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How to Prevent Your Hair from Smelling Like a Bonfire

Updated on April 16, 2023



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Bonfires are amazing, but they can also be troublesome for your hair. Experiencing the smell of smoke and soot in your hair after having a wonderful evening with your friends & family isn’t unusual. Unfortunately, getting the bonfire smell out of your hair can be a challenging and frustrating experience.

how to prevent your hair from smelling like a bonfire

Our scalp has a layer of oil that attracts dirt, grime, and smoke from the surroundings. We may not be able to detect the smell, but others getting close to us can.

Fortunately, you can wave goodbye to the uncomfortable smoky smell with a little effort and guidance. Keep reading this article to learn more about preventing and getting rid of the bonfire smell from your hair. 

Preventing Hair from Smelling Like Bonfire

The best way to get rid of the bonfire smell from your hair is not to let it enter your hair in the first place. If you take specific measures, you can minimize the potential of your hair smelling bad after partying.

Tie Up Your Hair

Untied and free hair offer a larger surface area to absorb smoke and smell. Pull your hair back and tie them up in a bun to minimize the potential invasion of smell in your hair. 

Cover Your Head

You can cover your head with a cap, hoodie, hat, etc., to limit the reach of smell to your hair.

Use a Suitable Shampoo

Certain shampoo ingredients can limit the foul smell of your hair. If you are into bonfires and other such gatherings, use sulfur and salicylic acid shampoos.

How to Remove the Bonfire Smell from Hair at Home?

If you weren’t successful in preventing your hair from smelling like a bonfire, it is time to do some damage control and remove the odor. 

The most basic way of doing that is to wash your hair with traditional shampoo. The smell is usually too strong, so you might need to apply the shampoo twice or thrice.

Here are some more ways of removing the bonfire odor from your hair:

Lemon Juice

Natural lemon juice is acidic, making it suitable for removing all kinds of odors—the best way to mix it with your shampoo and wash your hair twice or thrice.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a popular household item that effectively removes bonfire odor from hair. Prepare a hot cup of water and mix a teaspoon of baking soda. You can apply the resulting mixture as a shampoo. Apply it to your hair thoroughly and leave it there for a few minutes before rinsing.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another powerful household item for removing hair odor. Mix the shampoo and apple cider vinegar in equal parts and leave them on your hair for a couple of minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly once they have absorbed the shampoo well.

Coconut Oil

The lauric acid in coconut oil is an excellent ingredient for killing different odors. Mix some coconut oil with your regular shampoo and apply it evenly to your hair before rinsing.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera pulp can be used to remove hair odor by mixing it with 4 to 5 teaspoons of coconut oil. Apply the paste to your hair and let it stay for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Orange Juice

Orange juice is another excellent option for getting rid of the foul smell of your hair. Half a cup of it is enough for a head full of hair. Cover your hair thoroughly with the juice and let it sit there for 15 minutes for absorption before rinsing it with warm water.

Tomato Juice

Use concentrated tomato juice to massage your scalp thoroughly. Cover your head with it and wait for 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. 

Blow Dryer

Using the cool setting on your blow dryer can help you get rid of the bad bonfire smell. Blow your hair with cool hair for 5 minutes, and you will notice a huge difference. Make sure you don’t use hot air as it can worsen the problem.

Hair Perfume

Using perfume on your hair can reduce the intensity of the odor but cannot cover it up completely. So, you should use a light and pleasant fragrance and spread it evenly through your hair using a comb or your hands.

It is an expensive option, suitable only for those who have short hair or the required budget. People with long hair should go for other options.

You can make an inexpensive hair perfume yourself using the following ingredients:

  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Lavender oil or any other essential oil
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • A cup of rosewater

Put rosewater in a bowl and add essential oils to it. The essential oil you add, the stronger the smell of your perfume gets. Add aloe vera and the conditioner and mix everything well with a spoon to get a consistent mixture.

Store the mixture in a spray bottle and use it whenever you want. 

Rose Water

Rosewater has a pleasing smell and is also a good cleanser, making it a suitable candidate for getting rid of hair smell. Just buy a spray bottle of rose water and spread it evenly on your hair to mask the odor.

Oil Seal

Essential oils are not only good for your hair health, but they also have a pleasing smell. To eliminate the bonfire odor, mix one or more essential oils with water and apply it to your hair using a comb or hands. Focus on the roots to restore hydration of your scalp affected by smoke.


Steam is an often ignored solution for removing the bonfire smell from your hair. Standing under a hot shower and soaking all the steam in your can definitely help this situation.


Zest a lime, orange, or lemon peel and put it inside a sprayer with some water. Let the water absorb the citrus for 30 minutes. Then, spray the liquid evenly, which will get rid of the smell and refresh your hair.

How to Remove the Bonfire Smell from Hair While On the Move?

Sometimes you do not have the luxury of going back home and cleaning your hair. Luckily, you can do that on the go in the following ways:

Untie Hair

Tying your hair during the bonfire is a good move, but some smoke can still penetrate, resulting in a foul odor. Untie your hair after the bonfire to let the air sweep that smells out of your head.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is an excellent option when you don’t have water freely available to wash your hair. It comes in two types, aerosol sprays, and foam. You need to work the foam in your head until it dries and brush your hair afterward.

Aerosol spray is dry and works a bit better than foam. It does leave a chalky cast if you use too much of it, which is more noticeable if you have dark hair.


You can spray vodka in your hair by putting it in the spray bottle. It evaporates after a while and takes away the smell with it. Vodka has been used for decades and is an effective solution for removing the bonfire smell.

If you do not want to use vodka alone, mix it with equal parts of water and spray it on your hair. Leave the cocktail on for 30 minutes, and it will evaporate with the bonfire smell.

Sit in the Sun

Sitting in the sun effectively removes the bonfire smell, thanks to the UV rays that neutralize the odor. To ensure effective removal of the smell, sit in the sun for an hour so that your scalp can absorb the sun rays effectively.


Febreze is useful if you have long hair, but it is not the best option for those with short hair because it can damage the scalp. Hold them away from the scalp and spray some Febreze on them if you have long hair. It evaporates after a while, just like vodka, and it also removes the smell.

Dryer Sheets

Wrap dryer sheets on your hair and wait for their smell to die down. Replace them after a while and keep repeating until the bonfire smell is gone. They will also tame the frizz and flyaways because they handle static well.

Baby Powder

If you’ve nothing else, you can use baby powder which works in the same way as a dry shampoo. It is an excellent option for curbing excessive smell and oil accumulation in your hair. 

Take a small amount and rub it in your hands before massaging your hair. Apply an even layer, and don’t apply too much to avoid a chalky look.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to removing the bonfire smell from your hair, there are several different methods. You don’t have to put up with something so uncomfortable when such simple solutions are available.

Be careful with citrus and lemon juice, as too much of them can damage your hair. So, stop worrying about your hair smelling like a bonfire next time and have a fantastic time with your friends.

Watch this informational video to learn more about this topic. 

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About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

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