Homemade Alcohol-Free Hairspray that Works

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

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.

My hair just “needs” it.  Well, some of my hair does.  I used to use a lot more hairspray than I do now… but basically my bangs are the part of my hair that is typically “in need”.

Just like with other things, I have always opted for “fragrance-free” versions as much as possible, but still there are things in hair spray that I really don't want on my hair.

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

Hair Spray and Me

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 hair spray labels for several reasons:

The Problems with Hair Spray and Me

Allergic Reactions – 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.

More Artificial Fragrances – Later, either the hair spray companies started putting more artificial fragrances 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.

Plastic! 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.

Alcohol – 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!

Why Make Your Own Hairspray?

1. Reduce your chemical exposure.

There are so many things in hairspray that you might not have thought about.

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

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

Compare that to well, some as much as even $25 for only 10 ounces!

3. Save the environment: Less chemicals made.

Fewer plastic containers used.

Even if you are recycling your bottles, it's better to not have them made at all in the first place.

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

Note that there are recipes for salt hair sprays on the internet too.  They might be fun to use, but the salt would be very drying for your hair when used on an ongoing basis.

Personally I wouldn't recommend using those often.  Thankfully, the sugar doesn't have the same drying effect.

You can even add essential oils to your recipe, which I recommend doing.  That way you have the benefit of aromatherapy and the possible benefits that your hair might get from the oils as well.

For example, as in my DIY Hair Growth Blend, the oils in that blend could be used in your hairspray and might benefit your hair.

You will note that I do recommend a specific brand of oils.  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 :). Here's a link to the first post, and here's a link to the last post, in which I announced the company that I chose.

 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!

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Non-Toxic Hair Spray

Update: 9/10/16:

For those of you who are looking for an alternative to your toxic hair spray, or for when you just don't have time to “DIY” it…….here is a great option.

But first, here is how I came upon this…..Since writing this post, I had actually gone back to using my (ugh) White Rain Unscented (but it still had artificial fragrance in it…..I know, I'm sorry) spray most of the time, and really want to get away from it.  So I went on the hunt for some other good hair products.

I just got this product to try, and I am LOVING it.

It actually works better than my DIY hair spray so….thinking I'm going to have to work on an update to this recipe.

If you're not into making your own DIY Hair Spray, or you just want to try out a fabulous, non toxic hair spray, this product is lovely.

Plus it works like a volumizer too.

It's the Sea Salt Spray from Beautycounter.

It's got lots of nourishing ingredients in it so it doesn't dry your hair out anywhere near as much as other sea sat sprays, and it only has essential oils for fragrance (not icky toxic fragrances!)

It's not inexpensive, but a little goes a long way and it really holds with a natural look so I don't find myself touching up.  And it really brings out the natural waves in my hair.

If you're trying to get away from toxic hair sprays, and don't feel like making your own Homemade Hair Spray, then this Beautycounter Sea Salt Spray is the product for you! I'm just LOVING it. Much more natural than what I was using, and it makes my hair look great!

If you end up trying it, please let me know what you think.

My hair is happy.

Read more about Beautycounter here.

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?


    Speak Your Mind


    The comments below do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.
  1. How long can it hold my hair?

  2. Can you make this without boiling water?

  3. May I used these hair spray daily????
    If I used it daily it’s not effect on my hair??

  4. Do not use the homemade spray with your flat iron it will cause the platlettes on your iron to turn brown with burnt sugar. It won’t cone off, unless u use alcohol. Your cheaper irons the burnt sugar don’t even come off at all.

  5. Thanks it’s really helpful.
    I’m losing my hair and I was worried about chemicals in hair sprays.
    I never thought that only sugar and water would work so well!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  6. Do the essential oils actually mix into the liquid? I’m wondering because you haven’t used any emulsifier, and I have read in one of your other posts how important it is to use an emulsifier when mixing oils with water.

    • This is a good question. If the spray isn’t going to be touching your skin I wouldn’t be concerned about it at all. The spray will diffuse some of it but it would be best to use an emulsifier or eliminate the essential oil altogether. If you are not using the mixture topically then I am not personally concerned and I consulted with an aromatherapist who said the same thing.

  7. Thankyou so much for your article. It helped me a lot for my frizzy hair. Its a good easy and cheap way.

  8. I’m looking for an alternative to commercial hair spray because the overspray on the floor is sticky and so hard to clean. Is the overspray from this formula sticky?

  9. Can we used it before straightening