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.)

NOTES:

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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  1. 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

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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??

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

  6. 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 :(.

  7. Are bees attracted to this?

  8. 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! :)

  9. I actually made my first batch TOO strong! :D 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!

  10. 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.