What Is ‘Smelly Hair Syndrome?
Try to find again an occasional “bad hair day, ” but for those miserable people stricken with a condition known as “Smelly Hair Issue, ” a bad hair day can mean relationship problems, taunts from coworkers and even expulsion from school. Consider these examples:
“I wash my hair and by the middle of the day it has a tired, muggy smell… I’m a sophomore in college, under no circumstances had a boyfriend, never even kissed a guy, most of because of this smelly demon that I have had to cope with since 9th grade. ” — Corrin, The Beauty Brains Forum
“I go to work everyday because I have no choice, but my fellow workers are very cruel to me because of the bad odor they stench coming from my head. They don’t know how hard I seek to take care of this problem. ” — Sierra, The Beauty Brains Community
“An 8-year-old girl said she was removed from the classroom at a Seattle school because of the way her curly hair smelled. She has now missed a full week at Thurgood Marshall Elementary. ” — KIRO TV report
What are you doing here? What is “Smelly Hair Syndrome” and can it really often be so socially stigmatizing? After receiving hundreds of questions with this issue we were intrigued to find out more.
The symptoms of smelly frizzy hair
We discovered that Smelly Hair Syndrome manifests in one eye-catching symptom: a horrific odor that emanates from the hair in addition to smelly scalp . According to the people who have commented on our blog, the olfactory character of the smell varies from person to person. Some describe this “… stinks like a diaper. ” Others have when compared the smell to “sour milk, wet dog, moldy hay, potatoes, an old shoe or dirty socks, any jacket that’s never been to the dry cleaner, plus an oily smell mixed with vomit. ” The most different description we’ve heard was “… sort of a crossstitching between Dorito’s Bold BBQ chips and cinnamon (and not a sweet smell, actually kinda foul) and maybe a touch of cheese. ” And, finally, one unfortunate target audience told us that “my hair is so smelly that will sometimes flies buzz around my head. “
The exact odor is so strong that other people can easily notice it (“I know my co-workers could smell it and I appeared to be so embarrassed. “) Spouses and significant others have in addition told us that the odor is problematic because it might transfer to towels and pillow cases. For some people the exact smell is noticeable right after showering; for others it will start a few days after they’ve washed their hair. We received a few comments from people who shower before sleep and rise with a smelly scalp. Interestingly, one person pointed out that their hair starts with one scent right after washing and changes to a different sort of odor about 12 hours later. In addition to the malodor, some people practical knowledge increase in oily hair and scalp. One woman notices a “thick, oily, flour-like substance on my scalp. “
Causes and even cures
These secondary symptoms made us wonder if a possible cause of Smelly Hair Syndrome could be seborrheic dermatitis (seb-o-REE-ik der-muh-TI-tis), because it causes an increase in oil production and flaky scalp residue. However , according to Mayo Clinic’s webpage, hair odors like those described above are not typically connected to seborrheic dermatitis. Furthermore, our readers tell us that on most occasions their doctors have not been able to identify a definitive cause. Lots of said that their doctors didn’t take the problem seriously: “I even went to the dermatologist. Twice! He never discovered such a thing and seemed to not even believe me which in turn made me very angry! Why don’t these doctors have a vision?! ” “I went to see a dermatologist. Which was of virtually no help! I got prescriptions and so forth but nothing worked. inches
Without a satisfactory medical explanation, people are left to figure out their cures. Our readers have tried just about everything you can think of, as well as medicated shampoos like Nizoral, Selsun Blue, Neutrogena T/Gel, Head & Shoulders and Denorex. They’ve used leaf tea tree-based products (like Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Address conditioner) because of the alleged anti-fungal properties of tea hardwood oil (unfortunately, most tea tree oil shampoos possess very little of the actual oil). In desperation, some people currently have even tried medicated pet shampoos.
Others have forsaken commercial products for home remedies like lemon juice, baking pop, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, aloe vera, neem crude oil, chlorophyll supplements and a mixture of honey and cinnamon. A person even uses hand sanitizer on her scalp two or three times on a daily basis. Then there’s the most elaborate of all the treatments we’ve been aware of: “I go to this salon where they rub some sort of liquid into your hair, wrap it in plastic shower and steam it. This is followed with something these call ‘frequency treatment’ — it is a glass rod along with a machine and they deliver something like an electrical impulse. very well
What really works to treat Smelly Hair Syndrome? Of all the answers proposed by our readers, two seemed to provide relatively consistent results: Dial antibacterial liquid body wash together with sulfur-containing soaps. These treatments make sense from a scientific mindset, if the cause is bacterial or fungal. An antibacterial agent (like the Triclosan used in the Dial bodywash) could prevent bacteria from growing, while sulfur may possibly reduce scalp oiliness thereby eliminating the “food” in which bacteria or fungi need to grow. For those who haven’t have success with other treatments, these two options maybe worth a try. Naturally , you should consult with a dermatologist to ensure your symptoms do not get caused by psoriasis or some other condition.