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.

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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.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Can I put a conditioner in the mix? I really love the smell of my conditioner and I’m looking for ways to sneak it into my hair routine.

  2. Will my hair stick together ?

  3. How long does it last? Thanks

  4. Can I add little bit of coconut oil I love the smell of it and makes my hair shiny
    What do you think?

  5. I think adding tea tree oil would be good for hair too. Do you need a glass spray bottle or will plastic work?

  6. Hi Adrienne,

    Are there other substances to replace the main ingredient of sugar ?

    • I don’t think so. I guess you could try xylitol or erythritol but I don’t think they will work as well. Salt perhaps but I think it will have a different effect.

  7. Andrienne, I was wondering do you have to put oils in there? Because I don’t have any essential oils, and is the spray sticky if I spray it into my hair?

  8. Hi there! It seems very nice and I really want to try it. I have something to ask. Is it necessary to mix any oil or will it work without oil? Secondly, what kind of oil can I use? I have mustard oil, olive oil, coconut oil and til oil.

  9. Just wanted to say thank you for a recipe that has literally changed my life! I am a hairspray addict, I have very fine, oily, flat baby hair & to look good I have to back comb it & set with a ton of spray every day. For some time I have been worrying about the affect on my body, especially since I am trying to conceive. I literally couldn’t believe how well this works! The trick is to use sparingly, just a couple of spritzes then wait to dry. I have used straighteners with it fine after brushing out. In fact this is one of the best things, my hair holds its volume & style even after brushing out which it never did with regular hairspray. I used lavender essential oil and it smells great! Thank you again! I actually think this works better for me than my old aerosol x

  10. Elena Gilbert says:

    How long does the hairspray stay in your hair because I want it to last about 8-9 hours or is that too long? How much hairspray do I spray on my hair because I don’t want to spray too little to where it won’t last as long? What does the substance smell like or does it not smell at all because usually hairspray a have a certain smell and I just want to know if this smells or do you have to add something to make it smell good?

    • Hi there. I’m not sure how long it lasts but it’s pretty good. I say give it a go and see how it works for you. You can see from some of the other commenters that they are very pleased. Take care! You don’t have much to lose. It doesn’t have a smell unless you put the essential oils in it.

  11. I’m wondering how healthy the sugar actually is for your hair? obviously better than horrible alcohols & chemicals. But how much healthier?
    The idea of sugar just sounds unhealthy. … :/

  12. Hey adrienne…loved your idea of making hair spray. I have only one question what kind of consistency should the water- sugar solution have..should it be runny or a bit thick??

  13. Hi! I have really fine hair and I’m try to avoid chemicals and stuff so this is great for me! But I just wanted to know if this one holds hairstyles as well? I’m planning to curl my hair without using any heat and I want the curls to stay for hours, do you think the spray will hold the style ?

    • Hi there. I think it will depend on your hair and how much sugar you use. Try it out w/ more sugar and see. Hope to hear from you!

      • I have really thin hair and hairstyles tend to open up usually after 2-3 hours in general because my hair is a little soft. Salons usually use a lot of hair spray so I will try this as its a lot safer for my hair:) Also in case there’s some leftover, do I need to refrigerate it?

  14. Fredda Shutes says:

    I am diabetic and want to know if the sugar will be absorbed and get into my system. Do you know if this is ok for diabetics?

  15. Rachel Rivera says:

    Do you think this could double as a makeup setting spray? I know store bought hairspray can.

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