How To Get Rid Of Burnt Hair Smell?

How To Get Rid Of Burnt Hair Smell

"How to get rid of burnt hair smell?". Anyone who has ever blow dried, straightened, crimped, or curled their hair using heated tools will probably have come across that rather putrid burning smell, universally known to all as the "burnt hair smell".

It is horrible, it is annoying, it takes a while to disappear, and it also means that your hair is, well, burnt basically. On top of the smell, you might also notice that your hair sheds much easier and is very dry. None of this is a recipe for smooth, just stepped out of the salon locks.

The bottom line is that whenever you use a heated styling tool on your hair you are running the risk of causing hair damage. So it’s important to practice prevention, rather than cure. What is the cure to burnt hair, you might ask – basically it’s time and tender loving care unfortunately; this isn’t an issue which is solved quickly.

If you burn your hair severely, then you are going to need to let it recover by conditioning it lovingly and also probably getting a good haircut to say goodbye to the damaged ends. For that reason, it’s a better idea to know how to avoid that smell, than how to actually get rid of it.

Don’t despair however, because we’ve all been there at some point – the key is to know what you are doing wrong.

Consider this your guide on how to get rid of burnt hair smell, by knowing how to avoid it in the first place.


​What You Will Need

Okay, so we know it’s all about prevention rather than cure. But the good news is that you only need a few items and products in your haircare armory, to avoid this issue from the start.

​You will need:

  • Clean hair styling tools.
  • Warm water and a soft cloth to clean your tools regularly.
  • Good quality shampoo, sulphite-free works best.
  • Good quality conditioner.
  • Leave in conditioner.
  • Heat protection cream.
  • Heat protection spray.
  • Plenty of patience!.

How To Get Rid Of Burnt Hair Smell

In order to get rid of burnt hair smell and totally avoid the chance of it actually occurring, follow these easy steps.

​Step 1 – Hair Preparation

Hair Preparation

You need to prepare your hair before even attempting to apply heat to it. Think about your hair like you do with your skin – you wouldn’t go out into 30 degree heat and sun without applying sun cream (we hope!). So don’t expect your hair to put up with the heat without a little help too!

Prepare your hair by washing, detangling, and conditioning well, and then apply a leave in conditioner to make sure it remains well hydrated. Leave your hair to dry on its own at least half way before you bother with a hair dryer. There are golden rules to hair prep, so make sure you follow them!

Step 2 – It’s All About Protection

You should purchase a high quality hair protection cream and spray, and make sure you use it very regularly and very liberally too. You need to know how to apply the product, because otherwise you may miss bits and then run the risk of burning your hair. This is not the way to get rid of burnt hair smell!

Basically, you should split your hair into four sections, and first apply a hair protection cream before blow drying, and then apply a hair protection spray or mist before straightening. This means that the hair is always protected from the heat whilst also cutting down on product build up.

Step 3 – Learn How to Straighten Your Hair Properly

Straightening your hair is certainly not just a case of brushing out the tangles and running the irons through it, and you need to learn how to straighten properly. 

  • Check out this video for a little advice on how to straighten your hair like an expert.

Again, it’s about splitting your hair into sections, and remembering to apply the hair protection mist before you straighten those sections. Never leave the irons on your hair for longer than 10 seconds at the absolute most, with the average of 3-4 seconds before more than adequate.

Step 4 – Clean Your Heated Hair Tools

Using dirty or clogged up hair tools, straighteners especially, is going to increase the risk of burnt hair, and then you will have that smell and that damage to deal with. In order to get rid of burnt hair smell, you should clean your tools regularly.

Think about it, a pair of hair straighteners touches your hair very closely and if they are clogged up with product and have become sharp, they are not only going to burnt your hair, but they will break it too. The burnt product on the straighteners will also give off that smell you’re trying to avoid. 

  • This video will show you how to clean your tools effectively.

Step 5 – Keep The Heat Down

You might think high heat will get the job done quicker, but that is basically going to mean a much higher chance of burning your hair in the first place. 

​Keep the heat low, and make peace with the fact that it is just going to take longer to dry/straighten/curl/crimp your hair.

Most tools come with a high heat setting, but you basically need to avoid ever using it – slowly, slowly is the way here.

Step 6 – Only Ever Use Quality Hair Styling Tools

The thought process that you get what you pay for really does ring true in this case. Because if you go for poor quality products, simply because they’re cheaper, you’re going to end up damaging your hair much easier than if you invest in quality – they are much more likely to last longer too.

Make sure you know about straighteners especially, as well as the coating that is on the plates. For example, ceramic coating locks in moisture and stops your hair from drying out and frizzing, thanks to negative ions. Do your research and shop around.

|Read More: Best Curling Irons, Best Hair Dryers


Did you enjoy our guide? Hopefully you’re nodding your hair and you’re now much more clued up on how to get rid of burnt hair smell, simply by avoiding it happening in the first place.

If you have unfortunately run the risk and failed in your endeavours in the past, don’t worry. With a little time the damage will grow out and provided you stick to our steps on proper hair care in the future, you will have silky, smooth, and completely burn-free locks to look forward to for a long time to come.

It is really all about prevention, we’ve mentioned it several times before, but it’s also about making sure you invest in quality. We talked about purchasing high quality hair styling tools, but you should also shop around for the best hair care products for your particular hair type.

One size does not fit all in this case, and you need to know that you are applying the best possible product for your hair, in order to cut down on any damage risk in the future.

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