Burning Smell when Using a Curling Iron

Curling iron
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Q: My name is Hope. I have been getting curled perms for about 5 years and then I decided to go straight. My hairstylist put a straightening perm on top of a curl perm too soon and whenever I used a curling iron my hair would have a bad burning smell.
I went to another hair stylist, and she decided to have me go with just curling my hair with curlers so my hair could grow out and cut all the bad hair off so we could try a straightening perm again using a curling iron to see if I get the same results. Well, I did with new hair.
Is there something I can do? Use some kind of solution to take the burning smell out. We have tried using {brand name omitted} spray and {brand name omitted} sheen spray, even {brand name omitted - fabric and fiber deodorizer}. All of these things just made it smell worse. Can you help?

A: Okay, the first thing I want you to do is stop burning your hair. Period. If you smell something burning when you use the curling iron on your hair it is TOO HOT for your hair. Either that or you are using the curling iron with an oily product or when the hair is insufficiently dried. Whatever the cause, you are damaging your hair.
Often, when the hair is chemically treated, it becomes more porous and prone to further damage from heat styling. It also requires lower temperature settings in order to avoid burning. You need to be using a curling iron with an adjustable temperature setting and turn down the temperature.
You also need to make sure that your curling iron is clean. Product residue can build up over time and can cause the burning smells and create hot spots on an iron. This can lead to burning hair and discoloration of the hair when the iron is used.
If you are trying to straighten your hair, then I recommend getting a flat iron for this purpose Again, you should get one that has an adjustable temperature setting. The flat iron is meant to have locks of the hair pressed and passed between the heating plates in smooth even passes. Please review the articles we have here on using thermal styling appliances, for more safety precautions and tips to get the best results for your hair.
To help remove the odor of burned or singed hair from your hair, I can suggest you try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with your favorite shampoo and massaging it into lather on the hair. Leave it in place for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse and condition the hair as normal. This should help to absorb the unpleasant odor from the hair.
See also:
Heat styling basics
Flat iron styling
Will hair that got burned close to the scalp grow back?
How dangerous are flat irons?
What is that burned smell when I wash my hair?