. If you’re dealing with an unpleasant hair or scalp, it’s time to address it in your hair care routine. Take the steps we discussed to identify the cause of the odor, and then experiment with our healthy hair habits, tips and techniques to find what remedies work best for your hair type and lifestyle. If you find that these steps don't work or you're worried that you may have an underlying medical condition, see your doctor to get to the root of the issue. With a little extra TLC and using only the highest quality hair care products your strands will be smelling sweet again in no time. If you’ve got tips or advice for maintaining better smelling hair for longer, share them in the comments. Still have questions about how to make your hair smell good or what products to use? Talk to a hair stylist in your area for personalized advice.


by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

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