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What Is a Natural Hair Spray?

Kay Paddock
Kay Paddock

Natural hair spray is typically made from a formula that consists of organic and naturally-occurring materials rather than man-made ingredients and chemicals. Most types of hairspray found in stores contain such ingredients as polymers, solvents, propellants, acetates and other substances found in heavy-duty glues that can damage hair over time. The solvents and propellants alone may be based on substances such as chlorine, fluorine and carbon, which are believed to damage the ozone layer and harm the environment. Formulas for natural hair spray generally do not contain any of these potentially harmful substances, and are instead made from such ingredients as sugar, salt, lemon juice and flaxseed.

Hair products made from natural ingredients can be purchased, usually from specialty retailers, or they can be made at home with a few simple ingredients. Some people may find that natural hair spray does not work as well as standard hair spray. Those who have trouble with homemade hair sprays may wish to try a commercial brand to see if the results are better.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A common type of hair spray that is chemical-free is a sea salt hair spray. Actual ocean water can be used, but the formula can also be mixed at home. A basic recipe would include about 1 tablespoon (14.78 ml) of sea salt, 1 cup (about 280 ml) of warm water, and one or two drops of an essential oil of choice. Once mixed, the mixture should be placed into a pump spray bottle for thin, even application to the hair.

Other formulas, such as sugar-based sprays, lemon juice sprays and those made from flaxseed, follow similar recipes. Natural hair spray can also be made with special ingredients for dry hair, oily hair, or hair that has been damaged or chemically altered. Commercial products may be the better choice for problem hair needs because manufacturers generally have access to specialty ingredients not often found in home kitchens.

Using a natural hair spray also might involve spraying it on until the hair is wet and then blow-drying to create a style. Wet hair can also be sprayed and then squeezed and styled with the hands and fingers so it will dry in a specific way. Different types of hair may react better or worse to certain natural hair spray ingredients, so it might be necessary to experiment to find one that works well.

Cruelty-free hair spray is a hair formula that is not tested on animals. Though natural products and cruelty-free ones do often go hand in hand, it should not be assumed that a cruelty-free product is completely natural unless the manufacturer makes that clear. Some cruelty-free formulas may contain ingredients not used in laboratory animal testing that are still commonly found in regular, chemical-based hair sprays.

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