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Head Smells Bad
My head has recently started to smell very bad.  It smells so bad that I can smell it myself every time I move my head.  I can't describe the smell but several people have told me that it smells like more than just sweat.  When I rub my scalp I can smell the odor on my fingertips.  Just a few months ago I started to use dandruff shampoo because my flakes were getting out of hand.  I recently started using selson blue approximately 3 times a weeks while using a regular shampoo/conditioner the remaining 4 days of the week.  Any ideas???
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563773 tn?1374250139

Hello,

Two possibilities are there for your symptoms.First of all,stress or hormonal changes may lead to excess oil produced by the oil glands in your scalp. This causes the harmless bacteria that live in the scalp to proliferate and feed off the oil, which produces the odor.

Second possibility is of a fungal infection causing tinea capitis.It is contagious and can spread direct contact with someone who has the condition, or if you touch contaminated items such as combs, hats, clothing, or similar surfaces. Diagnosis is by clinical examination of the scalp as well as a skin lesion biopsy with microscopic examination.Anti-fungal medications, taken by mouth, are used to treat the infection.

It is important to keep the area clean. A medicated shampoo, such as one containing selenium sulfide like selsen may also help.

If the symptoms persist then pls get it evaluated from a dermatologist.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted if you have any additional doubts.Kind regards.

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i have those symptoms too with other symptoms such as constipation,feeling weaker and I had a head injury 5 years ago . what could be the cause?
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What type of antifungal medication is prescribed for this type of condition?
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My hair stinks like chirbee and smelly hair it makes my sisters feel sick and whenever i hair dry my hair the whole room smells and my sisters feel sick and whenever i go near people they can smell kt i scrub it so much to get rid of the bad odor its sickening help plzzzz
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hi - i had the problem of scalp/head that smelled like sweat - even a few hours after a shower if i went outside. i ended up researching it extensively and began using regular head and shoulders. i do not have dandruff and my scalp really doesn't get that oily, but much to my appreciation - head and shoulders works for this problem.

my hair gets dry easily, but lets of people online said this was the best for smelly sweaty hair/scalp: Jason Natural Products - Shampoo Dandruff Relief, but i was afraid it would dry my out way out (google for ingredients).

at any rate, head and shoulders is working for me. it is drying my hair out a bit (even with really good conditioner). i researched gentler products and just got the following shampoo and condition from whole foods after researching the topic more. hopefully these ideas help!

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo
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I have the solution. I used  to have a bad smell on my head even though i washed my hair everyday. i finally found the solution and i want to share it. First of all, right after you shower, you HAVE TO BLOW DRY your hair. You must 100% dry your hair with the blow dryier right after your finished taking the shower and towel dry the hair. Cant wait 10 mins later, it must be right away and dont leave any spot slightly wet. Another thing, never but never go to sleep with your hair wet or humid. Obviously if u do what i told you before, that will never happen. Now, i didnt have dandruff but my head itched a lot..you can try Selsum MEDICATED and see what happens.. In my case, i tried this shampoo: HEAD and Shoulders CITRUS BREEZE, its hard to find but it is out there, or buy it online. For some reason it helps get rid of the smell more than any other shampoo or other Head and Shoulder shampoo. It smelles very good too. Do what i am telling you right now, and u will see the smell goes away, but once you stop drying your hair right after you finish showering, the smell will come back bc the problem is that Fungus live in wet or humid areas,, and are very resistant. If u keep ur blow drying ur hair 2 seconds after u shower.. u will see the smell desapear and u will be able to have a very good smell on your scalp and head. 100% guaranteed.
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does ur scalp still smell?
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Thanks for that Infomation ...I recently
Moved in with a close friend of mine I've always known she had lily hair just didn't know it was able to be passed on by sharing brushes ...  so as for me I've never had dandruff or an oily scalp ...and I've always washed my hair every 2 days and even in that my hair still smelled good and i could scratch my head and my hands would smell like shampoo after the 2nd day with out washing it but since I started using her brush or she uses mine my head stinks and its extremely oily now I know time to throw out my brushes and not share its really gross but found my problem!!
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Hi there,

I have the same issue, wash my hair with shampoo and then after a few hours i get like a sweat smell.

I have very short.cropped hair so blow drying isn't an option?

Any suggestions, besides moving to Head & Shoulders??
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Try Giovanni Tea tree triple treat shampoo, it might help.
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Please stop telling people to go to the Dr. People are not stupid and if they wanted to go to the Dr, they would of done that in the first place and not be searching on the internet for an explanation. Most Dr's dont even know what causes the problem. Geez.
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I have had a stinking head problem for almost a year now and have tried every suggestion out there except for the doctor. Head and shoulders, selsun blue, bi-carb shampoo, a borax concoction from the naturopath, washing in cold water, blow drying, some kind of serum from the doctor, eating less yeasty foods... The list goes on! Have an appointment wih a dermatologist and can't wait! Hope I am cured, just had a shower this morning and my friend told me my head reeks and it's only been 8 hours.
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How did your appointment with the dermatologist go?
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3811680 tn?1357517071
If I use vinegar on my scalp, it doesn't smell bad like usual next day.
My assumption vinegar kills fungus that live on my scalp.
There are people who suggest to avoid refined sugar or starch, but it's hard to me
to avoid all kind of product that contain sugar.
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I too was noticing a foul smell on the top of my head. Even using Head & Shoulders did not remove the smell. It had to be something inside me that was causing a proliferation of bacteria or something. I thought about the things I was overeating and the number one thing was YEAST. Breads, bagels, pizza, anything with yeast. I was eating yeast day after day in different forms. I removed anything with yeast and reduced my sugar intake. ----- No more foul odor ------   Dr.'s will not tell you that because it's easier to give you some horrible medicine with side effects than help you to live a healthier life!
You must be dedicated to removing excess yeast and sugar from your diet.

Hope this helps!
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sore inside my head.It makes me feel so bad when I hear that bad smell from my head.Help me please.
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"Dr.'s will not tell you that because it's easier to give you some horrible medicine with side effects than help you to live a healthier life! "
Clearly you've never heard of the hippocratic oath.
Maybe its the fact that you are not a compliant patient and telling you to change your lifestyle is too much so they must resort to medications. What you've said is ignorant and offensive.

"Please stop telling people to go to the Dr. People are not stupid and if they wanted to go to the Dr, they would of done that in the first place and not be searching on the internet for an explanation. Most Dr's dont even know what causes the problem"
Also an ignorant statement. In many cases, when someone is concerned about their health they will come onto these forums and get some suggestions before seeking medical attention. But when all else fails, if they are truly concerned and their condition is affecting their lifestyle, the obvious next step is to seek PROFESSIONAL help. That being said, many people prefer to seek alternate help before seeing a doctor.

On a different note, to the original poster, I hope that you have found some resolve in your issue.
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Sulphur solves the problem. Sulphur shampoos work, but then your hair smells like sulphur! (rotten eggs). But a different form of sulphur (MSM) works without the foul smell: I buy NSI brand MSM capsules. Inside the capsules is a powder. I put 2 or 3 of these (twist the capsules with damp fingers to get them open, then pour powder) into an old water bottle. Add a few ounces of warm water (while you're still in shower or bath) and then shake, and pour over head, massaging into scalp. Do not rinse. Problem solved. My wife had smelly scalp problem for years, then we read another message board where a guy with this problem moved to a place with sulphur content in the water and his smelly scalp went away, then he moved again and it came back. This gave us the idea of using MSM. Any brand will do (I get mine by mail from vita cost) but it has to be powder (in capsules) not pill (which you would have to crush to a powder--way too hard). She took the MSM capsules as an oral supplement for a while and that helped some, but applying directly to the scalp works better. When she slacks off the smell comes back. She starts using the MSM again and it's gone. Good luck!
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I've had smelly scalp odor for many years and during that time I've tried many topical treatments to get rid of it.  The only time the smell went away was after a heavy dose of antibiotics for a tooth infection, but after a few months, the odor returned.  I concluded that it had to be an internal issue.  I eat a serving of Activia everyday and have been odor free for some time.  I'm not selling Activia just saying get some good bacteria in your system, it may work for you.
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I too had a smelly scalp for years, as if I had a illness.  Finally I had an upper right molar removed after having it refilled and recapped, even had a root canal.  Tired of having it worked on, I asked the dentist to remove it.  Once it was removed , the smell was gone for good.

Funny thing is the tooth really never bothered me, the dentist noticed it wasn't normal, guess it was dead all that time.
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6422982 tn?1381170081
Hippocratic Oath??? Are you kidding me? Most doctors don't follow this oath anymore!!!! I have been to 30 some doctors which noticeable health issues and it took them six years to diagnose me with lyme disease! !! And they think 30 days of antibiotics will cure it. Well ********.  I am doomed now! All they ever wanted to do is give me pain pills, muscle relaxers, anxiety medicine! They just push you off to the next dr. When I got diagnosed with lyme, 3 of my specialists dropped me as a patient after being with them for 6 years. They said they couldn't help me, that lyme was complicated! ! And had no suggestions or advice. So screw drs and the Hippocratic Oath! They and the cdc can go screw themselves.  I hope they or a loved one suffer someday from lyme disease! !!
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I have the same problem.  On my busy days, I can smell my head in the late afternoon.  It's not really a foul odor... it just smells like dirty sweat because I sweat profusely even if it is not hot or I am not stressed.  I have close-cropped hair and wash it every day, but I can't help the smell because I can't help sweating.

I asked a doctor about it and she wrote me a prescription for Drysol, which is a roll-on antiperspirant.  You treat the area the night before, in this case my scalp, and the next day it remains totally dry.  You can also use it on your armpits or feet if you sweat in those areas.  Since then, I used it on days when I had to give a presentation in grad school, job interviews, and first dates as those are times my scalp would normally be dripping wet.  It works well for those times when you know you really don't want to be sweaty or stink.
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I hate to burst your bubble, but most modern doctors don't take the Hippocratic Oath. It would be nearly impossible to always adhere to "do no harm" without violating the rules of their institutions and their contracts with insurers. It's a lovely fantasy, but it's just not our reality.
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it could be a pH Imbalance I tried going to the doctors for years he will prescribe and stuff never worked so I finally gave up and I was like well I think I'm going to have stinky head for the rest of my life at least they can try to cover it up with dry shampoo so I went to Sallys an associate help me out she told me it could be a pH imbalance I started using this pH balanced shampoo and wonderful gone I'm so happy about this   I feel like it's going to be in using it for a week my comment help the people who had this problem give them some sort of hOpe sincerely JJ
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Such shampoo did you use?
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Wich*
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I also have this problem. Basically my hair gets oily in the end of the second day after I wash it, but that ugly smell like sweat and socks starts literally five or six hours after I wash my hair - my hair is not oily but it smells... I use every time a different towel, I wash my comb with super hot water and antibacterial detergent, I always dry my hair with a hairdryer but that dumb smell just appears and appears again.
I tried Head and Shoulders. Logically it must help, it's anti-dandruff so it means that it should kill those stupid bacteria. But it didn't help me. I may say that the smell was even worse. I am vegerarian for 6 years and I also don't eat hydrogenated fat, margarine etc. I also reduced carbs, sugar and white wheat products very much in the last year.
But I think it's all because of the stress and anxiety. But anyway.
THE DECISION i found is just a simple WHITE CLAY SHAMPOO. In my country it is offered in every drugstore. I must note that the effect comes only from the fabric white clay shampoos. Nothing happens if I mix a regular shampoo with clay. Only fabrically produced clay shampoos work for me. The smell is gone for 70% after first wash, and till the end of the week - NO SMELL. The negative effect is that the hair may get a little bit dryer after the first week of usage. When the smell is gone, I change the shampoo with ordinary soft everyday shampoo. And the cycle repeats after approximately a month. For now thahts the decision I found for me. Hope it will work for you too.
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Dr's don't get to root of cause, they treat with RX's and usually that either has too many side effects or mixes badly with other prescriptions.  I too have the smelly hair where the odor lingers and I can smell it every time I move my head, smell it on my hands/arms when they touch my hair.  I am currently using an antifungal shampoo I purchased on Amazon, have used 3 times, it helps some, but has not removed odor yet.  I am currently working with a holistic nurse who has ordered blood work on me including hormones, thyroid, etc.; I am hoping she will get me on right track to good health.
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I used 1 part water 1 part bleach and rubbed in my scalp and hair and left it for five minutes and the bad smell went away. Your hair will get dry but will get back to normal after a couple of days.
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Hey Harpseal23,

I'm also having the exact same problem as you.

I wanted to know if you had any success with getting your thyroids checked up or not? As I'm also considering this route now.



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Check the nosepieces too of your eyeglasses, if you wear glasses.  I thought the smell was all coming from my scalp/headtop, but I discovered that my eyeglasses were very smelly and had green fungae growing on the nosepieces, which was contributing to the smell.  
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Try a bleach water rinse. I do a full-body bleach rinse every week or two and it eliminates BO. Just put about 2 tablespoons of bleach in an empty gallon milk jug then fill with warm water. Pour on before showering and let it soak for about a minute.

If you are concerned about putting "chemicals" on your body, consider the fact that bleach is the same sanitizer used in swimming pools. If you don't want to use bleach then just go for a swim in a pool sanitized with chlorine and be sure to submerge your head.
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YES! that worked for me! I used 1 part water 1 part bleach and rubbed in my scalp and hair and left it for five minutes and the bad smell went away. Your hair will get dry but will get back to normal after a couple of days.
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Hi!

I've been dealing with this for a few years.  Recently my scalp condition got out of control with me having severe seborheic dermatitis along with a smelly head.  My dermatologist and physician both recommended a form of cream to put on my scalp but I have an aversion to using medications unless I know that it is treating the root cause.  I knew that there was an underlying reason for my scalp condition but I couldn't find any answers from my doctors.  I was reading around on the internet and came across an article that noted that certain fungi feed on oil and sugar.  I noticed that when I ate copious amounts of sugars and when I ate ice cream, about 2 days later I would get severe flakes on my head and an extremely oily scalp.  When I say severe flakes, I mean that these are more like very thick scales that I could lift off sometimes up to half an inch in diameter.  This is not to say that I think that this is the cause but there is definitely a corrleation here.  I also recently started taking vitamins because I know that vitamin deficiencies can be an attributing factor to alot of other health problems.  I currently am taking hair skin and nails vitamins, general multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.  I'm wondering if the vitamin D was the main player here as well because of other things I read about vitamin deficiency.  I'm not sure if it is the vitamins or the sugar/ice cream(heavy cream) but since I started down this path a month ago, my seborheic dermatitis has been 100% cured.  I am not kidding.  This has been such a source of pain and embarressment for me and these are the only things that I have changed in my life since I have been flake free.  As for the smell, it is definitely 90% better.  There is still an oily scalp smell at times and at other times I can go 2 days without washing my hair.  However, the smell is definitely of a different composition from what it used to be. I definitely think that my diet has been a tremendous factor in treating this.  Please let me know if anyone else has decided to try this out and if it has worked!  I am really curious to know if I am the only one that this has worked for :)
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I suddenly had this condition as well. Likely due to sleeping with wet hair. The following solved my issue immediately:

1) Shampoo using Nizoral Shampoo (clean scalp thoroughly and leave on for 5 mins)
2) Blow dry hair (note, there is still some slight lingering smell)
3) Apply tea tree oil (i use concentrated oil and i rub it using my fingertips onto the scalp).

No more odour, no more excess scalp oil either. Head feels and smells awesome.
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I had the exact same problem for months, I am still not sure if it was fungus, bacteria or chemical unbalancement, but I finally found the cure for it! :) Baking Soda! Just mix a few table spoon of baking soda with double the amount of water put it on your scalp leave it for 3 to 5min then rinse. For me after the first time the smell was gone and didn't come back, but if you have the condition for a long time it is recommended to do this once a week until it goes away. No need to buy expensive shampoo or medicine! ♡
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I have had this problem for about a year now. I wash my hair everyday with a baking soda and vinegar rinse after 10 minutes it starts to smell bad. Someone suggest that maybe its my liver so I started taking Milk Thirstle and have yet to see a difference. I don't want to go to a doctor or dermatologist because I don't think it's that serious. I just want home remedies .Please help! I'll answer any question
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mam i was suffering from dandruff fr past 2 yrs , i am loosing hair so frequently in larger amount ......so could you say any remedies ..... home made
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Start taking a Vitamin-B Complex, if it includes Vitamin A, Zinc and Horsetail even better. Take one or two a day for 2 months. This should help stoppping your loss of hair and strengthen new hairgrowth. It did to me :-)
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When i was younger, my scalp had an odd smell to it... the only way i can describe it is that it smelled like earwax.... my scalp was itchy too, which is why i knew it smelled funny because my fingers smelled like it.
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This is because of scalp detmatitis. Neber use any chemical shampoos to treat this. It makes the problem worse. Best remedy is shave your head and apply antifungal oil and massage before bath. Wash it off with mild herbal cleanser. Never use any shampoos. Shave head every week upto one month.beacause it ensured penetration of oil into hair root. This smell is beacuse of fungus in the hair root. After one month you can grow hair. You will get dandruff free, smell feee thick hair. Better use any ayurvedic antifungal oils like durdhurapathrathi or eladi oil.
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Chew on raw garlic afternoon meal and b4 dinner 2 weeks
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Use TCP which you can get from most pharmacies/chemists depending on where you live (I found it in the mouthwash aisle). (cover your scalp in TCP and let it soak under a shower cap for a few hours) then wash it off with normal shampoo.

Side effect - your head will smell like TCP for about a week. This is a strong disinfectant smell but not a horrible smell. So it's better to do this on a weekend or when you will be seeing less people. the smell of TCP will fade with time and the infection on your scalp that causes odor will be gone.
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I typed a long answer but it disappeared. Long story short, bleach cured this for me. Wash, rinse, dribble bleach, sit a few minutes then  rinse!!! It WORKED.
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