20 answers

Two Year Old Smells like a Wet Dog!

My two year old son has TONS of hair, and gets a bath about every other day (he has sensitive, dry skin.) But every time I wash his hair it smells like a wet dog until it dries! It's so gross. I haven't tried a ton of different shampoos, because of the cost, but I've tried L'Oreal kids, J&J baby shampoo, and some no-name brand. The only think that seems to help is when I use my shampoo and conditioner, which of course stings his eyes.

I think it might have something to do with the water, we have somewhat hard water, and no water softener. Any one know what I can do about this until he gets bigger and doesn't need tear-free shampoo anymore?

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Thanks for the suggestions. My son has the most gorgeous hair I've ever seen on a boy, so I just can't bring myself to buzz it (I'm not a fan of the look, any way.) I'll try some of the other suggestions though, and at least I know that LOTS of other little boys are smelly too. I guess that's just something that they never really outgrow! :)

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I am a hair dresser and have had little kids come in that have that same problem. I would try a tea tree shampoo that might help with the smell cause it is a deep cleanser. It is however not for children so be careful around the eyes. Hope that helps a little if not let me know I will try and research some different products that might help.

I think it's the shampoos . . . . we've had similar experiences with the shampoos you mentioned. I've gone back to good ol' Johnson's baby shampoo. The kids that are a little older are using the grown up shampoos now - I'm not buying any more of those kiddie kinds!

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LOL! this sounds very familiar, my boys also smell like "wet dogs" even when they are clean. I mentioned this to my sis-in-law and she said her son also smells that way when he gets wet. Also, have you noticed they smell funny after they have been playing outside? I just have to use conditioner on them after I wash their hair, maybe it "seals" in the hormones or whatever makes them smell that way. I have no advice for you, I just wanted you to know that little boys just smell like wet dogs, and you are not alone. Oh well, Love 'em anyway, right?

A.-my boys both have this too! For my 3 1/2 year old, I started using Pantene and it helped with the smell. I have also tried the sunvisor too-it helped keep the water out.

Someone had mentioned them smelling after being outside-yup! That would be my boys too! Good luck!

We use Paul Mitchell baby shampoo and love it. It works wonderful but is it tear free. I have used it on all my kids and everyone always comments on how shiny and beautiful their hair is.
Good luck.

I have two boys, age 9 and 7 now, but they still smell at times like all kinds of grossness. I have added tea tree oil drops to whatever shampoo I had. Just a few for the bottle, and it smells so good. Helps detour insects too, but definitely helps them smell clean. I think it does say to watch the eyes, so start teaching him to close them and lean his head back. Hope it helps. Eventually we did switch because the smell-good products are loading with perfumes that my kids were allergic to. Try Aveeno or Paul Mitchell for kids.


get him one of those cheap plastic sunvisors that you wear in the summer time to put on when your ready to wash his hair. It will protect his eyes from the water and soap when you rinse it thus you will be able to use a better shampoo and conditioner on him.

T. fultz

My guess would be that his thick hair holds on to odors and stuff. You may want to give him more of a buzz haircut, especially through the summer, so that there isn't as much hair to wash, etc.

I have the same problem. All three of my kids smell like wet dogs when their hair is wet. I have even washed their heads three times to get rid of the smell. I have been teaching my kids to lie down in the tub so I can use adult shampoo and conditioner on them. Sorry i couldn't help. But maybe they are supposed to smell this way????

Little girls also smell like wet dogs when they wash the hair unless you get them a little more expensive of a shampoo and conditioner. I think that some shampoos smell great when you open the cap and smell them in the store, but when you use them they rinse out and smell nothing or like wet dog. You can also use a detangler with a pleasant scent. For our little girls we used the strawberry scented, but I assume there are other scents out there. If the little boy don't want to smell like flowers and berries than go to the mens section and buy a similar product (spray conditioner) that "dad" uses (mine uses a Aussie brand), to control his tresses and it smells great.

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