CurlTalk

Hair smell

LadyV69LadyV69 Posts: 3,397Registered Users
This actually came up on another hair board, but I figured I'd bring it here.

I have this one friend who's relaxed but I can't stand too close to her because her hair smells funky. Literally. Most of the time, it has that burnt hair smell from a curling iron and/or flat iron. When the perm is fresh, it has that rotten egg smell for several weeks. I doubt she washes her hair regularly and I'm sure the typical products she uses that's marketed to black women (Pink Oil, Let's Jam, etc.) on top of the dirty hair are making the problem worse. I've never said anything to her about the smell, because it's embarrassing. And let's face it, when I was relaxed, using Pink Oil and going for weeks at a time without washing my hair to preserve a style, I'm sure my hair didn't always smell so great either. Which brings me to something else I've noticed. Many natural hair products smell wonderful. I've had people comment on how they love how my hair smells now. Depending on the product, it smells like marshmellows, cake or fruit. However, most products for relaxed hair smell medicinal or downright funky. Do the makers of those products think black women are generally unkempt and won't mind the smell? Seriously! Has anyone else gotten positive comments on the way their hair smells? Or has anyone else been around relaxed friends or family and noticed how horrible their hair smells?
Fine haired, low density, highly porous curly kinky lady
Last relaxer: Not sure. 3/08 or 4/08
BC'd: 9/18/09
Co-wash: Suave Naturals, HEHH, Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle, CJ Daily Fix
Leave-In: KCKT, Giovanni Direct Leave-In, CJ Smoothing Lotion
Stylers: ORS Twist and Loc Gel, KCCC, Ecostyler, SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque
Deep Conditioner: DevaCurl Heaven In Hair, CJ Deep Fix

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Comments

  • AquarianWavesAquarianWaves Posts: 238Registered Users
    I never even thought about this! When I was relaxed sometimes I would go about a month (I know) without washing my hair bc I wanted to hold on to my curls...OR bc sometimes, dirty hair lays better...I'm not lying lol. Sour hair can be so funky. With natural hair, I have to wash it once a week, I can't go any longer...I feel weird if I do. You are right about natural products smelling great. My family talks about my hair smelling like coconuts all the time lol.
  • tabbysuetabbysue Posts: 122Registered Users
    This is so true! I actually used to get the Mizani Butterblend relaxer to avoid the rotten egg smell. The only thing that smelled good in my relaxed hair was the VO5 Strawberries and Cream Shampoo and Condish. Most of the time it smelled burnt or like medicine. Never dirty though, I used to wash weekly because I had very oily hair and scalp. The odor in products like Pink lotion is probably from all the cheap fillers they use in our products.

    Now I smell like coconuts or sweet cake:thumright:
    Shampoo: TJ Tea Tree Tingle (only to remove buildup)
    Co-wash/Detangler: Suave Naturals Conditioner
    Leave-in/Styler: Uncle Funky's Curly Magic
    2nd day refresher: Uncle Funky's Thirsty Curls
    Routine: Wash and Go
    Porosity: Normal-High
    Texture: Fine/Thin and Kinky
  • aubinaubin Posts: 286Registered Users
    A woman I work with has that funky relaxed hair smell too. I try not to stand too close to her because of it. I agree that many natural hair products smell so good. My fav scent right now is Jane Carter's Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner. But some natural hair products are not so great scent-wise. AO's White Camellia conditioner makes me gag -- too flowery, too strong.
    3c/4a OS curls
    Poo: Mehandi Zizyphus Spina Christi and Juniper Shampoo Bar
    Co-wash/Detangler/Leave-in: V05, Giovanni SAS, Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, GVP Conditioning Balm, Aussie Moist
    DC: henna, AOHR, AOWC, Yes to Carrots, DevaOne
    Sealing: cocoa butter
    :clock:Natural since 1990, BC #3 September 2008:clock:
  • FronomenalFronomenal Posts: 712Registered Users
    My hair used to stink when I was "relaxed'. I rarely washed it, used Pink Oil 24/7 and burned it with a flat iron. In stark contrast, my natural hair smells like flowers, candy or chocolate. Change is good!
    Big Chop: 12/15/08

    Shampoo: As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
    Conditioner: As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner &
    Tresemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner
    Leave-In Conditioner: As I Am Leave-In Conditioner & Alba Botanica Leave-In Conditioner
    Moisturizer: As I Am DoubleButter Cream Rich Daily Moisturizer
    Oils/Butters: Coconut Oil & Castor Oil
    Gels: Eco Styler Krystal Gel


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  • makeupvixenmakeupvixen Posts: 507Registered Users
    I read this on curlynikki hair board and my vote is still for the scented KBB Heavenly Jojoba oil. Since I seal with an oil, why not have it scented in my favorite scents.

    KBB hair scents are stronger than most things I have tried and last a long time. I get compliments on the Chamomile Sage, Egyptian Musk and Vanilla Latte. I also know what KBB scents smells good with other products, like the Vanilla Latte smells great with the Oyin Whipped Pudding (chocolate smell).

    The scent is even in my pillows and sheets.

    So I use my KBB jojoba oil as both my sealer and my hair perfume.
  • HomeGrownHairGirlHomeGrownHairGirl Posts: 296Registered Users
    Very interesting topic!

    I'm sure my hair smelt fried when was relaxed; b/c it often was! :pukeright:
  • BronzeyBronzey Posts: 42Registered Users
    Thinking back to my relaxed days, my hair did stink! I think it was mainly the petroleum and mineral oil products. With mineral oil on my scalp my hair would smell so bad after a week of exercise and I could scrape the build-up off my scalp. I remember it would make my pillow and hats smell.

    It makes me think, if products for White people smelled so bad they would never buy them. Why do Black people put up with that? In the past I thought I HAD TO use Black products just like I thought I had to relax my hair. I didn't demand anything better. I think that our concerns are just ignored and the people who make the relaxed products just don't care.
    Having bad smelling hair is also bad socially. I didn't want anyone to get too close to my hair. If I had a date coming up, I would make sure to wash my hair the day before so I wouldn't be smelly.

    Now my hair smells great. I have a cream I use in my hair that didn't smell great, but I just added some cherry fragrance and now it's fixed. I never added fragrance in the past.
  • hippychichippychic Posts: 4,673Registered Users
    most of us probably had the dreaded stinky/funky hair in our relaxed days but became immune to it. my daughter is relaxed. she got a touch-up at home a while back and the stench smacked me in the face. so i know i was absorbing that same stench back when i was doing it (relaxing).

    what was that saying...? lyed, fried, layed to the side :dwarf:

    i remember all too well not washing my hair on the regular to preserve a hairstyle. water! ha!!! you stayed away from it until absolutely necessary (errr... mandatory).:confused4:

    daily cowashing and/or weekly shampooing with deliciously scented products are now my norm! :flower:
    LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity:?, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

    faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
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  • kurlybrownkurlybrown Posts: 136Registered Users
    When I was relaxed I really didn't care what my hair products smelled like. I don't recall using anything too foul... but I know for a fact that my hair probably smelled burnt. I flat ironed every day! LOL. Now that I'm natural... I'm obsessed with scents! If a product smells good, I'm more likely to try it. If a product stinks or is over powering I will not use it. I also hate "fake" floral scents. I have a sensitive nose... Jane Carter's Leave-in spray made me sneeze and cough. :pukeright:

    My favorite scent ever is KBB's Honey Oatmeal!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Natural as of May 2009; 4a/3c
    Avatar Photo: Nov 10' Blow-out; Getting closer to my BIG hair goal!
    "I'm a big woman. I need big hair." - Aretha Franklin
  • Precious CurlsPrecious Curls Posts: 448Registered Users
    Ugh, didn't we all go weeks without washing so that the relaxer/texturizer would stay straight for longer :pukel:

    My hair must have smelled. I barely washed it, hot combed it to death, and the fresh relaxer smell lingered for days around my house. Not to mention that I let heavy, petroleum-laden grease sit on top of my scalp and prevent it from breathing. Ewwwh. As opposed to most of you who did use hair products, I didn't use any hair product on my hair that was supposed to moisturize my hair (of course, back in my relaxer days, I wasn't knowledgeable at all about hair and its need for moisture). I did, however, use this pink hair gel that smelled like strawberries :D so that possibly did cover up some smell. I used to use this L'Oreal 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner as well, which smelled like blueberries, and that may have helped covered up some stank (hopefully!)

    Nowadays, everyone says my hair smells like caramel, vanilla, and other sweet stuff! How glad I am to be liberated from the rotten egg/sulfur/dirty hair smells of my relaxer days! That is one of the reasons that I am happy I went natural. I am more conscious of the look, feel, smell, and overall health of my hair!
  • blessedhimeblessedhime Posts: 1,458Registered Users
    AH! I remember those days of having burnt smelling hair. The problem was that the scent was hard to remove from my hair. Now, when I meet people they comment on how great my hair smells. The other day, my mum cam up to me and just buried her face in it lol. Then with this goofy smile, said how it smelled good. Being natural and using natural products rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:
    Blessed Princess Diamante, High Archivist of the Thrifty Trinitarians in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Last Relaxer: July 31st, 2008
    BC: 14th August, 2009
    Favourite Product Line: None at the moment
    HGs: Amla, brahmi, maka, neem, hibiscus and fenugreek powders.

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  • adthomasadthomas Posts: 5,525Registered Users
    When I was relaxed I washed my hair once a week. Sometimes twice a week. I had bad dandruff and so long stretches of not washing wasn't an option. Now that I'm natural, I rarely have dandruff problems.
    One my cousins would go months without washing her hair. It smelled so like sour milk.
    Yes, it's real. No, you can't touch it. :wav:
  • DangerBlakeyDangerBlakey Posts: 49Registered Users
    tabbysue wrote: »
    This is so true! I actually used to get the Mizani Butterblend relaxer to avoid the rotten egg smell. The only thing that smelled good in my relaxed hair was the VO5 Strawberries and Cream Shampoo and Condish. Most of the time it smelled burnt or like medicine. Never dirty though, I used to wash weekly because I had very oily hair and scalp. The odor in products like Pink lotion is probably from all the cheap fillers they use in our products.

    Now I smell like coconuts or sweet cake:thumright:

    This is what I think! It must not be easy to scent petroleum and mineral oil.
  • laniseworkslaniseworks Posts: 170Registered Users
    When I was relaxed, I washed at least twice, three times a month, but I used products that were light and smelled pretty good. My scarfs and pillows always smelled good and if not it was time for a wash. I will say that when I went to the club, I usually didnt wash out that cigarette/ sweat/ club smell which in retrospect was gross and prob smelled real bad.

    And sadly, I anticipated the freshed permed chemical smell after a perm. I knew my hair was freshed straightened and lookin' good and the chemical smell confirmed it. :thumbdown: Things change though cause I prob couldnt stand it now.


    But bad hair smell not only a permed thing. I have a natural friend who hasnt gotten hip to how to take care of her hair (and you cant tell her nothing so...). She still only washes her hair like once a month or so bc she keeps it braided for at least that long. Its not a chemical smell, but just an off dirty smell. IDK how to describe it well.
  • NaturalReviewNaturalReview Posts: 91Registered Users
    This is so true. When my hair was relaxed it often had a burnt smell. Also, it seems like the products I used made smells linger in my hair. Now I get lots of compliments on the smell of my hair. People will ask what kind of perfume I'm wearing.


    www.naturalreviewbyl.com
  • BronzeyBronzey Posts: 42Registered Users
    adthomas wrote: »
    When I was relaxed I washed my hair once a week. Sometimes twice a week. I had bad dandruff and so long stretches of not washing wasn't an option. Now that I'm natural, I rarely have dandruff problems.
    One my cousins would go months without washing her hair. It smelled so like sour milk.

    OMG!!! My Black friend told me a while ago that White people say Black people smell like sour milk! I couldn't figure out why because I didn't think I smelled that way. But maybe it's the products??? Maybe they think that's our natural smell!!!
  • Ms. MartinaMs. Martina Posts: 12Registered Users
    Hello ladies! I'm new, but figured I would chime in...lol.

    I was just thinking about this yesterday actually! I'm currently transitioning to natural, and I have been using products that actually smell good for most of my relaxed and transitioning experience. I have a few "test patches" that are now entirely relaxer free and I tried organic root stimulator foam on them the other day. The foam was perfect! It worked better than eco styler, mixed chicks, or anything else on my "test patches."

    There's only one problem...it smells very strong. It's not a bad/funky/musty smell...just a very chemical type smell. I love what it did for my natural areas, but I don't care to walk around everyday with that "fresh out the beauty shop" chemical smell. If the scent were toned down, it would be awesome!

    Sadly, I think many products geared toward black women have a strong chemical odor:sad1:. Does anyone know of a mousse/foam that smells nice and has hold AND shine???
    Follow my journey back to long hair on Youtube!
    Last Relaxer: June 7, 2010 | Big Chopped: April 1st, 2011
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  • LadyV69LadyV69 Posts: 3,397Registered Users
    I haven't used mousse since I went fully natural. Mousses tend to have alcohol in them, which can dry out your hair.
    Fine haired, low density, highly porous curly kinky lady
    Last relaxer: Not sure. 3/08 or 4/08
    BC'd: 9/18/09
    Co-wash: Suave Naturals, HEHH, Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle, CJ Daily Fix
    Leave-In: KCKT, Giovanni Direct Leave-In, CJ Smoothing Lotion
    Stylers: ORS Twist and Loc Gel, KCCC, Ecostyler, SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque
    Deep Conditioner: DevaCurl Heaven In Hair, CJ Deep Fix

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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    LadyV69 wrote: »
    I haven't used mousse since I went fully natural. Mousses tend to have alcohol in them, which can dry out your hair.

    this.

    i have a sensitive nose when it comes to hair products. things that are too strong literally give me a headache or a nose ache. i used mild smelling products when i was relaxed i also washed my hair fairly frequently too.

    i think my experience as a natural has been opposite most because i HATE the way most products smell-- way too strong for my liking. i don't want to smell like an entire bouquet of flowers or like there is pastry shop nestled in my hair!
  • Ms. MartinaMs. Martina Posts: 12Registered Users
    Would it be any healthier if I used a foam/mousse and then applied oil? I have always tried to avoid alcohol which is why I never use gel or spritz. Well, I just bought the eco styler gel recently bc everyone raved about it being alcohol free, but I'm not sure if I like the results bc it flakes. The mixed chicks makes my curls look dry and ashy also. So far, the foam has been the only thing that has worked for me. I noticed that it had alcohol in it, and that does worry me. Are there foams that don't contain alcohol?
    Follow my journey back to long hair on Youtube!
    Last Relaxer: June 7, 2010 | Big Chopped: April 1st, 2011
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  • LiyahLiyah Posts: 118Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    LadyV69 wrote: »
    I haven't used mousse since I went fully natural. Mousses tend to have alcohol in them, which can dry out your hair.

    this.

    i have a sensitive nose when it comes to hair products. things that are too strong literally give me a headache or a nose ache. i used mild smelling products when i was relaxed i also washed my hair fairly frequently too.

    i think my experience as a natural has been opposite most because i HATE the way most products smell-- way too strong for my liking. i don't want to smell like an entire bouquet of flowers or like there is pastry shop nestled in my hair!

    This.

    I don't want to smell like a bakery! All them different smells can be too much! You got hair smell, lotion, perfume and all that...ugh.:pukeleft:
  • honeybrown1976honeybrown1976 Posts: 84Registered Users
    Yeah, unfortunately, it's par for the course. When I relaxed (I'm now transitioning), I washed my hair every two weeks or whenever I went to the salon. Yes, I paid someone to wash my hair. How sad was that? So, my hair wasn't funky; but, it didn't smell fresh and clean as it does now.
    HGs: Oyin Handmade Hair Dew; EVOO; Coconut Oil; Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment

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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users
    Maybe it's just me, but even when I was relaxed the longest I could go without washing was two weeks and I just felt dirty going that long (I'm slightly OCD and a germophobe). Usualy I washed at least once a week....in the summer when it was baking in florida, twice a week.
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  • MixedUpCurlyChickMixedUpCurlyChick Posts: 2,568Registered Users
    LadyV69 wrote: »
    Do the makers of those products think black women are generally unkempt and won't mind the smell?

    I believe so...there's a huge misconception about black women and hygiene...we've talked this to death on here but you know the story "black women don't wash their hair."

    Sadly, I think many products geared toward black women have a strong chemical odor:sad1:. Does anyone know of a mousse/foam that smells nice and has hold AND shine???

    Kiss My face makes a mousse...I don't use mousse but I'd be surprised if it has alcohol...their gel doesn't. I use the gel regularly.
    Would it be any healthier if I used a foam/mousse and then applied oil? I have always tried to avoid alcohol which is why I never use gel or spritz. Well, I just bought the eco styler gel recently bc everyone raved about it being alcohol free, but I'm not sure if I like the results bc it flakes. The mixed chicks makes my curls look dry and ashy also. So far, the foam has been the only thing that has worked for me. I noticed that it had alcohol in it, and that does worry me. Are there foams that don't contain alcohol?

    If it has drying alcohol, I'd just skip it. I don't think the oil would compensate for the dryness. There are tons of gels w/out alcohol though...

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/4a/114989-natural-gels.html
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  • D_MarieD_Marie Posts: 150Registered Users
    I used to go weeks without washing my hair too and I either flat ironed or curled my hair every day. I had tons of scalp issues. But since going natural I co wash and wash several times a week and haven't had a problem since.

    Kinda OT but kinda not... I have a friend that wont date a woman unless her hair smells good.
    www.instagram.com/enliytenme
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  • itsKelCeeEeeitsKelCeeEee Posts: 1,084Registered Users
    I'm in no way making generalizations, but I do know of way more white people who have mentioned not showering on the regular than I do black folk, so the whole "black people/hygiene" thing is stupid. That generalization can go either way.

    Secondly, my relaxed hair smelled less-than-pleasant too, and for some reason it was a lot harder for me to wash than it is for me to wash my natural hair now. I do know of some relaxed ladies who keep their hair hooked UP though; it always smells nice, regardless of when they had their last relaxer. Typically though, that isn't the case. I guess like everything else, it just depends.
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  • sweetmx85sweetmx85 Posts: 1,017Registered Users
    Ive noticed the relaxer smell. I'm super picky about smells when it comes to products.
    My fave smelling hair stuff is sheamoisture shea butter leave in, hairveda whipped clouds ( thats an all time fave scent) KCCC, and oyins juices and berries. That stuff makes me want to drink it. oh and Devacurl one condish. I always get scared with ordering stuff like kbb where you can pick scents because I never know if Ill like it or not. I bought jessicurl wdt in the offered scent and I cant stand it. I had the scentless one before.
    Im def self concious of how my hair smells if Im going to be close to people
    The relaxer smell, or burnt hair and grease smell is horrible.
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