If you’ve ever used high heat on your hair, then you may be familiar with the smell of burning hair – there’s no smell quite like it. The scent is so powerful that it can fill an entire room.
If you’re dealing with a burnt hair smell and have been unsuccessful in getting rid of it, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get rid of a burnt hair smell and leave you with some tips to avoid this burnt smell altogether.
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Why Your Hair Smells Burnt
When trying to achieve the perfect hairdo, it can be tempting to crank up the heat, but this could be dangerous for your hair leading to hair damage and offensive to your nose.
When you leave a section of your hair wrapped around a curling iron for more than a few seconds, the heat may damage the cuticle and molecules that make up the hair shaft.
Moreover, if you run a hot iron along a particular section of hair repeatedly, you risk burning the outer layer of your hair. You can also burn your hair when flat-ironing or blow-drying it at a high temperature.
The charred remains of your hair give off that burnt hair smell. Often, the burnt hair smell goes away after a day or two.
But sometimes, it can linger for days or weeks, especially if the heat damage is extensive. In these cases, washing your hair may not be enough to get rid of the odor.
A stubborn burnt hair smell doesn’t stand a chance against the right remedy. Read on to learn about some helpful remedies to mask the odor and make your hair smell delightful.
Baking Soda Shampoo Formula
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has absorbing properties that make it a fantastic odor-neutralizing agent. When used at the right concentration, it neutralizes most unpleasant smells almost immediately. This makes it a great way to get rid of your burnt hair smell.
How to Do a Baking Soda Wash
Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo, mix it thoroughly and use it to wash your hair.
If the strong smell is not gone after one wash, you can repeat the process. It’s essential to check the condition of your hair after a baking soda wash, as both baking soda and shampoo can be drying to the hair.
If your hair feels dry, apply a conditioner or deep conditioner to restore moisture.
Many essential oils are great for masking and even neutralizing your burnt hair smell. This is the perfect remedy for any DIY enthusiast. Use any of the following hair oils to make your hair smell pleasant.
How to Use Essential Oils for Odor Elimination
You could use any of the above natural oils as a spritz by mixing a few drops of the essential oil with water in a spray bottle (10-12 drops of oil per ounce of water is fine). Shake the mixture well and spray it on your hair.
Alternatively, you can dilute a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil (such as almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil) and apply the mixture to your hair and scalp with your fingers. To avoid overly shiny hair, be careful not to overapply.
Warning About Essential Oils
In case you’re new to essential oils, it’s crucial to note that you must dilute essential oils! Undiluted essential oils may irritate your skin and scalp.
Aloe vera is not only a fantastic odor-neutralizer, but it also helps repair heat damage.
To try this odor-banishing remedy, purchase pure aloe vera gel or pick up an aloe vera leaf from a local plant nursery.
Make Your Own Aloe Vera Juice
If you want to DIY your aloe vera treatment, follow the steps below:
Apply the Aloe Vera Juice
Now it’s time to apply the aloe vera juice to your hair.
Each of these remedies is easy to try and doesn’t require a ton of time or effort. Try one or more of them to get rid of that burnt hair smell for good.
How To Avoid the Smell of Burnt Hair
Preventing a burnt hair smell is much easier than trying to remove an offensive odor from your hair. So, to help you avoid this scent in the future and to keep your hair smelling nice, we recommend taking the following steps:
HOW TO Prevent Burnt Hair Smell | Heat Training Hair
Watch this video by Sierra LaFaye for additional tips on eliminating the pungent smell from your hair. This video also provides tips that might help with smelly hair syndrome and a smelly scalp.
Note that if you have smelly hair syndrome you should consult a dermatologist to ensure that you’re following an approved treatment plan for your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Hair Smell Burnt?
The burnt hair smell is caused by the use of heated hair styling tools like hot irons, tongs, wands, straighteners, blow dryers, and hair steamers. These tools reach high temperatures and can easily burn your hair when used incorrectly causing a burnt hair odor.
It’s also important to note that heat damage isn’t repairable, so it’s best to avoid overusing these styling tools.
How Do You Treat Burnt Hair?
When treating burnt hair be sure that you stop using heated tools immediately. The next step is to eliminate the order using a baking soda wash, essential oils, aloe vera, lemon juice, hair perfume, dry shampoo, or other hair care products designed to remove unpleasant odors.
Additional products designed to eliminate bad smells include a variety of products that you might have around the household like a dryer sheet and body perfume.
Next, you’ll want to attempt to repair your burned hair strands. Even though burned hair isn’t completely repairable, you should wash your hair with a gentle sulfate-free shampoo and follow the shampooing process up a deep conditioning treatment.
Going forward you’ll want to mitigate (or eliminate) the use of heated styling tools and use gentle hair care products to preserve your damaged hair strands.
We all know that the burnt hair smell is an annoyance, but more importantly, it’s a sign of heat damage. While this is bad news, there are things that you can do to prevent further damage.
Once you get the burnt odor under control, give your hair some love with moisturizing treatments, deep treatment masks, and fewer heat styling sessions. The steps within this article should be followed regardless of hair type, as it’s the best way to deal with the bad odor and introduce damage control.
We hope that this article enables you to get rid of that awful burnt hair smell and encourages you to take better care of your hair going forward.
Will burnt hair smell go away?
Unfortunately, once you've burnt off the layer of the cuticle that keeps hair healthy, the burned scent isn't going to go anywhere, any time soon. “The only way to repair the damage is to have it cut off,” says James.
How long until burnt hair smell goes away?
The charred remains of your hair give off that burnt hair smell. Often, the burnt hair smell goes away after a day or two. What is this? But sometimes, it can linger for days or weeks, especially if the heat damage is extensive.
What happens if your hair smells burnt?
Heat damage could be the source of the burnt hair smell you're picking up on in your strands. Since high temperatures cause the sulfur-containing protein bonds in your hair to break, sulfur gets released into your hair and the air around it when you damage your hair with heat.