12 Different Hairspray Alternatives

Hairspray is a standard beauty tool used to help keep one’s hair in place. However, sometimes hairspray can be a little daunting to use as it can be expensive and even irritating to the skin. Because of this, it might be a good idea to consider using an alternative to hairspray. This article will explore more about hairspray and some options you can use to find something to replace your hairspray routine.

What is Hairspray?

Hairspray is a unique solution that you can spray over your hair to help keep it in place to prevent it from frizzing or flying around in the wind. A hairspray bottle usually sprays a fine mist over your hair, which will then fall onto it and create a solid protective covering.

What is Hairspray Made Of?

When you look at the back of a hairspray bottle, you might be surprised to find that it contains many ingredients, many of which you more than likely have never heard of.

A common ingredient in hairspray is PVP. PVP, which stands for polyvinylpyrrolidone, is a water-soluble polymer. It’s designed to help absorb oil or water on your hair and seal it so your hair strands stay in one place.

Another ingredient you’ll usually find in hairspray is vegetable gum. This helps thicken the spray, creating a protective covering over your hair. It’s also meant to help provide your hair strands with flexibility so they don’t easily break when you brush them.

In addition, most also contain isobutane, propane, and gum arabic. While the ingredients depend on the brand you buy, most hairspray batches include these items.

Why Hairspray Can Be a Problem

While hairspray can be helpful in some ways, it can also be a significant hassle. Below are some of the most common problems with hairspray.

It’s Expensive

While not all hairsprays will break the bank, many can be a little pricey, especially if they are designer brands. Because of this, the costs can eventually add up.

The Formula Isn’t Always Health-Friendly

Some hairspray formulas contain chemicals that can be very dangerous to your health. Many hairspray products contain hazardous chemicals like Carboxymethylcellulose and Hydrofluorocarbon, which can absorb your skin and cause irritation.

It Can Be Irritating to the Eyes and Skin

When you spray the hairspray, the mist goes into the air. Because of this, some particles might end up falling into your eyes and bare skin. This can eventually cause slight irritations, such as itchiness or redness.

It Can Make Your Hair Dry

Hairspray might work to calm your hair from fraying, but if used too much, it can make it dry out. This is because it contains high levels of alcohol which can react with heat. When it does, the heat can strip hydration off of your hair, making it dry. Besides this, it can also make your hair look a bit staticky because the ingredients in the hairspray and air react with each other.

You Need to Wash Your Hair Often

When you use hairspray, you need to make sure to wash it out every day. Otherwise, it can start to wear off and make your hair greasy and frizzy. Keeping hairspray on your hair can also make it lose hydration resulting in dull and dry hair.

Things to Consider When Shopping for an Alternative for Hairspray

It can be a little challenging to tell what you need to look for in a replacement for hairspray. However, you can consider a few things before investing in an alternative.

The Price

While you can make some alternatives with natural ingredients, sometimes they can’t. Just as with hairsprays, some can be very pricey, and investing in quite a few over time can eventually add up. Because of this, it’s ideal to consider setting a price range before beginning your search.

If It’s Safe to Use on Sensitive Skin

One problem with hairspray is that it can sometimes be challenging to use on sensitive skin. When shopping for a hairspray replacement, you might want to look for hypoallergenic products made with gentle ingredients and free from sulfates and parabens. This way, you won’t have to worry about it causing breakouts or irritations.

The Health Benefits

Another thing to consider is if a replacement has any health benefits. Can it help with hair loss? Does it work to heal dandruff? Ideally, a substitute for hairspray should be able to give you excellent hair health with its ingredients. Some helpful ingredients are added antioxidants, iron, honey, and egg whites. Otherwise, you might spray harmful chemicals on your hair, just as with hairspray.

How Easy it is to Use

Some options might be a little tedious to use. For instance, one might require you to let it sit in your hair for a few hours to work well. This can make it difficult for certain people to use as they might need something quick and easy. Due to this, it’s a good idea to check to see how you need to use it and how often it needs to be put on your hair before you start to see results.

The Method You Use to Apply It

Some alternatives will require you to massage their formula into your hair with your hands, while others will have you spray a mist around your head. It’s essential to consider the method you need to apply the alternative, as some might be harder than others. For instance, if you want to use something in your office, you might want to use a quick spray bottle to freshen up your hair. Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider the method needed to apply the liquid or spray to your hair.

DIY and Commercial Options – Which is Better?

You’ll find that most hairspray substitutions are either DIY or commercial options. Because of the endless choices for you to choose from, it might be a little challenging to find the one that’s best to invest in.

A commercial option is probably the way to go if you want something quick and easy. This is because these are pre-made and can be used on the go. Despite being a convenient option, many commercial products can sometimes cause skin irritations and contain chemicals like sulfates.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something natural to use on your hair, a DIY option is probably ideal. Most DIY alternatives require fresh ingredients like egg whites and olive oil which are not often included in commercial options. Remember, though, that some DIY options need you to invest time in them to work well. Below you can find the answers to your question about what to use instead of hairspray.

Alternatives to Consider

Texturizing Spray

ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray, 8.5 fl. oz.

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One alternative to consider is the texturizing spray. Similar to hairspray, this type of spray helps to add texture to one’s hair and doesn’t leave your hair as crunchy as hairspray can sometimes do. Because of this, many people often use it to spray on their relaxed hair rather than styled hair. You’ll find that texturizing spray usually contains beeswax, which can help keep your hair from frizzing and getting out of order. Besides this benefit, beeswax can also help moisturize your hair and even encourage growth.

While you can use it on all hair types, including braids, this spray can also help to give you the often coveted beachy waves look. When misting this texturizing spray on your hair, you’ll often find a nozzle on the top, such as with hairspray bottles. However, unlike hairspray, this type usually has a pre-measured amount at the top, so you get the correct quantity each time you use it.

Besides helping preserve your hair’s look, most of these sprays can also help absorb grease. This makes it ideal for those who often have oily hair or who don’t usually have time to wash their hair to use.

Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Hydrating, 6.73 fl. oz.

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Dry shampoo is another choice you can try out. It is designed to help reduce grease on your hair and clean it up. Dry shampoo keeps your hair’s color vibrant and adds volume to it. However, sometimes this option isn’t always the best to use if you want to keep your hair in place.

When shopping for dry shampoos, you’ll find they come in three different forms: powder, liquid, and spray.

Powder Dry Shampoo

A dry powder shampoo involves pouring some of the powder on your scalp. Eventually, the powder will work, dissolving into your hair to help clean it and give it volume. Many of these powders also have scents, such as floral or fruity ones, which can help to make your hair smell good. Most of these are also free from harmful chemicals like sulfates and parabens.

Liquid Dry Shampoo

A liquid dry shampoo is like a lotion for your hair. This type is often packed into a bottle that contains a pump on the top. You can then use this pump to pour shampoo into your hand and massage it gently into your hair. However, if you want to use this type, be aware that you must massage it well. Otherwise, it might leave your hair looking knotted and greasy.

Spray Dry Shampoo

A dry spray shampoo is similar to a hairspray. You mist the formula over your hair with a nozzle on top of the bottle. This makes this form ideal for those constantly out and about to use it.

Dry shampoo is ideal for those who want something quick and easy. However, keep in mind that sometimes it might cause skin irritations. Because of this, it might be a little problematic for those who have sensitive skin. Keep in mind that despite its name, dry shampoo doesn’t take the place of regular shampoo. This type is designed mainly to be for things like if you need to freshen your hair up for a few hours.

Shea Butter

(16 oz) Raw Shea Butter with RECIPE EBOOK - Perfect for All Your DIY Home Recipes Like Soap Making, Lotion, Shampoo, Lip Balm and Hand Cream - Organic Unrefined Ivory Shea for Soft Skin and Hair

Shea butter does exactly what hairspray is designed to do, but it does so in a much healthier and safer way. Shea butter contains high amounts of vitamins and healthy fatty acids that work to hydrate your hair and ensure no split ends or frizziness occurs. In addition, shea butter helps to calm down an inflamed scalp, meaning it’s often safe for those with sensitive skin. You’ll also find that shea butter can help stop excessive oil on your hair as it levels out the sebaceous glands in your scalp.

Besides its health benefits, shea butter can protect your hair from harmful UV rays. This makes it ideal for those with color-treated hair because it will prevent the color from fading due to intense sunlight.

To use shea butter on your hair, you must scoop some out with your hand and then massage it into your hair. You’ll want to leave it in for about 30 minutes to an hour before washing it with warm water. You can leave it in your hair if you wish to, but it might make it feel a little greasy.


got2b fat-tastic Instant Collagen Infusion Mousse, 8.5 Ounces

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Mousse is known throughout the hairstyling world for being an excellent way for helping to keep hair in place without making it greasy or weighed down. Hair mousse is made with a light consistency that foams into your hand when spraying it. You can then massage it into your hair to cover all areas. Like with hairspray, mousse can help keep your hair in place. Unlike some hairsprays, mousse can add volume to your hair. You also must ensure your hair is wet beforehand so the mousse can dissolve into the strands and work well. You can then take a hair dryer and dry your hair, so the mousse stays stuck to it.

While you can use mousse on all hair types, it’s especially ideal for curly hair as it can reduce the frizziness that is common with it. However, as with hairspray, too much mousse can dry out your hair, making it feel a bit delicate and even causing split ends. Because of this, you need to be careful not to use too much mousse at once.

Hair Paste

18.21 Man Made Hair Paste Pomade with Natural Shine Finish for Men, Sweet Tobacco, 2 oz - Texture Styling Paste for Shaping, Molding All Hair Types - Long-Lasting Satin Sheen Style with Flexible Hold

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Hair paste is similar to styling clay but is a bit thicker and can range in consistency. So, the thicker your hair is, the thicker you’ll want your hair paste to be. Hair paste can work to keep your hair in place well, although too much of it can sometimes make it very stiff. However, unlike hairspray, hair paste can make your hair shiny and easily wash off with water, so there’s no need to worry about parts of it being left behind.

Ideally, it would be best to use hair paste on dry hair as using it on wet hair could cause breakage and split ends. However, if you have long hair, it might be a good idea to look for something else to use, such as mousse or dry shampoo, as hair paste is designed mainly for those with short and thin hair.

Styling Clay

Hair Styling Clay for Men – Pliable Molding Cream with Matte Finish – Product for Textured, Thickened & Modern Hairstyles – Shine Free – 2 OZ – Smooth Viking

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Yes, clay can be used as an alternative to hairspray. This is ideal for those with fine hair, as it doesn’t always work well with thick hair. Like hair wax, styling clay helps to detangle the hair, such as with hairspray but keeps your hair looking natural. It also helps clean off your hair because the clay contains properties that strip it from toxins that make it look dull and greasy.

When using styling clay, please take a little bit out of the container with your fingers and massage it gently around your scalp. This will help evenly distribute the clay to protect your hair.

Aloe Vera Gel

Organic Aloe Vera Gel with 100% Pure Aloe from FRESHLY CUT Aloe Plant, not powder - NO XANTHAN, so it absorbs rapidly with No sticky residue - Big 12 oz

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Aloe vera is well known for its healing properties for the skin, but many might be surprised to learn that it can also help with hair health. It will not only hydrate your hair and scalp, but it can stop dandruff and even give your hair a stunning shine. This makes it much more versatile than traditional hairspray.

You’ll find a few different ways to apply aloe vera gel to your hair, but natural aloe vera gel is the most common. You can take an aloe vera leaf or pure gel from a bottle and massage it into your hair. You’ll want to leave the gel in your hair for about an hour before washing it.

While you won’t leave this gel in your hair all day, such as with hairspray, you need to keep up with using the gel a few times a week. This way, you’ll get the full benefits of the gel, and your hair will eventually start to stay hydrated and form volume.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are packed with protein, something your hair needs to stay strong and healthy. While you can’t walk around with egg whites massaged into your hair, you can make a DIY mask for them the night before you plan to head out.

To do so, take some egg whites (about 2-3), whisk them up in a bowl, and then massage them into your hair. The egg whites will help control frizziness and split ends, like hairspray, and give your hair a stunning natural shine. After about 15-30 minutes, wash the mask with warm water and brush your hair out.

Unlike hairspray, it’s safe to use often on the skin as it doesn’t contain chemicals or make your hair eventually dry out. It might even help with hair loss as the protein in eggs can increase circulation in the scalp resulting in significant hair growth.

Molasses Pomade

Molasses is surprisingly a great thing to use on hair as it contains high levels of iron and antioxidants. Not only will this help create strong hair strands, but it can also help prevent hair from turning gray. Besides this, molasses can also work on your hair like a conditioner, which can keep your hair smooth and shiny.

To use molasses on your hair, you need to take a small amount of it on your finger and then rub your fingers together to warm the molasses up. You can then rub it on a specific area of concern, let it sit, and wash it out.

However, because of molasses’ consistency, it will take a few times before it’s thoroughly washed out. Because of this, it might not be the best option for those who need something quick to use.

Hot Olive Oil

Olive oil is very beneficial to use on your hair for many reasons. It contains healthy fatty acids that strip the hair of harmful fats and toxins. Because it does this, olive oil can help your hair grow faster and more robust, making it look vibrant and voluminous. In addition to helping with hair health, it can heal many common scalp issues, such as dandruff and eczema, because it hydrates and soothes these irritated areas.

To use a hot olive oil treatment on your hair, warm up about ¼ cup of olive oil in the microwave and then pour it slowly over your hair. You then want to massage the oil into your hair before it drips off. Once you do so, wait about 5-10 minutes so the oil can soak into your hair and scalp, and then wash it off with warm water.

Keep in mind that when heated, olive oil can be scalding. Because of this, be careful that it is not scalding when you pour it over your head. Otherwise, you might end up severely burning yourself.

Lemon Spray

A unique replacement to consider for hairspray is lemon spray. Lemons are known for lightening hair thanks to their high levels of citric acid. This citrus fruit can also detoxify the hair and scalp from oils and heavy metals that can cause it to look greasy and brittle and even give volume to your hair.

You can make your lemon spray for hair by taking about two cups of filtered water and the juice of one lemon. Mix these two and then bring the liquid to a boil over a stovetop. Then, pour it through a sieve to help filter out any missing seeds or fibers from the lemon. Once you do this, you can transfer the mixture into a clean spray bottle. When you want to condition your hair, take the spray bottle and mist it over your scalp.

You might consider using orange juice instead of lemon if you have dark hair. This is because orange juice won’t lighten your hair as much as lemon will. Oranges still have many of the same benefits for hair that lemons do, such as high levels of antioxidants and increased circulation in the scalp.

Flaxseed Gel

Another alternative you can try out is flaxseed gel. Flaxseed contains high Omega-3 fatty acids, preventing hair loss and hydrating the scalp. It can even help to avoid hair damage down the road as it will nourish the hair roots, so they stay strong and healthy.

While you can buy flaxseed gel, it’s often recommended to make it yourself as you can use it immediately, so you get all the benefits of it. To make your own, take about two cups of water and mix in ½ cup of flaxseed. Put this mixture over the stove on medium heat and stir until it thickens. Once the mixture creates a paste-like gel, you can remove it from the stovetop, let it cool, and then massage it into your hair.