How to get rid of smelly scalp?

Smelly scalp

Problem associated with a smelly scalp

Prone to a foul odour? This could be due to the presence of malodorous bacteria. Bacteria on the scalp give off a foul smell. This is because acne and pimples on the scalp give off an unpleasant odour. It is more in the case of males than in women. It may also have to do with excessive sweating.

The moment you notice a peculiar smell from your scalp, it is time to get worried. This is because having a foul odour from your hair is indicative of a number of problems that lie beneath the scalp.

The main causes for a smelly scalp can be traced back to the accumulation of bacteria and yeast on the skin or hair. When the hair is exposed to air, it is prone to attracting several kinds of germs that can cause harm to the skin. This makes washing your hair on a regular basis most important so as to avoid any health hazards.

Thus, any problem associated with the body can be due to either an excess of yeast or bacteria.

The most common problems associated with a smelly scalp include the following:

Skin irritation: For those who have a smelly scalp, dermatitis and dandruff can also be a problem. This happens as bacteria (which live on your scalp) also cause skin infections.

Lack of hair growth and thinning of hair: A smelly scalp can also be caused as a result of using a shampoo and conditioner that doesn't work as it is supposed to work i.e. it doesn't make your hair grow or prevent thinning of hair. You need to keep in mind that hair loss is a natural process that only stops when you start losing your hair strand by strand.

What are the Causes of Smelly Scalp?

A smelly scalp is not a sign of a healthy scalp and the reasons for having a smelly scalp are numerous. It could be due to poor hygiene, the presence of dandruff or some other reasons. In this article, we will list a few ways to help you get rid of your smelly scalp.

The main culprits behind smelly scalp are sweat and bacteria. Sweat is released by our sweat glands when our body temperature rises, to cool off the body. As we all know, the scalp is located near the two vital organs, the brain and the heart. This is the reason why we are more susceptible to scalp odour. Now if you don’t wash your hair at least twice a week, much more sweat would build up and mix with debris, bacteria and nutrients, which causes an unpleasant odour on your scalp.

Ease up the oil on your scalp with shampoo that suits your hair type. If you typically produce more oil, use mild herbal shampoo or other mild detergents to wash it off. Use conditioner to soften your hair follicles by reducing dirt and oil that gets stuck between the layers of hair. You can even use leave-in spray conditioners to condition your hair when the scalp odour is not bothering you.

The scalp is a common area of infection for people who have psoriasis. It is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin. This can also be referred to as scaly, red patches on the skin.

The fungal infection called Malassezia is most common among people with psoriasis. It commonly leads to dandruff and this could cause embarrassment if left untreated.

If you find your scalp smelly, there are high chances that you are having a fungal infection or an abnormal amount of bacteria clogging your pores. This causes your skin to attract fungus and yeast, which could give rise to dandruff and result in a smelly scalp.

A smelly scalp can also be caused by using a hair product with strong chemicals. This is why it is important to select the right kind of shampoo and conditioner, especially if you have sensitive skin.

How to Treat a Smelly Scalp?

Smelly scalp, as the name suggests, is a problem caused due to lack of proper hygiene. This happens when the sebaceous glands release sebum in excessive amounts which leads to the accumulation of dead cells on the skin leading to bacterial growth that causes a foul smell.

So now the question is how do we keep our scalp clean? 

Here are some home remedies to treat smelly scalp:

  1. The first thing you have to do is maintain proper hygiene. Wash your hair daily and keep it clean using shampoo or any other product on your scalp.
  1. Few essential oils like tea tree oil and lemongrass oil have antimicrobial properties which are effective at treating conditions like the smelly scalp.
  1. Aloe vera is an age-old home remedy to clean the scalp from dirt and dandruff. It can effectively manage to combat smelly scalp due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  1. Lemon juice has antimicrobial qualities that can reduce the smell-causing bacteria on your scalp. However, we recommend using lemon juice with caution as it can also cause irritation and make your skin extremely sensitive to sunlight due to its acidic properties.

If you are unable to get rid of your smelly scalp, you must visit your dermatologist who can suggest oral medications and medicated shampoo or cream to attack the root cause of your condition.

Take Away

For most people, the scalp of the head is a sensitive area. The scalp is sensitive to any application of chemicals, as it is rich in blood vessels and oil glands but it is not common for the scalp to have an oily or greasy texture where there might be some dandruff present. Most of the time, we do not pay much attention to our scalp but it is necessary to keep it clean to avoid unpleasant smells, infections and get rid of oily scalp.

A smelly scalp is really unattractive and embarrassing due to which people tend to avoid you and you also stay away from them in order to keep a distance. However, if the cause is not treated properly, it will result in serious problems like dandruff, hair fall and even baldness.

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