View Full Version : Hair absorbing strong smells?

May 26th, 2011, 06:30 PM
This is kinda gross, but there's this Mexican restaurant by my house that I go to relatively frequently- and every time I get home, my hair REEKS of the food! It's disgusting. Tonight I went there, and tried a light oiling and bunning my hair...no luck. :(
If I'm ever around cigarette or cigar smoke, my hair absorbs that as well. I'm not a smoker myself, but even sitting near someone smoking outside, my hair will catch the scent.
I wonder if my hair is just very porous and absorbent, or if anyone else has had a similar experience? Any ways to avoid smelling like a cigarette or a fajita? :shake:

May 26th, 2011, 06:31 PM
I get the same thing, my hair isn't all that porous. The only way I've been able to fix it is wash my hair, but when you've just gone out with freshly washed hair, it's a right pain in the backside. :(

May 26th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Hair and skin can both totally absorb scents! When I was in the UK on study abroad, I'd go out drinking with my housemates, and I'd come home reeking of smoke - not just my clothing, but my hair and skin, too.

I've never found an effective way of preventing it, just shower and wash everything afterwards.


May 26th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Same thing happens to me, all I need is a friendly smoker puffing near me, and my hair will smell like an ashtray for the rest of the day :puke:
I wouldn't say it's a porosity thing, though, for the better or worse, hair is just good at absorbing smells. Ever tried to put a drop of jasmine EO on your hair? The smell lasts for days :D

May 26th, 2011, 07:51 PM
DH's ex-wife has always had dry, thin hair that absorbs smells a lot. Mine does, too, but not as much; mine is also thin and fine, and maybe dryish? But mine is also thicker than hers, so maybe that has something to do with why mine doesn't do it as much? I really don't know why this happens only to some people. I doubt color has much to do with it, but she's a blonde and I'm a brunette. She also highlights her hair and mine is virgin... so maybe dye has something to do with it, too. I dunno! I'd love to know the answer so I can do something about it.

May 26th, 2011, 07:55 PM
I second strong (but good) smelling essential oils- like rosemary oil. You could also spray a little perfume in your hair to make it smell a little less Mexican ;).

May 26th, 2011, 08:07 PM
When I used to work in a nightclub, way before the smoking in public was outlawed, I had to take a shower as soon as I got home even if it was at 4am because my hair smelled so much like smoke. It was just disgusting!! I don't even smoke and nobody from the stuff smoked either. It was just from what was in the air.
Can't say I found anything that worked well to combat the intake of smell. Putting it up in a tight bun would make it smell less, but it still smelled.

May 26th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Washing seems like the only way to fix it! I'll have to try using an essential oil, I wouldn't mind my hair absorbing something that smells good :)

Annibelle- My hair is pretty thick and has never been dyed, so I don't know if those are factors or not. Either way, it's gross, and unpleasant!

pepperminttea- Couldn't have said it better myself. It definitely is "a right pain in the backside"!

May 27th, 2011, 12:05 AM
I use a spray made by Tresseme for refreshing the hair between washes. It has a fresh, citrus scent and it works very well. Just lightly spray all over. It does have cones, however. They also make some waterless shampoos.

May 27th, 2011, 12:16 AM
I recognise the feeling.. I'm a vegetarian but my DBF eats meat. When he fries bacon I can feel the smell in my hair for days, yuk!

May 27th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do - I always avoid eating at certain restaurants before parties for this very reason!

May 27th, 2011, 09:56 AM
You could try putting your hair up in a bun, then covering it completely with a cute head scarf or cap (with hair completely tucked in) . Also, dry shampoo (like Salon Grafix - I think also Tresemme makes one, and there are a few other brands out there) really do a good job of deodorizing hair)

May 27th, 2011, 10:04 AM
The same thing happens to me every time I'm around smokers or cooking food, but I unfortunately haven't found a way to prevent it yet. I just try to keep it up in a ponytail or a bun and wash it as soon as I can.

May 27th, 2011, 10:09 AM
My hair absorbs smoke too, DH gets quite mad as thinks I've been smoking (am non-smoker now, he forced me to quit). Sprays help as temporary relief but washing is only effective way to rid hair of it. If head scarf trick works, let me know

May 27th, 2011, 10:15 AM
That sucks! I get the same way when I go to my mom's house, she cooks with the doors/windows closed, so I rap my hair in a scarf until she finishes and the smell is gone, it keeps my hair smelling ok. :D

May 27th, 2011, 10:20 AM
UGH, my hair does the same thing! And yet, I have a good friend whose hair doesn't absorb ANY smells - she's worked in restaurants for decades, and her hair just doesn't absorb smells. I'm SO jealous!! The only thing I've found that gets the stinky outta my hair is washing - but I do CO, so I don't worry as much if I have to do it more frequently. Do you CO? If not, maybe you could get a cone-less conditioner to do CO on just the days that you go to that restaurant?

May 27th, 2011, 10:21 AM
My hair doesn't absorb food odors or cigarette smoke for that matter... but if I'm ever near a fire pit/ bonfire my hair always REEKS the next day. I usually try to go to those sort of events with at least 2nd day hair so I can easily wash the next day or that night.(Depending on how late I get home!)

For milder odors I'd use a dry shampoo... I got one from Sauve at Walmart for $3. It smells great! I found it works best to use it in short bursts, rather than a continuous stream. (It's a white can with greenish/yellowish writing and top, next to the Suave stuff! ;))

May 27th, 2011, 03:56 PM
Before smoking was banned in clubs and bars I would usually come home after a night out with my hair reeking of cigarettes. My husband would always gently try to persuade me to wash it before bed (not what you want to be doing at 2am when you're exhausted). I was very grateful when the ban happened!

I've never noticed my hair absorbing any other unpleasant smells though.

May 27th, 2011, 04:59 PM
I think this is pretty common. My hair absorbs some Indian food smell, but usually not too much. Smoke, however, sticks with me. Even if someone's barbecuing or something nearby, the smell will probably get in my hair. I second the suggestions of bunning with a covering of some sort.