20 answers

My Daughter's Hair Smells Really Wierd

Hi all - I have noticed my daughter's hair is smelling bad - like it hasn't been washed in a few days. I figured that was the cause, or that maybe there was a reaction between the leave in conditioner (used after shampoo) and the 'no more tangles' that she uses in the morning when she brushes her hair. However, yesterday I washed her hair for her, rinsed it and combed it without conditioner. Three hours later, it smelled bad. We are using kids shampoo (not J & J, but the l'oreal for kids stuff). We are on well water. My hair doesn't smell like hers. What could be causing it?

Added: she is 7 years old. She is sensitive to heat but doesn't seem to sweat much. She likes to put it in a pony tail but her hair is on the thin side.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We stopped letting her put her hair in a ponytail while wet. Last night she had a bath, and was sitting in front of the fan before bed (it will help dry my hair, she said). This morning I smelled her hair - it smelled great! I had no idea something small like that would make her hair smell so bad! I never put my hair back when wet...but then again my hair is curly and hers is straight. Thanks again, moms!

Featured Answers

You didn't say how old she is. When my kids got older, like over five, and were active the dirt built up quickly so if they didn't shower and wash their hair every day it smelled awful.

The other thing is mold, yup mold, if my older daughter would pull her hair into a pony tail it was so thick that it would never dry at her scalp. She would literally get mold on her scalp. Gross!!!

2 moms found this helpful

You might try blow drying it, especially if she's putting it into a ponytail before it dries. Like someone else mentioned, that can actually cause a mildewy, wet dog type smell. It's probably a combination of several things...and I agree, too, that EVERY TIME my daughter goes outside, her hair stinks about two minutes later.

If I were you, I'd ditch the Loreal kids shampoo and switch her to a more soapy smelling shampoo...pantene, or if you still want a sweet smell, herbal essence or fructise. I don't think kids shampoos have a very good "aftersmell", personally, and I think it's just everything mixed together. :)

Also, I used to use the "no more tangles" spray on my stepdaughter, who had snarly hair, and I really thought it smelled bad. If you use a good conditioner after shampooing (NOT leave in...) you shouldn't have any trouble. I would quit using "leave in" products all together...that's a lot of build up in her hair, over time, that's really hard to REALLY get washed out well.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You didn't say how old she is. When my kids got older, like over five, and were active the dirt built up quickly so if they didn't shower and wash their hair every day it smelled awful.

The other thing is mold, yup mold, if my older daughter would pull her hair into a pony tail it was so thick that it would never dry at her scalp. She would literally get mold on her scalp. Gross!!!

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter started to smell a bit sour and I discovered it was her lovey that was smelly (her's is a pillow, so she puts her head on it and it over her head at times). Washed the lovey and my daughter smelled better again.

If it is the well water I think the mom who posted about the vinegar wash had a brilliant idea. I would try that too.

1 mom found this helpful

It could still be the water, or maybe something in her diet or a medication? I would look at what she is eating and drinking and see if there is a correlation. Is she sweating a lot? Maybe that is the cause of the odor?

1 mom found this helpful

My hair often gets pulled back into a pony tail before it's dry and will actually smell like mildew if left like that or if it gets hot. So gross!!!

1 mom found this helpful

You might try blow drying it, especially if she's putting it into a ponytail before it dries. Like someone else mentioned, that can actually cause a mildewy, wet dog type smell. It's probably a combination of several things...and I agree, too, that EVERY TIME my daughter goes outside, her hair stinks about two minutes later.

If I were you, I'd ditch the Loreal kids shampoo and switch her to a more soapy smelling shampoo...pantene, or if you still want a sweet smell, herbal essence or fructise. I don't think kids shampoos have a very good "aftersmell", personally, and I think it's just everything mixed together. :)

Also, I used to use the "no more tangles" spray on my stepdaughter, who had snarly hair, and I really thought it smelled bad. If you use a good conditioner after shampooing (NOT leave in...) you shouldn't have any trouble. I would quit using "leave in" products all together...that's a lot of build up in her hair, over time, that's really hard to REALLY get washed out well.

1 mom found this helpful

Could be some wierd fungal thing. You could try Head and Shoulders to see if that helps.

it might be causing it, if you can get a water purifier for your water and use that water to wash her hair and see if it makes a change

Wow, she smells like me then haha! Is her scalp sunburned underneath? Perhaps it is getting flakey and a little skin cream under would help. I have used well water in the past and so you are right, probably not a problem since you don't get it. She might just sweat a lot and needs a couple of washes a day. And perhaps keep changing around her shampoos. There are a lot of cheaper ones to try in a dollar store.

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