why does my hair smell like mildew
Our scalp is skin but it is some of the thickest skin on our bodies and it carries more blood than the rest of our body. It also contains sebaceous glands that produce sebum and that sebum protects the hair. Now, we worry about keeping our hair clean but we also have to keep our scalp clean, and according to the, there are even forms of hair loss attributed to scalp health. P
A problem some curly, coily, locked, and wavy girls may face is mildew or fungus. Mildew is a surface fungus often gray or white in color and often found in damp or moist areas. It gives off a musty smell and it can be found in your house, on fabrics, and yes, even your hair and scalp. This often occurs in hair and scalp when wet hair is left unable to dry for extended periods of time. The moisture that gets trapped in the hair can breed mildew and hairstyles more prone to this would be buns, ponytails, updos, or even locs although people who sweat heavily in their hair may also suffer from this. The air needed to dry the hair properly is not able to get through to the wet hair and often they notice something is wrong by the musty smell. Since this is an issue for a professional I tapped on the shoulder of American Board Certified Haircolorist and hairstylist Pfor some assistance. Mona advises to avoid scalp mildew by completely drying your hair after shampooing, wetting, or sweating. People who have very thick hair or sweat excessively in the scalp have to take special precautions to fully cleanse and dry their hair. It is more reliable to apply heat to dry very thick hair than to allow hair to dry overnight. If you sweat excessively on your scalp, consider cleansing your scalp with an astringent such as Sea Breeze. Sea Breeze removes dirt, certain types of dandruff, and oil from the scalp and skin without the worry of over drying (the scalp).
Simply spray it on the scalp and rinse. This is also a great way to cleanse the scalp if you have braids, locs, or sewn-in hair extensions. This method helps those who have a difficult time getting all the way to the scalp during a shampoo or those who don't fully rinse the product from their hair. Other natural scalp cleansers include apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Clarifying shampoos or medicated shampoos may need to be used to ensure all the mildew is gone, but proper drying of the hair and scalp is essential to fixing it. Here is a common DIY remedy for this problem. 2 Tbsp. tea tree oil or 20 drops grapefruit oil Mix in a spray bottle and spay the solution throughout your hair and scalp, especially where the mildew is concentrated. Leave it on for 20 to 30 min. and then shampoo your hair. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo may also help and I used that when I was suffering from dandruff and it worked like a charm. Look, this is an ugly topic but a real one and if you find yourself suffering from mildewed hair and scalp, then fix the problem by allowing your hair to dry properly. Knowledge is power! Have you suffered from mildew hair or scalp? What did you do to get rid of it? Updated 6/17/2014:: How to Prevent Mildew and Mold Yes, this is a real issue. You wont believe how many people suffer with the funky smell of mildewed/molded hair. The remedies that are found online may only work for people with a straighter curl pattern as opposed to those that have curlier patterns. P As a professional stylist, when I was fresh in the game, I dealt with two clients that had mildewed hair. One had locs and the other had natural hair. With the locs I tried everything listed online from vinegar, to tea tree oil to Listerine and everything in between and absolutely NOTHING WORKED. After several treatments their hair still had a sour smell. (I was baffled) Eventually my client decided to go with a blade-to-blade treatment that ended the sour smell (as he reported back to me) and our client stylist relationship.
Now with that Im Just going to be completely honest with this concern of some. P Its a foul odor that offends yourself and others. NEVER ALLOW your hair to become a breeding ground for mildew/mold, because you can silence the smell for a few days but it will come back. Cause of Mold and Mildew in Hair Mold spores are naturally found in the air and they are invisible to the naked eye. Dark damp places are havens for these spores. Mildew comes from moisture that is trapped inside your hair shaft and doesnt completely dry. Many of you favor ponytails/ buns/ stylish updos, yup your go to style is wonderland for mold /mildew spores. (Gross I know). For those of you who like to shampoo your hair and hate to sit under dryer, those that like to Deep Condition Treatment (DT) over night or those that work out or sweat a lot in the head. P You have to allow your hair to dry preferably with heated air as oppose to air dry hence the mold spores will be attracted to your damp hair and will make home in your ponytail, bun or style. Prevention If you are an avid shampooer, overnight Deep Conditioning Treatment or active individual who sweats a lot in the head, you will need to do the following: 1)PPPP Spray scalp with a tea tree/ peppermint oil/ witch hazel blend prior to drying your hair to assist with the prevention of mold spores hibernating in your tresses. Studies have shown that essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. (Great for those with cute styles that want to maintain and keep.
P After spraying scalp and hair with this blend, blow dry hair completely dry by alternating between hot and cool setting to better gauge the dryness level of your hair. ) 2)PPPP Also those that sweat a lot in the head or are extremely active need to shampoo more often and do an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse. You may even want to do a soak in Baking Soda water to help remove build up and mold/mildew spores. P I would recommend alternating between the two. One week do ACV, the following week do Baking Soda Soak. Both will need to sit for approximately 5-15 minutes. If you are deep conditioning without a dryer, sit with product on hair for 30-60 minutes. (No need to sleep with hair wet all night, inhibiting a grounds for mildew) 3)PPPP Completely rinse all products out of hair. Rinse hair until water runs clear. Also, squeeze hair as tight as possible to ensure all products are out of your tresses before drying. ALWAYS use a clean dry towel remove moisture out of your crown, by wrapping hair in sections with towel and squeezing as hard as you possibly can. Wring all moisture out with the towel. 4)PPPP Allow your hair to completely dry. You can do this by several methods, blow-drying, sit under hair dryer or using a hand dryer if in restroom no hair dryer is available. Dry hair alleviates the ideal conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Speaking from experience, NEVER allow your hair to become a vacation home turned into permanent residence for mold or mildew. COMPLETELY DRY YOUR HAIR when it becomes, damp or wet with moisture from water or sweat. By following the aforementioned steps will help you to S. imply K. eep Y. our H. air H. ealthy.
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