How to Get rid of Hair Dye Smell | 7 Different Methods [Step by Step]

The hair dye smell is one disaster that we often forget while selecting the color or developer. Most often we realize it when the damage is caused and the smell gets unbearable for some time.

Ammonia is the main reason why we feel the hair smell after hair dyeing. Thankfully, we have ample choices in hair dyes that are natural and chemical-free to avoid this mishap.

Although most hair dyes contain some chemicals that will leave a smell in your hair and scalp, it is not a permanent thing.

You may opt for hair dyes that leave back a bearable smell over stronger hair dyes. The most important thing to check is whether the smell increases even after hair wash. If yes, you may need to see a dermatologist to make sure nothing is harmful.

Few Shampoos and Cleansers for Smelly Colored Hair

If you are in hurry and looking for good shampoos and cleansers for smelly dyed hair, you can try the below products:

  1. BC Bonacure COLOR FREEZE Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  2. COLOR WOW Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner

Odor-Free Hair Dyes

If you are looking for Odor-free hair dye colors, please check the below recommendations.

  1. Garnier Olia Ammonia-Free Brilliant Color Oil-Rich Permanent Hair Color
  2. Loreal Inoa Ammonia Free Permanent Haircolor

Other reasons for scalp smell after Dye

Apart from the Ammonia or hydrogen peroxide-based hair dyes, there are other factors/reasons too for the smelly scalp. Oily skin people usually have an oily scalp. The bacterial activities settled in oily scalp makes it smell bad compared to a normal scalp.

Few more reasons for scalp smell are hormonal changes, dandruff, allergic reactions, dermatitis, sweating, lack of nutrition, lack of nourishment, and poor health.

Why does hair dye smell so bad?

As we now know that it is the ammonia that leaves an unpleasant smell on the hair and scalp after hair dyes. If you know chemistry well, it would be easy to guess that ammonia is alkaline and thus we need an acidic substance that can help remove the odor post-dyeing.

To deal with other factors related to scalp odor, you may need to wash your hair twice or thrice a week. It helps to secrete the oil keeping the scalp fresh.

You must also avoid going under the sun and pollution too much. To some sensitive people, it may even give them feelings of nausea, vomiting, dehydration, etc.    

How long does it take for the unpleasant hair dye smell to vanish?

Generally, it takes 2 days at least for the hair dye smell to fade away. In some cases, it may last for up to one to two weeks.

7 Different ways to get rid of hair dye smell:

There are several ways to get rid of hair due to smell however, we recommend that you try home remedies that are safe and won’t cause further damage to the hair. These remedies also ensure that your hair color doesn’t get affected.

Before you begin with the remedies, you must wait after coloring for at least 72 hours before you wash your hair. If you still feel impatient to wash your hair, use a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos do not need water and are simple to use.

1. Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar (BSAV Remedy)

What do you need?

Step by Step Process:

  1. Mix baking soda with warm water enough to form a paste.
  2. Start applying the baking soda to the ends of your hair and the roots.
  3. Gently massage for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Now, mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of warm or tap water.
  5. Rinse the baking soda with the apple cider and water mixture.
  6. Leave the rinse for at least 30 minutes.
  7. You may now rinse your hair with a good amount of warm water. Notice the unpleasant hair dye smell fading away.

2. The Tomato Juice Remedy

What do you need?

  • Tomato juice of 2 tomatoes

Step by Step Process:

  1. Tomatoes are acidic and thus their juice help to combat the alkaline nature of chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. Make tomato juice in a blender.
  2. Wash your hair or wet it with water.
  3. On damp hair, apply the juice on the scalp and hair properly.
  4. Massage the scalp and hair with your fingers gently so that the color doesn’t get affected.
  5. Wrap a used towel or a shower cap and leave the tomato juice for 30 minutes on your scalp.
  6. Rinse your hair and wash the hair with a good fragrance shampoo that has natural oils, fruits, and flowers.

3. Tea Tree Oils Remedy

What do you need?

  • Tea tree oil: 6 drops
  • Almond oil: one to two tbsps.

Step by Step Process:

  1. Mix both the ingredients in the measurement as specified.
  2. Apply this mixture to your scalp and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your hair with normal water.

4. Neel Oil Remedy

What do you need?

  • Neem oil: 5 to 6 drops
  • Carrier oil (base oil): Coconut or Jojoba oil

Step by Step Process:

  1. Mix the ingredients as per the measurements stated above.
  2. Apply it gently on the scalp going down to your hair.
  3. Let it settle for at least 30 minutes
  4. Wash or rinse with warm water.
  5. Avoid scrubbing the scalp or it will hamper the color of the hair that you dyed.

5. Lemon Juice Remedy

What do you need?

  • Lemons: 2 tbsps. of lemon juice
  • Warm water: 1 to 2 cups

Step by Step Process:

  1. Mix both ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Wash your hair first with a mild cleanser.
  3. Gently rinse the lemon juice and water mixture on the scalp.
  4. Leave the mixture on the hair for few minutes
  5. Rinse again with plain tap water.
  6. If the smell doesn’t seem to go away and is fading, then repeat this process twice a week.

6. Garlic Oil Remedy

What do you need?

  • Garlic Cloves: 4 to 5 pieces
  • Coconut Oil: 2 tbsps

Step by Step Process:

  1. Chop or crush the garlic cloves nicely.
  2. In a pan, put the coconut oil and heat the crushed garlic cloves for two to three minutes.
  3. Strain the oil mixture and separate the oil from it.
  4. Apply the oil to your scalp going down to your hair like how you gently massage.
  5. Let the mixture settle for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse with a mild cleanser and water.
  7. Follow the process at least two times a week to get rid of any smell from your scalp and hair.

7. Sulfur Shampoo Therapy

What do you need?

  • Shampoo
  • Tap or Warm Water

Step by Step Process:

Shampoos that contain sulfur help to get rid of any bad odor from hair and scalp. Such shampoos with a combination of sulfur also help in combating bacteria and other strong chemicals settled on your scalp.

  1. Apply it gently on the scalp.
  2. Leave for 3 minutes.
  3. Rinse with normal or warm water.

Precautions to avoid hair dye smell:

Other than dyes, there are various other factors responsible for smelly scalp and hair. These will help you to stay away from bad odors after hair dyeing.

  1. Let your hair expert know of this issue so that they can recommend some good shampoos or cleansers.
  2. Follow a good hair care routine after the hair dye process. Wash, nourish, and condition your hair as instructed by your hair expert.
  3. Use medicated or mild shampoos that are meant for colored or dyed hair.
  4. Try any of the above natural remedies.
  5. Avoid alcohol for a few days after coloring your hair.
  6. Use shampoos that are free from sulfate. These can cause further irritation to your scalp.
  7. Follow a good diet.

Recommended shampoos and cleansers for smelly dyed hair

Shampoos that help to rinse hair and are safe on smelly hair. These have mild fragrances. Below are few recommended shampoos for smelly hair.

  1. COLOR WOW Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner Duo Set
  2. BC Bonacure COLOR FREEZE Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  3. Moroccan Argan Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Recommended hair dyes that are odor-free:

1. Garnier Olia Ammonia-Free Brilliant Color Oil-Rich Permanent Hair Color

  • No harsh chemicals like ammonia were used and thus no smell post application
  • Visibly healthy-looking hair
  • Natural hair color

2. Loreal Inoa Ammonia Free Permanent Haircolor

  • Permanent hair color that is free from ammonia
  • Gives 100% coverage to grey hair
  • Get up to 6 weeks of hydration and nutrition

3. Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent

  • Radiant healthy looks
  • 80% of the ingredients are natural
  • Perfect for all types of scalp types and hair textures

Final Words:

Frequent hair care and nourishment will help you to prevent the scalp from a bad smell. If the problem persists despite trying to above measures, it would be wise to visit a hair expert or dermatologist.