Deodorizing DIY Hair Mask and Conditioner Recipes

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DIY Hair Mask

If you’ve ever worked in food service, you know that your hair can pick up smells. I work in a coffee shop, and I feel like when I take a shower all I can smell is old coffee. Recently, some ladies from the YWCA have been complaining about the chlorine smell in their hair. Regular shampoo will cleanse, but doesn’t always remove odors.

So, how do you remedy this?

Removing Odors From Hair

I’ve tried scented shampoos, but most of those are the cheaper varieties. They aren’t especially good for your hair. I make my own shampoo from my liquid soap, adding essential oils, but even that doesn’t work every time.

Someone suggested I rub my hair with a dryer sheet. Yuck! Not only did it feel waxy and sticky, but dryer sheets also contain a variety of chemicals that I don’t want hanging out in my hair.

How about essential oils? You have to put them in a carrier oil to use them, but my hair is greasy enough without the extra oil.

After trying all these things I started thinking about the great detoxifying properties of charcoal…

Activated Charcoal in a DIY Hair Mask

I wrote an article about activated charcoal a while ago, and about the process of making your own. Whether store bought or homemade, it all works the same way.

There are tiny pores in the charcoal that absorb things. This is why it makes a great filter. Once filled, there’s no way to flush out the pores, so the substance (or in this case, odor) gets trapped.

This makes it a great detoxifying agent for a DIY hair mask.

DIY Hair Mask Recipe

To detoxify and deodorize your hair, you can use this easy DIY hair mask. Be sure to follow up with a good conditioner or the conditioning oil listed below. Charcoal can pull the beneficial oils out of your hair, so you may need to restore them after using this mask.



Mix this all together so it forms a thick paste. You may need a bit more or less aloe gel. If it seems too sticky, you can add a bit of distilled water.

Coat your hair with the paste, making sure all of the strands are covered.

Leave it on your hair for about 30 minutes. Cover hair with a shower cap if it feels like it’s drying out too much.

Wash out thoroughly after 30 minutes. This is best done in the shower since the charcoal will leave black dots on everything.

Optional: After washing out the charcoal, apply the following mixture to your hair.

DIY Conditioner Recipe



Mix all ingredients together and apply to hair while the mixture is warm. If you do this in the shower, be very careful as it can make the shower floor slippery.

Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse out. If your hair seems too oily, use a gentle shampoo to remove the rest.

Dry and style as usual.

Final Thoughts

This DIY hair mask and conditioner will not only get rid of any odors in your hair, but will also leave it shiny and soft.

Have you tried charcoal to get rid of odors in your hair? Tell us about your experience!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Linda says

    It is my understanding that activated charcoal or activated carbon adsorb based on the information on the package. Absorption is the process in which a fluid is dissolved by a liquid or a solid (absorbent). Adsorption is the process in which atoms, ions or molecules from a substance (it could be gas, liquid or dissolved solid) adhere to a surface of the adsorbent. Adsorption is a surface-based process where a film of adsorbate is created on the surface while absorption involves the entire volume of the absorbing substance.