Hairspray was invented around 1950 and was sold in aerosol cans – the same as the ones used for bug spray. Just two decades later, it was the best-selling beauty product in the world. Today there are loads of hairspray brands and formulas on the market. With so many to choose from, a girl (or guy) can become a little confused. Don’t worry! We’ve done the legwork to help you find the right one for your hair needs.
Our top 10 picks are all-natural and free of synthetic chemicals. The manufacturers have ditched the nasty aerosol cans too. Read on to find out more about our 10 best natural organic hairspray picks.
How to Choose a Natural Hairspray?
We recommend starting by thinking about your natural hair type and choosing a product to match it. Is your hair straight, fine, and limp? Or is it curly with a tendency to frizz?
Next, think about whether you would prefer a light, medium, or strong holding product. Thankfully, most hairsprays today have lost that sticky, unnatural stiffness our grandmothers had to put up with.
You will also want to look out for these nasties and avoid them wherever possible:
- Parabens: These are used as preservatives because they stop bacteria and mold from growing. However, their estrogen-mimicking qualities have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Synthetic fragrances: We all like our hairspray to smell good but the term “fragrances” on the ingredient label can signal the addition of thousands of harmful chemicals. Rather look for products that are fragranced with essential oils.
- Artificial colorants: Yes, some hairsprays contain chemical colorants to boost your hair’s color and shine. However, some of these can cause scalp sensitivity.
- Phthalates: This is a common hairspray ingredient that is a known endocrine disruptor and has also been linked to breast cancer. Avoid it, please!
- Toluene: Although this harsh chemical is most often found in hair colorants, it is sometimes found in hairspray too. It’s a powerful solvent that can even dissolve paint.
- Propylene glycol: This skin irritant is a common cause of itchy, dry scalp that is often mistaken for dandruff.
- Coal tar: This is an old-fashioned dandruff treatment that is still found in some shampoos and hairsprays. It is a known carcinogen and can cause lung cancer if inhaled.
- Alcohol: Most hair products contain alcohol and in small quantities, it’s probably not going to do any harm. However, if it’s listed in the first three or four ingredients, then there’s lots of it in that hairspray. It has a drying effect and may cause scalp irritation.
- DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (monoethnanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine): These chemicals are hormone-disruptors and can form cancer-causing nitrates.
Of course, it is difficult to avoid every single chemical, but you can at least limit the number that you expose yourself to. Most hairsprays contain harmful petrochemicals, silicones, and plasticizing agents (phthalates) that are inhaled into the body and can cause harm to the lungs.
So, keep reading to find our top 10 healthiest and most effective hair sprays.
The 10 Best Natural and Organic Hairsprays:
This Nature’s Brands’ hairspray is available on Amazon in an 8 oz non-aerosol spray bottle. It has a Climate Pledge Friendly Certification. This shows the company’s commitment to helping preserve the natural world. They’re also committed to your health because the spray uses no petroleum-based ingredients. It also has a USDA organic certification, meaning that the botanical ingredients are grown and processed in line with standards that address soil and water quality.
This product has received a 4-star customer satisfaction rating. Many customers love the citrus scent and lack of stickiness. They say that a small amount keeps hair in place without making it look oily.
Mari Natural Organic Hairspray can be used on wet or dry hair and works particularly well for keeping curly hair frizz-free.
Aveda hairspray comes in an 8.5 oz non-aerosol spray bottle and gets a whopping 5-star rating on Amazon! It is marketed as unisex, mainly because of the fragrance. As the name says, it is a light hold hairspray that won’t leave your hair feeling sticky or stiff. It is great for controlling frizz on curly hair.
Its key ingredient is witch hazel which has soothing and antioxidant properties. Jojoba seed oil and soybean oil provide a smoothing and nourishing effect while geranium and citronella provide a refreshing fragrance. Aveda products are all vegan and cruelty-free. They’re manufactured using wind or solar power only and are packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic PET bottles. The product is 90% naturally derived using water, plant products, and non-petroleum minerals.
This nifty little bottle holds just 4 oz so it is perfect for fitting into your holiday beach bag, gym bag, or even your handbag for those quick touch-ups. 10 in 1 is quite a claim to make but judging by the happy customer reviews, it lives up to its promises. The 10 things the product will do are:
- Increase volume
- Give hair a thicker appearance
- Hold your style all day long
- Provide pollution protection
- Apply weightlessly
- Control oiliness
- Add dimension
- Encourage a healthy scalp
- Leave your hair smelling great
- Provide much-needed vitamins and antioxidants
The spray has a lovely beach-vibe fragrance of coconut and vanilla with notes of ginger and passionfruit. It’s vegan and cruelty-free. Coconut oil, witch hazel, ginger oil, dragonfruit, and algae extract are among the delectable-sounding ingredients that can only do your hair good. Vitamins and antioxidants control oil without drying hair out.
The product is easy to use because you simply spray a little onto damp hair before styling it. It’s paraben, sulfate, and silicone-free.
That’s quite a strange name for a hair product but when you see that it’s manufactured by world-renowned hair care company Schwartzkopf, your mind will be set at ease. The spray comes in a funky 6.8 fl. oz. spray bottle with a beach vibe. It would make a great little item to pack into your holiday beach bag.
The ingredients are simple and minimalist – water, salt, a little castor oil, and fragrance. It’s great for color-treated hair and gives a tousled, rough, “just been to the beach” look. It leaves no visible residue or stickiness and has been created without silicones or harmful parabens. To use, shake the product well and apply to damp or dry hair. Scrunch into a rough, wind-blown style and you’re good to go! This awesome product is available on Amazon.
Giovanni was the very first salon-inspired haircare range in natural product stores. It is the number one selling hair care line in the US natural products industry. This anti-frizz hair gloss is aimed at those who struggle with unruly hair. It creates a smooth surface to the hair, leaving it glossy and gently controlled. It’s formulated with hemp seed oil and aloe vera leaf juice, frankincense oil, turmeric root extract, henna extract, and hops.
Giovanni Hemp Hydrating Hair Shine is safe for use on colored hair and won’t ever strip the color. All Giovanni products use several organic ingredients and are Leaping Bunny Certified meaning that they are never tested on animals. The packaging is recyclable and the spray is lauryl and lauryl sulfate-free.
This daily nourishing volumizing spray comes in a cute green non-aerosol spray bottle that will look great on your bathroom shelf. The bottle provides an amazing 2000 spritzes! It’s a leave-in conditioning spray with a bamboo sugarcane scent. The ingredients – such as biotin, keratin, argan oil, coconut water, and hydrolyzed silk – are all vegan versions.
The spray also contains provitamin B5 and biotin to promote hair growth. Biotin is known as “the hair vitamin” because it makes hair more elastic and prevents the dryness that leads to brittle and broken hair. Biotin is essential for keratin production. TreeActive Nourishing Spray has been formulated for both men and women to promote hair regrowth and strengthen existing hair.
So, if you’re worried about thinning hair, this is the product for you. It also adds a luscious shine thanks to the aloe vera and biotin oils. The argan oil helps to remove product build-up and harsh chemicals. The hair regrowth mist can be sprayed onto dry or wet air from the roots to the tips then gently massaged in before styling as usual.
This product was created by a man known as “The Father of Safe Cosmetics” – Horst Rechelbacher. He had always believed in organic, eco-friendly products with excellent results. Not only does this hairspray really, really work, but it is also so safe that it’s edible! The little non-aerosol bottle holds 6.7 oz of USDA-certified Organic hairspray that’s free from plastic, phthalates, and preservatives.
It’s also gluten-free, cruelty-free, and comes in sustainable packaging. The product boasts super-strength and has a silky thickening hold that doesn’t produce fake dandruff flakes. What more can you wish for? To use this baby-safe product, spray it generously on damp hair if you want to create body in fine hair.
Work it through then style as normal to control and finish (like a regular hairspray), spritz a little onto dry hair. If your hair is naturally curly or wavy with a lot of texture, spray it onto wet hair and diffuse or leave it to dry naturally while the curls form. The product can even be used as a dry shampoo between washings.
This elegantly presented non-aerosol hairspray is certified organic by the USDA. It has a medium hold and will also protect and nourish your hair thanks to the aloe vera it contains. The spray leaves no residue or flaking and is great for all hair types. The bergamot oil it contains gives it a lovely citrusy fragrance and adds to the shine.
The natural-looking, touchable hold is provided by acacia Senegal gum and xanthan gum. They provide exceptional protection against humidity, thereby eliminating frizz. To use the hairspray, spray it onto damp or dry hair and style as you like. For increased volume, lift the hair and spray the product at the roots. To obtain a firmer hold, mist some lightly over the hair again after styling.
Another sea salt texturizing hairspray – this time from Maple Holistics. The company uses natural, plant-derived ingredients in its products such as argan oil. This 4 fl. oz. container is travel-friendly and perfect for popping into your handbag for quick touch-ups.
This beach waves spray has been formulated for curly hair. Use it as a root booster on fine hair as well to give texture and body. The argan oil and kelp extract in it enhance the shine and help texturize and shape curls, keeping them frizz-free and beautifully defined.
Maple Holistics is a company that powers its manufacturing processes with renewable energy and uses botanical extracts rather than harsh chemicals.
Looking for a natural ingredient heat protection hairspray? Look no further! This non-aerosol spray is wonderful for chemically and heat-damaged locks. It contains natural argan oil (contains vitamin E and antioxidants) and silk proteins to tame frizz, bring a non-oily shine, and revitalize dull hair. It also provides a gentle hold to keep your style in place all day long. Vogue International makes its products with zero sulfated surfactants.
Here’s a summary of what you should bear in mind when choosing a hairspray:
- No aerosol spray mechanism
- Recyclable packaging
- Cruelty-free certification to guarantee no animal testing
- Free of harmful chemicals
- Contains natural ingredients – preferably botanicals
- Formulated for your hair type
- Good customer reviews
- Priced right for your budget
- The correct size bottle for your needs
How do I use natural hairspray?
Hold the container about 30 cm away from your hair and spray evenly and lightly all around your head. Don’t overdo it – less is more.
How do I create body with hairspray?
Start by flipping your head upside-down, then spraying the underside. It also helps to tease your roots/ backcomb using a comb before fixing your hair in place.
What does “brushable” on a hairspray label mean?
This means that the spray can be easily removed from your hair by brushing it out with a hairbrush. You don’t have to wash your hair to get it out. It is useful for second-day restyling where you don’t want a heavy product buildup. “Brushable” on a label is also a sign that you (or your partner!) can easily run fingers through your hair without it feeling sticky and hard. This type of spray will have a more natural feel yet still gently hold your style in place.
What is hairspray made out of?
To answer this we have to differentiate between natural and regular products. Hairspray is a solution of long, chainlike molecules (called polymers) in a very volatile solvent. Spraying deposits a stiff layer of the polymer on your hair after the solvent evaporates.
- Natural: Uses polymers and solvents like vegetable gum dissolved in alcohol. A much-used ingredient to hold the style is tree sap such as gum arabic or gum tragacanth.
- Synthetic: Solvents like alcohol or hydrocarbons. Polymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidone or polydimethylsiloxane
Why do I even need hairspray?
Hairspray is a multitasking product that is not only used to keep your style in place.
- It can hold in volume at the roots to keep your hair from falling flat
- Controls frizz and flyaways
- Adds sheen and gives a lustrous, healthy look
How do I know when to use strong, medium, or gently hold hairspray?
- Strong hold: Use this for formal occasions when you are having an updo or really need to keep your hair in place. Think weddings and gala occasions…
- Meduim hold: Use this for the odd occasion where you want to keep your hairstyle in place but still want some movement. This is a good option for work.
- Flexible hold: Use this one for everyday wear or at the beach where you want a more natural look and movement without flyaways and frizz. This is a great option for weekends.
Hairspray has come a long way since our grandmother’s day when it was made with harsh chemicals and packaged in those ozone-destroying aerosol spray bottles. Today’s hairspray is versatile, funky, smells great, and looks natural. We hope our comprehensive guide has made you more confident when choosing a product to suit your needs.
This article was last updated on February 4, 2022 .