Hair with a Sweaty Smell

Woman who is smelling her own hair
Photo: 2p2play/Shutterstock
Q: I am an avid athlete and work out almost every day. I live in Hawaii, so it's usually warm and I work up a good sweat. My hair is shoulder length, and thick.
The problem is, I wash it each day, but since I sweat a lot, I can't seem to get that "fresh shampoo" smell. My hair keeps that sweaty smell from working out and perspiring, even though I wash it twice. What can I do to get my hair to smell nice again?

A: Try beginning your hair cleansing routine by rinsing your hair in a solution of water and baking soda. Then proceed with your shower and let the baking soda do its job of absorbing odors. After 5-10 minutes, proceed to shampoo and condition as normal.
You may also not be giving the products you are using the proper amount of working time. The shampoos and conditioners are generally preferred to be applied, lathered (or worked through to the ends) and allowed to remain on the hair for a short period of time (3-5 minutes). This is particularly true with medicated shampoos, and those for intense moisture or cleansing treatments. Most people, especially when dealing with shampoo, forget this and simply do and lather and rinse.
Try adjusting your timing with your hair care products first, then proceed to the baking soda rinse if that doesn't offer an improvement.
As a last option, get a clarifying shampoo from your local beauty supply shop and use it once each week. It will make sure that your hair stays free of residues and films that might have built up and could be holding in odor producing agents from your workouts.
See also:
For how long should I keep shampoo on my hair?
What is better to wash your hair with? Cold or warm water?
Can daily shampooing dry hair out?