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Fragrance in Shampoo - Is It Good or Bad for Hair?

Fragrance in Shampoo

The mass marketing of shampoo began in the 1920s, and fragrance has long been a key component of these hair-cleansing formulas. Sure, there have been unscented versions along the way, but before the launch of SEEN it was challenging to find a luxurious, high-performing, fragrance-free shampoo that was created with the health of the skin in mind. (Keep reading for more about the effects fragrance can have on the skin.)

Is fragrance good or bad for the hair?

This is a common question, and a good one at that. It’s important to understand that when you see “fragrance” on a product label, this is considered a proprietary formula so fragrance manufacturers are not required to disclose the specific ingredients.

In most cases, fragrance itself does not have an impact on the health or appearance of the hair. Fragrance is added to shampoos to provide a sensory experience and in some cases a long-lasting, enveloping scent. However, SEEN believes that haircare also acts as skincare—and any products you use to wash, condition, or style your hair (as well as their fragrance) may have an impact on skin health from head to toe.

Can haircare affect the skin?

Remember, haircare products inevitably come in contact with your skin. This happens when shampoo and conditioner cascade down your face and body while rinsing in the shower. Leave-in haircare products can transfer from your hair to the skin on your face, neck, shoulders, and back. These products can also transfer from your hair to a towel or pillowcase and then come in contact with the skin. When you use haircare products either in the shower or for styling, you run the risk of breakouts if they contain pore-clogging ingredients. If your haircare products contain ingredients that are known to cause irritation or allergies, you may experience unwanted skin reactions.

Is shampoo fragrance good or bad for the skin?

The answer to this question depends on your unique skin. Since it’s nearly impossible to know the specific ingredients in a product’s fragrance, it’s also hard to know if it contains common skin irritants and allergens

While some people don’t experience any fragrance-related skin side effects, others do. Fragrance in haircare like shampoo, conditioner, and styling products can be a trigger for eczema-prone and sensitive skin. Aside from the skin, some people with fragrance sensitivity can experience a runny nose, watery eyes, or even migraine headaches.

The benefits of SEEN fragrance-free shampoo

SEEN was created by Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin after she experienced breakouts that were traced back to her haircare products. In addition to recognizing the impact that haircare could have on acne, Dr. Rubin saw the need for luxurious fragrance-free products that would be beneficial for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin that reacted to fragrance.

SEEN’s fragrance-free products offer all of the benefits of luxury haircare (and skincare!) with none of the drawbacks. Beyond being fragrance-free, all of our products are also non-comedogenic (so they won’t clog pores), non-irritating, and safe for sensitive skin. 

In fact, all fragrance-free SEEN products have received the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance™. Fragrance-Free ShampooFragrance-Free Conditioner, and Magic Serum have also received SkinSAFE’s coveted “Trusted Choice” seals. This means you can enjoy stronger, smoother, healthier hair without worrying about fragrance aggravating sensitive skin, or the potential that your haircare products will clog pores and lead to breakouts.