Perfuming your hair

Perfuming your hair

Have you ever passed someone nonchalantly in the street, only to be stalled briefly by their trailing fragrance and left thinking: “Who was that?

The French have a word for it: sillage. According to esteemed perfume experts Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, ‘sillage’ means: ‘the wake left in the water by passing ships; fragrance industry jargon for the scent trail left by a perfume at a distance from the wearer.’

These scent trails can sometimes be monstrous, overwhelming fellow pavement-pounders and declaring their presence like megaphone announcements over supermarket aisles. Other times, they’re almost non-existent, close-to-the-skin, and intimate in their introductions. In the middle ground lies a sweet spot of scents that introduce themselves gently, then linger on in the memory. This is where perfuming your hair comes in.

Hair is a fabulous diffuser of fragrance and one of the best spots to spray to make an impression because it slows the transition through a perfume’s various notes, making it last longer and leaving an olfactory breadcrumb trail in the wearer’s wake.

How to perfume your hair

Some like to use perfume to fragrance their hair but many perfumes contain alcohol which can dry out and cause damage to the ends of hair. To lessen the effects of this you might want to try one of three approaches: spray your perfume into the air before walking into its cloud and letting it settle gently, apply perfume to a hair brush first, then comb through the hair; or simply avoid the alcohol content completely.

Cult classic Super Milk is known for its stop-you-in-the-street worthy fragrance. Almond, coconut and oat milk gives a hit of smoothing softness. It's also a natural heat protector, conditioning spray and detangler. 

Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner scents hair with a delightfully sensual summer breeze that mingles uplifting neroli and grapefruit oils with floral rose and orange blossom waters. And it does so without a drop of alcohol. Instead, soothing almond milk, hydrating glycerin and jojoba oil are added to keep hair in great condition (without weighing it down).

If you like to pick your own then perhaps a strawberry scented American Cream conditioner would fit your basket? Soak your hair in a hydrating, strawberries and cream scented cleansing conditioner, brimming with vitamin C it also contains fresh organic oranges for maximum shine. You hair will thank you and so will passers by who catch a whiff of those sweet smelling tresses.

Serendipity has it that many of the essential oils and resins beloved for their unique, often mood-enhancing, fragrances also have advantageous effects on the hair. Cinnamon oil promotes healthy hair growth in New, juniperberry balances the scalp in Jumping Juniper, and a deep breath of lemon oil rising from Montalbano promotes the shine of hair by encouraging the cuticles to lie flat and therefore reflect more light.

This means that the next time you’re sharing glorious scent by recreating a classic shampoo advert scene - slow-motion, 180° swish - you can do so safe in the knowledge that you’re working wonders for your hair’s condition too.

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