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Smelly Scalp And Hair Loss: Is There a Link Between Them?

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Getting a stinky smell in your scalp and hair within a day or two of washing your hair can be quite an annoying and socially awkward situation. This weird smell coming from your hair can make you self-conscious, insecure, and edgy all the time, fearing comments from those present around you. What can further add to this frustration is the lack of knowledge regarding the cause of this awful odor. If you’re also someone battling this issue with jumbled thoughts and unanswered questions, then keep scrolling for detailed solutions. 

Table of Contents

1. Major Causes Of Smelly Scalp And Hair
2. Does Smelly Scalp Cause Hair Loss?
3. Ways to Get Rid Of Smelly Hair
 3.1 Recommended Shampoo for smelly hair
 3.2 An ergonomic scalp-massager brush
 3.3 A smooth hair oil

1. Major Causes Of Smelly Scalp And Hair

If you’ve been scratching your head trying to find out the real reason behind the fact that you have a smelly scalp even though you’re very careful with your hair hygiene, here’s a detailed mention of a few major causes:

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Several hormonal changes occur in our bodies during certain stages of our life, such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc. During these drastic hormonal fluctuations, our body, skin, and hair undergo various changes such as acne, weight gain, and excessive build-up of sebum in the scalp, causing it to smell. According to studies, there is a direct connection between sebaceous build-up on the scalp and hormonal changes.
  • An imbalanced diet: Consuming an excess amount of odorous food items, fried foods, spicy dishes, and extremely oily meals can lead to the secretion of a significant amount of oil on your scalp, further causing it to smell. 
  • Fungal infections: Fungus thrives in humid environments. Thus, extreme humidity and shifts in weather can lead to a build-up of fungus in your scalp, which can further lead to other skin conditions, such as inflammation or dandruff. 
  • Harmful pollutants: Several harsh and harmful environmental pollutants can stick to your hair strands and scalp, leading to the emission of foul smell. 
  • Chemical infused hair products: The natural pH level of your scalp gets shaken up and completely disrupted with regular use of products that contain harsh chemicals. This further causes an increase in the rate of sebum production in your scalp, thus leading to a pungent smell. 
  • Irregular shampooing cycle: It's really important to maintain a proper routine of washing your hair, making sure to neither overdo it, nor avoid it for too long. Excess washing of your hair can strip all the natural oils present in your scalp, causing your hair to turn dry and rough. On the other hand, not washing your hair when required will lead to the build-up of excessive residue and sweat in your scalp, thus blocking your follicles, leading to bacteria and fungus overgrowth and causing an unpleasant smell. 

2. Does Smelly Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, smelly scalp is either caused or associated with excess secretion of sebum in your scalp. This excessive production of sebum increases the amount of oil, grime, dust, and sweat on your scalp, further blocking your hair follicles. 

Clogged hair follicles lead to dandruff, weakening of your hair, hair thinning, and eventually even hair loss. 

3. Ways to Get Rid Of Smelly Hair

3.1 Recommended Shampoo for smelly hair

If you’re suffering from smelly hair syndrome, try and opt for shampoos that are infused with natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients and have soothing scents that keep your scalp smelling fresh and clean. 

Apple cider vinegar shampoo and coconut/ avocado oil conditioner

Apple cider vinegar shampoo and coconut/ avocado oil conditioner


The
antibacterial and antifungal properties of the powerful agent apple cider vinegar can actively help in tackling the issue of smelly scalp. WOW Skin Science has formulated an exceptional combination of ACV shampoo completely free from parabens and other harsh chemicals and a smooth coconut oil conditioner that is suited for all hair types and will keep your locks smooth and smelling amazing. Add this powerful combination to your regimen for relieving your scalp of that awful smell and keeping it clear and healthy. 

Red onion shampoo and conditioner 

Red onion shampoo and conditioner


People avoid opting for onion shampoo, despite its numerous benefits, because they’re afraid that it will have a pungent oniony smell. But the red onion shampoo from WOW Skin Science has a subtle, surprisingly pleasant smell. It is also packed with powerful natural ingredients that soothe and nourish your scalp. The combination pack comes with a smooth conditioner that makes your hair soft and easy to manage, without weighing it down. The gentle scent of these products keeps your scalp smelling sweet for a long time. 

Activated charcoal and keratin shampoo

Activated charcoal and keratin shampoo


This detoxifying shampoo from WOW Skin Science is an enriching blend of several ingredients such as almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and aloe vera extract that restores the lost moisture of your scalp. This high quality product is enriched with charcoal and keratin that ensures the removal of excess dirt, grime, and sweat build-up on your scalp. The shampoo has a subtle fragrance that stays with you for long. 

3.2 An ergonomic scalp-massager brush

A gentle scalp massaging brush equipped with soft bristles is a great way to ensure that, while shampooing, your scalp is thoroughly cleansed and all the build-up residue is taken care of. One such compact design scalp massager brush that is easy to vouch for is from WOW Skin Science. 

The super soft and gentle brush has a firm grip and is quite easy to hold onto, even while taking a bath. This brush also ensures enhanced blood circulation to your follicles. 

3.3 A smooth hair oil

A well-chosen scalp soothing hair oil infused with premium quality natural ingredients will not only dissolve and draw out all impurities from your hair and scalp, but also leave no greasy feeling behind. WOW Skin Science has formulated a wide range of hair oils that work well on all hair types and are great at absorbing all sorts of unwanted odors. Be it the 10-in-1 hair oil, castor oil or the onion black seed hair oil, all of these ensure enhanced hydration and nourishment of your scalp and elimination of bad odor. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does seborrheic dermatitis make your hair smell?

Yes, seborrheic dermatitis can not only cause dry and scaly patches on your scalp, but make it smelly as well. 

2. How do you know if you have fungus on your scalp?

A few symptoms of fungal infection of the scalp include scaly patches, flaky scales on the scalp along with shedding, and, sometimes, the appearance of pus-filled pimples. 

3. Why does my hair smell bad after going outside?

Outside odor can quite easily penetrate your hair strands and quickly gets trapped in your hair. 

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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1 Comment

  • by Debbie Logan on

    Recieved my second package today
    I’m so excited to start using them. Love how each one has its own fragrance. Thank you for the gift. Love the patcoli oil.

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