6 Reasons Why Your Hair Smells Bad After Showering

a red haired lady wearing robe after showering asking herself

Help, why does my hair smell even after showering??

You can be having the most lustrous, bouncy, and shiny hair day but a whiff of your tresses can make it all go down the drain.

This is especially annoying when you have just spent time washing and styling your hair.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can be doing everything right but still left with the odor.

Here’s a detailed guide on why your hair smells bad after showering and a quick look into the prevention techniques. 

Why Does My Head Stink After I Shower?

From the obvious reasons to the “wow, seriously??”, there are a few possible reasons why your hair stinks even after showering.

#1 Not Washing Enough

back of the lady taking shower

If you’ve fallen for the idea of washing your hair less to let hair’s natural oils stimulate your hair growth, welcome to the club!

The oils releasing accumulates on your scalp, block the follicles, and leads to a hair smell like a wet dog.

For some people, washing once a week works, but try talking to women around you, I’m sure not many would attest to the same.

And so, it doesn’t work for the majority of women. We’d suggest not skip washing your hair for more than 3 days. 

#2 Or Washing Too Frequently

a lady massaging her hair using a shampoo

Just like going too many shampoo-free days can imbalance sebum production, so can washing too much.

Frequent washing stimulates the scalp to produce more oils to compensate for the stripping of strands.

And while squeaky clean and fresh smelling might be the goal, the end result turns out to be hair that smells bad while wet.  

#3 Sweating

a lady full of sweat

Keeping up with your workout routine lately?

While it will give you the bikini-bod, it can also leave you with an icky scalp smell.

A sweaty scalp, when not tended to, is a direct precursor to scalp build-up and blockage.

It creates a friendly environment for the bacteria to grow and leave you with hair that’s itchy and smelly. 

#4 Chemical Hair Products

lady with a rainbow colored hair

Hair products with harmful chemicals leave a residue on the scalp and disturb the oil balance.

If you’re using these products to wash your hair, there’s a high chance you’re coming out of the shower with hair that smells bad.

#5 Using Hot Water 

blonde lady taking a shower

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t wash your hair with hot water; one of them being it can lead to a bad hair odor.

Hot water strips the hair of natural oils, leading to more oil production, making hair a breeding ground for bacteria and you know where we’re going with this.

In addition, hot water also leads to dryness, breakage, and brittle hair.

#6 Too Much Of Dry Shampoo & Mists

back of the lady taking shower

While dry shampoos are often marketed on the USP of making your hair smell great, in excess, they can actually do the opposite.

The same goes for hair mists and sprays. The logic is the same as with the chemical hair products.

They generate buildup which leads to an unpleasant odor.

How Do You Get Rid Of Bad Hair Smell?

1. Wash it just often enough

Be sure you wash your hair in a gap of 2-3 days, alternately only if it doesn’t leave your scalp with a smell or your dermatologist has recommended the same.

For some women, washing once every three days deters the smell, but for others, it could be washing alternate days. There’s no generic rule here, it all depends on your hair type.

2. Use the right shampoo

Use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo to clean the scalp and lather conditioner only on the length of your hair. Incorporate a charcoal hair mask to deep cleanse the pores or a DIY scrub with sugar to further absorb any unwanted odors from the scalp.

3. Try a clarifying shampoo, instead

Add a clarifying shampoo and a clarifying rinse to do away with the bad hair smell. Such hair care products are built to melt the residue left on the scalp without stripping it off its natural oils, leaving your follicles clean.

4. Try this minty-fresh tip!

For a quick fix to instantly ward off the bad hair smell, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your shampoo. Peppermint leaves the scalp feeling refreshed, adds a minty smell, and keeps any itchiness at bay.

5. Steer clear of these ingredients

When perusing the ingredients list of your shampoo, steer clear of these ingredients: parabens, sodium laureth/ lauryl sulfate, phthalates, PEG’s, alcohol, and propylene glycol.

They add to the scalp buildup and are a stumbling block to fresh hair smell straight out of the shower.

6. Change your water temperature

Use only lukewarm or normal water to get rid of the bad hair smell. You can notice the results with just one wash; distinctly if you have been using hot water to wash your hair for a long time. 

How To Prevent That Odor

Prevention is better than cure. So, here are some precursors of hair that smells bad after showering with their fixes. 

Check your scalp for conditions like dandruff and psoriasis.

They can lead to an increase in oil production and flaky residue leaving your scalp with a strong odor that can also transfer to towels and pillows.

Those who suffer from it are well-aware of the hitch and its annoyance even in the freshly washed hair.

Dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis are best treated in the hands of a professional.

Medicated shampoos, creams, and lotions are the only solution for them and their ensuing problem, hair smelling like mildew. 

Watch your diet.

While all foods have a certain kind of smell, some have a strong scent that can actually seep out of the skin’s pores and make you smell bad.

These include onion, broccoli, garlic, fried food, spicy foods, beetroot, and dairy. Though these foods are both delicious and healthy, it’s best if you have them in moderation.

To compensate, eat more foods linked to a great body odor. These are citrus fruits, apples, herbal tea, fennel seeds, lemon, rosemary, and mint.

Cover your head while stepping out.

Air and traffic pollutants get deposited on the scalp, mix up with the sebum and cause body odor.

The particles are so small that if you don’t thoroughly clean your hair, they can leave your hair smelling bad even after showering.

To further negate the damage, book a regular spa cleansing treatment to hydrate and nourish your hair. In addition, use fewer mechanical tools like a curler or straightener.

Visit your doctor

If you’re suffering from hormonal balance and stress, it’s likely for your hair to smell bad after showering.

Both of them disrupt sebum production, leading to either excess or low oil production. This can irritate the scalp, causing it to smell.

Visit your GP to discuss the issue of hormonal imbalance and follow proper medication.

Fight it naturally by including eating protein-rich foods in your diet, working out, avoiding overeating or undereating, eating healthy fats, and managing stress.

For stress, try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.


Smelly hair days are worse than bad hair days. Now that you’re aware of the causes and prevention methods for the same, it will be easier to fight that odor in most cases.

But if the condition persists, we’d recommend scheduling an appointment with your GP. Antifungal medication or prescribed shampoos can serve you well.

a long-haired lady wearing a robe after showering

Do you have other ideas why does hair smells bad after showering? Have you experienced it? Share with us below!

Bronzing and Contouring: Are They Different?

bronzer vs contour: what's the main difference? a beautiful lady contouring her face with make-up

Bronzer vs contour– what’s the difference?!?

If you think you’re the only one who can’t differentiate between the two, think again!

Turns out many makeup-lovers admit to being confused by them and we’re here to unravel the differences between the two.

Just keep reading for all of the answers!

What’s the Difference Between Bronzer and Contour?

a gorgeous lady contouring her cheekbone using a blush brush

The difference between bronzer and contour boils down to what effect it lends to your face.

Contouring is all about defining and shaping the structure of your face to create an illusion of a perfect dimension and symmetry.

This is done by strategically placing the product in the right places to make shadows on the face. These shadows can practically create magic, especially when done by an expert artist.

For instance, it can create a sharper jawline, lifted cheekbones, a narrower-looking nose, and an outlined forehead.

On the other hand, bronzer has nothing to do with the shadows. Simply put, it brings a sun-kissed warmth to your face.

While contouring defines the face, bronzing will make you look like you’ve been vacationing on a tropical island basking in the sun’s warmth and getting all tanned – minus all the sun damage that comes with it.

The key, as with the bronzer, is to strategically place at the high-points of the face where the sun hits the face to create a natural warmth. 

Bronzers and Contours also differ in their color tone and finish. Contours mimic the natural shadows, so the product has to be in a matte finish. After application, it lends a cool-toned, greyish hue to create a well-defined, sculpted face.

Bronzers, in contrast, have a warm tone and a shimmery, glowy finish to mimic the natural wash of the sun’s rays.

That being said, both bronzers and contours can come in both liquid and powder forms.

The Bronzer Vs Contour differences extend into how and which parts of the face you apply the product to.

For contours, you need to start ‘mapping the face’. Start on your forehead and swipe your contour product along the hairline keeping width as per the size of your forehead.

For cheeks, start from the middle of the ear and stop just behind the apples of the cheeks. This will create a more hollowed-out appearance and define your cheekbones.

Finally, swipe the product along your jawline in a forward motion and along the bridge of your nose to sculpt it.

These generalized contour tips emphasize your natural facial features and create defining shadows.

Bronzers are applied to places where the sun hits the skin. So, on the temples, sweep the product onto your hairline.

Swirl it on the top of your cheeks (from the top of the ear to the apple of the cheeks) and down the bridge of your nose.

You need to put less of a bronzer and more of a contour on the brush since you’re using the former for a natural finish and the latter for delineating the facial structure.

Can You Use a Bronzer to Contour?

a smiling pretty lady showing how to apply bronzer to contour

Now that you know the key differences between the two – from the finish, application to the end results – it makes sense that both require different products.

If you use a bronzer to contour your face, it will likely leave a very greyish and unnatural finish.

While some people will disagree with our stance, saying oh! I use a bronzer for contouring regularly; there’s no way they’re getting the same perfect finish as a contour.

For emergency purposes though, you can use a matte bronzer (like the Hoola) to softly swirl around the cheeks and the temples for a faux-contour look.

Can I Contour Without A Bronzer?

Yes, you can. Here are 3 steps to follow for a perfect contour with a bronzer look:

  1. Conceal well. Blending concealer under your eyes and on your forehead will brighten your face immediately and lend the brightening effect of a bronzer on those areas. 
  2. Work on your cheekbones. Cheeks are where a bronzer shows its magic, so pamper them well. Swirl across a shimmery blush on the apples of your cheeks and follow by gliding a generous layer of highlighter on the high points of your cheeks. 
  3. Strategically place highlighter. To get the bronzer sheen, swipe the highlighter down the bridge of your nose, below your brow bone, and across your cupid’s bow to create an all-over glow look.

Is Contouring Necessary? 

a lady with a straight her showing deep contour on her face

As with everything that’s related to beauty, contouring comes down to a personal preference.

It’s not necessary to contour your face every time you use makeup, of course. But if you’re in the mood to do a little extra, go ahead.

Contouring, for makeup beginners, feels like just a couple of scary brown lines across the face. When in actuality, with proper techniques it can add a proper dimension to your face.

Some makeup connoisseurs though, like Bobbi Brown, aren’t very fond of the makeup technique. They’re more for enhancing what’s already present than creating something that’s not there.

For instance, highlighting the cheekbones with a pop of blush and glow products rather than creating a chiseled cheekbone using a contour.

If your beauty idea aligns with the same aesthetic, contouring will not win your favor as well.

Whether you’re for or against, or still dangling in the middle, it’s all up to you to try and decide what works for you. Because the contour controversy will continue. 


The admirable part about the beauty realm is how personalized it is.

You can find almost anything and everything that aligns with your needs, preferences, and requirements. A foundation that’s dewy and melts into your skin?

Check! A blush that’s a mix of a pink and red palette? Check! A lipstick that’s plum with a hint of brown? Check!

There’s one downside to all this variety though. You sometimes have products that are similar, but different.

The Bronzer vs Contour just like the eyeshadow base vs primer debate still baffles many, but we hope we’ve cleared the stark differences between the two.

Considering their similarities as well, as both need to be two shades darker than your skin tone, it’s safe to say they aren’t mutually exclusive but meet each other in sort of a Venn Diagram format.

The popularity of both has grown over the years. After all, they are the powerhouse pair behind the much-coveted ‘chiseled look’.

And now that you’re aware of their individual benefits and uses, it will be easier to include them in your beauty routine.

a beautiful lady with touches of contour and bronzer on her face

Bronzer vs contour? Which one do you practice or both? Share with us your experience below!…

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