13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair



You feel very bad when your friends and family members complain of your foul smelling hair. Smelly hair is embarrassing in social situations, it’s humiliating in professional settings and it’s a passion killer in romantic encounters. However, it is not at all a result of poor hygiene and can occur in any age group.

Although there are over-the-counter products that claim to help you get rid of smelly hair, you can’t always trust them. At times, these store-bought products, serums, creams and shampoos can contain chemicals or other ingredients that can be harmful to your scalp and hair and do more harm than good. Instead, there are some quick and easy home remedies you can safely use.



Sometimes, your hair becomes smelly due to fungal infection, excess sweat, oily scalp, excessive sweating, fungal infections, bacterial infections, pollution, etc. For those people who have more problems of oily hair tend to have an aggravated condition because it tends to attract not only pollutants from the air but also strong odours. Hormonal imbalance in the body is another of the reasons for smelly hair. Eventually, your scalp will get itchy and results in scratching which will cause hair fall and inflammation.

But whatever may be the cause, no one likes to have smelly hair. Of course, the quickest solution would be to wash one’s hair, but you may not always have the time for that and it may not give you lasting results. Just like you have remedies to treat body odour, armpit odour and dry lips, there are also remedies to treat a smelly scalp. Continue reading!

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

Once you have come in terms with the problem, the next idea is to look for the treatment from the same. The best is to adhere to some home remedies since it is safe, effective as well as affordable to achieve the goals. The list below has some top notch ideas that can be used.

1. Lavender Oil

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

Lavender essential oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. The fresh lavender fragrance will also mask unpleasant odors. True lavender but not the nasty, synthetic copies – has a sweet, herbaceous, floral fragrance which will make your hair smell wonderful. Not just a fancy oil but proven to be highly effective in treating smelly hair. Not only that, it also provides relief from the itching and inflammation that normally accompany a smelly scalp.

How to Use

  • Take few drops and apply evenly over your scalp.
  • Massage to reach the root of the hair. 
  • It must be done after shampooing thoroughly.

2. Castor Oil For Smelly Hair

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

Castor oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in fighting off scalp infections, thus reducing smelly hair.

How to Use

  • Add 2 tablespoon of castor oil to a bowl.
  • Dip a cotton ball in the oil and apply it to your scalp.
  • Allow it to stay for about 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
  • Air dry your hair naturally.
  • Use this oil for your scalp once or twice a week.

Note: that castor oil is sticky and hence it needs to be washed using a mild shampoo.

3. Baking Soda

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

Baking soda is one of the most commonly used home remedies to treat smelly hair. This is because it reduces oiliness and helps neutralise foul odour.

How to Use

  • Mix 1 part baking soda in 3 parts water to make a smooth paste.
  • Rinse your hair with water and then apply the paste on your damp hair.
  • Leave the paste on your hair for about 5 minutes and then wash it off with normal water.
  • Repeat this process once a week.

Or

  • Add a tablespoon of baking soda to half a cup of water and mix well.
  • Rinse your hair as usual with a mild cleanser.
  • After washing your hair, give it a final rinse with the baking soda solution.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • You can do this once a week.

4. Neem Oil For Smelly Hair

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

Neem oil is antimicrobial. Hence, it can be used to eliminate the constantly replicating microbes that cause your scalp to smell bad.

How to Use

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of neem oil with 1 to 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil.
  • Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it off.
  • Do this 1-2 times in a day.

5. Garlic Oil

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

It’s the queen of natural antifungal’s and also rich in sulfur which helps to get rid of smelly hair. Sulfur acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent which directly solves the problems of smelly hair.

How to Use

  • Heat 3 to 4 cloves of garlic along with half cup of coconut oil.
  • Now dip a cotton ball in it and apply it on your scalp.
  • Massage the oil thoroughly and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Wash your hair with mild shampoo.
  • You can repeat this process once a week.

Or

  • Crush 4 to 5 garlic cloves.
  • Heat the crushed cloves with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for a few minutes.
  • Strain the mixture to extract all the oil out of it.
  • Apply the mixture to your scalp and a little to your hair.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off with a mild cleanser and water.
  • You may do this 1-2 times a week for best results.

6. Aloe Vera For Smelly Hair

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

It actively fights the bad odor caused due to oily scalp or dandruff. It also nourishes the scalp by retaining the moisture and conditions your hair.

How to Use



  • Extract aloe vera gel from the leaves by gently slicing them horizontally in two halves.
  • Shampoo your hair with your regular shampoo.
  • After thoroughly washing your hair, apply the gel onto your hair and scalp.
  • Let it stay for 15 minutes and rinse off.
  • You can repeat this process once a week.
  • You can also add one tablespoon of lemon juice and one-half teaspoon of aloe vera gel to your shampoo.

7. Tea Tree Oil

13 Sweet Scented Home Remedies For Smelly Hair

The microbial properties in tea tree oil help cure stinky hair and an itchy scalp.The natural cleansing properties will get rid of microbial growth on the scalp effectively. It also helps cure dandruff and other scalp-related problems. Moreover, its pleasant smell can leave your hair smelling fresh.  

How to Use

  • Mix 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil with 1 to 2 tablespoons of jojoba or sweet almond oil.
  • Apply the blend to your scalp and a little to your hair.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • You can do this 1-2 times daily.

8. Honey And Cinnamon

This smelly hair home remedy is a little messier than and also takes longer to use, so it’s not one to try in the morning before you embark on a busy day. This hair mask is perfect to use in the evening and at the weekend though!

Honey is a natural antibacterial, and it’s been used to kill gems for thousands of years. Cinnamon is also a fantastic spice with many health benefits of its own. When you add cinnamon to your honey, you get a strong antifungal boost. And luckily cinnamon is easy to source.

How to Use

  • Pour one cup of water into a pan and bring to the boil.
  • Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool to a comfortable temperature, then add 1 tablespoon of raw honey.
  • Mix well, then massage into your hair and scalp.
  • Cover up with a shower cap, or wrap your hair in a towel and leave the hair mask to work for 45 minutes to one hour and rinse out.

Note: If you used raw, natural honey, your hair won’t feel sticky and it won’t need any further washing.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar For Smelly Hair

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an excellent deodorizer. Even though it has strong smell of its own, the vinegary smell disappears once your hair is dry. So don’t let the initial smell put you off using it. It’s loaded with active cleansing properties. It treats the conditions that cause smelly hair. Also, it works by changing the pH of your scalp, killing the microbes. It removes that oily layer from the hair and balances the acidity level.

How to Use

  • Mix 1/2 a cup of ACV with 2 cups of water.
  • Wash your hair with a mild cleanser and use the above mixture for a final rinse.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with water after this.
  • You can do this 1-2 times a week.

10. Lemon Juice

Not only is lemon juice perfect for hair health but also when it comes to smelly odour from the strands. It leaves the hair clean as well as fresh. Lemon juice contains anti-bacterial and astringent properties which act as an excellent remedy for treating smelly hair. It also adds smoothness and shine to the hair by reducing the bacteria that causes dandruff.

How to Use

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with 1 to 2 cups of warm water.
  • Wash your hair with a mild cleanser.
  • Give your hair and scalp a final rinse with the lemon and water mixture.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with plain water.
  • You can do this 1 to 2 times weekly.

11. Orange Peels For Smelly Hair

Orange juice and peels are great for deodorizing your hair. It will also help control dandruff and excess oiliness.

How to Use

  • Fill a mason jar with orange peels and pour in organic apple cider vinegar.
  • Store it in a cupboard for two weeks. Then strain the infusion and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of the liquid in a 12- or 16-ounce spray bottle of water.
  • Spray it on your hair after washing.
  • Rinse it off after a few minutes.
  • Do this once a week.

Or

  • Boil orange peel powder in water and allow it to cool.
  • Rinse your hair with the solution.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes before washing it off.
  • To make orange peel powder, dry orange peels under the sun for a week and then grind them.
  • Do this once a week.

Alternatively, you can also apply orange juice on your hair and then rinse it out after about five minutes.

12. Tomato Juice

The vitamins and iron content in tomatoes help increase the acidity level of your scalp, killing the bacteria and fungi. It also cleanses dandruff and promotes shine to hair. Make a hair mask from tomato juice and pulp and massage it into your hair.

How to Use

  • Squeeze out the pulp from a medium-sized tomato.
  • Apply the pulp directly to the scalp.
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off with plain water.
  • You can do this 1 to 2 times a week.

13. Onion Juice

Sounds smellier than smelly hair? Well, try it and you’ll swear by it forever. Onion is a powerful anti-fungal ingredient. It also has anti-septic properties that will banish your hair woes.

How to Use

  • Blend an onion to extract its juice.
  • Apply the juice on the scalp using a cotton swab and massage it gently.
  • Let it rest for 30 minutes and wash it off with shampoo.
  • You can repeat it 1-2 times a week.

How To Prevent Smelly Hair

  • Wash your hair regularly.
  • Treat the root cause of the odor, like dandruff (if any).
  • If you sweat a lot, wear light clothing.
  • Use a mild fragrant shampoo.
  • Avoid the temptation to scratch your scalp as it increases the secretion of oil.
  • Avoid touching your hair constantly.
  • If you spend a lot of time outdoors, wear a scarf or hat to protect your hair from environmental pollution.

By using the natural remedies listed above, either alone or in combination, you should be able to get your hair and scalp odor under control and eliminate the root cause so it goes away once and for all.



About felclinic 583 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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