Everyone loves straightening hair but not smelly flat irons at all. What will it feel like when you have to go out with friends and can’t straighten your hair because of your straightener’s smell? There are many reasons for a smelly straightener. Sometimes, we make mistakes unconsciously, or it may be due to another cause. 

Are you pondering why my straightener smell? This article will help you find some common reasons for a smelly straightener that you can’t ignore. Let’s dive straight into it.  

5 reasons for smelly straightener 

High temperature 

Your flat iron may seem smelly if you use it daily to straighten your hair at a high temperature. You should stay away from the hottest settings, probably 450 degrees or around it. The best temperature to keep in is approx 350-375 degrees for thin hair and 400-450 degrees for thick hair. 

Too much heat damages the straightener plates made of ceramic or titanium. However, titanium plates can heat up faster and bear high temperatures. So a straightener with titanium is a good option if you have to straighten your hair look often. 

Dirty hair 

It may sound unusual how dirty hair can contribute to the smelly flat iron? But it is the most common reason that people face. If you have applied any hair product and it did not go right into your hair, leaving a layer out on your hair. 

Then these product regimes can stick to your straightener’s plates and ultimately result in worse smell order. Not hair products, but your natural hair oil can also do the same, so make sure to clean your hair completely before straightening. 

Straightening wet hair 

Straightening your wet hair is another common reason that your straightener smell. Sometimes you wash your hair in a hurry, do not let it dry completely, and start straightening. The moisture content of your hair and high heat can leave a foul order to your straightener.

It is also harmful to your hair. Exposure of damp hair to high heat creates steam and bubbles within the hair fibers. It can last to your hair cuticles resulting in split ends and broken hair. 

Overprocessed hair straightening 

If you go to a salon for consistent cut downs and hair dyes, your hair is overprocessed. That means they are broken and more susceptible to heat damage. Heat breaks hair strands when you run a flat iron with high-temperature settings over them. It is also not beneficial for the straightener itself and produces an awful odor at the end. 

Not a right straightener 

It is confusing to choose the right straightener from a great variety in front of you. But a little consideration can bring beneficial outcomes. A flat iron that does not suit your hair type can damage your hair, creating a smelly environment, and that smell can last on plates of a flat iron. There are some options that we can take under consideration. 

These include ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline. Hair experts say that tourmaline suits most hair types can resist worse heat settings, and is less damaging. Titanium is well-known for faster heat transfer, while ceramic is not good for damaged hair. Consider your hair type before buying.  

How to clean a flat iron 

We know that hair product regimes and high temperatures can cause your straightener to smell fishy. You don’t even need to waste a smelly flat iron. Instead, you should clean it. Let’s find out a way to do so. 

What do you need to clean a straightener?

What you need: Alcohol for rubbing, cotton pads, and a warm cloth. 

What to do: 

  • Dip a cotton pad in alcohol.
  • Gently rub it over the plate of a straightener.
  • Do the same for the other plate. 
  • Clean it with a warm damp cloth. 


How to get rid of straightener smell using alcohol? 

What to do if you don’t have alcohol? Don’t worry. Here we have another method to make it clean from buildup for the next use. 

What you need: Nail polish remover, cotton pads, and a damp microfibre towel 

What to do: 

  • Pour some nail polish remover on a cotton ball or dip it into the bottle. 
  • Rub it on the plate circularly
  • Focus dark spots having the most buildup 
  • Finish the process with the warm damp microfiber towel cleaning.


Benefits of using alcohol as a gunk remover 

Gunk is just buildup over your straightener plates. It may be rust, hair grease, or your hair product. Alcohol will scrap all these regimes leaving the shiny surface. Make sure to wipe it with a clean cloth. 

Tip: You can also try a solution of baking soda and yeast in hydrogen peroxide to make it clean. 

How to implement: (Pour some yeast approx 13 tbsp in a bowl, add baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into it, make a thick paste, apply on the plates and leave for 10 minutes, clean the surface with a damp cloth by rubbing it in a circular motion) 

How can you keep your hair smelling good with a smelly straightener? 

Your straightener smell nowadays, but you need hair straightening because there is an event that you can’t miss. Then make sure to follow some simple strategies so that the smell of flat iron will not leave your hair smelly. 

  • Regular hair wash. At least twice a week or 2-3 times a week. 
  • Use of hair perfume. 
  • Prefer scented hair products. 
  • Keep your pillowcase clean and also your hair accessories. 
  • Use clean and hygienic hair brushes free of fungus (dandruff).
  • Keep dry shampoo on your list.

Bottom line

Hair straightening is the need of the day, and unfortunately, we can’t stay away from it. It needs ones’ proper consideration. You have to find the right straightener for yourself, keep it with care, and use it with caution. We have discussed all these in the article above. If we have missed something that you learned from your experience, share it with us in the comments. We would love to know about it. Also, if you have any questions, we are here to answer them.