How Do I Make Homemade Hair Spray?

Judith Smith Sullivan

Making homemade hair spray is surprisingly easy. The two most popular formulas for require only two ingredients, and even the more complex formulas aren't difficult to concoct. The first type of homemade hairspray is basically sugar water and the second is a mixture of lemon or orange and water. The efficacy of the hair spray depends on how it is used, and natural, homemade hairsprays work best when sprayed in several layers of fine mist and allowed to dry between applications.

Isopropyl alcohol, which can be used to make homemade hair spray.
Isopropyl alcohol, which can be used to make homemade hair spray.

To make the sugar-based hairspray, combine 0.5 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool, and place in a fine-misting spray bottle or similar container. This formula should be stored in the refrigerator for the best preservation.

Vodka can be used to make homemade hair spray.
Vodka can be used to make homemade hair spray.

The sugar based formula can be stored at room temperature if one or two drops of alcohol are added. This also increases the hair spray's shelf life. Either a clear drinking alcohol, such as vodka, or isopropyl alcohol may be used. Too much alcohol will dry out hair, so use it sparingly.

An alternative formula for homemade hair spray is citrus based. Lemon is commonly used, but orange is recommended for dry hair. One whole fruit is diced and placed in 2 cups of water. Boil until liquid is reduced to half the original amount. Allow the liquid to cool and strain it, using either a coffee filter or cheesecloth, into a spray bottle. As with the sugar method, alcohol can be added to the mixture to allow storage at room temperature.

Using either formula, it is possible for the hair spray to become too sticky. In this case, dilute it with water. If either homemade hair spray does not provide adequate hold, reduce the amount of water or add sugar. Both types of hairspray should be applied in layers. In other words, finely mist the hairstyle, allow the hair spray to dry, and repeat until the desired hold is achieved.

Another type of homemade hair spray requires more ingredients, but it also includes extra moisturizing elements to maintain healthy hair. Boil one diced orange in 1.5 cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons of flax seed and boil for another 15 minutes. After the liquid has cooled, strain and add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and 1 teaspoon of glycerin.

The flaxseed based hair spray should be shaken before each use. Storing it in the refrigerator will help it to last longer. Over time, water may evaporate, causing the mixture to become too thick. If this occurs, add more water.

Flax seed oil can be used in a homemade hair spray.
Flax seed oil can be used in a homemade hair spray.

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Discussion Comments


As the economy continues to flounder, I suspect we'll see people coming up with all kinds of inexpensive, homemade alternative to common commercial products. That's not a bad thing at all as such moves might be seen as an overall attempt to save money and engage in a bit of thriftiness.

Here in the United States, the art of being thrifty has almost vanished. And look where that's gotten us -- huge amounts of consumer debt and all sorts of commotion.

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