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How to Get the Smoke Smell Out of Hair | 12 Things to Try

Are you wondering how to get smoke smell out of your hair? First of all, we’re sorry. But don’t get discouraged — we’ll show you 12 unique ways to remove the smell, once and for all. Read on to learn all you need to know!

Removing Smoke Smell From Hair: A Summary

Nobody wants a smoke smell to stick to their hair, whether it’s cigarette smoke, campfire smoke, or smoke from outside grilling. If you’d like to get the smoke smell out of your hair, here are some simple things that can help.

  1. Use Hair Products
  2. Use Homemade Citrus Spray
  3. Try Baking Soda
  4. Try Dryer Sheets (or Fabric Softener Sheets)
  5. Wash with Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. Sunlight
  7. Try Vodka Spray
  8. Mist Febreze
  9. Use a Hair Dryer
  10. Use Essential Oils
  11. Hair Perfume
  12. Use Rosewater

In this post, we’ll discuss each of these tips in detail. So, read on to learn more!

12 Ways to Remove Smoke Smells From Hair

Here are 12 simple tips that can help you eliminate the unpleasant smoke smell on your hair.

1. Use Hair Products

The first resort to removing undesirable odors is often cleaning your hair with shampoo and a conditioner. Cleaning with these hair products eliminates smoke traces and leaves your hair smelling fresh.

However, regular shampoo and conditioner wash isn’t practical if you’re outdoors or regularly exposed to smoke. In such cases, you should use a dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is an incredible product whose reputation has surged in recent years.

A scented dry shampoo is best if you’re attempting to eliminate the stench of smoke from your hair.

Spray the dry shampoo to your hair roots while maintaining the nozzle roughly six inches from your scalp. Use your fingers to rule hair to eliminate any remaining smoke residue, then brush or comb it.

Read Next: When to Use Dry Shampoo on Your Hair

2. Use Homemade Citrus Spray

A homemade citrus spray is an excellent natural DIY technique for removing the smoke smell from hair. You can make this citrus spray using fruits like orange, lemon, or lime. 

Here’s how:

  • Mix the citrus drops and peel with water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Leave for 15 to 20 minutes for the water to soak the aroma of the citrus peel.
  • Spray it on your hair, concentrating on the smelliest hair strands
  • Then, try blow drying your hair in the cool setting

The citrus mix’s acids eliminate the smoke by masking the strong, pungent odor. Rubbing this citrus mix on your hands can also help remove the smoke.

Read Next: The Benefits of Lemongrass Oil for Your Hair

3. Try Baking Soda

Baking soda has numerous applications, from being a deodorizer to an air freshener. Putting some baking soda in your pantry or refrigerator will eliminate food odors, and similarly, applying some onto your hair could eliminate the smoke smell regardless of its source.

If your hair has a smoky odor, apply some baking soda to your hair and scalp and massage it carefully. Use your comb, fingers, or brush to spread baking soda throughout your hair and coat its hair strands.

While this approach is practical, be mindful not to overuse baking soda. Excessive use of baking soda can cause your hair to turn white and create a powdered residue on your head. If you can’t find baking soda, you can try baby powder, as it offers similar benefits.

4. Try Dryer Sheets (Or Fabric Softener Sheets)

Most people keep dryer sheets in their laundry rooms, but dryer sheets have more applications. Dryer sheets have compounds that aid in lowering static electricity and emitting pleasant aromas. Dryer sheets are, therefore, simple to use and effective at eliminating smoke odors.

Before brushing your hair, consider wiping a dryer sheet on your comb or hairbrush. The fragrance will mask the smell on your hair, restoring your fresh scent. Alternatively, try laying a dryer sheet beneath your pillowcase before bed.

As you rest, the dryer sheet will eliminate odors from your hair. You could also gently rub a sheet of fabric softener through your hair, which helps eliminate the smoke odor.

Be careful with this one though. Dryer sheets can often irritate skin, and may also be bad for your health, as these sheets often contain harsh chemicals. Ask your medical provider about this method before using it.

5. Wash With Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the many applications of apple cider vinegar is removing smoke odor from your hair. Add equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and your shampoo. Wash your hair with this mixture when showering.

The only disadvantage of apple cider vinegar mix in removing the smoke odor from your hair is its strong initial smell. However, the scent of this vinegar disappears as the hair dries. Vinegar mixture also gives your hair a healthy glow.

6. Sunlight

Sunlight alone can remove the smoke odor from your hair. Brush out your hair till it loosens out. Some of these clumped hair strands could be clinging to the smoke smell.

Sunbathe till you feel that your hair is completely saturated with sunlight. The combination of UV radiation, fresh air, and open space eliminates and neutralizes unpleasant odors.

7. Try Vodka Spray

Vodka might not appear an appealing alternative, but it has great deodorizing elements. A vodka solution can therefore eliminate smoke traces and other unpleasant odors from hair.

Mix equal amounts of vodka and water. Spray the solution onto your hair, then comb it with your fingers. Let the hair dry for around 30 minutes.

If there’s any lingering smoke smell, repeat the process. As your hair dries, the ‘alcohol’ smell from the vodka also fades. You don’t have to worry about smelling like you’ve been drinking!

8. Mist Febreze

Febreze is good at removing odors from clothes, but it could also deodorize your hair. Unlike other deodorizers that mask the smell, Febreze eradicates the odors.

This air freshener has cyclodextrin, a chemical compound that absorbs scents but is also scented, leaving a lovely aroma behind. Simply spritz your hair with Febreze from various angles till the smelly areas are damp.

Allow the hair to air dry for around 30 minutes, and you’re good to go! However, this might also contain chemicals that some are sensitive to, so check with your medical provider before using this method as well.

9. Use a Hair Dryer

Based on the extent of smoke exposure, a 4–5-minute air blast from a hair dryer can efficiently eliminate the smoke smell from your hair. Ensure you adjust the blow dryer to cold air and carefully blast it through your whole head.

The cool air efficiently eliminates most of the smoke particles clinging to your hair. Avoid blowing hot air on your head as it can bake the pungent smell onto your hair.

10. Use Essential Oils

Applying essential oils is another effective way to obtain clean-smelling hair after smoking. The high concentration of these oils allows you to use small amounts while achieving remarkable outcomes.

Choose your preferred perfume, be it vanilla, lavender, orange, and more. Put several drops of essential oil into your palm, rub your palms together, and carefully distribute the oil into your hair. Alternatively, you can put the oil mixture onto a spray bottle.

Then, spritz it on (being sure to concentrate on the hair roots). Then, comb or brush the oil mix across your whole scalp. Essential oils also offer other benefits besides a good fragrance, including anxiety and stress relief.

11. Hair Perfume

Occasionally, a splash of hair perfume is sufficient to revive your hair and eliminate any smoke traces. Hair perfume efficiently masks the odor rather than eliminating it. So, it’s best to use light, non-overwhelming perfume. You should also comb or brush your hair to spread the perfume across your hair.

12. Use Rose Water

Even if you don’t have rosewater in your house, it’s readily available in most pharmacies. You can make rose water by steeping rose petals in filtered water.

The solution makes an excellent skin cleanser and/or toner, reducing swelling and redness. Rose water also has a pleasant aroma that could assist disguise smoke odors. Gently spray rosewater onto your hair and brush or comb it.

Read Next: Is Rose Water Good for Your Dreadlocks?

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman making her hair smell like smoke by leaving a hot tool on it for too long

Denis OREA/Shutterstock

Below are the most frequently asked questions about how to get the smoke smell out of hair. 

How do you completely remove the smoke smell from your hair?

Conditioning and shampooing your hair are the most effective method for eliminating smoke odor. If you cannot clean your hair with these products, you can also try a dry shampoo. Other methods include using hair perfumes and homemade hair products like a citrus mix, vinegar, baking soda, etc.

Why does smoke linger in hair?

As with clothing, hair can rapidly absorb and contain strong aromas, leaving you stinking like an ashtray till your next wash. Undamaged hair is covered by a natural oil coating that adheres to its surface and prevents it from absorbing unpleasant odors.

How do you remove smoke without shampooing your hair?

Use dryer sheets. Rubbing a dryer sheet through your hair will eliminate smoke odors and leave behind an incredibly fresh fragrance. You could also wipe your hairbrush using a dryer sheet, then use it to comb your hair to aerate it and remove the unwanted smell.

How long does cigarette smoke remain in hair?

Hair testing is a solid method for determining long-term tobacco usage and could be highly accurate for up to three months after cessation. Sometimes, smoke is detectable for about 12 months.

What effect does cigarette smoke have on hair?

Smoking promotes hair loss in several ways, including decreasing blood supply to the scalp and damaging the DNA of hair strands. Smoking cessation will assist you in regrowing a small amount of hair and has numerous other health benefits.

So, How Do You Get Smoke Smell Out of Your Hair?

Ultimately, there’s more than one way to get smoke smell out of hair. If one practice fails, try another until you’re satisfied that the smoke smell fades away completely. Good luck and happy styling!