Hair Perfume—have you heard of it? I didn’t even know that it existed until rather recently. Sure, I can remember spraying body mists or perfume right onto my hair as a teenager, or pumping them onto my hair brush to apply that way, but I’d never realized there was a product made solely to add fragrance to hair.
The more I’ve thought about it though, the more I’ve realized just how much sense Hair Perfume makes. Hair is certainly a strong carrier for all kinds of scents. This is obvious when someone walks by and the smell of their floral shampoo lingers behind, or in those moments when we realize our own mane smells like grilled onions or garlic from cooking (I know I’m not the only one who experiences that!). Why not, then, create a product to ensure that our hair smells good?
Spritzing a natural hair perfume is a great way to freshen up unwashed hair or to add a lovely boost to freshly cleaned locks. Whether you wash your hair once a week like I do or shampoo each and every day, you can benefit from this recipe!
But Why Don’t we Just use Regular Perfume?
The problem with using commercial perfumes on our hair (as the younger version of me used to do) is that they tend to contain A LOT of alcohol, which can be very drying to the hair. Not to mention most perfumes (and hair perfumes) on the market are loaded with synthetic fragrances, which mean petro-chemicals and undisclosed chemical ingredients.
So, how can we get sweet-smelling locks while keeping on the non-toxic, natural beauty band wagon?
YUP, you know exactly what I am going to say: we are going to DIY our own!
What you will need:
- Essential Oils
- Carrier ingredient of choice (vodka, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, or jojoba oil)
- Distilled Water, or Rose Water if you are feeling extra fancy. Note: If using homemade rose water made from actual rose petals, your mixture will need to be refrigerated and likely will have a short shelf life. You might consider halving the recipe.
- Free printable that I’m offering below
Which essential oils should you use?
I’m so glad you asked, because making a full-bodied and lasting scent is a little more involved than just throwing together “a little bit-a-this and a little bit-a-that.” Here are a couple of things to consider:
- Pick EO’s that are nourishing for hair. If you are going to be using essential oils, why not get nourishing benefits on top of a great smell? You may remember the free printable on Essential Oils for Hair that I offered with my DIY Hair Gel post last month. You can grab that free printable plus my new one that I am offering today by clicking here.
- Be sure to incorporate TOP, MIDDLE, and BASE notes into your blend. Every essential oil has a “note” classification based on the speed that the fragrance dissipates. Top notes are the scents that you notice first in a blend, and they often disappear within an hour or two. Middle notes last around 2-4 hours, and Base notes stick around for the long haul (sometimes a day or more!). An ideal ratio for DIY perfuming is 30% Top notes, 50% Middle, and 20% Base. Many oil manufacturers and distributors list the note classification of each essential oil on their website, but I went ahead and created a new printable for you that lists popular essential oils by their note classification!
Next, we will need to decide the type of carrier to use.
I am sure you already know that oil and water don’t mix! So, if we were to mix essential oils in plain water, the oils would not be properly diluted when sprayed and could cause irritation. There are a few different types of carriers we can use to solve this problem:
OPTION 1: VODKA OR WITCH HAZEL
Pros: Alcohol bases are popular because they evaporate quickly, helping to diffuse the essential oils and enhance their fragrance. They also produces a light product that won’t weigh the hair down. In my opinion, the overall fragrance smells like an actual perfume when sprayed on hair.
Cons: Alcohol is not always “natural,” and can be drying to the skin/hair (unlikely in this recipe as it will be very diluted in our end product).
OPTION 2: CARRIER OILS
Pros: Carrier oils are alcohol-free, so there definitely won’t be any damage to the hair at all. They may also add shine to hair.
Cons: Depending on the carrier oil used, they may affect the overall smell or cause hair to appear heavy or greasy (I suggest using Jojoba as it closely mimics the scalp’s natural sebum. Find organic Jojoba Oil here.). When sprayed onto hair, the mixture smelled more like a nice hair product than a perfume.
OPTION 3: ALOE VERA
Pros: Of all three of my experiments, the aloe vera seemed to emulsify the essential oils and water best, and did not affect the smell at all. Aloe may also add conditioning benefits and shine to hair. (Find organic aloe vera gel here.)
Cons: Depending on the brand used, the mixture may need to be refrigerated or have a shorter shelf life than the other options. When sprayed onto hair, this mixture also smelled more like a nice hair product than a perfume.
All three options will require some shaking to mix from time to time, but the blend made with carrier oils (jojoba) would clearly need the most shaking!
Now, let’s make some hair perfume!
DIY Natural Hair Perfume
- 45 drops of Essential Oils (Recommended: 14 drops Top notes, 22 drops Middle notes, 9 drops Base Notes. Access the free printable here to help you pick the right notes.) (find essential oils here)
- 2 tsp Carrier (vodka, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, or jojoba oil)
- 3.5 oz Distilled Water or Rose Water (find pure Rose Water here)
1. Combine 45 drops essential oils of choice until desired scent is reached. The scent will change some when diluted, and also as it sits and “brews” over the coming weeks in your perfume bottle. (Be sure to write down your blend so that you can replicate or alter it easily with your next batch!)
2. Add in 2 tsp of your carrier ingredient of choice. Swirl to combine.
3. Add in 3.5 oz of distilled water (or rose water) and swirl to combine.
4. Transfer to a dark, glass bottle that tightly seals. Store in a cool, dry place, or refrigerate if your chosen ingredients require it.
Shake gently to mix before each use. Spray onto the lengths of hair as desired.