Published on September 9th, 2022

Last updated on January 25th, 2023

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Scalp? Natural Treatment For Scalp Odor

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
combing hair

Many of those who have loved ones often kiss them on the head. Usually, when you kiss, you feel the pleasant smell of shampoo, but sometimes the scalp of a person can smell unpleasant. Sometimes the only problem is that the hair has not been washed for several days, and sometimes the bad smell can be due to a problem with the scalp. No one wants to have a smelly scalp or hair, but unfortunately, many people do. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of smelly scalps and some methods to get rid of them.

Today you will learn why it is not as bad as it may sound and that getting rid of bad smells is simple and does not require much effort, although it can be time-consuming. Keep reading the article to learn more!

Why Does My Scalp Smell?

girls is combing her curls

Like the rest of your skin, the scalp has sweat and oil glands that can become overloaded and cause scalp odor. This is especially true if you have an oily scalp or don’t wash your hair regularly. Other factors that contribute to stinky scalp include:

  • Bacteria: When sweat and oil combine on the scalp, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This can result in an unpleasant odor;
  • Fungal infections: Scalp odor can be caused by yeast and fungal infections. These conditions are frequently associated with other symptoms such as itchiness, redness, flaking, and hair loss;
  • Inadequate hygiene: Failure to wash your hair regularly can result in a buildup of sweat, oil, and bacteria on the scalp, which can cause an unpleasant odor;
  • Over hygiene: If you wash your hair too often, you may also experience a smelly scalp problem;
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as those used to treat psoriasis, can sometimes cause scalp odor;
  • Diet: Eating certain foods, such as garlic or curry, can cause sweat to have a strong odor. This is because these foods contain sulfur compounds released through your pores.

Dermatologist Recommendations

dermatologist hair inspection

However, the bad smell of the scalp can be associated not only with hygiene or food but also with skin diseases. In this case, you will not be able to get rid of the problem with natural remedies. You need to seek the help of a doctor so that they can determine the type of disease and prescribe the correct treatment. Sometimes shampoos may be included in the medication, but this does not always work with skin problems.

Fortunately, many of these remedies are available without a prescription, but you can also get one for stronger medicines that can help you get rid of serious illnesses.

The following medications are often used to treat scalp problems:

  • Zinc Pyrithione: Shampoos containing this ingredient can assist your body in inhibiting the growth of certain fungi on the skin. As a result, it can aid in the removal of dandruff;
  • Corticosteroids: These are excellent for treating psoriasis because they reduce inflammation on the scalp quickly;
  • Clobetasol propionate: This shampoo ingredient is beneficial for inflammation, itching, and psoriasis;
  • Tazarotene is a medication that slows cell growth and can aid in controlling scalp regrowth. The ointment is typically applied at night and washed off in the morning;
  • Salicylic acid: perfectly cleanses the scalp of dead cells and prevents them from accumulating on the surface of the head. It is also great for fighting dandruff.

Natural Methods To Get Rid Of Stinky Scalp

stinky scalp

There are many ways to get rid of a smelly scalp, but some people prefer natural methods. Here are a few options:

  1. Tea tree oil is popular for removing a smelly scalp. Simply add a few drops to your shampoo and wash as usual. You can also add a few drops to a cotton ball and apply it directly to your scalp;
  1. Apple cider vinegar is another popular choice for getting rid of scalp odor. Simply add a half cup to your shampoo and wash as usual. You can also add a half cup to a spray bottle and spritz it onto your scalp before shampooing;
  1. Baking soda is a great option for a smelly scalp. Simply add a half cup to your shampoo and wash as usual. You can also make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it directly to your scalp;
  1. Lemon juice is a natural product for getting rid of a smelly scalp. Just mix equal parts lemon juice and water and apply it to your scalp with a cotton ball. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice to your shampoo and wash as usual;
  1. Witch hazel is another great option for getting rid of smelly hair. Apply it to your head with a cotton ball, add it to your shampoo, and wash as usual.

If you are experiencing a chronic smelly scalp, you may want to see a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Treatment For Scalp Odor

process of scalp odor inspection

Treatment for smelly scalp will differ depending on the cause. If an overgrowth of yeast is the cause, your doctor may recommend an antifungal medication. If bacteria are the cause, they may prescribe an antibiotic. And if scalp odor is due to an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, treatment will focus on that condition.

You can also try some self-care measures to get rid of a smelly scalp:

  • Washing your hair more often. This helps remove build-up from products, sweat, and dead skin cells;
  • Using a dandruff shampoo. This can help control scalp fungus and bacteria. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle;
  • Switching to a different hair care product. If you think a hair care product is causing a scalp odor, stop using it and switch to something else;
  • Rinsing your hair with cider vinegar. Vinegar helps balance the pH of your scalp and can help control scalp odor.

If self-care measures don’t work, or if you have a more severe case of a smelly scalp, see your doctor or dermatologist for treatment.

However, remember that self-medication can harm your health. Before using any medical products, you should always consult your doctor. Self-medication can be harmful when you don’t know for sure what your problem is. However, a correct and timely diagnosis will help you save time on finding a cure and treatment, nerves and money, as the doctor will give you the right treatment from the first visit.

Prevention Of Stinky Scalp

girl is washing hair with shampoo

There are many ways to prevent scalp odor. The most important thing is to keep your scalp clean. Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo, and rinse thoroughly. You may also want to try washing your hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo if you suffer from it.

In addition to keeping your scalp clean, you can also try using a scalp scrub. A scalp scrub will help to remove any build-up of oils and sweat that can contribute to scalp odor. There are many scalp scrubs available for purchase at drugstores or online.

If you have an oily scalp, you may want to try using a dry shampoo in between washes. Dry shampoo can help to absorb excess oils and help to prevent scalp odor.

Bottom Line

If you have smelly hair, you can do a few things to get rid of the odor. First, try washing your hair more often with dandruff shampoo. You can also try using a scalp scrub or mask to deep clean your scalp and get rid of any build-up that might be causing the smell. If those methods don’t work, you may need to see a dermatologist to find out if you have an underlying condition causing the odor.

With our short guide, you will always know what to do if your scalp suddenly smells bad.

How to get rid of smelly hair


Why Does My Scalp Smell?

A fungus that lives on the skin may cause a smelly scalp. This fungus is capable of causing inflammatory reactions such as folliculitis, dandruff, and eczema. Your scalp can also be smelly due to a lack of hygiene.

Why Do I Need To Take Care Of My Scalp?

Because a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair, it’s critical to pay attention to it. Consult a dermatologist if you experience itching, redness, flakiness, irritation, pain, or excessive hair loss. 

Why Do I Need To Take Care Of My Scalp?

Because a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair, it’s critical to pay attention to it. Consult a dermatologist if you experience itching, redness, flakiness, irritation, pain, or excessive hair loss. 

Is It Normal For Scalp To Have A Smell?

There is no single cause of a stinky scalp. Therefore, a smelly scalp is not a sign of a healthy scalp. If you find such a problem, this is an occasion to consult a doctor for professional help.