Should you put perfume in your hair

What happens if you put perfume on your hair?

Writer and philosopher, J. Krishnamurti wrote: “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure, it is in decay.” Much of what he says is true! Our quest to release our signature scent should never fall into the hands of conventionality. Where would the fun in that be?

Perfume is commonly applied to the pulse points of the body. However, over the years, there is one contentious debate that continues to rage: should you put perfume in your hair? 

At Dossier, we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs to provide you with alternatives which will not only accentuate your signature scent, but enhance your inner twirl.

Understanding a fragrance’s composition

We all have more or less the same image edged in our brains: the first spritz to the pulse points or the neck. It could be memories stemming from our mother preparing for work, or the countless times we’ve watched (insert any fragrance brand) commercials. It’s also proven: applying perfume to heated areas (the neck, forearms, pulse points) unlocks the full potential (and potency) of your signature scent.

But what if you wanted to try something new? Or even more, you wish to explore to the fullest extent your signature scent. First, it’s important to know: what’s in your fragrance?

Even though perfume can contain up to 30% of essential oils, the remaining composition predominantly consists of alcohol and other synthetic ingredients. So even though your favorite perfume is harmless when sprayed directly onto skin, it’s not ideal for direct application to hair. 

This is because the majority of perfumes on the market contain an alcohol called ethanol, which helps dilute the fragrance, hold the scent and gradually release the top, medium and base notes over time through evaporation.

However, products containing ethanol dry out hair because of the low carbon atom content. Regular use of perfumes containing ethanol can also cause your hair cuticle to coarsen — this has a drying effect not only on the skin, but it can severely dry out your luscious locks and make them brittle. So, while the scent may settle onto your strands, it can also result in irritation, producing a dry and itchy scalp, leading to hair breakage, frizziness, split ends, or unsightly dandruff.

Techniques for accentuating your scent

Now you may be thinking ok, maybe dousing fragrance on my head is a bad idea. After all, you don’t want to risk damaging your hair. But how can you continue to express yourself through your signature scent?

If you still want to add a layer of fragrance to your hair, we recommend the following options:

Scented oils and hair serums

Not only do scented oils and hair serums nourish your hair and scalp with moisture, but they also leave a scent that permeates your strands. Also, be on the lookout for any products containing cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol. Since these fatty alcohols are derived from plants, they are far less likely to irritate and dry out the scalp.

Essential oils, while a main component in perfumes and highly beneficial for a variety of purposes, care should be taken when using them in its pure form to ensure the high concentrations do not result in sensitization. Also, be weary of citrus oils as they are known to cause photosensitivity with sun exposure after application.

Hair Mists

Hair mists are also formulated with lower concentrations of alcohol to minimize irritation while still acting as a fragrant moisturizer. When paired with complementary notes in your body perfume, hair mists can accentuate your chosen scent. 

All you need to do is spritz it around the roots and strands, ensuring your hair is completely dry to achieve the optimal scent. 

Spraying perfume into the air 

If you can’t find a hair serum or mist that matches the perfume you want to wear, don’t fret. There are still some alternatives available to you and the mist cloud method is an authentic technique that helps you gain that additional coverage to accentuate your scent. 

While typically not ideal for body application, creating a mist and running through it allows the perfume to gently settle onto your hair rather than soaking in and saturating the strands. This decreases the potential for the alcohol content to irritate or dry out your hair and/or scalp.

Applying perfume directly to your hairbrush

One novel alternative to spraying perfume into your hair is to apply some onto your hairbrush. 

Begin by spraying your hairbrush with your selected perfume a few times to coat the bristles. 

Then gently wave your hairbrush through the air for about 10 seconds, allowing much of the alcohol content to evaporate. 

Finally, run your hairbrush through your (already styled) hair until the scent is fully and evenly distributed. 

This method allows you to lock the fragrance into your hair without the potential negative side effects that come from spraying the perfume directly into your hair. The notes will then be released throughout the day, so no need to spruce up intermittently. 

Tips for keeping your signature scent in your hair

Hopefully, it goes without saying that if you want to ensure that your tresses retain their fragrance past happy hour and into dinner, you should consider these basics: 

1. Ensure that your perfume is kept in its original box or an enclosed area as light exposure will cause the perfume to deteriorate. 

2. Do not store your perfume in the bathroom since repeated fluctuations in ambient moisture and temperature will also cause your perfume to rapidly deteriorate, decreasing its quality and potency. 

3. Keep away from strong odors, such as cigarette smoke or fried foods. Hair is extremely porous and will allow these malodorous smells to permeate your hair, undoing all the hard work you’ve put into making your perfume a fragrant representation of your personality.

With our suggestions, you can now embark on trying something new to better reflect your fierce and experimenting spirit. Life shouldn’t be left to idling, so be daring and accentuate your signature scent today.


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