Homemade Alcohol-Free Hairspray that Works

No need to spend money anymore on expensive hairsprays that are filled with artificial fragrances and chemical nasties. Make your own for pennies and look great for less!

It might sound silly, but I get sooo excited when I find a great homemade personal care recipe.

There are so many toxins in the things we put on our bodies – and they can lead to all kinds of problems from thyroid issues to adrenal fatigue and more.

So when I can find recipes for things like homemade toothpaste, homemade body cream, or homemade eye makeup remover that work well, I am all over it.

Hair spray is one of those things that I wish I didn’t have to use–but I do.

But now that I have this super all-natural alcohol-free recipe, I feel much differently about it.

My love-hate relationship with hair spray has gone on for a long time.

I’ve always felt I needed it because my hair is “sorta-wavy-sorta-frizzy-definitely’s-got-a-mind-of-its-own” hair.

It’s fine, but I have quite a bit of it and when I let it dry naturally it’s really curly/wavy, but after a day or so it turns pretty limp.

Well, I used to not worry about the ingredients in hair spray but I’ve had to start reading labels for several reasons:

– In my 20s, I started having allergic reactions to things and I thought one of them was hair spray so I started trying to get sprays without added fragrance. Not an easy task.

– Later, either the hair spray companies started putting more fragrance in their products, or I became more sensitive. Whatever it was, I was really having a hard time finding a brand that I could use without feeling foggy headed.

– Finally I settled on one that I liked, but when I switched to a new hair care line, I found out that my hairspray had plasticizers in it. Well-no wonder it held so well! I had actually been coating my hair with plastic. Yuk. Believe me–when my hair went through detox it wasn’t pretty.

Rather, I wasn’t pretty.

– Recently, I’ve been noticing my hair getting more brittle or frizzy. I’m not sure what it is, but I dug around the internet and figured the alcohol in my spray wasn’t doing me any favors. I thought it was time to work on making my own alcohol-free hair spray.

Well, I didn’t think it would work–but it does.

And now you can make it too!

(Please note that some of the following links are affiliate links I make a commission based on sales but your price does not change.)


1. I think the 4 teaspoons of sugar is just right but feel free to adjust according to what you want your spray to act like. Of course, if you add too much, you will end up with residue on your hair so be careful.

2. I think lavender or citrus oils would be nice options. See my Best Essential Oils Series to see which company I recommend and why. It’s a very interesting series–and the comments are worth checking out as well, but you might need to set aside some time for those :).

3. *Please use filtered water when making personal and home care products that you won’t be using right away. Tap water has loads of stuff in it that you don’t want sitting around for a long time. Read “Is Your Water Safe” for more info.

4. I know–you’re wondering, “Won’t I be a bug’s best friend if I use this?” I was worried about that too, but from what I’ve read it’s not the case. One summer comes I’ll be able to tell you for sure. I guess you could use citronella oil in the spray ;-).

Why Make Your Own Hairspray?

1. Reduce your chemical exposure.

2. Save money (1 cup of water and 4 teaspoons of sugar is about as cheap as it gets!)

3. Save the environment: Less chemicals made. Less plastic containers used.

Check out “Is Your Shampoo Making You Sick” for more on what might be lurking in your hair products.

4. Healthier hair. The alcohol in many hairsprays are really drying. This spray makes your hair healthy and shiny.

So–what do you think? Are you going to try it?

Other Natural Personal Care Items You Might Like:

Nourishing Hand and Body Cream
Hand and Body Scrub
Invigorating Body Wash
Nourishing Hair Rinse

What is part of your natural hair care routine?

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive some income from any purchases you make after clicking to another site. Please read my full disclaimer.

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    Speak Your Mind


  1. Marianne says:

    I’d like to try this but I’m worried that the sugar would attract bugs. What do you think?

    • I was worried about that too, but from everything I’ve read it doesn’t. I need to add that to the post – thanks!

      • Marianne says:

        I’ll try asap. My hair is crazy flyaway. Have to use something to make it possible to appear in public without a hoodie.

      • From my experience, yellow jackets are severely attracted to sugar. I worked at a place that was next door to a Dunkin’ Donuts. I’d have to take the trash out every other day and they’d nearly attack my face. I used to do a raw honey rinse on my hair every day that wasn’t “wash” day. They’re attracted to sweets. Most bugs may not “bug” you, but I’d watch out for yellow jackets and hornets– they’re cousins.

  2. I love home made stuff. If you can find it in your kitchen shelves, why grab hair care, skin care and the like products from the ones in the grocery, right? But aside from the ants and bugs concern, I was actually wondering about how it feels? Won’t the sugar make it a bit sticky and harden your hair?

  3. I’ve been looking for an alcohol free hairspray. I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, my. It can’t REALLY be that easy to have hairspray, can it? lol I’ll have to try this some time. It’s almost unbelievable. But I believe you. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Any thoughts to add about the “hair detox” you mentioned? That is intriguing.

    • What particular questions do you have?

      • I just have never heard of a hair detox, although it makes sense since other parts of the body detox. I was wondering what you went through with your hair that you called it a detox. Was it while switching to natural products? Did it behave badly, then was manageable? Or….?

        • Yes, it was while switching to the Miessence line.. It did behave badly and then calmed down.

          • Thank you, Adrienne! You are certainly the quickest responder on the net!
            So, if I have really bad hair days, I can blame it on changing to natural products and hope that it gets better! :-)
            I really look forward to trying this hairspray. I have quite fine hair and it doesn’t really hold much of any style without spray (although I usually don’t spray my hair often–I just go without much style). It’ll certainly be nicer while spraying! Blech on hairspray smell! My poor little daughter walks in and coughs and says, “That hairspray is stinky!” She’ll be thanking me, I’m sure!

            • Well, maybe :). I have mine all the time stilll….I can’t stand how the regular spray gunks up my bathroom as well. You wouldn’t believe what my bathroom floor looked like when I was using the plastic-laden one…..ick!!!

              • Yes! I don’t know if there are plasticizers in mine, but it does coat the floor! You can see the spots reflect in the light, even after a light mopping. I have to really scrub to get it off. AND if I get any on my eyeglasses, yuck! I have a nice anti-reflective coating on my glasses so I can’t use something strong to clean them (alcohol takes hairspray right off, but I can’t use it on the coating!)! And I can’t see with them off, so I leave them on and hope for the best. Your hairspray would fix that, too! (the spots on glasses–not my inability to see) ๐Ÿ˜‰
                I’m being more and more convinced, even though I was convinced in the first place. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I still am amazed that it can be that easy to make…

              • Rubbing Alcohol will remove all the hairspray residue. I just douse a washcloth and wipe. It works on the walls, fixtures, floor, everything. It just wipes away. I have always hated the smell of hairspray until I found Aussie that smelled like grape bubblegum and then they changed the scent and I hate it again! Can’t wait to try this.

      • Grace E. says:

        Hi! Im really looking forward to trying this,but i would like to know does it really work?Does it seem to hold well?? Thanks!!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    How does it hold up in the hot summer sun? Just curious but willing to give it a try.

  6. Can’t wait to try this! Not that I use that much hairspray, but tired of shelling out for Alba which is the only kind that agrees with me that I can use.

  7. I have naturally curly hair – the only product I’ve found that works on keeping it curly, NOT frizzy is spray gel. I know it’s poison, I don’t want to use it, however, I need to be able to look in the mirror…any suggestions?

    • Hmmm…are you asking if I have a spray gel recipe? I have never used it. I was using a natural holding gel that might be what you are looking for? It’s not a spray though.

    • Hi,
      I have the same problem and I’ve found solutions to the problem. A little natural safe hand or body lotion. Put some in your hand and smear it all over your hand including between the fingers. Then bend forward and flip your hair forward so it’s hanging down with the back of you head exposed toward the ceiling. Start at the ends of your hair and with the palm of your hands apply to ends all around then work your way up and comb through with your fingers and finish at the roots. That way the ends will defrizz and the roots will settle down but won’t be greasy. Apply a little more if needed or to spots. I also use a natural coconut oil hair conditioner in the shower. Dessert Essence Coconut Conditioner is my favorite. I also sometimes use the same method with some Organic Jojoba Oil. It’s wonderful for hair and skin. I use a straightening iron just on my bangs to control the odd curl I have their after I apply the hand cream or oil (the smoothing of the iron works better and it will protect the hair from drying to much from the heat.) I sometimes use the iron on the top layers of my hair for smoothing. After this tying the back in a low pony tail with a scrunchy band for about 10 mins. will smooth and settle the hair down also. Hope this helps!

      • It sounds like a lot when I type out details but really it only takes a couple mins. Don’t wash your hair everyday either. If you must just wet it and condition again without shampooing. Only shampoo every other day or every three days as it is drying and
        unnecessary. My hair used to be uncontrollable. I now take biotin supplement daily and use shampoo and conditioner with biotin in it. My hair has never look more shiny and healthy until I made all these changes.

        • So do you think it was the biotin or the other things?

          • Of course I’m not a doctor or expert but of course diet…getting the nutrients we need is important to the health and appearance of our hair and skin but for the frizz more especially for immediate results the things I used on my hair was what controlled the frizz. It’s the texture of hair I have had to work with all my life. I just a few month’s ago rid myself of all the personal care products that have the harmful chemicals in them. I believe that made a lot of difference in the appearance in my hair along with hair falling out.

        • Thank you for posting this recipe, Adrienne. I’ve been looking for a homemade light natural hairspray for occasional times when I am going to dressy events. I don’t use it very often but when you need it you need it. This looks like what I’ve been looking for. I’ll have to try it. :-)

      • I would have the greasiest, flattest hair on the planet if I did that! I am going to try this sugar spray. I have such fine hair that goes sooo flat, I just don’t know what to do with it…ugh…

  8. Adrienne, your hair is just like mine, and if you don’t mind me recommending something additional, check out this homemade hair gel… http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-natural-hair-gel/ It’s awesome. Only wish I’d found before I cut MY unruly hair in frustration! Works good for short hair too tho. :) No more frizzies!!

  9. Audra Silva says:

    I’m going to have to give this one a try. I don’t use it often, but sometimes I need a little holding power. As for the gel recipe, can it be diluted a little to make it runny enough to spray?

    • I think that could work. I tried that w/ a holding gel and didn’t like it though. I like this much better.

    • I’m not sure the gel recipe would work diluted as a spray, it’s thick enough that I think watering it down would take away the power of it. But can’t say for sure, would be worth a try. It’s great tho because it dries soft and shiny, like the healthiest hair ever! Although this last time I doubled the amount of gelatin and it’s crunchy. Although, once my hair is dry, I run my fingers through and crunch is gone. Helps my short hair stick out in a fun way without the crunch look, very happy.

      • Did I miss the gel recipe? I have natural curly/frizzy hair and have to use something on it or I have a bush on my head. I have really hard water where I live and my hair feels like straw after washing without conditioner. I let it dry naturally and have to put something on it it to keep it from bushing out. I want to move away from chemicals in all the products I currently use. I love the hairspray recipe and can’t wait to try it though I currently use freeze spray, especially when I pull it back, and wonder if it will keep my curls from popping out.

        • Haven’t done a gel yet. I’ll have to work on that. Sorry!

          • yes! I would love to see the recipe! sounds like something that might work for my fine, straight, always have to be short hair!!

            • Thought I would put in my 2 cents :) I have been a no poo girl for almost a year now and I have very fine curly hair. I have found that using a small amount of aloe gel with a little water works very well for controlling the frizz and curls. I just put a bit, between a nickel and quarter, depends on how much hair you have. I wet my hand just a bit and rub it around really well and the flip my hair over and spread the love :) hope this helps!

  10. Maybe use an essential oil that bees and other bugs don’t like? Perhaps something along the lines of pine or cedar?

  11. I am allergic to alcohol and haven’t been able to use hairspray since I was about 15, so I am definately going to give this a try! Thank you so much for the recipe…it will be nice to be able to do normal things with my hair…

  12. This is definitely worth trying! Thank you for the recipe! I am currently using an aloe spray and it is just okay.

  13. Danielle W. says:

    Just found your site through FB today & love it.
    You said your hair had been changing & how you need hairspray but don’t like store products.
    Sounds like my same issues :). And I now remember seeing a similar recipe for hairspray on a tv show, now I have to try it.
    I love natural products but don’t have a budget to buy everything all natural, etc.
    Glad to have found your site :)

    • Welcome! Hope to see you around again. My hair is for sure softer using this kind. My bangs are finicky and some days I still use unscented spray but the rest of my hair is doing much better without the alcohol. Hope it works for you!

  14. What A great idea. I love making my own stuff but never thought about hairspray!

    So, instead of paying out a fortune on chemically induced commercial hair sprays I’m going to give this a shot.

    I’ve tried coconut oil which I rub into my wet hair and let it sit for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Leaves my hair very soft and shiny.

  15. Becky Soapes says:

    I roll my hair the old fashioned way – curlier & style lasts longer.
    Do you think this would work as a setting spray on wet hair?
    Or do you have another recipe for that?

  16. Is it necessary to use essential oil. If not, we can ignore it, right?

  17. Ok so I was wondering does this actually work like good name brand hairspray?? and also I know that many people have asked this already but it IS summer now so what happens in the heat because im in Mississippi right now and I don’t want my hair being anymore messed up than it already. I would really appreciate it if u responded to this as soon as possible.

    • As for me, I am using it on the longer part of my hair and I like it better than the hair spray I was using b/c the other was making my hair really dry. On my bangs, I go back and forth. A lot of the “good name hairsprays” have plasticizers in them so I really want to stay away from that regardless of how well they work.

      It’s not as hot as Mississippi here (I am in MI) but so far I have been pleased. That being said, when it’s hot and humid, not much seems to work that well. Let me know if it works for you!

  18. I use patchouli oil in mine because I love the smell, but it is a bug repellent. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil also work as repellents.

  19. Adrienne,

    How does it keep? And how long, do you think? Do you need to keep it in the fridge in between uses?

    • Hi Julie. I’ve only made 2 batches since I wrote the post and they never spoiled. I keep them out of the fridge. But I do use RO water so it is really pure. I think that is really important. I can’t make real shelf life claims b/c I could be in trouble b/c I am not the one making it but I haven’t had it spoil :).

  20. Usually, I use Sebastian hairspray. I made this about 6 weeks ago, with lemon essential oil. I’ve been using it semi-regularly since then and I really like it. I have very fine, flyaway hair and it holds it well without looking stiff. I work long hours at an active job and I like my hair to stay nice without having to constantly brush and style it…this does the task. I haven’t noticed myself attracting any bugs even at the beach. It does take a few minutes to set once I’ve sprayed it on unlike alcohol based hairsprays that dry almost immediately. I really like this and plan to continue using it. Thank you for the recipe.

  21. Consistently on my drive to work I have been “tasting” my hairspray. I started wondering what this is doing to me after reading all the ingredients and realizing that I have been inhaling these into my lungs forever! I’ve tried healthier alternatives that cost an arm and a leg – really ridiculously priced – who can afford this? I will certainly try this!

  22. Hi Adrienne,
    Have you tried making this with sucanat instead of sugar? I don’t keep any white sugar in the house, and it seems somehow strange to buy some just for this… I think I’ll give sucanat a try and let you know how it goes!

  23. Marianne says:

    I’ve been using this spray for a month and it works well for me. No more stray hairs from my ponytail and holds all day! No bugs either. Keeps fine so far. So glad to get rid of that horrible smelling stuff from the store! Thank you so much for posting this :)

  24. Peaches says:

    I may have put the remedy in the bottle before it cooled and let it cool that way and it worked perfectly fine so to all the people out there that mix up some steps don’t worry it will work perfectly.

  25. I tried it to last my waves that i made without any heat , it worked like wonders .

  26. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m a hairspray freak, always have been, lol. I’ve actually been looking for this recipe for a very long time. Before today’s alcohol based hairspray was on the market, this is what our Grandmothers used…I’ve heard many stories about it. But, everyone told me, “Just dissolve some sugar in water.” with no measurements. That’s dangerous instructions for me!! I’ll report back. Thanks for sharing. Love your site!!

    • Thanks and welcome!!!

    • Betty Estes says:

      I live on a VERY fixed income and can’t squeeze out enough money to buy essential oils because my hubby is very sick and it takes any extra money we might would have to keep his medicines..now, my question is this, could I use plain old vanilla extract mixed in with the sugar water to get a little scent going on? And, could I boil cinnamon in water, reduce it down to about half or maybe even a quarter and use a little of that in the mixture? I’d love to try this all natural hairspray but my hair smells like a wet dog to me when I shampoo, no matter how “smelly” the shampoo is. lol I’m going to try the no-poo as well as this hairspray. Please reply. Thank you

  27. DEFINETLY TRYING THIS and it’s summer right now so I’m gonna see if it attracts bugs…hope not… And thank you because my mom doesn’t let me use hairsprays because of the chemicals :)

  28. I have thick, wavy shoulder length hair that looks amazing when its wet, but poofs out and frizzes when its dry. Can you use this on damp hair?

  29. Laura Peterson says:

    This works great! I made it about 2 months ago, no bugs no nasty chemicals!

  30. AWESOME! I am going to make some up tonight to try out tomorrow! I’m already using homemade shampoo (liquid castile soap, distilled water, essential oils) and hair rinse (vinegar, distilled water, essential oil), and will soon make my body wash (currently using Dr. Bronner’s bars).

  31. Essential oils do not mix with water. I wonder what to add to it to get the lemongrass EO in it. Any ideas. Your website is wonderful place to be. Thank u:)

    • Hmmm… I still thought it smelled better w/ the EOs in it. Maybe it was just wishful thinking? I’ll see what I can find out. Thanks for the kind words :)!

    • This is the reply from the owner of Native American Nutritionals: The EO won’t mix with the water but shaking up the bottle each time before you use it will do the trick and that is what I suggest people do. I don’t know if sugar will emulsify with essential oils, but I know honey will do it. Personally just having someone shake up the bottle for three seconds before use is a simple fix. Have a great day.

  32. Hi Adrienne. I was just wondering. Is it necessary to use essential oil, or any oil at all?

  33. This sounds like a really great recipe. I have curly hair that likes to frizz in the Southern heat and humidity. I currently use coconut oil in my hair. I do a no poo wash, than rub a pea sized amount of coconut oil in my hands. Then I run my hands all through my hair. It’s just enough to tame the frizz and my hair doesn’t look oily. I also repeat if my hair looks frizzy after it is dried.

  34. Very cool, can’t wait to give this a try!

  35. Amanda Nguyen says:

    it is summer and it gets hot here and i sweat would that cause the hairspray to come out of my hair and make me all sticky

    • I haven’t noticed that, but I guess that can happen with any hairspray, right?

    • Kaitlynn Marcotte says:

      No it wouldn’t come all out I use it during the summer when it is completely hot and my hair is just fine so it should not run out and make your hair all sticky it’s my favortie product it saves me money instead of buying in store hairspray I Can just make my own its that easty

  36. Hi! I think my jaw dropped a little when I saw the recipe. So simple, so easy, so affordable. Any thoughts on using a little honey too for extra-strength? Another idea I had was putting other things in at the same time to help naturally color your hair if that was desired. Would lemon essential oil work for lightening or would it have to be lemon juice? Henna? Any others? This was so helpful to learn because I hardly ever style my hair and hate buying the expensive stuff in the store. No more junky hair spray!

    • I don’t know about honey but try it and let us know :). I am guessing the sugar works because it solidifies a tad on your hair. I would think you need the juice to lighten but I haven’t tried anything. My hair is really dark.

  37. This is ssooo cool and I can’t wait to try it but I was wondering how long it lasts?

  38. This reminds me of a story a friend told me. Back when he was a teenager, guys slicked their hair into a duck’s tail with Byrlcreem. He was too poor to buy it, and he had a girl to impress, so he used butter. It turned into a hot summer day, and pretty soon he started getting whiffs of something rancid. “No, no, not me! Must be someone else who smells like rotten butter!” Then butter began to melt down his forehead.

    I don’t think he got the girl.

  39. Wow! I honestly cannot believe this. So simple, yet works miracles. Contact the press!! And yes, 2013.

  40. Bugs hate lemon and it is good for your hair so lemon essential oil is definitely going into mine! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  41. Adrienne, I’m so excited about this recipe. It is literally fragrance free, if you don’t use the essential oils. And you could eat it too, if you wanted too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do have to ask, did you have any problems during the summer? I live in South Texas and I live quite close to the water so I have a hard time finding any hairspray that will hold up really well. I often don’t spray my hair since I know that as soon as I walk out the door it will go flat and limp.

    • I haven’t had issues, but I typically use this on the longer parts of my hair and another cheapo brand on my bangs. But I am thinking I am going to try adding a little more sugar to use on my bangs to see if that works. :)

  42. This is the best hairspray I have ever used! I especially love that it is natural and non-toxic. I just love it so so so much! Big thanks forever :-)

  43. So going to try this. I’m going to make it tomorrow if I remember. Thanks for an alcohol free recipe. It came just in time!

  44. Hi,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I would like to know the expiration period of this product..I am from Indian subcontinent so that you know.. and one more thing..how strong does it hold as in would it hold my curl former curls longer?

    Thanks again

    • I can’t make claims about shelf life. It would mainly depend on the type of water you use. The more sugar you use, the stronger the hold- hope that helps :).

  45. gopal timilsina says:

    i will try this method

  46. I made this hairspray (without essential oils) but after 4-5 days it started smelling like Sh*t..What happened??

  47. Well HOKUS POKUS!
    You little magic potion seems to be absolutely fantastic. I am happily surprised.
    I just mixed your easy recipe to try it and I am so pleased with it. I just tried it for the first time this morning so I’ll have to see how this cheap and toxin free hair spray will behave. Will my hair hold till tonight? Hopefuly. My hair is very thin and fine like baby’s hair, so I need to apply hair spray before curling my hair and after as well. It seem to be working great up to now.
    I had bad feelings and even reactions (nose bleeding and sore eyes) to store bought harmful hair sprays. I hated the film it left everywhere in the bathroom as well.
    Thank you so much!
    Danielle :o)

  48. Wow. Just WOW! My first thought of this was-this is just water and suar… What is that going to do? So from the beginning, today I curled my hair up for tomorrow, but we all know what happens when you sleep in curled hair… It goes dead. So I needed a solution such as hair spray, but I don’t own any bc I know just how bad it is for your hair. This replacement for hairspray is AMAZING. And it dries onto your hair FAST! Thank you SO much for this! Job well done.

  49. Do you have to use the spray right after you make it or how long can you be able to use it for?

    • You can keep it for awhile, but it would depend on a lot of things -quality of ingredients and temperature and cleanliness of your bottle so I can’t say. Take care!

      • Mavis Salgado says:

        HI Ladies, My question, does anyone have a recipe to refill the Suave Kids Hairstyling liquid gel foamers? I’ve tried using the same quanities of a refill for “soap foamers,” but they do not create the same foaminess quality of the Suave. I tried your Detangler recipe and the Hairspray, wonderful!!
        Thanks, Mavis

  50. Hey. I heard that you can make a lemon hairspray as well.

    I should try this recipe and see how it works!


  51. I’ve been using sugar water hairspray for over a year now. Love it. And as mentioned by adding or decreasing sugar you can control the hold. If I were to have any complaints is the over spray coats walls/floors etc. W/ a stickyness. However hairspray also leaves a n overshoot residue as well. So there you are.

  52. FYI. AS a follow up to the over spray tack. You’ll get it no matter which spray you use however sugar cleans up with warm water. To clean hairspray tack you need chemicals to clean up. Kinda defeats the purpose for most of us trying to be green. Also sugar water not harmful nor painful if sprayed in eyes. It doesn’t build up on your scalp, it costs pennies, surprisingly doesn’t attract bee, whatnot. Well I could go on forever but you get the point. Enjoy

  53. ohmygosh…Where has this been for the past year and a half??? Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Growing Circles Hop. My daughter uses hairspray, and I can’t stand it when she spritzes it all over the place. I’m SO going to make this and have her try it out. =0) Already pinned and waiting for me.

  54. Mel Stevens says:

    great! I’ll try it out sometime, but the pro naturals hair repair system products are alcohol, chemical & sulfate-free so check it out. It’s fantastic

  55. I just found this site. I am 50 years old and been using hairspray since I was 5 with curls! My hair is getting thinner and dryer! I been trying to find a spray that gives me HOLD but does not DRY my hair. Can anyone who has tried this please tell me how much hold you got? And how much sugar did you use?

  56. I am severely sensitive to chemicals in the air. It’s not often that I even want to use hairspray, but I have an occasion that I do. My hair done not hold any curl for very long. This can’t hurt, though! : ) Just what I was looking for, thank you. It’s cooling right now.

  57. *does (not *done*)
    My hair *does not hold curl for very long.

  58. Absolutely love how this hairspray works and makes my hair look like commercial hairspray holds but without the stickiness. Scented mine with lavender essential oil, 8 drops for 24oz. Added about double the minimum amount of sugar for my curly and very fine hair. Smells so good as well!

  59. How long will this last?

  60. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been looking for an alcohol-free hairspray! :)

  61. I made this and sprayed it on my hand and it was sticky. Do I just add more water? What does this do, and how does it make your hair look?

    • I would try it on your hair to see what you think. Then adjust from there. I like how it works on my hair where I need a gentle hold and it isn’t drying like other hair sprays.

  62. Cassidy says:

    I should try this. I need hairspray for hair chalks from Body Shop

  63. Stacey Leigh says:

    Omg, this is awesome! I am going to try this. On the water, use filtered but is there a special brand I should try? Also what do you think about putting lemon juice in it? So excited! Thanks, Stacey

  64. I was so excited to find this recipe – the fragrances from most beauty products really irritate me. However, I had little ants all over my bathroom a couple days after I started using the sugar+water hairspray. I tried citrus+water next and that attracted ants too, but not as much as the sugar. Is there ANYTHING I can do to keep my homemaade hairspray from attracting ants?? I don’t want to start spraying plastic into my hair again!

    • I’m so sorry but I have no idea. I don’t know what to say. I haven’t found any others. Not all hairspray has the plastic in it. I have a cheapo that I use on my bangs and it doesn’t.

      • Thanks for responding! Based on the comments I’ve seen on this and other blogs, I think I am the one one who has had this problem! I might try a new batch with a little ACV in it, since that is supposed to repel ants. But I will also see what I can find at the health food store this weekend, just in case!

    • You might want to try peppermint or cinnamon leaf essential oil. Bugs hate both of those, even ants.

  65. janice32 says:

    I have fine, wavy hair which is hard to manage and gets frizzy in the summer (I live in DC. It’s literally a swamp). Any type of cream or oil I’ve tried has made my hair look like I haven’t showered in days, and most hairsprays have that effect too. Shielo Hairspray is different. I use the Shielo Firm Hold Spray and I can straighten my hair in the morning, brush it out, lightly spray it with this and voila; it looks like that all day.

  66. Suzanne says:

    Hi all, thought this was great…I’ve been making this for about 25 years. It started one day in high school, I had done my hair and realized I was out of hairspray! (Gasp!!!) This was a huge deal in 1990. Anyhoo, I just figured it would work…sugar is sticky. I made some up in my empty hairspray bottle and voila! Held all day! I’m glad to see someone shared this sweet little secret!

  67. Kathleen says:

    Hi! Just wondering what would happen if you added lemons to the recipe?

  68. Will the water stick to my hair? Like after you’ve used it and you can’t be bothered to take a shower. Will the sugar stick to your hair?

  69. Julie Connors says:

    Hey um is there any way for no heat also???????????

  70. 1). You’ve put emphasis on using filtered water…Does this mean bottled water (such as Evian), can also be used? 2). Will this natural spray work effectively, in humid environments i.e., keep hair still and prevent hair from frizzing? and 3). How long should it last before replacing?

    • I would think that would be OK. I have frizzing no matter what in humidity so I can’t say. I guess at this point I refuse to put plasticizers on my hair so I am doing the best I can. I can’t make shelf life claims but I haven’t had issues w/ it. It would depend on how clean pots and such are (not implying you aren’t clean..just saying there are a bunch of factors).

  71. Hi, Can you tell me how long the shelf life is and if it needs to be refrigerated or something? Also, could you add something as a preservative, maybe GSE? I know that is controversial too, but maybe you have other ideas.

    • I haven’t had it spoil – I guess it’s the sugar in it? I would think a good essential oil would act as some sort of a preservative and if you use hair spray regularly it shouldn’t be around for very long :).

  72. What if essential oils are not put?

  73. You are a lifesaver Adrienne!

    I know this is over a year late, but I wanted to post this comment for anybody who randomly stumbles upon this like I did this morning. THIS WORKS! My hair looks great, smells great, and, according to my goofy husband, tastes pretty good too.

    I highly recommend this to anyone. Thank you again, Adrienne.

  74. Farook Imrankhan says:

    How the hair spray is appplied after shower on wet hair or another purpose to use

  75. Hi I was wondering if I can just boil tap water instead of using rose water? Will it work just as good?

  76. I have been using this same recipe for the past two years and love it. My husband has very, very fine hair and loves it too. We haven’t had any issues with bugs/bees so far and it’s been two summers. I’m always on guard though just in case:0

  77. Yes, it does hold my hair enough. My husband puts on two “layers” but his preference always was the extra super hold. He likes the way it holds (and he is pretty picky about his hair and what he uses). On really high humid days I don’t think it holds as well, but then again my hair always had a bad day on really humid days anyway. Btw I love your blog! Ty for taking the time to commit to doing it! I just placed my first order with NAN. Missed their sale this past weekend due to the flu, but still looking forward to their basic kit (I’m a newbie at oils). I’m not sure if you get credit or how that works. I went to their site from yours the first time I looked but not on the day I ordered. I’m guessing they know that through the “cookies” that are gathered?

  78. cicely smith says:

    can this hairspray be used to help hold curls from a rollerset for a few extra days? i’m questioning whether or not to spray water on my hair after i’ve taken the rollers out and styled my hair; the water will mess up the curls. i’m looking for a something to help my rollerset last, at least two days, without having to reroll it again to keep the curls.

  79. Hey, I was wondering what sugar is best?

    My thoughts was brown sugar, because it you look at it, the sugar tends to stick together. I’m really not a big fan of white sugar since it’s bleached and processed and just a big no-no to me. Raw sugar is another choice!

    What do you think??

  80. This is awesome! I have two questions
    1, Can I use well water?(bored water?)
    2,Can I use Almond Oil?

  81. Can I use castor oil? I hear that its a really good essential oil to the hair.

    • Hi there. Castor oil is just an oil – it’s not an essential oil. I heard it’s good for helping to grow your hair so I tried it but it was terribly hard to get out and I felt it caused me to rip more hair out. No more of that :(.

  82. Are bees attracted to this?

  83. HEAVY/FIRM HOLD HAIRSPRAY: im a fan of super hold hairspray, bc 8 have flat hair that needs to hold a tease. The goal is to make it thicker than water. When you make it following the above hairspray recipe, it is more watery than spraying a super hold hairspray. So, I tweaked it. Add manuka honey, a LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY. Just add some, and increase the sugar until youve got that sticky residue coming out to the way you like yoyr hairspray, or test it on ur hair until you like it. I just used my bad, chemical filled hairspray to compare my new mixture to by spraying the no no one on my arm first, then making the healthy one stickier/thicker until it felt the same on my arm. The best part?! Itll hold, and it doesnt cause frizzies/dryness that chemical filled hairsprays do! Check this out! Id add this to the recipe above, so that readers looking for a strong hold hairspray can try it out and be happy too! :)

  84. I actually made my first batch TOO strong! ๐Ÿ˜€ id start with a 1/2 tsp, then work up from there to get to desired strength. It does need time to dry on the hair/set, id take time between coats to ensure you arent getting too much. I originally did like 2 tablespoons.. too much. I think for my preference on hold, 1 1/2 tsp- 2 tsp of manuka honey will do, if not, ill work up to 1 tablespoon MAX. I also added it after the beginning mixture had cooled, and all you have to do is shake it well and the honey dissolves all the way-i have mine in a clear bottle, thats how I know it does :) hope this helps-i will not be going back to redken 28, or matrix instant freeze hairspray again-this recipe with the added manuka honey provided just as good of hold, if not better, without frizzing my hair out! LOVE this recipe for inspiration to go natural on all my beauty needs :) p.s. im also a cosmetologist, so I am used to professional products usually, so loving this recipe says alot.. and now im confused on whether or not this was the type of profession I thought I was entering.. I thought cosmetologist products/brands were the safest, best ones to make everyone beautiful and happy.. and now im unsure what to do about my passion, bc I was taught to use horrible concoctions.. :/

    • Yea – that sounds wonderful!!! I think that there are many beauty products that can be made, but others, to get good performance, maybe you need to buy them. You could get safer things, of course. Do you do only hair? I just found this company and their products are very safe and they perform amazingly well. They refuse to use over 1300 chemicals that are banned in Europe, plus they refuse even more than that. https://wholenewmom.beautycounter.com/Home

      I’d love to hear what you think. I am using their antiaging line and I love it!

      • Martha Mai says:

        how long would this last before it went off. Or does the sugar act as a preservative

        • I don’t know but I wouldn’t let it sit around too long. I haven’t had it go bad on me. I would personally make smaller batches if you think you won’t be using it quickly enough. Thanks!

  85. Ill check it out! Have you found any good foundations? I tried homemade powder foundation, and liquid with no success and wasted money to get ingredients for them.. I still struggle with acne, but cant seem to find a safe liquid or concealer..

    • Hi Lacey. Yes, their foundation is amazing. I was using another one that I loved the ingredients in but the coverage wasn’t enough. The Beautycounter one is perfect. I bought the linen one and really like it. If you have acne of course internal work is supposed to be very important, but their #3 lustro facial oil is supposed to help. I have found that when I start to break out I do a castor oil pack and the acne dies down. Have you ever tried one?

      Their concealer is really nice too. A little messy if you don’t store it horizontally or vertically w/ the tip up. But it smooths on nicely and covers well.

      • I get breakout also until I started this regimen: In the PM apply caster oil to face washing in small circles all over the face. In your sink or a clean bowl fill with hot water. Immerse a clean washcloth in the hot water.and squeeze out the excess water excess water. Lay the hot washcloth over the face and neck. let it remain their until it cools off. This will open the pore and draw out all the impurities and bacteria that help cause the acne. Rinse the cloth and wipe all remaining oil from. Repeat as needed until castor oil is removed. Next you can use a homemade toner. I use tea (Chamomile calms, Green tea is good or whatever one you like. I combine Chamomile and Green Tea. A lot of antioxidants for the skin and tannin which is anti-inflammatory. I add about 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (anti-bacterial) to 1 cup of tea. Let cool. Apply with a cotton ball after castor oil wash. Leave on, let dry. On the acne breakouts dab a little tea tree oil on each spot with a Q-tip. Be careful don’t get any in your eyes. Ouch. Do this every night. If your skin is anything like mine you will have beautiful skin. Also I made an AM face wash: chamomile/green tea steeped in 2 cups hot water + 2 Tbl raw organic honey(anti-bacterial/moisturizing(not an oil and no worries on your oily acne skin…very benificial) + 3 drops tea tree oil + 1 to 1-1/2 tsp xathan gum (as a binder and thickener). Blend with an electric hand mixer, immersion blender (I use a wisk attachment), or a regular blender to blend the xanthan gum until lumps are gone and solution will become a creamy somewhat thick like a gravy. Use every morning. You can use your toner after if you would like. Hope this help clear that acne and restore the oil balance of your facial skin as much as it has mine. :-)

        • Oh I forgot: In AM I wash with the honey tea wash. Leave on a couple minutes then rinse with warm water and finishing with a cool rinse to close pores.

        • Very interesting routine. I use castor oil for liver packs. Tried it in my hair and it was horrible. So you make a bunch and leave in the fridge or on the counter?

  86. Can you use rose water instead of filtered water?

  87. This just SAVED MY LIFE!! My mom and I share hairspray and she left for the weekend. I happen to have a coronation for a royalty title I hold today and I HAVE TO HAVE hairspray for my naturally curly hair to stay tame all night at big events with lots of people because they usually get hot and humid. I was panicking and then I found this recipe and took a huge deep breath. Coronation starts in 45 minutes and I’m so grateful for this!

  88. Is it okay, if I add almond oil?

  89. does sugar has any bad effect on our hair?

  90. ananya dutta says:

    I tried ur hair spray homemade receipe… aftr using it my hair was sticky nd i wasnt feeling like to touch it

  91. Do you have to do anything to your hair after you use the spray

  92. Heyy hi!! I was going to try it out but then it hit me, do I have to take a shower to take it off and if I have to use it everyday? Isn’t it going to be sticky? Won’t it melt in the sun?

  93. Is adding more sugar give a more hold or less?

  94. Phoenix says:

    If someone doesn’t like the idea of sugar, salt works too (think about how your hair reacts to the salt water at the beach). Not sure if the measurements would be the same, but I have found some very expensive “natural” sea salt hairsprays for way more than what this costs to make. Worth a try!

  95. Can i make it without essential oils??
    Will it make my hairs white if i use it??

  96. My first time trying the recipe yesterday. I like extra hold hairspray so I thought adding an extra spoon of sugar would do the trick. I was reading the comments about the worry of bugs being attracted to the ingredients in the natural hairspray. Lemons actually lighten your hair the more you use it, and since I have very dark hair I decided another alternative and used coffee instead.

    What I added:
    5 tsp raw sugar
    1 cup of water (water that has cooled in hot jug)
    1 tsp coffee

    I boiled together in saucepan until everything dissolved. After it cooled, I applied to my hair until damp, then I used soft curlers and slept in them overnight. The results… well, heck…

    I was quite surprised, the coffee smell disappeared after my hair dried. Once I uncurled everything the next day all my curls were super tight to the point that I was having difficulty unfurling them! I had put too much spray on my hair to the point that I couldnt fully loosen the curls out, it held so strong together I tried softening it up by adding extra water but it was still stiff lol! At the end I had to wear a hat to hold the curls down. But wait… theres more… after spending the whole day with a hat on I decided to take it off by night and my hair had never looked so perfect!

    • No kidding! So you’re saying to make this work you need to wear a hat all day and then your hair will look perfect :)? Did you try it another time with less sugar? This sounds like fun – let me know :).

  97. Can use olive oil as an essential oil?

  98. Hey i guess my hair has become sticky i used neem oil and 4 tea spoon sugar and rose water too

  99. Ravleen says:

    Wow, this looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it! First, may I ask, how long does the finished product last? Is there some kind of expiration date?

  100. I made this just today and it works great! I have not had one bee or bug come near my hair so far. No more alcohol and plastic in my hair. I use sparingly and spray quite a few inches away so I don’t saturate my hair. This holds really well! A little goes a long way. So happy!