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Why Your Hair Smells Bad and What You Can Do About It

Sweat is a common cause of smelly hair. If you are working out a lot and not washing your hair regularly, it can build up a sweat on the scalp.

Smelly hair syndrome involves a malodor that your scalp and hair produce due to a variety of bacterial and fungal growth.

It must be embarrassing to have a scalp with a foul odor.

People often compare the odor of smelly hair and scalp to sour milk, dirty socks, and sometimes stinky diapers. People can easily notice the pungent stench.

Normally, your hair has either no smell or smells like the fragrances in your hair care products – like the shampoo or conditioner you just used.

Run your fingers along your scalp a few times and then smell your fingertips. If you notice any unusual, bad, or pungent smell, you have a smelly scalp and hair.

The main reasons for a smelly scalp and hair are excess oil (sebum), yeast and dead skin cells on your scalp.

Here are some reasons why your hair smells bad:

Not Washing Enough

Not shampooing enough can build up oils (sebum) on your scalp and lead to a smell. If you have an oily scalp or super thin hair, consider washing your hair with a mild shampoo every two days to keep the sebum levels in check.

Sweaty Hair

Sweat is a common cause of smelly hair. If you are working out a lot and not washing your hair regularly, it can build up a sweat on the scalp.

Pollution

The pollutants in the air can get deposited on your scalp and cause odors. They mix up with the oils and sebum on your scalp to emit pungent smells.

Hormonal Imbalances And Stress

Stress can disrupt normal hormonal functions and can lead to excess oil production and scalp irritation.

Diet

The skin on your scalp too reacts to foods containing strong odors. Foods like onion and garlic contain oils that can be excreted via the skin on your scalp.

Wearing Hats/Scarfs For Too Long

This one’s tricky. While it is important to cover your hair with a hat or scarf while you are out in the sun and polluted environment, it can be bad too when you use it for a very long time.

Leaving your hat on your hair for prolonged periods can increase sweat on your scalp and hair, causing it to smell.

Hair Masks

We love pampering our hair with hair masks every now and then. Don’t we? But hair masks containing ingredients like onion or egg can leave a bad odor even after washing the hair.

Skin Conditions

Skin conditions like dandruff can sometimes lead to a smelly scalp and hair.

Dandruff is caused due to build up of dead skin cells that fall off as white flakes. An irritated scalp due to dandruff is a breeding ground for bacteria and hence, odor.

Washing Hair With Very Hot Water

Hot water strips off the natural oils from your hair and disturbs the oil balance. Once the oil is removed, it signals the skin to make more oil. And more oil means smelly scalp.

Chemical Hair Products

The residue from chemical hair care products mess with the oil balance in your scalp and result in an unpleasant odor.

Choose your shampoos, conditioners, serums and masks that contain gentle ingredients.

How to Get Rid of Smelly Hair

Hair Care Routine

Understand your hair to use hair care products that suit your hair type. Wash, condition, detangle, protect and style your hair.

Choose hair care ingredients that address your individual hair concerns, if any. Establish a hair washing schedule after knowing your hair type and scalp type.

Medicated Shampoos/Prescribed Hair Products

If yeast or bacteria is causing a smelly scalp or smelly hair, you should turn to anti-fungal hair care products.

Talk to your doctor about such products and incorporate them into your hair care routine.

You have degreasing shampoos, residue removing ones and sulfur or selenium sulfide shampoos for dandruff.

Natural Methods

Home remedies for smelly hair do not hold any scientific evidence, but people consider them to be effective. Here are some of your options:

Lemon Juice

The words lemon and fresh usually go hand in hand. Lemon is anti-microbial and leaves a fresh citrusy smell on your scalp. Mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with a cup of warm water. After hair wash, pour this mixture on your scalp and hair. Rinse well with cold water after a few minutes.

Essential Oils

Mix a few drops of essential oil like tea tree oil with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil and apply on your scalp and hair.

Leave on for 30 minutes and wash with a gentle shampoo. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial and leaves a pleasant smell on your scalp. You can try the same method with neem oil – another wonderful essential oil.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water. After thoroughly washing your hair, rinse your hair with this vinegar mix. It not only combats bacteria on your scalp but also gives a shiny appearance to your hair.

 

 

 

 

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Beauty

Natural Deodorant Hacks You Can Try At Home

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to smell good. Unless you’re particularly lucky and have no body odor, you might rely on deodorant to do so.

The good news: it doesn’t have to be the traditional stick. There are other options out there if you want to be intentional about what you put on your body.

If you want to opt out of some ingredients while still smelling sweet, natural deodorant might be the choice for you.

Alternative deodorant options

You might be able to find some of the ingredients below in your kitchen cabinet, and they make great alternatives to deodorant.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a versatile ingredient to keep in your cupboard. It’s a natural astringent and it’s anti-inflammatory, meaning that it removes excess moisture from the skin and kill bacteria.

It’s also a popular deodorant alternative because it doesn’t leave residue on the skin. Plus, it gets rid of odor fast.

The main downside to this method is that it wears off quickly and needs to be reapplied throughout the day.

How to use

Simply place witch hazel on a cotton swab or reusable cotton cloth and rub it on the underarm area.

Baking soda or cornstarch

These typical kitchen ingredients are used for more than just baking or cooking. They also make great natural hygiene products.

How to use

Mix 1/8 teaspoon with a little water and then rub it under your arms.

You can also use a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch to fight odor and perspiration. Mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch and dust the powder under your arms.

Lemon juice

When life gives you lemons, use it as deodorant?

You may be surprised to know that applying lemon juice to your armpits is a simple way to eliminate odor. Lemon juice is full of citric acid, which naturally gets rid of odor-causing bacteria.

How to use

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze out 1 teaspoon of juice. Dip a cotton ball and apply straight to your underarms. Keep the lemon in the fridge for an extra soothing effect.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a number of uses and benefits, such as being an alternative to deodorant.

How to use

Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of water. Use a cotton pad or reusable cloth to apply the mixture to your underarms.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is incredibly versatile for hair and skin needs. It’s also antibacterial and antiviral, meaning it can eliminate odor-causing bacteria in the underarm area.

How to use

Take 1/4 teaspoon of oil and rub it under your arms with a cotton cloth or your fingers. Let it dry completely before dressing, as oil can easily stain clothes.

Baking soda & coconut oil

Baking soda is one of the easiest ways to replace store-bought deodorants. It’s simple, effective, and inexpensive.

However, if you don’t want to use a straight powder deodorant, you can mix it with coconut oil. This will create a soft bar that can be applied daily.

How to use

Combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda and cornstarch each with 6 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place in the refrigerator to set and apply as needed.

Forgot your deodorant? Try these hacks

Hand sanitizer

If there’s one thing most of us carry around consistently these days, it’s hand sanitizer. Just squirt some onto each armpit to remove bacteria and get rid of smell.

Essential oils

Maybe you forgot to put on your deodorant before you left the house, but you happen to have some skin-safe essential oils in your bag.

No problem! Blend up your favorites and apply to your underarms. You can keep reapplying throughout the day as it wears off.

Aloe vera

Not only is aloe vera one of the hardest plants to kill, but it’s also incredibly useful.

Aloe has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which means it can get rid of odor-causing bacteria.

How to use

Break off a small piece of aloe vera from your plant and apply the gel directly to your armpits. You can also use pure aloe vera gel from a prepackaged bottle.

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Beauty

Dangers Of Organic Skin Care Products

Credit: Kimia Zarifi via Unsplash

Often times, we feel good about making the switch to organic skincare. This is because it seems to be a most logical thought since they are free of parabens, preservatives, and other skin-loving nutrient or so we think.

Most women who have solely transformed their skincare routine find that cystic acne, milia, and a variety of other skin disorders are the price they have to pay. But why is this the case?

Although we usually blame this as an allergic reaction, or simply due to the harsh nature of most skincare products, there is a bigger explanation on why this is happening so frequently.

Why do these reactions occur?

Statistics show that anything you put on your skin enters your blood stream within the first 20-30 seconds of contact. While we all can’t escape using products sans-preservatives or harmful chemicals, it is important to take note of your skin type, and which ingredients don’t agree with the skin you’re in.

The hidden reality with organic skincare is that they actually contain larger molecules which the skin finds difficult to break-down. As a result, they usually sit on top of the skin, and cause additional irritation, redness, and dry patches. These molecules are larger than usual because they contain no preservatives and don’t react the same way as other products.

How can you tell if a product is 100% organic?

A large amount of harmful ingredients are often concealed under different names.

Toxic synthetic chemicals are found in a number of natural products, and this could be the route of all your negative skincare reactions. Even the words ‘organic’, ‘natural’ and ‘all-natural’ don’t mean that your skincare products are free from harmful chemicals.

If you’re unsure of what an ingredient means, you can always look it up.

Invest in skincare which uses natural preservatives instead of harmful chemicals. These include hops oil and grapefruit seed oil which are both certified organic. These products are free from synthetic chemicals, and are substituted with a natural counterpart.

What are some harmful ingredients found in organic skincare?

Nanoparticles

The tiny particles are often found in natural sunscreens, lotions, moisturisers, and certain makeup products. Upon contact, there are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, and can cause long-term damage since they are mostly untested.

Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben)

These just a few different variations of common preservatives which are used to prolong the life of skincare and beauty products. While their safety is always at the centre of dispute, they are added in most products to subside the growth of bacteria, and keep products looking and feeling brand new.

Triclosan

Similar to the use of parabens, they are used mostly to act as an antibacterial agent in skincare cleansers and toning solutions. Despite being named as a probable human carcinogen, it is still widely used in the beauty and skincare community, although under a different term.

Which ingredients offer the best benefits for skin?

Anything with plant-based essential fatty acids (EFA’s) will be the best product on any skin type. Antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E are all natural and won’t give your skin any nasty side effects – ever! They are also antibacterial, and will keep any unnecessary dirt from seeping into your bloodstream.

 

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Beauty

Top Tomato Skincare Hacks You Can Try

You might already know that tomato is a superfood for many reasons.

It isn’t just great for your gut health but works wonders for your skin too.

They are loaded with vitamins A, C and K. Most of which you find in the beauty products that you use. These vitamins are very healthy for the skin.

Tomato has the kind of acidity that unclogs the pores of your skin and helps treat acne.

It can even be used to do away with free radicals that pollute healthy skin cells.

There is a lot more to what you can do with tomatoes for your skin and so, we’ve got you some DIY recipes to try on your skin.

Tomato face mask for acne

For this, you need 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp tomato pulp and 2-3 tbsp of oatmeal flour.

Now, whisk the tomato pulp and lemon juice all too well. Then, add the oatmeal flour slowly until you get a nice paste out of the mixture. Apply this mask on your face and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

This mask will help unclog pores and fade acne scars over the period of time. It even works well to combat pigmentation.

If you are dealing with sensitive skin, you need to patch test this mask before you use it on your face.

Tomato face mask for brightening skin

For this, you need 1 tbsp tomato pulp and 2 tsp Greek yogurt.

Mix both the ingredients nicely and leave no clumps. Apply this smooth paste on your face to cleanse and exfoliate your face skin for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water once you are done.

This mask will help in hydrating the skin and reducing the pigmentation appearance as well. Yogurt helps in hydrating the skin and gives you rather smooth and supple skin with time.

Tomato and papaya face mask for combination skin

For this, you need 8-10 cubes of papaya and tomato pulp.

Make a paste of the papaya cubes by blending them and then add equal amount of tomato pulp in it. Mix it well and apply it on your face.

Give it 15 minutes to do its job before you rinse it off with lukewarm water. This mask works great for blemishes and it even gives your skin the much needed glow.

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