How can I get the perm smell out of my hair?

Written by sharon harp
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How can I get the perm smell out of my hair?
Tomato juice can help to eliminate odours, including the residual smell of perming chemicals. (glass of tomato juice with tomato next to glass image by David Smith from

Perms use harsh chemicals that can leave your hair smelling anything but pretty. According to the Hairfinder website, the odour "comes primarily from the ammonia in the ammonium thioglycolate (giving it that vaguely skunk-like smell)." No one likes to go around smelling like a skunk. If you are wondering how to remove the offensive odour from your hair, one smell-reducing method you can turn to is the tomato juice hair treatment.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tomato juice
  • Shampoo
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Wet your hair with water over the sink. Once your hair is damp, apply tomato juice liberally. Tomatoes are acid based and help to combat the alkaline nature of the leftover perming chemicals in your hair that cause odour.

  2. 2

    Massage the juice in evenly with your fingers so that it is distributed thoroughly from your scalp to the ends of your hair.

  3. 3

    Bundle your hair in an old towel, and let your hair soak in the tomato juice for up to 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Shampoo with a strong-smelling fruity or flowery shampoo, and rinse your hair.

Tips and warnings

  • You may have to repeat the tomato juice treatment a few times for best results.
  • If the tomato juice is not giving you the desired results, try applying white vinegar to your wet hair instead of the tomato juice.
  • Tomato juice that contains food dye has the potential to stain light-coloured hair.

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