Melissa’s emanation: I know that this will probably sound strange, but I have an aversion to most fragrances in hair care products. Suave is one of my favorites, it works very well on my hair. The fragrance however does not, it usually comes in fifth on the ingredients list. Fragrance has kept me from using many good shampoos and conditioners. Pantene is great but I despise the smell it gives me a headache! Is there anything that I can do to tone the fragrance down without interfering with the formula or preservatives? I knew if anyone would know, it would be you!
The Left Brain investigates:
I love this question Melissa. It gives us an opportunity to help people become more interested in chemistry by conducting their own experiments. Fabulous! Of course before continuing you should read the following disclaimer.
Disclaimer: None of the following suggestions will work for every product. Also, mixing products together could result in unknown consequences and ruin your product. Try these suggestions at your own risk.
On their most basic level, all shampoos (except for these weird shampoo varieties) are solutions of surfactants, fragrance and water. There are many other shampoo ingredients but these are the most relevant to your question.
1. Match and Mix. Sometimes shampoo brands will have a version of their product that is “fragrance free”. If you want to have some odor but not as much, just mix the fragrance free version with the regular version. This is the best option because usually the fragrance free version has the same ingredients except fragrance. You’ll have to experiment with the actual amounts but a 50/50 mixture is a good place to start.
2 . Find Fragrance Free. Pantene is one of the most liked, best performing shampoos, but they don’t have a fragrance free version. Neither does Suave. In fact, most main-stream hair brands do not have fragrance free versions. But there are some as evidenced by this list of fragrance free shampoos. Get one of these shampoos that has ingredients in common with your favorite store brand and mix them together.
Example: Try Body Time Moisturizing fragrance free shampoo with Pantene Pro-V Ice shampoo.
3. Buy Bulk & Mix. It turns out there are manufacturing companies who will sell you gallons of unscented shampoo (or conditioner, etc). Just buy in bulk and dilute your favorite shampoo. Ideally, you’ll want to get a shampoo base that matches your shampoos main detergent base.
Example: Birch Hill Happenings sells an unscented base that shares many ingredients as the regular Pantene shampoo.
Remember, some shampoo formulas will not be perfectly compatible. If they separate or go cloudy they probably won’t work as well. Mix a few together in different ratios until you find something that works. Have fun.
Have you come up with your own strategy for reducing fragrances in your beauty care products? Leave a comment and let the rest of the Beauty Brains community know.