How to Get BBQ Smoke Smell Out of Hair

As the famous chef, Antony Bourdain once said: “Barbeque may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” 

It can bring people together, especially if you make some golden brown ribs falling right off the bone with charred ends and everything… But the delicious briskets come with some consequences. The sizzling fat going up with the charcoal smoke can make everything that gets in its way smell like BBQ, and your hair is no exception.

If the delicious smokey smell lingers on your hair – it’s most undoubtedly irritating as opposed to delicious at that point – there are several things you can do to freshen up. Here we’ll tell you all the things you can do to get the barbeque smell out of your hair, so don’t carry the scent of grill around after you put the tongs down.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Taking a shower is the best thing to do when dealing with lingering hair smells. If you’re feeling like you’re carrying a breeze of smokey smell around you after a barbeque party, a bonfire, or maybe a campfire, simply hop in the shower and wash your hair with shampoo. 

Dry Shampoo

If you don’t have enough time — or the means — to hop in the shower, you can use dry shampoo to get rid of the smell to a certain degree. 

Dry shampoo is essentially a powder — like baby powder — that absorbs the oil, grease, and dirt on your scalp without washing it. It can be a great substitute for cases when you need to freshen up without taking a shower, for example, when camping and occasionally sitting around a campfire. But experts say that replacing washing your hair and scalp with dry shampoo can have negative effects on your scalp and hair health in the long run. Still, as long as you don’t overdo it, it’s a good way to get rid of the smokey smell after a barbeque session in the backyard. 

Starch or Cocoa Powder

Starch if you’re blonde or cocoa powder, if you’re a brunette, works just like dry shampoo, absorbing the oil, grease, and dirt on your hair and scalp. They are also used to make DIY dry shampoo. Some people prefer cocoa and starch over commercial dry shampoo to avoid chemicals affecting the scalp’s natural oil balance. Whether you’re concerned about the natural oils on your scalp or not, you can give starch or cocoa powder a go. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you like to surf natural remedies pages on the internet, chances are you encountered this duo more than you can remember for cleaning almost everything. Baking soda, usually coupled with vinegar, is used to clean counters, dishwashers, toilets, stovetops, silverware… and your hair isn’t an exception.

Using baking soda and vinegar is actually a well-known method for natural hair care, also known as the no-poo method. Regular shampoos can strip your hair of natural oils that are necessary for your overall scalp health. Therefore, some people are giving up commercial shampoos and turning to more natural ways to attain clean hair. But if this method really works depends on your hair type, and it takes time and patience until your scalp gets adjusted to not being thoroughly washed out from all the oil regularly. 

Still, if you have already washed your hair this week and don’t want to break your routine, you can wash your hair with a mixture of baking soda and water. To untangle your hair and give it a soft touch and a shine, spray some vinegar that you dilute with water and rinse. Don’t worry; the smell of vinegar fades away pretty quickly.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are pieces of fabric that are coated with lubricants, liquid fabric softeners, and fragrances. It works like wonder for making your clothes and sheets smell fresh after they are washed, so why not use it on your hair too?

When you have a reeking barbeque smell on your hair, next time, give your hair a good rub down with a dryer sheet. Because they are also made to fight static in moist fabrics, a piece of dryer sheet will not only mask the barbeque smell it’ll also cool down the frizz in your hair. In fact, a dryer sheet hack to fix frizzy hair has gone viral on TikTok in 2022, and various sources confirm that it not only gets rid of the frizz but also leaves the smell of fabric softener on your hair.

Hair Mist or Perfume

Yes, hair perfume is a thing, and yes, you can use it to mask the reeking smokey barbeque smell on your hair. It’s quite popular among people who often need to mask the smoke smell on their hair, a.k.a., smokers. But spraying your hair with a hair mist or perfume is only a temporary solution, and you might have to spray lots to mask the smell thoroughly. Still, it’s a working solution and can save the day until you can take a relaxing shower. To make the best of it, flip your hair forward and spray while you gently shake your head so it reaches everywhere in your hair, and you’ll smell a nice fragrance instead of smoke when you move. 

Essential Oil Spray

Essential oils are natural fragrances that are abundantly used in cosmetics and cleaning. So why not use them to eliminate the smokey smell on your hair? A drop of essential oil can replace a hair mist or perfume spray when you don’t have a bottle handy, or you’re simply looking for a natural solution.

Essential oils are concentrated liquids that can cause damage or irritation on your hair or scalp if you use them without precaution. To use essential oils on your hair, first, dilute it with some water. This way, you can apply it more efficiently to your hair and prevent possible irritation.

Blow Dryer

If you want to remove the smokey barbecue or campfire smell on your hair instead of masking it, another solution that can save you from a trip to the shower is blowing your hair with cool air with a blow dryer. Airing your hair out works surprisingly well, removing the smell molecules stuck in the hair. However, it might not get to the root of the problem, as you actually need a solvent to get rid of oily molecules that are abundantly present in barbeque smokes. Still, you can combine this method with dry shampoo or a fragrant such as dryer sheets, hair perfume, or essential oil spray for the ultimate result.

Prevent the Smell

One of the best ways to eliminate the smokey scent on your hair after a session of barbeque is to prevent it in the first place. It might be impossible to stay away from the smoke, especially if you’re the one who’s holding the scraper. But you can fashionably prevent the sticky smoke from reaching your hair by wearing a buff or a bandanna while you’re on the mission

Over and Out!

The smell of barbeque can make you drool or uncomfortable, depending on where the smell is coming from. The best way to get rid of the smokey smell on your hair is to wash it. But there are other ways to make your hair smell better if you don’t have the time or the means to hop in the shower. With the help of these tricks, you can quickly give yourself a refreshing aura the next time you have a lingering barbecue smell on your hair.

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