Harmed hair

How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. August 30, 2017
How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair

Whenever you blow dry, curl or straighten your hair using a tool that applies heat, you end up having a burnt smell afterwards. Literally, if you are having burnt smelling hair, you have actually burnt your hair. The best way to prevent burnt smelling hair is to avoid using any tool that works by applying heat, such as a hair dryer, flat iron or curler. But that’s not feasible, as styling your hair is also an important part of your daily routine. Read this oneHOWTO article to find out how to prevent burnt smelling hair.

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  1. Prepare your hair first
  2. Use a heat protectant
  3. Know the right way to apply heat to your hair
  4. Select the right heating tool
  5. Conclusion

Prepare your hair first

Before you start applying a heating tool to prevent burnt smelling hair, make sure that your hair is prepared properly to receive it. To do that, de-tangle your hair and wash it with a nice, sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo. Follow it up with a water-based, light-finish, leave-in, deep conditioner. Water based leave-in conditioners provide extra moisture to your hair, and also reduce the product build-up in your hair. If you are blow-drying your hair, make sure that your hair has at least 50% air dried. If you already have unhealthy and damaged hair, avoid applying heat tools to it altogether. Try to improve your hair health before styling it.

Use a heat protectant

Heat protection spray is a useful product that saves your hair from damage due to heat and can thus prevent burnt smelling hair. If you are using more than one heat tools, give a layer of heat protectant in between both uses of the tools as well. There are cream-based, oil-based, water-based and silicone based heat protectants that you can apply, whether you are straightening, curling or blow drying your hair. It is important to know your hair texture type, and choose the right protectant based on that. For instance, water-based protectants are not suitable for curly and wavy hair, as such hair will need higher temperatures to straighten, and the protectant will turn into steam to cause further damage to your hair.

How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair - Use a heat protectant

Know the right way to apply heat to your hair

You don’t need to keep your flat iron or hair dryer on its highest setting. Keeping it to a low temperature setting may take a little longer to style your hair, but it will not burn out your hair to make them smell. Some flat irons can go as high as 450°F (230°C), but that doesn’t mean you should take advantage of all its capacity. You can actually style your hair on medium heat, though it may take some time. When you are applying heat to your hair, you should take some time out and not rush things up. That being said, you should never hold a heat tool at one place for more than 10 seconds. Also make sure that the tool you are using is clean. Running a cruddy tool with caked products on it can leave that burnt smell on your hair as well.

Select the right heating tool

Always select a heating tool that has heating plates made of tourmaline or ceramic. Do not buy the one that has metal plates, as they get over-heated very quickly, and cause extensive damage to your tresses, this is one of the most common mistakes when straightening your hair. Also select a tool that has a temperature dial in-built in it. With this feature, you can have control over how much heat you want to expose your hair to. Simply low, high and medium settings are not enough. Try to buy one that has precision temperature settings and that allows you to adjust the temperature by degrees.

How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair - Select the right heating tool


Burnt smelling hair means nothing but burnt hair. Keep heating tools at a minimum. Curly hair is not designed to stay straight, and straight hair is not meant to be curly. So, let Mother Nature do its work and style your hair only on special occasions, take a look at our article Is it bad to use hair straighteners every day? for further information . Make best use of your hair the way they are. Even if you use heat sparingly, keep the temperatures to minimum possible.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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How to Prevent Burnt Smelling Hair