When it comes to our daily beauty routines, there are certain hair products we can’t seem to live without. A few must-haves remain on our beauty shelves, such as purple shampoo for ash blonde hair or our favorite texturizing hairspray. However, some of us may overlook one product category entirely: hair perfume and fragrance.
“I like to think of hair perfume as the perfect refresh partner to your dry shampoo,” says beauty expert and Matrix ambassador Nick Stenson. “Day two hair, after-workout hair, or getting ready for the night out, hair perfume is the finishing touch to freshen up your style.”
Hair perfume is also ideal for anyone looking to add a subtle aroma to their strands without overdoing it. Here’s what Stenson wants you to know about hair perfume and how to use it. We’re also rounding up a few editor-approved L’Oréal hair care recommendations that will leave your locks smelling divine. Keep scrolling!
What is hair perfume?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever given your mane a generous dose of your favorite fragrance to unsuccessfully mask the smell of bonfire from the night before (guilty as charged). While the occasional strand-refreshing spritz likely won’t do too much harm, if you turn to this solution often, you may want to consider investing in a hair perfume instead.
“Hair perfume is a fragrance that is made specifically for your hair and with none of the harsh ingredients found in a traditional perfume, which can be distressing and drying to your hair,” explains Stenson. “Many hair perfumes are formulated with nourishing ingredients that add a beautiful scent as well as shine or hydration.”
Is hair perfume good for your hair?
As long as you aren’t saturating your hair morning, noon, and night, hair perfume is a perfectly suitable addition to your hair routine, though moderation is key.
“Like any other hair product, you want to be sure to check out the ingredients in your hair perfume,” adds Stenson. “Ones that are high in alcohol can be [damaging] to your locks. Look for water-based hair fragrances to ensure that you maintain your hair's health.”
If you do find that your hair is parched or brittle to the touch after using either a traditional fragrance or a hair perfume, try taking a break and applying a mask or leave-in conditioner to help rehab your hair back to life. Some of these hair care products also work double duty to make your tresses smell great—we’ll get into that later!
What is the best way to use hair perfume?
It may seem like spritzing your hair is straightforward, but surprisingly, there are a few pro-recommended ways to apply hair perfume.
“Spray a light mist above your head and let the fragrance land in your hair,” advises Stenson. “This will ensure that you aren’t overdoing it with fragrance.”
Another great way is to spray the formula onto your brush and quickly run it through your hair a few times. Of course, you can mist it directly onto your hair as well; just be sure to hold the bottle at least six inches away from your head to avoid getting your hair too damp with the liquid—this can be a styler spoiler if you’re prone to frizz!
What is the best hair perfume?
The best hair perfume will leave a pleasant lingering scent behind and help improve or enhance the health of your hair. We personally love applying a perfume oil like Kérastase’s Chronologiste L’Huile de Parfum Fragrance in Hair Oil from the mid-lengths to ends. Notes of tea rose, light woods, and musk leaves hair intensely fragranced, hyaluronic acid moisturizes and hydrates the hair fiber and scalp, and vitamin E protects from external aggressors.
If you don’t want to shell out for hair perfume, that’s perfectly okay! You can still infuse your strands with a fresh, alluring scent by choosing luxury hair products that smell amazing. And what’s better than adding more multi-taskers to your routine? These are a few of our favorites from L’Oréal’s portfolio of professional hair products.
18 Scented Hair Products to Add to Your Routine
Matrix Refresher Dry Shampoo
“The addition of dry shampoo to your routine will allow you to create a blank canvas for your hair’s scent,” says Stenson. He loves Matrix’s Refresher Dry Shampoo, which contains top notes of lemon, bergamot, and dewy greens and can be used alone or with a hair perfume.
Matrix Food For Soft Shampoo and Conditioner
Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment
Keep the vacation vibes going with Pureology’s Hydrate Superfood Treatment. A fusion of pineapple, coconut, and vanilla will make you feel like you’re sipping piña coladas on a beach.
Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo and Conditioner
Pureology’s Hydrate Sheer Shampoo and Conditioner are fan favorites for many reasons. The shampoo envelops you in lavender, bergamot, and patchouli oils to help calm your senses, while the conditioner’s menthol and mint reinvigorate your mind and stimulate your scalp.
Kérastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo
A few sprays of Kérastase’s Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo will infuse the neroli-scented formula into your strands for 24 hours of sweet and spicy freshness.
Kérastase Scrub Apaisant Soothing Scalp Scrub
Bring the spa experience to you with a lavish scalp scrub like Kérastase Scrub Apaisant Soothing Scalp Scrub. It contains sweet orange essential oil, an aromatic fragrance that helps uplift your mood.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Overnight Serum
Does your PM routine often involve an overnight hair serum? You might as well pick one that smells extra-luxe, like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair’s Essence Absolue Overnight Serum. Its star ingredient, red camellia oil, softens and nourishes dry, frizzy, and unruly hair while you catch some shut-eye.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
Even if you’re sensitive to scent, we think you’ll still love the delicate yet sweet-smelling Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner, which also boasts 25 benefits for all hair types.
Biolage Professional All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray
All of Biolage Professional’s products are made with their iconic Aromascience™ fragrance that creates a unique sensorial experience during use and all day after. We favor the All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray for its hair-nourishing benefits and its delectable hints of mandarin, rose, and sandalwood.
Biolage Professional Hydra Source Blow Dry Shaping Lotion
Another top Biolage contender is the brand’s Hydra Source Blow Dry Shaping Lotion. Luxurious fragrance aside, it provides the perfect combination of heat protection, weightless hydration, and shape memory for heat-styled hair.
Redken Aciding Bonding Concentrate
You may think that a line so serious about hair care won’t have a particularly pleasant scent profile, but think again! Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate range contains a subtle citrus aroma, thanks in part to the collection’s citric acid. This ingredient reinforces weakened hair bonds and helps build strength and resiliency to repair damaged hair. Best of all, you can curate your ideal routine by mixing and matching the line’s shampoo, conditioner, conditioner spray, intensive mask, and leave-in.
L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Curl Expression Curl Reviver
Revive your curl pattern and refresh your strands in one fell swoop using L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Curl Expression Curl Reviver. It contains memorable floral top notes of star jasmine, orchid, and freesia, enveloped in a refreshing breeze of precious cedarwood.