Smelly Scalp Syndrome: What Causes It And How To Get Rid Of It?

If you often notice an unpleasant odor emanating from your child’s scalp, it does not necessarily mean that your kid follows poor hygienic practices. Smelly scalp syndrome is a problem that affects not just children, but also many men and women.

Body odor is not an uncommon occurrence, especially in those who perspire excessively. It is also quite common for your scalp to smell strange if you do not wash it for a couple of days. However, if your hair smells bad soon after you wash it and the smell continues to grow throughout the day, you may be suffering from a problem known as smelly scalp syndrome.

What Causes Smelly Scalp?

Our hair contains an uncountable amount of bacteria and microorganisms. An overgrowth of these microbes on the scalp could cause your hair to smell bad and lead to smelly scalp syndrome. The main cause of this problem is the secretion of excessive oil on the scalp. The microorganisms present in your hair, thrive on the scalp oil. As they continue to grow, they may cause a muggy, pungent and moldy odor to emanate from your head. Certain environmental factors could also contribute to the development of smelly scalp. These include excessive exposure to smoke or using products that contain a high amount of chemicals. For some, smelly scalp syndrome could occur due to–

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Lack of adequate nutrition in your diet

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Scalp?

It is best to get smelly scalp syndrome treated by a doctor, who may prescribe antibacterial shampoos and conditioners. However, there are several home remedies that you could also use to alleviate the embarrassing problem. Given below are a few effective home remedies for smelly scalp syndrome–

  • Tomatoes: Dip a piece of cotton in some concentrated tomato juice and apply it all over your scalp. Leave the juice on for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
    You could also dilute the tomato juice in some water, if you prefer.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Mix about half a cup of apple cider vinegar in an equal amount of water and apply the solution on to your hair, while it is dry. Leave the solution on for as long as possible, preferably overnight, before rinsing it off.
  • Baking soda: Take a bucket of water and add baking soda to it. Rinse your hair with this water after washing your hair normally. Alternately, you could also make a paste of baking soda and plain water, which should be applied on to the hair for about 20 minutes.

There are several natural remedies that are also quite effective in getting rid of odor from the scalp. These include –

  • Rosemary tonic: Apply 3 to 5 drops of this tonic to your hair brush before your comb your hair with it. Pay extra attention to the roots.
  • Lavender massage oil: Add 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to a teaspoon of olive or almond oil. Spread the oil on to your palms before massaging it on to your scalp.
  • Olive oil: Warm a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and apply it on to your scalp, using your fingertips.

Do consult your doctor about the shampoos and conditioners that you should use while undergoing treatment for smelly scalp syndrome

1 comment


  1. Kathleen

    I have been troubled with a malodorous scalp for the past few months, and the baking soda hair mask treatment really works for me. I will be more attentive to my diet as well.

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