Published on August 15th, 2022

Last updated on January 25th, 2023

Burnt Hair Smell: Why Hair Smells Burnt And How To Prevent It?

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
woman touching her curls

Almost everyone uses such things as a hair dryer, straightener, and curling iron. But we use this without thinking about the consequences that lead to hair damage and burnt hair smell. 

You have probably heard at least once how your hair smells burnt. In most cases, the cause is excessive use of hot tools. The reason is that your hair does not have proper care, and you do not give it a certain amount of heat protection and sprays to strengthen it. But if you hear that your hair smells burnt even after you wash it, it means you burned your hair and urgently need to be saved. 

You can get rid of the burnt hair smell faster if you start to use hair protection products. Of course, it is not necessary to exclude the use of hot tools from your routine. You can use them in the future, but only if you rarely and correctly use them.

What Are The Reasons For The Burnt Hair Smell?

What Are the Reasons for the Burnt Hair Smell  1024x512 - Burnt Hair Smell: Why Hair Smells Burnt And How To Prevent It?

Using straighteners and hair dryers is not the only problem with burnt hair. There are other ways you can damage your hair, so I recommend you read them below:

1. Chemical Damage

Chemical perming, frequent hair coloring, hair lightening, and the use of tonics are all reasons why your hair smells burnt. Paints, brighteners, and so on contain acids and many harmful substances that damage the hair bulb. It acquires a burning smell because such procedures destroy the protein bonds in your hair, after which the natural sulfur is removed from your hair. And precisely the lack of sulfur that leads to a burning smell.

If you often do these procedures, your hair starts to deteriorate. It becomes brittle and dry and then loses its healthy appearance.

2. Thermal Damage

Widespread use of such tools as a hair dryer, curling iron, and straightener burns your hair and damages its structure. Why does hair suffer from hot tools? There may be several reasons for this:

  • you don’t use a heat protectant before styling;
  • you keep the curling iron on your hair for a long time;
  • you set the temperature too high on these tools.

If you make at least one of these points, your hair will deteriorate sooner or later. Hot tools work so that their heat splits the proteins and dries the hair. It is where the first signs of burnt hair smell appear. Next, the heat that very often falls on your hair takes away water from it, which I need to maintain the elasticity and structure of the hair. 

When your hair lacks moisture, it starts to dry and fall out. And the destruction of proteins worsens the situation even more.

3. A Combination Of Chemical And Thermal Damage

After hair coloring or chemical treatment, I always want to complement the new image with additional styling. But it burns your hair. Harmful substances from the paint and too hot curling iron together will give you a burnt hair smell and lead to hair loss. Perhaps you have healthy hair, and such actions with your hair will not be able to provoke its destruction quickly. But over time, they will all deteriorate, and an unpleasant smell will constantly stick to your strands.

Everyone’s hair has a different structure, and for someone, it may begin to deteriorate after a more extended time. Some after a month and some after a year. But the consequences appear for everyone sooner or later. So, doing such actions with the hair is strictly forbidden because it leads to big problems.

4. Long Stay In The Sun

The sun significantly affects our body, and damaged hair is among these problems. It may sound like nonsense, but it is a fact. Every summer is getting hotter, and we continue not to protect ourselves from the heat. Prolonged exposure to the sun damages our skin, well-being, and hair. The fact is that when the sun hits our hair, this leads to the release of sulfur. It also removes water, and a burning smell appears over time. Therefore, we are asked to wear headgear not only to avoid heat stroke but also to avoid burnt hair.

The problem is that curling irons have gained great popularity. It is worth trying to use it once, and it is like an addiction. You constantly want a beautiful hairstyle because you stopped liking your natural hair. But you must avoid this because it will lead to significant consequences, and the burnt hair smell will constantly haunt you.

How To Get Rid Of Burnt Hair Smell?

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If you think the burning smell is forever and you will not eliminate it, you will change your mind. There are enough ways to do this, and if you use them correctly, you will quickly achieve the desired result. So, I prepared some ways for you to get rid of the burnt hair smell:

MethodWhat to do?
1. Shampoo And Baking Soda. Baking soda can neutralize unpleasant smells. Therefore, it can effectively cope with the burning smell. However, do not get carried away with it and do not do it often because baking soda has a high alkalinity level. So, it can damage the hair with frequent usage. Although the method is very effective, it should be used in moderation. -You need to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the shampoo and mix it;
-Apply to hair;
-Massage the head;
-Rinse with warm or cool water;
After drying the hair, look at its condition. If your hair is dry, apply a moisturizing conditioner. You can use this method if everything is fine with the hair.
2. Citric Acid. It helps remove residue and smells from hair. To avoid drying out your hair, apply citric acid directly to the areas that have the most burnt hair smell. It can also strengthen your hair follicles and reduce the oiliness of the scalp. If it is easier, you can make a solution with citric acid and wash your hair after shampooing. It will work the same way.
-Mix citric acid with water in equal proportions;
-Apply it to the part of the hair with a burning smell, but do not apply it to the roots;
-Hold for 5-7 minutes and wash off;
-Apply conditioner. You need to do this 1-2 times a week. You should not do it often because citric acid can lighten the hair. Besides, this method can dry out your hair with frequent use.
3. Aloe Vera. This healing plant’s ingredients include minerals such as copper and zinc, which are necessary for hair growth. This remedy will help you eliminate the foul smell of your hair and improve its condition and restore it. Also, aloe is an excellent conditioner that makes hair smooth and shiny due to its high moisture content. You can use aloe leaves if you have a vase of aloe vera at home. If not, then buy the gel in the store.– Take aloe vera gel;
– Add olive or coconut oil;
– Mix so that there are no lumps;
– Apply to wet hair. Keep it on for about 20 minutes, then wash it with water. You will notice changes even after the first time, and the smell will significantly reduce.
You need to do this two times a week. Aloe can’t harm your hair, so you can do it more often.
4. Essential oils. People sell them in any pharmacy, and you can stop burning your hair after buying them there or in another cosmetic store. Essential oils are trendy in the beauty industry and are often used to improve damaged hair. They are rich in nutrients that contribute to the shine and restoration of hair. Although essential oils have a strong smell, they can fight other unpleasant smells. It is a great way to get rid of the burnt hair smell.-Mix a few drops of essential oil with shampoo;
-Rub into the scalp for a couple of minutes;
-Then, rub along the length of the hair;
-Rinse well with water. These oils can be mixed with water as with shampoo. The main thing is to use them mixed with something because simply rubbing the oil on hair can make it greasy.
You don’t need to do this often. Once a week will be enough. If you do not see the result, rub the essential oil longer next time.

It would seem that this is not such a problem, but it happens very often. Curling irons and various hot tools for hair have already become a habit, and we use them without even noticing it. However, the hair gradually begins to suffer. The smell of burning from your hair appears, which is very annoying and takes away confidence. 

So, there is no need to wait for the moment when the unpleasant smell will disappear. If you have encountered such a problem, you should solve it as soon as possible. And our methods will help you in this.

How To Prevent Burnt Hair Smell?

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If you have recently noticed something is wrong with your hair, and it acquires an unpleasant burning smell, this can be prevented early. Protecting yourself from further problems from overheating your hair is easier than getting rid of the burnt hair smell. So, read our following tips for preventing such issues:

1. Reduce The Usage Of Hot Tools

It is unnecessary to constantly make curls, straighten your hair, and dry it with a hair dryer. All this can be done with more natural means and without damaging your hair. In the warm season, hair can be dried in the fresh air. Styling can be done using curlers or other methods. Getting rid of hot tools is difficult, but they will save you from further problems with your hair that start to smell burnt. So, try not to use such instruments often and change them in another way.

2. Make Hair Masks

Maintain the healthy appearance of your hair and take care of it. Make moisturizing and nourishing masks once or twice a week. It preserves its shine and elasticity. Also, they help eliminate burnt hair smell from the beginning and will not dry your hair too much. Therefore, try to make at least a minimum number of hair masks to maintain the beauty and strength of your hair.

3. Don’t Use Hot Tools On Wet Hair

You have to use hot tools only on dry hair. If you do this with wet hair, it will smoke. You will immediately smell the odor of burning and spoil the locks. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to do such actions. If you need to straighten or curl your hair, wait until it is completely dry.

4. Regulate The Temperature

Any temperature of hot tools is harmful to hair. However, if you reduce the temperature to a minimum, your hair will not smell burnt so often. 

High temperature damages your hair faster and burns it. The maximum temperature is generally prohibited because it is a real fire for your hair. So, do not risk so much and reduce the temperature to a minimum. It also has a harmful effect, but it does not provoke the appearance of a burning smell and burnt hair so quickly.

5. Use Heat Protection

It happens that people can not get by without curling irons and straighteners. In this case, it is necessary to use thermal protection. Сosmetic stores sell thermal protections that prevent the burning of your hair and even give it shine and elasticity. Apply it before using hot tools and even hair dryers. Make it a habit for yourself. It will help avoid excessive heat on your hair. And the less heat, the less damage to your hair.

As you can see, there are many tips, but not everyone wants to follow them. Not everyone can eliminate curling irons or stop dyeing their hair regularly. And if you ask why you should do it, I have an answer. Because it helps to protect your hair from severe damage. Compliance with the rules for using hot tools and good hair care preserves its healthy appearance and strength. Not using heat protection and regular hair straightening leads to harmful consequences that are difficult to eliminate. Treatment of burnt hair can take months or even years. Therefore, to avoid such effects, follow our rules and advice. It helps you deal with issues such as loss of shine, burnt hair smell, split ends, and an unsightly appearance.


How To Make Your Hair Not Smell Burnt?

The best remedy is baking soda, which perfectly copes with unpleasant smells. But it depends on your hair type. Therefore, I recommend using various masks and thermal protections to eliminate burnt hair problems.

Why Does My Hair Smell Burnt?

It can be caused by chemical and thermal damage. That is the high temperature of hot tools, their frequent use, and excessive use of chemicals. The reason may be an extended stay in the sun in the summer.

What Does It Mean When Your Hair Smells Burnt?

It means that you do not follow the rules for caring for your hair. Ignoring the directions for using hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons lead to the smell of burnt hair. It can also mean that you often visit chemical hair procedures that contain dangerous consequences for your hair.

When Will Burnt Hair Smell Go Away?

If you damage the hair follicles, you will not be able to get rid of the burnt hair smell quickly. The heat destroys the hair very much, which is subject to complex restoration. So, If you use products to protect your hair and masks, the foul smell will go away over time.