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I have a 8yr old with smelly hair. How do I get rid of it?

My dd has smelly hair. I thought it was b/c she wasn't getting it clean. I helped her clean it and it still is holding this smell and smell very bad by evening (am shower). I am at a loss as to how to get rid of the smell and why she has it. bw she is caucasian. Any help? Suggestions?


Asked by clutterbug2008 at 6:13 PM on Jan. 18, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (9)
  • Interesting, I have had a similar situation with my dd who is 6. She showers at night and goes to sleep with damp hair. I have been finding lately the next morning it will smell and I think it is because she sweats at night and combined with the damp hair it leaves it smelling funny (musty?). I am thinking I should either dry it fully at night which I have avoided because her hair is very thick and this means adding one more step to the night process or having her shower in the morning and drying it then. She washes with different shampoos (Suave is one of them) so it would be hard to determine if it is a clash with her chemical makeup. I would be interested in hearing what ended up working for you clutterbug (great name btw).

    Answer by MarieMuth at 1:02 PM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • Could it possibly be a mild case of psoriasis or something.... my oldest has psoriasis and I had the same problem with his hair. Not that he's older it's better, and his psoriasis was never bad enough for medication (at least the dermo didn't think so)...... anyway, I used a T-gel on his hair once per week and the rest of the time... straight baby shampoo.... but I massaged his scalp good while I washed. Then I went for the conditioner (mildest I could find) but he needed the moisture on his hair and scalp.

    Answer by PaceMyself at 6:16 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • * Sorry.....meant to say.. NOW that he's older.

    Answer by PaceMyself at 6:17 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • Maybe the kind of shampoo you're using isn't doing the job. Try switching brands and see if that helps.

    Maybe the scent of the shampoo doesn't work with her chemical makeup. You know how the same perfume can smell different on different people, maybe that's what's happening with her.

    Could it be from the hats she's wearing? Her hair brush is old or needs to be cleaned out? Her bedding?

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 6:32 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • Get some scented shampoo - Suave is cheap but it works great for us.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:01 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • also make sure her hair is totally dry b/f sleeping and/or putting it up.
    i'd agree with checking her scalp, talking to dr.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 7:42 PM on Jan. 18, 2009

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I never thought about her chemical makeup. Does anyone thing maybe a vinegar rinse might help? I do think I will try changing the shampoo, also. Along with changing her sheets and such. ANYTHING to get rid of the smell! :0)

    Answer by clutterbug2008 at 11:29 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • To get any smell out of the sheets etc you can just add baking soda to the wash. It works on urine

    If she has a dry or flaky scalp don't use products with fragrance as it can burn the scalp. You are better off with a shampoo with Tea Tree oil that will help mend the scalp.

    The T-Gel shampoo does work well for dermatitis on the scalp but it is pretty harsh and I wouldn't use it on a child unless I absolutely had to.

    Answer by AussieMum2 at 5:02 PM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • OK, I washed her hair last night with a mix of vinegar (1 cup) and water (1 cup). Actually, she washed her hair then I put the vinegar mix on it. Let me tell you she was not real happy with me. It smells horrible. Anyways, I digress. Then I rinsed it out. No conditioner. After her shower I couldn't smell it anymore. But then again all I could smell is vinegar. LOL! BTW the vinegar smell does go away quickly. I let it air dry for awhile, then had her use the blowdryer on the rest. (So she wouldn't go to bed with it even a little damp!) As I was getting her ready for bed I checked her pillows, ugh! Smell horrible! New pillows tonight. So far so good! This AM was no smell! Next is changing the shampoo. Thanks for the info, I have some great ideas to work with!

    Answer by clutterbug2008 at 12:43 PM on Jan. 22, 2009