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

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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

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

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

  5. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

  • Tomato juice
  • Shampoo
  • Towel

About the Author

Sharon Harp

Sharon Harp has worked as a campus newspaper journalist and a freelance writer since 2002. She currently writes for various websites. Harp holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the California Institute of Technology.

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