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Do Natural Hair Sprays Work?

Nonaerosol options feature nontoxic, botanical ingredients.

· hair,hair care,natural,beauty,eco-friendly

With all this talk about the potentially dangerous chemicals lurking in your beauty products, have you ever stopped to think that your hair spray may also be a culprit in keeping you from being 100% healthy? That’s why some people are turning to natural hair sprays – whether they make their own at home or buy them through natural health brands. Keep reading to find out if you should try natural hair sprays!

A Brief History of Hair Spray

In an article published by New York magazine, reporters investigated the effectiveness of so-called “eco-friendly” hair sprays. If you grew up in the ’80s, you’ll probably know someone who used misting aerosol hair spray cans like Aqua Net that seemed to give them the biggest, baddest hairdos, but that type of delivery system was not much safer for the Earth’s ozone layer than CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, contained in hair spray that the U.S. government outlawed in 1970 with the Clean Air Act.

It turns out that what replaced CFCs – like the Aqua Net canisters of the world, which use hydrocarbons and compressed gases – still contained VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that contribute to global warming. And if you’ve been paying attention anytime during the last few years to the fluctuation of the seasons – how summers keep getting hotter and winters much colder – you know that global warming is real. (Sorry President Trump.)

In our own generation, we’ve witnessed severe ice storms occurring in typically hot states like Texas and Georgia, as well as temperatures rising into the 110s across the Midwest. The seasons are getting more extreme, and there’s no sign of this trajectory changing or slowing down.

As scary as climate change is, there are some small things we can all do to reduce its risk, including changing to natural hair sprays.

What is Considered Natural When It Comes to Hair Sprays?

Eco-friendly hair sprays use a pumping mechanism with a pressurized mist. They use a nonaerosol delivery method without any compressed gas that keeps you from breathing in the toxic vapors and protects the ozone from further deterioration. While most beauty brands have shifted to these types of hair sprays, their ingredients may still not be all natural. In fact, many major brands’ hair spray products contain chemicals like parabens, phthalates, plastic polymers, synthetic fillers, and artificial fragrances. That’s why Poison Control warns users to not accidentally inhale airborne hair products’ vapors, because of the dangers to your health.

The best way to go natural when it comes to hair spray is to choose products with nontoxic, botanical, and organic ingredients such as honey, aloe vera, essential oils, tea, purified water, and sea salt. Some examples of natural hair sprays available for purchase include those made by Andalou Naturals and Honeybee Gardens.

Sunflower & Citrus Medium Hold Hair Spray from Andalou Naturals, a certified organic, vegan-friendly, gluten and cruelty-free hair spray, features aloe, sunflower, chamomile, and tangerine for a medium hold. Similarly, vegan and cruelty-free Herbal Mint Alcohol-Free Hair Spray by Honeybee Gardens is a water-based hair spray that contains aloe leaf extract, chamomile extract, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and grape seed extract for a soft hold.

You can search the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for free online to see the safety rating on many of your favorite beauty and hair care products, including hair sprays. Products are rated 1-2 (color coded in green) if they pose a low-risk to your health, 3-6 (orange) indicating a moderate hazard, and 7-10 (red) for a high hazard.

Make Your Own DIY Hair Spray

If you have just 20 minutes and would prefer to make your own natural hair spray at home, follow this easy recipe by Byrdie.


  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups distilled or purified water
  • 1 pot
  • 1 stove or hot plate
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 empty spray bottle


Slice the lemon into wedges and boil in two cups of distilled or filtered water until only half the liquid remains. Let cool. Strain the liquid. If it’s too sticky, dilute it with a bit of water. Store your hair spray in a spray bottle in the fridge for up to a week. To make it last a second week, add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.

Or, try this natural hair spray recipe from DIY Natural, which contains an orange, 2 cups of water, high-proof vodka, and lavender essential oil.

Do you use natural hair sprays? Let us know how they work for you by leaving a comment below!


Photo by Giovanna Thayane on Unsplash

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