Day 2: Homemade Hairspray

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Remember when perms were the rage?  And teased hair?  Bangs a mile high?  Aqua-net was their best friend, I’m sure.

Growing up in a home with two older twin sisters and my mom, we certainly had our fair share of hair accoutrements.  Curling irons, sponge curlers, hot sticks, curlers, you name it, we had it (like every other American female).  But in order to maintain all those elaborate coiffures, we had to pull out the big guns: hair gel, hair spray, mousse, and countless other goo that was popular in the early 90’s.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like my hair styled.  I like hairspray.

Its just that the long list of chemical names on the can has begun to scare me as we take baby steps toward a more natural lifestyle.  What would make for a healthier option for me and my girls (and truth be told- my men…but that’s just between you and me)?

After some research, I found that the diy recipes consisted of the same basic ingredients.  Sugar water.

What?  Yes, it’s true.

Could it be any simpler?

Homemade Hairspray

Recipe source: here

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol

6-8 drops of essential oil (optional)

fine mist spray bottle

Bring water to a boil. Dissolve sugar. Allow to cool. Add rubbing alcohol (and essential oil). Pour into spray bottle. Upon application, allow hair spray to dry for 20-30 seconds before misting again.


If you’d like, you can make it with just two ingredients (sugar and water) like my friend did here.  However, you will need to make it fresh every week though as it has no preservatives.


Since you’ve got the kettle out, make yourself a cup of tea. 😉


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Thanks for reading.

13 thoughts on “Day 2: Homemade Hairspray

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    1. heather Post author

      Yes, it works great. You may have to tweak it some for your hair type and style (as in adjust the sugar level or applications).

      Thanks for stopping by. Isn’t Christina the best?! Love that girl. 🙂

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  5. MaryEllen@ImperfectHomemaker

    Ha! I honestly didn’t even know that was the reason alcohol was in some of the recipes – I thought it was to help it evaporate faster on your hair. I’ve made it with the alcohol before, but I was being lazy this time and thought I’d skip the extra step, and I’ve not noticed the difference! My bottle of “un-alcoholized” hairspray has been in the bathroom for about 3 weeks, so I’ll be interested to see if it does anything weird after more time.

    1. heather Post author

      Yes, I didn’t think that it was a big deal. My research was originally sparked by your two ingredient recipe and in studying, I found that most sites recommended some form of natural preservation (rubbing alcohol and some even vodka). I certainly didn’t want to be storing ours in the fridge, nor did I want to be making it every week or so. Let me know how your recipe continues to do. I’m all for saving steps. 😉

  6. Christina

    So what if I have a permanent perm 🙂 that I can’t do anything about 🙂 and that requires gallons of hairspray 🙂

    seriously, I want to try this but my hair doesn’t take “change” well even if the brands I use change just the littlest things. And yes, when I am sneezing from all the fumes, I do think and worry about what it is doing to me 🙁

    what preserves it?

    1. heather Post author

      I thought about you as I was working on this post. I absolutely love your hair…always have.

      According to what I read, individuals may have to adjust the sugar level as well as the number of applications to support their style. Also remember to allow for drying time in between misting.

      Yes, I’ve always worried about the fumes and even more recently, about what is absorbing into my scalp. My kids, on the other hand, have no concerns whatsoever. Lol! They had no qualms about bringing their poptart or milk into their “morning hair sessions”. I’d freak out. No food by chemicals was one of the number one rules drilled into me by my dad. 🙂

      Sorry if I didn’t make the preservation clear. It is the rubbing alcohol. Most of the recipes that I was finding, recommended using rubbing alcohol (some suggested vodka) to act as a natural preservative. Otherwise, it would spoil after a week or so. (Refrigeration would probably extend the life of a plain sugar water solution as well.)

      Oh and, I’ll gladly take your “permanent perm” if you are tired of it. 😉


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