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Bonfires are an experience at night that are unforgettable and for the books. The only struggle is to get that campfire smell out of your hair. This is quite the challenge, as it’s difficult to eliminate the odor while bringing back the freshness to your hair. Here are some tips to get rid of that campfire smell and bring back the liveliness to your hair.

Why Does Your Hair Smell?

Each individual has a natural layer in their hair that’s made of oil. The purpose of this layer is for the hair strands to bind to the surface to keep the hair from absorbing smells. For ladies, getting hair done, whether it be coloring, heat styling, keratin treatments or even just from aging, the hair ends up losing some of that layer of oil, resulting in the hair becoming porous, and thus absorbing odors.

Preventing the Campfire Smell Onsite

The ideal and best situation would be never having to get rid of that smell in the first place. You can significantly minimize the potential smell after being near a campfire by following these preventative steps.

Pull your hair back

Leave your hair pulled back, in a bun preferably. This way your hair would absorb fewer odors then when it’s untied and left down.

Use a head covering

Consider covering your hair using a scarf, hoodie, or hat so that way the odor isn’t able to reach your hair.

Use appropriate shampoo

Use a shampoo that contains sulfur and salicylic acid as these ingredients prevent hair odor.

Removing the Campfire Smell at Home

Rinse and wash your hair: Try shampooing and rinsing your hair multiple times so that you can get rid of the odor from your hair. The strong scent of woodsy musk needs at least a minimum of two to three shampoo and rinses to remove the smell.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has natural and acidic properties for odor removal. You can even combine the lemon juice when you shampoo and rinse your hair. Just remember to take note that you’ll need to shampoo and rinse your hair one additional time after the lemon juice treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Here’s another great household option. Apple cider vinegar works powerfully when it comes to the neutralization of odors. Do the shampoo and rinse, but whilst adding the shampoo, add the apple cider vinegar in equal parts, then wait a couple of minutes before you rinse and repeat.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil works wonders due to its contents of lauric acid, which kills unwanted odors and bacteria. Again, this is a combination with shampoo and rinse – work the coconut oil through your hair thoroughly so that it can strip away the bonfire odor that is still remaining.


For an effective way to get rid of that campfire smell, combine citrus with sun. All you need is a lime or a lemon and zest the peel of the fruit. Let the lime or lemon sit for 30 minutes in a small spray bottle, then spray onto hair and sit in the sun – the smell will fade away.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is effective for many different uses, including as a remedy for hair that has bonfire odor. You need to mix a teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of hot water, creating your very own homemade shampoo. Now, while you shower, use the contents to rub into your hair and leave in a few minutes for it to have full effect.

Blow Dryer

Blow dry your hair using the cool setting and blast your hair for about five minutes. The cool air is effective as it takes away residual scents, like the campfire scent. Just avoid using the hot setting as this will make the smell worse by baking it into your strands of hair.

Aloe Vera

Use the aloe vera pulp from its leaf and combine it with 5 teaspoons of olive oil to make a mask. Add the mixture in your hair for about 20 minutes and rinse it off.

Tomato Juice

Use tomato juice that is concentrated and massage it into your hair and scalp, ensuring that your hair is completely covered until the end. Leave it in for about 15 minutes and rinse it out with warm water.

Orange Juice

Use orange juice to remove that stubborn campfire smell. You need just about a quarter of a cup, massage it into your hair and scalp, again ensuring that your hair is completely covered. Rinse the orange juice out after about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can add the orange juice to your shampoo to make the removal more effective.


Use a shampoo that contains sulfur and salicylic acid as these ingredients are vital to eliminate smells in hair. The sulfur ingredient kills bacteria and fungus on the scalp and the salicylic acid ingredient removes excessive oil.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on December 7, 2019

Remove the Campfire Smell On-the-Go

Even if you’re not at home when you need to get rid of that campfire smell, you can still do so on-the-go!

Untie Hair

When your hair is untied and let loose, that musty campfire smell is effectively unlocked. This is because the air sweeps out those unwanted smells.


Neutralize that campfire smell by spending time in direct sunlight – the UV rays treat the odor. Try to stay in direct sunlight for at least an hour, allowing your hair follicles to take in the UV rays.

Fresh Air

There is significant odor reduction when you get access to fresh air. Combine the fresh air with the sun and letting your hair down, for the most natural way to reduce the campfire smell in your hair.


This is an odor reduction remedy that has been used for many generations. Lightly apply vodka in your hair, this will remove the smell of bonfire in your hair. You can apply the vodka using a small spray bottle or you can apply it directly using your hands. The vodka works wonders as when it evaporates from your hair, it takes the odor with it.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on December 7, 2019


Febreze, much like Vodka, evaporates from your hair, taking the odor of the campfire with it and leaving your hair fresh. Despite the fact that it’s rarely suggested to use for hair, it works effectively. Just make sure to avoid getting it on your scalp or in your eyes. Works better for long hair as you can hold your hair away and then spray, which avoids the scalp. If you have short hair, this might not be the greatest option if you can’t hold your hair far enough to spray without spraying your scalp.

Dryer Sheets

All you need to do is wrap your hair strands with dryer sheets. Once the fragrance of the dryer sheets have gotten weaker, replace them with new ones until the smoky scent has left your hair.

Dry Shampoo

This is a great and helpful option if you’re unable to wash your hair. There are two kinds of dry shampoo, the first being foam and the second being aerosol spray. When using the foam, you need to work a palm-size amount it into your hair until your hair dries. Brush your hair to remove any excess residue and you’re sorted! The process with the spray is similar, but quicker and actually seems to work better. The only negative is that if you spray too much aerosol dry shampoo, and you happen to have dark hair, you will end up with a chalky white look.

Baby Powder

If you don’t have the other options, then opt for what you know and have available. Baby powder works in the same way as the dry shampoo, by stripping excessive odors and oils from the hair. Again, start with a palm-size amount and gently rub it before putting it in your hair. The application is essential, as you need to apply an even layer to avoid a situation of caking up your hair.

Shower: If you don’t have access to any of the above but there’s a public shower you can use, the steam will help remove the campfire odor out of your hair.

This article is owned by Recapture Nature and was first published on December 7, 2019

Final Thoughts

Using the tips above consider that campfire smell gone! Just avoid masking the campfire smell using things like essential oils or perfume, as these items aren’t deodorizers and they will only make the smell stronger and worse than it was initially. Every person is different, so if one thing doesn’t work for you, it may work for your friend- but there’s no harm in trying multiple and seeing what works for you!