What Is Hair Fragrance?

Marjorie McAtee

Hair fragrance, also known as hair perfume or "parfum pour les cheveux," is a type of body fragrance designed to be applied to the hair. These perfumes are intended to mask the odors that can accumulate in hair between shampoos, such as the smell of cigarette or wood smoke. Some use hair fragrance to maintain a clean, freshly washed hair odor, since hair typically loses the odor of the shampoo used within a few hours of washing. Hair fragrance spray is typically formulated to be applied to the hair daily, often several times a day, so a well-formulated hair perfume spray won't make hair look oily or weigh it down. Most hair perfumes are formulated so that the scent remains in the hair, and does not interfere with the scent of any other perfumes the person may be wearing on her body.

In addition to making the hair smell nice, hair fragrance extends the time period between hair washes.
In addition to making the hair smell nice, hair fragrance extends the time period between hair washes.

Typical scents for hair perfumes include floral, citrus, and herbal scents. Hair fragrance sprays scented with vanilla or coconut are available from some manufacturers. Hair perfumes are also available from popular high-end fragrance manufacturers, such as Chanel. These hair fragrances generally mimic the manufacturer's popular body fragrances. Some hair perfumes are intended simply to make hair smell as if it has been freshly shampooed.

The fragrance of shampoos typically wears off after a few hours.
The fragrance of shampoos typically wears off after a few hours.

Fragrances for the hair vary in quality. Some manufacturers use alcohol or silicone in their hair fragrance sprays. These ingredients are believed potentially harmful to the hair and scalp, and may cause irritation in those with sensitive skin. Hair fragrances that contain oils or silicone can make hair appear greasy and unwashed, or weigh hair down with repeated applications.

Hair fragrance sprays scented with vanilla or coconut are available from some manufacturers.
Hair fragrance sprays scented with vanilla or coconut are available from some manufacturers.

Other products designed to perfume the hair boast ingredients that may be of some benefit to hair's healthy appearance. These ingredients can include silk protein, essential oils, and moisturizing agents.

Fragrances for the hair vary in quality.
Fragrances for the hair vary in quality.

Since hair fragrance sprays can weigh hair down and give it an oily appearance, most hair stylists recommend applying the fragrances sparingly, and spraying them only on the very ends of the hair. This method of application typically allows the hair to retain its body. It can also allow for the application of hair perfume to freshly styled hair without disturbing it. Stylists typically suggest that oil-based hair perfumes be applied to the hair with the hands, rather than spraying them directly on. Some hair perfumes made without heavy oils, alcohol or silicone can be applied liberally to the hair by spraying.

Many popular hair fragrances have citrus notes.
Many popular hair fragrances have citrus notes.

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