"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? "
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.