Question of The Day: Sour Hair

Hello,

"I am a teenager with long, curly hair. I wear my hair in a ponytail most of the time due to sports and dance. So I use water in my hair to help slick it back. I also use conditioner. The problem is that my hair starts to smell sour by the end of the day. I wash my hair often and I've changed conditioners, but the smell is persistent. Do you have any solutions or suggestions on how I can prevent this smell while wearing ponytails?
"

-EB

This is a good question. One that I've wondered about as well. See my niece have the same problem. So, I used to tell her to wash her hair more often. So she started doing that but like you, the smell continued to return within hours if not by the end of day. My thought is that the wet hair is not allowed to breath, that is why that sour smell develops. Similar to a wet towel.

So I recommend two things: Avoid wetting the whole head and just wet the area that you are brushing back into the ponytail. This area is still exposed so it will air dry. Or skip the water all together. Maybe aim for a product that would give you the same effect as water and conditioner, like Cantu Shea Butter Leave In. Products like this are fast drying, so they will dry a lot faster than water thus preventing your hair from smelling after a few hours.

Good luck. Keep me posted on your progress.


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4 Responses:

You might think of using a spritz that has anti-bacterial properties or making one. Neem and tea tree oil are anti bacterial anit-fungal essential oils you can add to spritzes


I had this same problem in high school. To resolve this issue I started wearing styles like French braids, two strand twists and individual braids all using my own hair. Theses styles allowed my scalp to breath and my hair to dry more quickly. In addition, in the colder months I used a spray bottle to rinse my scalp after playing sports instead of wetting my whole head. I found that wetting my whole head when it was colder was causing my hair to stay wet all day and mildew. I wish I had known about essential oils back then. I would definitely take Monica's advice and use Neem and Tea Tree oils.


I had this same problem...I just stopped wearing buns. I just twist my hair, and once all those twist are dry, pull them into a bun. :-)


A friend of mine had the same problem, turns out she had developed a kind of mildew (gross I know) due to never letting her hair fully dry. She said it took weeks for the smell to go away. She chose to blow dry her hair until it went away, but whatever you do, just make sure your hair is dry and especially near your scalp.


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