8 DIY Hair Spray Recipes Using Environmentally Friendly Ingredients

woman's back showing long braided hair with pink rose and DIY hairspray in brown bottle

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

While conventional hair sprays may do the job of keeping your hair in place, the chemicals in the spray have been known to impact the planet.

Aerosol products such as hair sprays can send harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, onto high-touch surfaces, and into your body.

Do yourself and the environment a favor and opt instead for one of our easy DIY hair spray recipes using natural ingredients you already have at home.

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Sugar Hair Spray

hand adds teaspoon of white sugar to boiling water on stove to make diy hairspray

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Almost everyone has white sugar in their house already. And lucky for your wallet and your hair, this DIY hair spray requires just two ingredients: sugar and water.


Using a saucepan, boil a cup of filtered water. Once the water's hot enough, stir in 2 tablespoons of white sugar. If you would like a stronger holding hair spray, add in a touch more sugar.

When your sugar is completely dissolved, take the saucepan off the heat and allow the liquid to cool. Once cool enough to handle, funnel the liquid into a spray bottle (ideally glass).

Remember to shake the spray well each time before you apply it to your hair.

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Rose Water Hair Spray

wooden hairbrush with pink rose and petals for a DIY hairspray recipe

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

While you have your white sugar out from the previous recipe, consider making this hair spray if you are predisposed to dandruff or itchiness. The process is much the same as the first recipe with only a slight variation.


Heat 1 cup of rosewater in a saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar into the heated liquid and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Let the mixture cool before funneling it into a spray bottle.

This hair spray will keep fresh for a couple of months.

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Aloe Hair Spray

ingredients for fresh aloe plant hairspray with bottle and wooden comb

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Aloe vera is well known for its soothing properties. These same attributes can help make your hair softer and less frizzy.


In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of fresh aloe vera juice with 2/3 cup filtered water. Make sure the two ingredients are evenly combined.

Funnel into a spray bottle and shake it thoroughly before using it.

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Lemon Hair Spray

fresh cut lemons on wooden board next to glass bottle filled with homemade diy hairspray

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Did you ever squirt lemon juice in your hair during the summer months for natural highlights from the sun? Well, did you realize that you were just a couple of ingredients away from a homemade hair spray?


Heat 2 cups of filtered water in a saucepan. Take one fresh lemon (it must be fresh) and cut it into squeezable pieces.

Squeeze as much juice as possible out of the lemon pieces and then add the rinds to the water. Bring this to a boil and let half of the liquid evaporate. Allow the mixture to cool before straining out the lemon skin and any seeds.

Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.

Pour your mixture into a spray bottle and shake well before you use it.

Since this hair spray requires fresh lemon, you must store the bottle in the refrigerator. It should last up to 2 weeks before it must be discarded.

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Sugar Vodka Hair Spray

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

This adaption to the first recipe is ideal for a stronger hold.


Boil 1 cup of filtered water in a saucepan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of white sugar and allow it to dissolve. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.

Once it is cool enough to handle, stir in 1 tablespoon of vodka.

Let it cool completely before transferring to a spray bottle.

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Rubbing Alcohol Hair Spray

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

This recipe is very similar to the one above. However, instead of vodka, you are using rubbing alcohol.


Boil 1/2 cup of filtered water in a saucepan and add in 2 teaspoons of sugar. Stir until it dissolves before adding 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.

Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool completely before pouring the mixture into a spray bottle.

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Flax Seed Gel

hands pour brown flax seeds into open palm of hand for diy hairspray recipe

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

As an alternative to hair spray, you can also try a DIY hair gel that may keep your locks in place.


For this DIY gel, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and take off the heat. While it is still hot, stir in 1/4 cup of flax seeds. Let the flax seeds soak in the water for at least 24 hours.

Once the seeds have soaked, strain them out and your gel is ready to go. Smooth the mixture on your hair before styling it.

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Argan Oil Hair Spray

woman holds brown glass bottle of argan oil with dropper for diy hairspray recipe

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Argan oil is a popular natural product used to protect hair from heat damage. It is also a perfect ingredient for hair spray.


Boil 1/2 cup of filtered water in a saucepan. Stir in 1 teaspoon of white sugar and let it dissolve. Take the pan off the heat.

Once the mixture cools, stir in 2 drops of argan oil.

Funnel the liquid into a spray bottle and shake well. This spray should last for up to three weeks.

How to Dial Up/Down the Hold

back of woman showing her braided hair and spraying diy hairspray from glass bottle

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Depending on your hair type, you might want a little bit more or a little bit less of a hold. To customize your mixture, focus on the recipes containing sugar and add more sugar than specified for a stronger hold and less sugar for a looser one.

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oils

Essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender oil are amazing additions to any homemade beauty recipe—and the same can be said for a DIY hair spray.

Use a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add fragrance to your hair spray and extra shine to your hair.

View Article Sources
  1. "Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality." Environmental Protection Agency.