How to Get Campfire Smoke Smell Out of Your Hair

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Friends sitting around the fire trying to figure out how to get smoke smell out of hair

How to get the smoke smell out of your hair becomes a high priority when you’re no longer hanging around a campfire.

While camping, the smell of the campfire smoke might be one of the best smells ever. It comes with memories of s’mores and happy family camping trips. 

However, while you may want those memories to stick around forever, you probably don’t want the smoke smell to stay longer than the campfire. We’re here to solve all of your smoke-smelling hair problems. Let’s get started!

Why Does Hair Still Smell Like Smoke After Washing It?

Your nose loves pleasant strong smells, especially the scent of a campfire on a cool evening at a campground. However, your hair can undoubtedly trap the odors.

If you’re still young, your hair may not capture strong-smelling scents as much as older folks. As we age, or the more we use heat to style or color treat our hair, our hair loses some of its natural oil layers.

Those layers help protect our hair and keep the strong smells out. When odors penetrate the fibers of our hair, they’re challenging to remove, even with shampoo. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Smoke Smell Out of Hair?

Odors can last longer than you think if you do nothing to remove them. A campfire smell will dissipate into the air 30 minutes after you put out the fire.

However, your hair won’t let it go that soon. That smoky smell can linger for hours or even days if you allow it. 

While many of us enjoy breathing in the smell of campfires, most would rather have that smell rising from the campfire, not our hair.

So what should we do about it? How do we get campfire smoke out of our hair?

A person washing their hair after figuring out how to get smoke smell out of hair

How to Get Campfire Smoke Smell Out of Your Hair

The most common answer to removing campfire smoke is to wash your hair. While that is one of the top answers and will do the job, it may take more than one washing to remove the smell thoroughly.

But there are other ways to return your hair to its usual fresh-smelling self. From dry shampoos to baking soda and even vodka, we have several options regarding getting the campfire smell out of your hair for good.

Or at least until next weekend.

Wash Your Hair with a Fragrance Shampoo

Besides the campfire smell, there’s nothing better than the scent of freshly washed hair with fragrant shampoo. Grab your favorite shampoo and conditioner, and hop in the shower.

You may have to wash your hair twice to revive its natural scent, but that’s a chance to enjoy a longer shower.

Wash Your Hair with Dry Shampoo

If you don’t have access to a shower right after the campfire, don’t worry. Grab a dry shampoo. Many dry shampoos are odorless, so for this demanding task, have one with a favorite fragrance.

That way, you can replace the lingering campfire smell in your hair.

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A woman using dry shampoo after figuring out how to get smoke smell out of hair

Baking Soda

People have used baking soda as a deodorizer in many situations for years, so why not use it in your hair? Rub a sparse amount of baking soda into your scalp and comb it throughout your hair.

Within seconds, the campfire smell will disappear. Be careful not to use too much, or your hair can turn white temporarily and become a powdery mess.

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Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another alternative people have used for ages to help diminish unwanted smells. Plan ahead if this will be your method, though, as the citrus mixture needs to sit overnight.

Take the juice of a lemon and some lemon zest and add it to purified water in a spray bottle. Mist your hair with the spray, using it again as you need to throughout the day to reduce the smoke smell.

Keep in Mind: Upgrade your campfire with these 5 Awesome Ways to change the color of your campfire!

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Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets aren’t only for the dryer. They help your clothes smell pleasant, and they can do the same for your hair. Run a dryer sheet down the length of your hair from the roots to the ends.

The refreshing smell will take effect immediately and leave you feeling fresh without the hassle of complicated fragrances or dealing with wet hair.

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Essential Oils

Essential oils are oils people extract from compounds like various roots, plants, and other items.

Some more common essential oils are lavender, citrus, and mint. Choose your favorite and place a few drops into a small spray bottle of water, and mist away.

Work it into your hair with your fingers or a comb, and enjoy the fresh fragrance.

An added benefit to using essential oils is that some oils, like lavender, for example, can help reduce stress. Less stress and less smoke smell in your hair are a good combination.

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Vodka can also help rid your hair of that dreaded lingering campfire smell. Beauty expert Anubha Charan stated in an article in Thrillist, “Vodka works really well as a clarifying agent to remove product buildup from the strands and scalp.” 

Removing campfire smoke in your hair using vodka makes sense. Using a 50:50 water-to-vodka ratio, make a mixture in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your hair, comb it through, and let it dry.

Vodka has no smell, so that you won’t smell like a walking bar or a campfire.

Ways to Avoid Smoke Smell in Your Hair

You can get rid of the campfire smell in your hair, but how about preventing it instead?

This is possible if you cover your hair, put it up, or avoid the smoke altogether.

Wear a Hat or Hoodie

Smoke can penetrate a hat or hoodie, but you’re more likely to walk away from a campfire with less smoke smell in your hair when you cover it.

Designate a specific hat or hoodie and don it when hanging by the fire with friends.

Pro Tip: The smell of campfire smoke will probably be on your clothes as well. Try these Easy Ways to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes!

Put Your Hair Up

If you have long hair, put it up before making s’mores and conversation around the fire. The less you have available for the smoke to penetrate, the more you’ll avoid smoky-smelling hair.

Then, when it’s time to rid your hair of the odor, you’ll have less smelly hair to scrub, spray, or comb through.

Avoid the Smoke

This may not be the best solution, but you can always avoid the smoke.

It may mean you are away from the center of all the excellent food and conversation, but if having non-smoke-smelling hair trumps your need for the good stuff, that might be necessary.

Friends sitting around the fire trying to figure out how to get smoke smell out of hair

Your Hair Doesn’t Have to Smell Like a Campfire

Having a good time camping doesn’t mean you must automatically put up with hair that smells like a campfire. If you prevent the smells in the first place, there’s no issue at all.

However, if the smell penetrates your locks, you now know how to get the scent of smoke out of your hair. 

Do you have any tips we didn’t cover? Let us know!

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 comment
  1. Your idea of using lemon juice to get the smoke smell out of your hair is fine BUT do you realize that it also bleaches your hair out! I know this for a fact because in my younger days we used it to bleach our hair out while sitting at the lifeguard stand. I had brown hair and after putting it on our hair, rinsing it out under the shower and then sitting the lifeguard stand our hair became blonde. My wife, to be, never knew I had brown hair until later when I returned from overseas duty in the USAF that I actually had brown hair. LOL

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