DIY Recipes for Natural Hair Perfume
One benefit that shampoo actually provided was a hefty amount of fragrance for nice smelling hair. I remember back to the days when I would frequently browse the shampoo aisles of stores (never satisfied with my current one, and hoping to find a shampoo that would deliver on its promises). I remember one of my criteria for purchase-worthy shampoos was its scent. I know some of you are like me – a great smelling shampoo would sell me right then and there – and I think it goes to show how important the scent of our hair is to us.
Many readers who follow a no shampoo “No Poo” hair method have commented that they miss their hair smelling like flowers, but it can again! We can customize the scent, and we don’t have to subject ourselves to the irritants or toxins that are associated with commercial fragrances… win-win. Here are a few options to make hair smell delicious, flowery, and wonderful. (Learn more about “no shampoo” hair washing here.)
Option #1: DIY Easy Essential Oil Hair Mist Recipe
Make a customized hair mist by adding favorite essential oils to a spray bottle of water and spraying it onto damp hair. It’s quick and easy to make and use – and it doesn’t make hair look oily. The best part is choosing a favorite essential oil (or combination of them) to create a customized, desired fragrance. Popular essential oil scents are lavender, rose, lemongrass, cedarwood, orange, pink grapefruit, and more. Some essential oils can even be beneficial for the scalp & hair.
When using essential oils, it’s important to note that you MUST dilute essential oils! Never use undiluted essential oils on the skin or body or it may lead to irritation. A few drops of essential oils goes a long way, and use less for sensitive skin.
I purchased a spray bottle at the dollar store. I recommend a mister spray nozzle if you don’t want to wet your hair between washes, as it mists fragrance without dampening the hair as much. Here’s my recipe:
- Small bottle with spray nozzle
- 1/4 cup (or 2 ounces) (or 60ml) of water
- 12-24 drops (total) of favorite essential oils (for 1% – 2% dilution)
- First, figure out how much water the spray bottle can hold, so you’ll know if you need to divide the recipe in half to fit the bottle.
- Mix the water and add drops of favorite essential oils.
- Screw on the spray nozzle, and shake the bottle very well to mix. Shake the bottle before and during use to keep mixing the oil and water.
- Mist a few sprays on hair and gently massage it into the hair and scalp.
How to Use:
- You can spray the mixture on damp hair after a hair wash/rinse.
- You can also mist it onto dry hair to refresh the scent between washes, but I recommend misting it onto the hair brush if you don’t want to re-wet your hair.
- Keep shaking the bottle while using it since oil and water naturally separate.
- Be careful you don’t get it in your eyes!
Option #2: Hair Perfume
This one is pretty straight forward, but it’s one that a lot of people don’t think of right away. If you don’t already own or want to purchase essential oils, but you have a bottle of perfume laying around that you never use, a good option for you might be to fragrance your hair with perfume or body spray. (You can actually even buy “hair perfume” specifically designed to fragrance hair.) A little goes a long way with this option and the scent can last a long time.
Option #3: DIY and Silicone-Free Styling Products
I know some people like to use pomades to style their hair, and some people benefit from using an oil or shea butter to hydrate and soften the ends of long hair. If so, you can use any of these products as an opportunity to add fragrance to hair. I don’t need to use styling products anymore, but when I started no poo, I used a shea butter/cocoa butter/coconut oil/french vanilla blend that smelled absolutely amazing to hydrate the ends of my dry hair, and it made my whole head smell delicious. The product I used was actually meant to be used as a body butter, but the ingredients didn’t contain silicones (like many lotions/skin care butters) so I felt comfortable using it on my hair. There are a few things to be careful of when choosing/applying a styling product on no poo. (Also see: Natural heat protectants for No Poo.)
Requirements for choosing a No Poo styling product:
- Regardless of which no poo method used, if you aren’t using sulfates to wash your hair, you must make sure you aren’t using any products that contain silicones! (More on why here.)
- Make sure you can sufficiently wash out any styling products that are added to hair. Whether or not you can wash it out depends on your no poo washing method. For those who use the Water Only method, make sure to choose a product that is water soluble (dissolves in water).
- For oil-based products, use only a tiny amount of product as to not make hair look oily, and keep it away from the roots! I had success only rubbing a very small amount between my palms and distributing it sparingly at the ends of my hair and at the base of my scalp (not at the top or crown of my head).
DIY Natural Pomade / Hydrating Oil Recipe:
Make a homemade pomade by combining Beeswax + essential oil of your choice. Or make a homemade hydrating oil by combining coconut oil + shea butter + essential oil of your choice. I’ll share my own recipes with you in the future, but for now feel free to search online for some existing ones. :)
Option #4: DIY Natural Dry Shampoo Scented Recipe
Another option is to deodorize hair (so it doesn’t smell like anything). Use a simple, homemade dry shampoo: arrowroot powder. This is a great method to use if hair gets excessively oily and possibly starts to smell like dirty hair between washes. I recommend brushing / scritching / preening throughout the week with a clean brush to keep oils at bay, especially since oil buildup is usually what causes dirty hair smell. But at a certain point scritching / preening / brushing isn’t enough, so dry shampoo is a great option to make hair look and smell clean again, without requiring a hair wash. Dry shampoo should deodorize hair of any smells and soak up excess oils, but you can also add fragrance to dry shampoo.
Dark Hair: Arrowroot is a white powder so it blends into blonde hair best. For dark hair, mix together equal parts arrowroot and unsweetened cocoa powder to create a color that blends into darker hair better, which should absorb without leaving a white haze.
Add Fragrance (Optional): For every 2 ounces (or 60 ml) (or 1/4 cup) of dry shampoo, add approximately 10 drops (total) of favorite essential oils (for ~1% dilution) and mix well. Add less essential oil for sensitive skin.
To Apply: Sprinkle a small amount of powder into hair (a little goes a long way), and fluff or brush hair until it absorbs. If a white haze is visible on hair, it generally means too much dry shampoo was applied, but it may be able to be fluffed away with a towel. Also be careful of how much dry shampoo is used because using too much can dry out the scalp which can encourage the scalp to produce oils to moisturize the head again. So only use as much as is needed, and a little goes a long way.
For more info about dry shampoo (and a homemade recipe) see “Tip #3” here.
Fore more DIY recipes for No Poo hair, check out the downloadable eBook!