A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Smelly Scalp with Shampoo - Magzinenow

A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Smelly Scalp with Shampoo

melly Scalp

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Many people face the problem of smelly scalp and hair and it is definitely something common, so you don’t need to be embarrassed about it.

I like to call this problem ‘Smelly Scalp Syndrome’. This occurs when bacteria build up on the scalp, causing a certain amount of malodor and a relatively horrible odor.

While some people are lucky enough to get rid of this smell easily in just a few washes, for some it is not so easy and requires more effort and hair care to get rid of the smell.

Well, there is a way and a reason why it happens. So, treating the causes and using the right shampoo will help you solve this problem.

Why does hair smell bad?

Different people may experience different reasons for their scalp and hair smelling bad. At certain times, these factors have a combined effect. So it is very important to treat the problem.

Here are some common problems for scalp and hair odor:

Wrong method of washing hair:

Well, this can include both infrequent washing and even excessive washing. The less hair is washed, the more likely it is to build up odors, sweat and dandruff, which can lead to bad breath.

On the other hand, with excess hair, the hair’s natural sebum (oil) is washed away. This is when the scalp begins to produce sebum and this can cause a bad smell.

Scalp conditions:

Scalp conditions like dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, etc. can also cause scalp and hair odor.

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 Product Construction:

Some of us don’t completely wash off the products we use and it can combine with the hair’s natural oils to create a bad smell.

How did I test the best shampoos for smelly hair?

Whenever I test a product, I always like to test and review them based on certain parameters. Here, I have reviewed these products based on the below 3 parameters and then I have rated each product on a scale of 5.

Cleansing Power: Some of the causes of scalp and hair odor are dandruff, sweat and congestion. Hence, I wanted a smelly scalp shampoo that had good cleansing power.

Gentleness on scalp and hair: I take this aspect into account because my hair is relatively dry and so I always look for shampoos that are gentle on hair, have some natural ingredients and keep hair moisturized.

Scent and Fragrance: Since I was looking for a shampoo to get rid of the smell of my hair, I felt that choosing a shampoo with a good fragrance would help enhance the smell of my hair.

Definition of smelly scalp

• Definition of Smelly Scalp: Smelly scalp is an unpleasant odor emanating from the scalp which is usually caused by poor hygiene due to a buildup of sweat, oil and bacteria.

• What Causes Smelly Scalp: Smelly scalp is usually caused by a buildup of sweat, oil, bacteria, and/or yeast on the scalp. It can also be caused by fungal or bacterial infections, improper use of products, or underlying medical conditions.

• How to Treat Smelly Scalp: Some tips for treating a smelly scalp shampoo include shampooing more frequently with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo and scrubbing the scalp with a warm, wet towel. It is also important to use a conditioner that is free of harsh ingredients, avoid hair products that contain alcohol, and use a soft-bristled brush on the scalp. Additionally, it is important to keep the scalp free of dirt, oil, and sweat, so regular cleansing with a mild shampoo is recommended. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a topical or oral medication to treat the underlying cause of the smelly scalp.

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Tips on how to choose the right natural shampoo for your scalp

• Look for natural ingredients: Natural ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and witch hazel are known to be effective at eliminating odors as well as promoting healthy scalp.

• Check for pH balance: The pH balance of your shampoo is important to note when selecting a shampoo for smelly scalp. A balanced pH level not only helps fight odors, but can help reduce irritation and inflammation.

• Check labeling: Labels on products you’re considering should list odors like tea tree oil, eucalyptus, witch hazel, or other botanicals as active ingredients. 

• Avoid harsh ingredients: Harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and alcohols can be too drying to the scalp and can lead to increased oil production, which can be conducive to smelly scalp.

• Purchase shampoos with added moisture: Many shampoos are now available with added ingredients like panthenol and glycerin, which help provide moisture and nourishment to the scalp and hair. 

• Try exfoliating: An occasional exfoliation of your scalp can help remove built up dirt and oils, and even help fight off bacteria and odors.


In conclusion, smelly scalp is an issue that can be very embarrassing and unpleasant, but it is also very manageable. With regular shampooing, as well as using natural remedies, such as tea tree oil, you can keep your scalp and hair smelling great. In addition, using a clarifying shampoo every few weeks can help to deep clean your scalp and remove any build-up from styling products or other oils that could be causing the smell.

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Selim Khan