Many of our customers ask us: “Can I Perfume My Hair?” or “How To Perfume Your Hair?“
Today, the art of fragrance isn’t limited to just your wrists or neck anymore, it has transcended to become a complete sensory experience that includes your hair.
Perfuming your hair is becoming increasingly popular, not just among women but also among men who understand the value of a lingering fragrance.
However, perfuming your hair isn’t as straightforward as applying your favourite fragrance on your wrists or using an after shave. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the following:
- how to perfume your hair,
- pros & cons,
- the suitable types of perfumes,
- the different formats and techniques,
- unique tips from our in-House perfumer.
Pros & Cons Of A Hair Fragrance?
Whenever it comes to perfume, we all have our personal preferences and routines that we favour.
Still, … it is worth to remember a few unique differences between skin and hair when discussing “How to perfume your hair” with your friends & family:
- Air Flow: perfume evaporates faster when air flows over it and we naturally move our head & hair during the day which in turn stimulates perfume evaporation. Will a hair perfume last?
- Habituation: One of the disappointments with wearing perfume is that we can’t sense our own fragrance after a short time because our noses become used to it. Can a hair fragrance solve this?
- Heat: we loose most of our body heat via our head. This heat will invariably stimulate the diffusion of your perfume from your hair into the room and you may find that your fragrance projects much better than previously. Equally, your sillage can be expected to be better.
- Surface Area: depending your hair style, you may have a wonderfully large area where to apply perfume rather than the small surface areas of your wrists, arms, chest or cheeks. How will this affect fragrance intensity?
- Adhesion: the oils that naturally occur in your hair, will improve adhesion of the fragrance to your hair. Will your fragrance last longer?
When you use a hair perfume, you may expect that you and your friends, family and partner will suddenly notice your perfume because you stood up, moved from where you were standing and simply ‘moved your hair’ to stimulate air flow. This is how a hair perfume overcomes ‘habituation’ and
Those of us who react allergic to perfume on their skin, may find that they do not react at all when they fragrance their, as there is no or very little skin contact.
Some of our clients report that they find fragrance on their hair lasts longer which will be due to ‘adhesion’ of the fragrance to the hair.
Our hair doesn’t perspire and you may find when playing a sport or exercising that your fragrance copes and lasts much better, as it doesn’t evaporate with your perspiration and increased body heat.
You simply might not like perfume on your hair, as it might come into your eyes or you don’t like the feeling of the fragrance in your hair.
You might not like that a hair perfume can become too intense.
Different Perfume Concentrations?
You probably know already that the concentration of the fragrance oil in a perfume dictates its longevity and potency. In other words, a Parfum or an Eau de Parfum have a higher oil concentration than Eau de Toilette or an Eau Fraiche.
You may instinctively expect that it will be better to use a higher concentration product for the hair. However, a Parfum or Eau de Parfum might not be ideal for you, if you feel that your hair is naturally oily, a bit thin or perhaps a little ‘heavy’.
Instead, in this scenario, a lighter Eau de Toilette, Eau Fraiche and maybe even a Hair Mist might be the ideal for you. The oil that is naturally in your hair will naturally help to make your perfume last longer, as it will bind the perfume to the hair, i.e. you might not need a higher concentration anyway.
The exact opposite is the case, if you feel that your hair is dry, strong or thick. In this case, the higher oil concentration you find in a Parfum, Eau de Parfum or Eau de Parfum Intense might be ideal for you.
As you can see, you might have to try a few different types before you discover which concentration is best suited to your unique hair.
This is the first tip from our in-House Perfumer, Huib Maat:
“Use a lighter concentration but spray it more often to cover your entire head evenly. You will that your fragrance lasts longer and it won’t appear greasy”.
Types Of Perfumes Suitable For Hair?
When it comes to choosing a fragrance for your hair, not all perfumes are created equal.
Some of the types to consider are:
- Eau de Toilette / Eau de Parfum / Eau de Cologne / Eau Fraiche : the typical perfume spray we all use. Choose the perfume concentration that fits your hair. With a spray it is very easy to apply a fine mist evenly across your hair or head.
- Hair Mists: These are light formulations designed specifically for hair, typically containing no or less alcohol-free and water instead. Usually, the perfume concentration is less.
- Essential Oil Dropper: Natural oils can be applied directly to your scalp using an oil dropper. This will naturally fragrance your hair.
- Attars, Elixir or Parfum: These are oil-based perfumes and it is a question of taste or climate whether these are ideal for you. They are ideal for applying perfume directly to your scalp. Also consider these when you prefer to comb a fragrance into your hair, as you can easily apply a few drops to the teeth of the come without making a mess.
- Pen or Roll-On: a bit like the oil dropper bottles, they allow to apply perfume to your scalp in specific spots.
- Pomade: this is the time-honoured and preferred method of gentlemen when fragrancing their hair in the morning. Pomades are easily and evenly applied to your hair using a comb.
- Serums or Creams: These are great for those who also want some nourishing benefits along with the scent. The fragrance tends to be very, very light.
Here is another tip from our perfumer:
“Avoid water-based hair mists, as water droplets are bigger in size. Instead, opt for a spray with mostly alcohol, as the alcohol will create micro-fine fragrance droplets that will lightly and evenly cover your hair to ensure it doesn’t look greasy or feel wet.”
Different Techniques to Perfume Hair
- Spray Directly: using a spray and mist, hold the bottle 6-8 inches away from your hair and spritz.
- Walk-in: Spray the ‘air’ and walk into the floating mist. This technique has a major advantage, as it allows the alcohol and/or water to evaporate so that only a very fine perfume mist settles on your hair. The technique is also recommended, if you are worried about greasy looking hair. Just make sure you close your eyes when you step into the perfume.
- The Comb-Through: Apply perfume to a comb and run it through your hair for even distribution. The downside is that fragrance particles left on your hair won’t be as fine.
- The Palm Rub: For attars and oils, apply a small amount to your palms, rub them together, and then lightly run them through your hair. This is similar to how you would apply other hair products.
Which Parts of the Hair Should Be Perfumed?
- Middle: this is the obvious area where every one of us instinctively fragrances the hair
- Ends: Focusing on the tips will allow more perfume to evaporate when your hair moves.
- Scalp: there is no obvious reason not to fragrance you scalp and it will allow your fragrance to last longer. However, you may find that the skin on your head is already sensitive from colouring your hair.
Should Perfume Be Sprayed Under Or Into The Hair Or On Top Of It?
This is more of a question for women and men with long hair.
Spraying perfume under the layers of your hair allows the scent to be released more subtly as you move over time.
Spraying it on top will create a more intensive perfume but will allow the fragrance dissipate more quickly.
Both have their unique advantages.
Another tip from our perfumer:
“In particular for women, lifting the hair in the neck and spraying their perfume underneath is an excellent technique.”
How Long Does Perfume Last on Hair?
The longevity of a scent on your hair depends on multiple factors, including the perfume oil concentration (see above), how long your hair is, your hair type, where you apply it on your head or hair, whether you are exercising and other factors.
Generally speaking, you should expect your perfume to last longer compared with spraying it on your skin, e.g. wrists, hands, face, neck.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few additional tips and a word of caution from our in-House Perfumer:
- Layering Scents: You can layer a light hair mist with a stronger perfume for a more complex scent profile.
- Buildup: in the same way as you should avoid a build-up from only using 2in1 hair shampoos & conditioners, you should prevent a build up of fragrance over time by using a normal shampoo and separate conditioner afterwards.
- Irritation: in the same way as you should be cautious when using perfume on your skin, you should be cautious when applying it to your hair. Test the perfume on a small section of your hair to ensure it doesn’t react adversely. Observe for any changes in texture or colour and ensure the fragrance doesn’t irritate your scalp.
- Consult a Professional: When in doubt, consult a hairstylist or a dermatologist.
We hope we have answered your question of “How to perfume your hair”, as perfuming your hair can be a delightful experience, with some unique advantages and surprises.
By considering the type, concentration and application method, you can make the most out of the olfactory adventure with your hair. From sprays to attars to oils, each format offers a unique way to express your personality through fragrance.
So go ahead, choose your fragrance, and let your hair do the talking!
We invite you to trial at our Eau de Parfum Intense, for a natural niche perfume with a super-fine mist that is ideal for use as a Hair Perfume.