After painting outdoors and getting old paint on my hair and sweating in the heat for three weeks, I developed what's known as smelly hair syndrome. I tried lots of remedies including tea tree oil, lavender oil, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, white vinegar, lemon juice, lemon myrtle, henna, antibacterial soap and more (I can't even remember). I also tried a combination of a lot of them to no avail. After having to put up with this embarrassing funk for more than a month, I was at my wits end looking for remedy. It was so embarrassing, I wouldn't even get close to anyone. I was certain they could smell it. I would shower and within a few hours, the smell would kick in. I normally wash my hair weekly and it doesn't smell at all. It doesn't get overly oily either and even with the stinky funk whiffing through my scalp, I didn't really have anything else going on with my scalp. It wasn't itchy, there were no flakes, no hair loss and no extra oil production. My head was clean but it just smelled something awful! The length of my hair didn't seem to smell either. If I rubbed my fingers through my hair and smelled my fingers, it smelled normal. But if I rubbed my scalp, yuk!
Finally, the last thing I tried worked. I put the juice of one large lime mixed with water in about a 50:50 ratio, added it all over my scalp with cotton wool. I massaged it in really well and left in my hair for about half an hour. I then rinsed it off in the shower. I didn't shampoo my hair afterwards. I towel dried it really well, then dried it really well with the hair dryer and finished off with cold air... as I normally do. My hair ended up soft and shiny and you guessed it, no smell! I'm guessing the lemon juice didn't work because of the sugars in it whereas lime juice has much less. I also have a lime tree growing with an abundance of fruit at the moment and that's why I randomly decided to try it out. I couldn't believe I found something that worked. Finally! It also smells lovely and you don't have to smell like a salad as you do with the vinegar.
Just an update to my previous post on the lime juice. It did work but if I stopped doing it at least weekly, although it was subtle, it would come back a little so I kept doing it. I don't know, maybe I'm paranoid but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. The lime juice however was lightening my hair too much so I came up with another concoction that worked even better and worked on many levels. If anyone is interested, I mixed the following and applied it to my scalp, massaging it in with cotton wool and applied any balance through the lengths of my hair. I left it on for an hour before washing it:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- the juice of half a lime
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon grounded black peppercorns
- 2 heaped teaspoons natural yoghurt
All the ingredients were organic if that makes any difference. The olive oil and yoghurt is conditioning plus the yoghurt adds beneficial bacteria to the scalp, the black peppercorn helps with hair loss, (not that it was falling out) and has many minerals, the lime juice breaks down the sebum and kills bacteria, the garlic also kills bacteria but also fungus.
It's been three weeks since I last did this and so far I only had to do this once and I'm not getting any hint of it coming back. The other thing I did was to make sure to change my pillowcase every couple of days and added vinegar and lime juice to my washing respectively, as a pre wash and softener. However I was doing that even when I was doing the lime juice treatment alone.
I know how embarrassing this is so I hope this helps someone.
Another update. I'm still good. No hint of it coming back at all this time. For me, the lime juice was good but I felt I needed to keep doing it now and then, especially after a work out. The lime juice, garlic, olive oil, pepper corn, yoghurt combo, however, worked in the end. I only had to do it once and my scalp is completely back to normal. If it comes back, I'll come back and post again.
I had a big issue with smelly hair syndrome for almost 2 years. It was a nightmare and I tried absolutely everything, from natural remedies to medicated shampoo from the doctor. Nothing worked in the slightest.
Then I was given strong penicillin antibiotics a couple of months ago for something else (swollen fingers from coronavirus! ) and it has totally cured the smelly hair issue! I am so massively relieved.