6 Steps to Get Rid of Unwanted Scents In Your Hair

Ahhhh coffee! Not just for drinking.

Hello all!

I had a strong scent in my hair that I needed to get out as soon as possible. After numerous tries, I finally got it out. If you are in this situation, read on for an effective way to get that pesky smell or fragrance out of your hair.

The story

I got my hair done for the first time in 1.5 years. It took me a lot of courage to go there as I had been avoiding it due to the fear of getting re-infected with COVID-19.

Whenever I get my hair done, I always bring my fragrance free shampoo and conditioner due to my husband’s severe allergy to fragrances. Unfortunately, my hair stylist accidentally used her scented shampoo instead of mine.

Even though she washed it out and used my conditioner, I was left with a strong fragrance in my hair. Ugh!

When I got home my husband had an immediate reaction to my the fragrance. This meant that he had to turn on all of the air filters/fans, take hits off of his inhaler, put on a mask, open some windows etc. He was not happy and rightfully so.

I tried so many things

I ended up having to wash my hair numerous times with my regular shampoo and conditioner to no avail. Then I washed it with dish detergent which only left my hair super dry with the fragrance still in it.

After just washing my hair did not work, I decided to soak it in vinegar. This did not work either despite doing it a few times.

I also tried putting rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, essential oils, green tea, black tea, rooibos tea, an herbal infusion and tomato juice (not even kidding) on my hair. Every time I thought the fragrance had gone away….bam! It came right back.

Absolutely ridiculous!

Luckily, I found something that worked. It just took way longer than I ever expected it would.

The key ingredients and why

After looking up more stuff to try, I came across ground coffee and lemon juice as an option. I had already tried using tea and I don’t know why I didn’t think to use coffee!

Not only was I hoping that they would work for my hair, I was also intrigued by their benefits. They are as follows:

Coffee- Ever seen coffee beans set out by perfume samples? That is because it is said to neutralize smells. This makes it an option to get rid of smells in your hair. It also may help with hair growth, clean the scalp, possibly darken greys and strengthen the strands.

Lemon juice- This is acidic stuff! That makes it great for possibly lightening hair, neutralizing smells and removing product build-up. Lemon juice may make your hair dry and brittle so it is important to moisturize after using it.

I also wanted to give vinegar one more chance so I decided to use it again with these two ingredients.

The six step process

Before I provide you with the process, I wanted to preface that it may seem time consuming to you. If your hair is like mine then smells are really hard to get out. Because of this, you may need to carve out the time to do it.

The following are some notes about this process:

The apple cider vinegar spray-

Vinegar is known to help neutralize odors. The spray goes onto your hair first because it does that and dampens the hair at the same time.

It is good to have damp hair before you put the mask on so it really soaks it in.

To create the mask portion-

The coffee, lemon juice and full-fat mayonnaise are to be all whipped together for the mask. The mayonnaise is added in because it provides some extra benefits such as moisturization and extra strand strengthening power.

You can eyeball this to get it to the consistency and the amount you need for your particular hair. Do not use too much vinegar and lemon juice though because they are pretty harsh.

It needs to be left on for at least 30 minutes to get to work on the smell. Rinse it out well before shampooing and conditioning.

cleansing and conditioning-

It is a good idea to use a mild shampoo after rinsing out the mask because the lemon juice and vinegar are harsh enough. You don’t want to make your hair brittle.

If you have peppermint essential oil on hand, you could put some of your conditioner in a cup and mix it with a few drops of oil. This mix could provide further deodorizing power when you wash your hair.

The lemon juice hair rinse-

This provides some extra neutralizing help. Just dump it on your hair and work it in. This may leave your hair really dry so follow up with some oil, hair lotion or whatever you want for moisturizing after this step.


  • 1-2 tbsp. of ground coffee
  • 2 squirts of lemon juice (for mask) and 2 tsps. for the rinse
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of full-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Oil for moisturizing (optional)

The steps to take-

  1. Mix 1 cup of water with 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray thoroughly on hair.
  2. In a bowl mix the ground coffee, 2 squirts of lemon juice and mayonnaise together. Apply to hair and massage it in.
  3. Wrap up your hair (I put a plastic bag on my head and then wrapped a large t-shirt over it) and leave in for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Before you are about to get in the shower, make your lemon juice rinse. Do this by mixing 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a regular cup, bowl, measuring cup- whatever you want. Put it by the shower so you can easily grab it.
  5. Rinse the mask off in the shower, thoroughly. Then shampoo and condition your hair as normal.
  6. Grab the lemon juice rinse and dump on your hair. Massage it into the scalp and strands. Leave on for about three minutes and then rinse out thoroughly. Follow up with a moisturizer if necessary.

In conclusion

Strong smells and fragrances can be extremely hard to get out of hair. I really hope that the six step process helps you even just a little bit.

Have you ever gotten a strong smell or fragrance in your hair that you had a hard time getting out? If so, let me know how you got it out!

Thanks for reading!

If you are interested, here is a link for a fabulous webpage that provides different hair masks using coffee: https://www.bebeautiful.in/all-things-hair/everyday/coffee-hair-masks-for-healthy-hair

#coffee #acv #lemons #smells #scents #fragrances #haircare #chemicals


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