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What Is Fragrance in Shampoo? | An Overly-Detailed Guide

Have you noticed how you are drawn to certain shampoos because they smell a particular way? The fragrance of your shampoo is responsible for this.

But before you get too attached, know that there’s a lot of talk about fragrance in shampoos and where it comes from. If you have wanted to know, “What is fragrance in shampoo,” you’re in the right place. Read on to learn more.

What Is Fragrance in Shampoo?

The fragrance in your shampoo is created by a number of different substances. It come from ingredients that are natural, such as essential oils, or it can come from synthetic chemicals that are made using petroleum.

More than 95% of shampoos contain perfumes, and the purpose is to produce a product that you love.  You may want to know more about the ingredients that make up fragrances in shampoos.

Many people have questions, including the following:

  • Where do fragrances in shampoo come from?
  • Are the ingredients safe?
  • Should you use fragrance-free shampoo?
  • What are natural fragrance ingredients?

We wanted to find the answers, so we did the research. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about fragrance in shampoo. 

Where Shampoo Fragrance Comes From

Fragrances in shampoos can be natural or chemical. Often, artificial fragrances are created using chemicals. They can be made to smell like lavender or other familiar scents, but they don’t contain flowers or other natural products. 

Natural fragrances usually come from essential oils or plant-based ingredients.

They often use citrus or floral scents, but there are many different options. The scents are formulated by perfumers, and they’re normally complex. They know how to add the right amount of fragrance to the shampoo.

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Are Fragrances in Shampoos Safe?

You may not have given it much thought, but fragrances are in most of your personal care products. This includes lotion, shampoos, sunscreen, deodorant, and more. The fragrance can be synthetic, natural, or a combination of both.

For years, most people didn’t give it a second thought, and the fragrance was part of the process of choosing the product they wanted to use. What many people have learned is that smelling good isn’t the same thing as being safe. Synthetic fragrances are of concern, primarily because there is a lack of transparency.

Companies aren’t required to list the fragrance ingredients because the fragrance is considered a trade secret. They simply include “fragrance” on the ingredients list. 

The problem is that companies can forgo natural plant-based sources and use chemical compounds that aren’t good for you. Synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, and they can interfere with hormone production.

They can be absorbed into your skin, and they can cause irritation, allergies, and more. The biggest problem is that there is no way to find out what ingredients are in the fragrance unless the company lists them on the bottle. 

Should You Use Fragrance-Free Shampoo?

Fragrances are added to shampoos to give them a scent that customers love. The fragrance can also mask bad smells from some of the other ingredients. When you look for a shampoo without fragrance, you will find both unscented and fragrance-free products.

Unscented shampoos mean that the good smells are excluded, but fragrance free excludes all artificial and natural scents. 

If you want to avoid fragrances, as there is no way to know what ingredients create them, you should choose fragrance-free shampoo. You will avoid any potential side effects from using shampoos with chemicals that are potentially not good for you.

The Truth About Ingredients in Natural Scent Shampoos

Some shampoos use all natural fragrances. Although you will avoid chemicals, you still won’t always know exactly how they made their fragrance because it’s a trade secret.

However, they normally use a blend of ingredients because they’re not required to disclose what they are. In fact, according to the International Fragrance Association, there are more than 3,000 ingredients that are used to create different fragrances. 

When a shampoo uses natural fragrances, they’re still allowed to use traces of synthetic ingredients. This is because there is no legal definition for the word “natural” in the United States.

In addition, natural ingredients may not be organic and can be grown using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. You can ask the company to email you a full list of the ingredients, and if they refuse, you should find a company that is more forthcoming. 

Many companies use essential oils for natural fragrances, and others use plant extracts. The key is to find out whether the natural fragrance is 100% natural or whether it has synthetic ingredients in the formula. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is fragrance in shampoo good for your hair?

Fragrances make shampoos smell good, but they may not be good for your hair. Synthetic fragrances are often formulated with chemicals, and they can be irritants and contain mildly toxic substances. Natural fragrances can be okay, as long as they’re truly natural.

Do fragrances in shampoo cause hair loss?

Shampoos that use synthetic fragrances can lead to hair loss. Some of these synthetic ingredients can cause changes in hormone levels in your body, and they can also damage your hair over time. You should avoid synthetic fragrances in shampoos.

What is the difference between unscented and fragrance-free shampoos?

Fragrance-free shampoos do not contain any fragrances or masking scents. Unscented shampoos don’t contain fragrances. But they may contain chemicals that mask the smell of the other ingredients. It’s important to look at all of the ingredients because unscented shampoo may still contain chemicals.

So, What Is Fragrance in Shampoo?

Fragrance in shampoo is the ingredient or ingredients that give shampoo its scent. They can be synthetic, natural, or a combination of the two.

The biggest problem is that companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that make up their fragrance because it’s considered a trade secret. This makes it difficult to assess how harmful or safe the fragrance is in your shampoo.

Natural fragrances are plant-sourced, but they may also contain traces of chemicals. The only way to know that the shampoo is safe is by choosing fragrance-free shampoo.