If your hair smells greasy and unpleasant, the cause is often scalp problems. Head odor arises from the scalp and can have many different causes. With the right care, you can quickly eliminate the musty smell so that you can feel completely comfortable again.


If your hair and scalp smell greasy or musty, head odor is often the problem. The smell arises on the scalp and spreads into the hair through brushing or through headgear. The hair absorbs the smell, as well as other ambient odors, and distributes it into the surrounding air. This smell is unpleasant and often disrupts everyday life. Before a treatment or choosing the right care products, it is important to clarify whether it is actually head odor. Particularly thick and long hair often absorbs ambient odors, which also smell musty. This hair smell is caused by external factors. However, head odor arises from the scalp and usually has physical causes.


There can be many different reasons for an unpleasant odor on the scalp. The deciding factor is usually the sweat glands on the scalp. On the head there are eccrine glands that secrete sweat and apocrine glands that secrete a sebum-like substance from the hair roots. The accumulation of sweat and sebum, combined with the local bacteria, can lead to an unpleasant odor.

The fatty horny layer of the head is a good breeding ground for bacteria. If the balance of the scalp is disturbed, these bacteria can multiply so much. The bacterial decomposition of sweat and sebum then creates an unpleasant smell.

An imbalance in the scalp can have various causes. An unhealthy diet, stress or a hormonal imbalance can cause the activity of the sebaceous glands to increase. An acidic scalp or skin diseases on the head, in addition to increased sweat gland activity, are factors that promote head odor. Since sebum is not water-soluble, the smell can persist even after extensive washing with water. Special care products can help you.


If the cause of the head odor is a skin disease, a visit to the dermatologist is recommended. In most cases, you can combat your head odor with a few simple remedies. It is important to restore the balance of the scalp. To do this, the hair and scalp need to be cared for regularly, but not too often. Washing too often destroys the protective layer of the scalp and thus further stimulates sebum production.

Careful care with a gentle shampoo is suitable for loosening the sebum without irritating the scalp. Care products such as the Balance for the Scalp series from MeMademoiselle help to soothe the scalp. Hair care should always correspond to the hair type. An acidic rinse with apple cider vinegar or a treatment with tea tree oil can provide additional relief.

If you suffer from head odor, it is also advisable to ensure that your hair and scalp receive sufficient air supply. You should avoid wearing hats and brush your hair several times a day. Hairspray and gels should also not be used for some time as they can also cause head odor.