How to Get Rid of Scalp Odor

Everyone wants their hair and scalp to be clean and fresh-smelling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. When the smell-o-meter gets going up top, scalp funk has been described as “greasy.” It just feels dirty, even though you may have recently washed and styled your hair. When the scalp problem really gets bad, the language used to describe it moves into food territory. Some people have described it as smelling like potatoes or cheese. Do you really want to be described as Mr. or Ms. Potato Head? Unless you really want to smell like you are good enough to eat (and not in a good way), check out this guide to how to get rid of scalp odor.


The real culprit when it comes to a stinky scalp is bacteria. When these microscopic organisms move in and set up housekeeping, they announce their presence by creating a big, smelly mess. The level of reek has absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness. A stinky scalp is an embarrassing condition that would make the most confident person question his or her attractiveness. Unfortunately, you can’t turn off the stank. It’s going to follow you everywhere. You will be continually plagued with thoughts of how funked up you are today and whether other people are noticing the smell, too. Find a solution to the smelly scalp problem and look for cheese and potatoes in the kitchen – not on your head.



How to Get Rid of Scalp Odor

1 Drop Some Tea Tree Oil in It

Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo to get rid of your scalp stank issue. This natural remedy will cut right to the quick in many cases and may be all you need to get rid of the smell. It does have a strong aroma, which not everyone appreciates. Start with two or three drops only. Wait a couple of days to see if your scalp starts to funk up again before reapplying the tea tree oil. You may find you only need to use this product occasionally to keep on top of the scalp odor problem. Weekly follow-up treatments would be a good idea if this option works well for you.


2 Virgin Coconut Oil Treatment

Start by pouring a cup of hot water into a small bowl. Add two teaspoons of virgin coconut oil into a glass cup. (You can buy coconut oil online at and retail stores.) Place the coconut oil in the cup and leave it there until it melts. . Massage the oil into your scalp. You can apply it when your hair is dry or damp. It will spread more easily if you start when your hair is damp.

Leave the coconut oil in your hair for at least one hour. You can put a shower cap over your hair and leave the oil on overnight if you wish. The longer you leave the coconut oil on your scalp, the better the chances that you will be able to get the smell problem under control. Shampoo your hair thoroughly to remove the oil. Rinse with cool water and style as usual.


3 Grapefruit Seed Extract Drops

Grapefruit seed extract can be used to tame a funky scalp. You find it at health food stores or online. Never use this product at full strength. You would add five or 10 drops of it to your shampoo and massage it into your scalp. Wash your hair as usual. Rinse out the grapefruit seed extract and shampoo.


4 Use a Medicated Shampoo

If you want to try a medicated shampoo to combat scalp smell, look for one that contains selenium sulfide. Check the label before you make a choice. If you need help, a pharmacist can help you narrow down your choices. If this option doesn’t help, you may want to consult to doctor. It’s possible the scalp odor problem is from a fungal infection that requires further investigation.


5 Orange Juice the Smell Out

Lean over the sink and pour orange juice over your head. Once your head is covered, put a shower cap over your hair. Leave it on your hair for 15-30 minutes. Rinse the O.J. out of your hair with warm water. Shampoo your hair and rinse with very cold water. The scalp odor should be gone.


6 Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray directly onto your scalp. Shampoo your hair right away. Rinse your hair with cool water. Repeat this treatment no more than once a week, since the vinegar treatment can be quite harsh to your hair.


7 Milk of Magnesia Treatment

Apply Milk of Magnesia to your scalp. Let it sit for at least an hour. Shampoo your hair and rinse with cool water. The Milk of Magnesia will help to cut down on the amount of oil in your hair, which may be contributing to the smell. If you choose this option, space out the treatments so you don’t dry out your hair while trying to treat the problem with your scalp.