Skip to Content

How to Get Rid of Burnt Hair Smell: Tips, Tricks & Natural Remedies (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to get rid of burnt hair smellStruggling with the lingering scent of burnt hair can be frustrating, especially when it clings despite your best efforts to wash it away.

Whether it’s from overzealous use of styling tools, chemical treatments, or even environmental factors, that unmistakable odor can seem impossible to eliminate.

But fear not, as there are effective strategies and natural remedies to help you banish that burnt hair smell for good.

From understanding the causes to implementing preventative measures and exploring natural remedies, this guide will arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to ensure your hair smells fresh and clean, restoring your sense of control and comfort.

Key Takeaways

  • Use a heat protectant before styling with heat tools to prevent damage and the burnt hair smell.
  • Apply natural oils like coconut or almond oil overnight to help strengthen hair and reduce the burnt smell, washing it out with shampoo in the morning.
  • Mix a teaspoon of baking powder with shampoo to help remove the burnt odor from hair; leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Regularly use a clarifying shampoo to prevent product buildup, which can contribute to the burnt hair smell.

How to Get Rid of Burnt Hair Smell

How to Get Rid of Burnt Hair Smell
To eliminate the burnt hair smell, try natural remedies like shampooing with a clarifying shampoo or using a mixture of baking soda and water as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Causes of Burnt Hair Smell

Causes of Burnt Hair Smell
Your hair’s burnt smell can often be traced back to high heat from styling tools or the aftermath of chemical treatments and sun exposure.

Factors like chlorine in pools and the buildup of certain hair products also contribute to this unpleasant odor.

High Heat From Styling Tools

Cranking up your flat iron? Beware, high heat from styling tools can fry your locks, leading to heat damage, split ends, and that dreaded burnt hair smell.

Protect your tresses with heat protectants and keep those temperatures in check!

Chemical Treatments and Sun Exposure

Chemical treatments and sun exposure can wreak havoc on your hair, leading to that dreaded burnt smell.

  1. Chemical damage breaks down hair protein, weakening strands.
  2. Sun damage fries the cuticle, increasing hair porosity.
  3. Both make how to get rid of burnt hair smell a top search in your browser history.

Chlorine and Product Buildup

Diving into pools can leave your hair with chlorine damage. Styling products often lead to buildup. This gunk can cook on your flat iron, causing that dreaded burnt smell. Not to mention scalp irritation and potential hair breakage.

Keep it clean to keep it serene!

Identifying Burnt Smell Triggers

Identifying Burnt Smell Triggers
Identifying the triggers of a burnt hair smell is crucial for maintaining healthy, odor-free hair.

By understanding your hair’s sensitivity, the products you use, and how to care for your flat iron, you can effectively prevent and eliminate unwanted scents.

Hair Type Sensitivity

Curly and coarse hair types, listen up! Your unique texture might be more prone to that dreaded burnt smell when straightening.

A flat iron’s heat can amplify odors, especially in damaged hair.

It’s like your locks are crying out for gentler care.

Incorrect Product Use

Using the wrong products can be a recipe for disaster, turning your hair into a smoky mess.

Product buildup acts like kindling, igniting that burnt hair smell with every pass of the flat iron.

Keep it clean to keep it serene.

Flat Iron Maintenance

Keep your flat iron’s temperature in check; too hot, and you’re asking for trouble.

Regularly clean it to avoid product buildup.

Don’t skimp on heat protectant—it’s your hair’s best friend.

Store it in a cool, dry place to keep it in prime condition.

Natural Remedies for Odor Removal

Natural Remedies for Odor Removal
If you’re struggling with the unpleasant scent of burnt hair, natural remedies can offer a refreshing solution.

Aloe vera applications, vinegar rinses, and using goat’s milk as a detangler are effective, gentle options to consider.

Aloe Vera Applications

After pinpointing the culprits behind that pesky burnt hair smell, let’s dive into the soothing world of aloe vera applications.

Aloe vera, renowned for its hair-nourishing vitamins A, C, and E, can be your scalp’s best friend. Fancy a natural hair rinse? Mix aloe vera gel with warm water for a post-wash treat that doesn’t need rinsing out.

Or, if tangles have you in knots, goat’s milk might just be the detangler you never knew you needed, with its own set of hair-boosting benefits.

Vinegar Rinses

After soothing your strands with aloe, let’s dive into vinegar rinses.

A splash of the right vinegar concentration can work wonders, depending on your hair type compatibility and rinse frequency.

If the smell’s too strong, consider gentler vinegar alternatives.

Goat’s Milk as a Detangler

After rinsing with vinegar, why not give goat’s milk a whirl? Its detangling benefits can smooth out those knots, making your comb glide like a hot knife through butter.

Plus, it’s a natural way to keep that burnt smell at bay.

Preventative Measures

Preventative Measures
To safeguard your hair from the dreaded burnt smell, it’s crucial to manage the heat you apply.

Regularly cleansing with a clarifying shampoo and using a heat protectant can significantly reduce the risk.

Optimal Styling Tool Temperature

Keeping your flat iron at the right temperature is crucial to prevent that dreaded burnt hair smell and minimize flat iron damage.

It’s like walking a tightrope; too hot, and you risk singing your lovely locks, too cool, and you might as well be trying to straighten your hair with a cold pancake.

Aim for the Goldilocks zone of heat protection for your hair health. The optimal temperature varies, but a good rule of thumb is to never exceed 350ºF for most hair types. This styling technique ensures you’re not cooking your hair like last night’s leftovers.

Regular Use of Clarifying Shampoo

After dialing down the heat, it’s time to tackle product buildup. Regularly using a clarifying shampoo can:

  1. Remove stubborn residue.
  2. Improve hair porosity.
  3. Boost scalp health.

Incorporate it into your hair care routine for a fresher, cleaner mane.

Heat Protectant Usage

Before cranking up the heat, spritz on a heat protectant to shield your locks. It’s your hair’s knight in shining armor against scorching temps.

Find one that suits your hair type, or whip up a DIY concoction—your strands will thank you!

Flat Iron Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of your flat iron are crucial in preventing that unwanted burnt hair smell.

By following simple cleaning techniques and avoiding abrasive cleaners, you’ll ensure your styling tool remains in top condition.

Cleaning Techniques

To maintain a burnt-free flat iron, clean it regularly with soap and water or isopropyl alcohol.

Use q-tips for crevices and avoid abrasive cleaners.

Unplug and let it cool before cleaning.

Avoiding Abrasive Cleaners

When cleaning your flat iron, steer clear of harsh household cleaners. They can leave behind detergent residue or cause vinegar damage.

Instead, opt for a cloth compatible with your device, avoiding nail polish fumes and ensuring a fresh, clean tool without the harshness.

Importance of Cooling Before Cleaning

After avoiding harsh cleaners, remember to unplug your flat iron before cleaning.

Let it cool down as a safety first rule. This preventative measure ensures you clean as it cools, avoiding any hot surprises.

Cool and clean, that’s the ticket!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can diet affect hair’s burnt smell?

Your diet can indeed influence your hair’s burnt smell. Eating strong-smelling foods like garlic or onions can cause your scalp to react, releasing oils that may contribute to an unpleasant odor.

So, watch what you eat; it might just save your locks from a stinky situation!

Does hair porosity influence odor retention?

Yes, hair porosity significantly influences odor retention.

High porosity hair, with its widely spaced cuticles, absorbs moisture, smells, and products more easily, making it prone to retaining unwanted odors.

Can hormonal changes cause hair odors?

Hormonal havoc can indeed herald hair odors.

Shifts in hormones may lead to increased oil production on the scalp, contributing to unwanted whiffs.

Are there genetic factors in hair scent?

Yes, genetics can influence your hair’s natural scent. It can also affect how it reacts to environmental factors. This influence can potentially alter how your hair smells after using heat tools or when wet.

Can certain water types worsen the smell?

Yes, certain water types, especially hard water, can worsen the smell of your hair. Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can leave residue on your hair and scalp. This residue has the potential to trap odors, making any burnt hair smell more pronounced.


Just as a phoenix rises from the ashes, your hair too can emerge from the scent of burning, rejuvenated and smelling fresh.

By identifying triggers and employing natural remedies like vinegar rinses or aloe vera, you’ll effectively combat the burnt hair smell.

Remember to use heat protectants and maintain your styling tools to prevent future odors.

Embrace these tips and tricks, and you’ll ensure your locks not only look but also smell beautifully clean.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.