Wondering what are the alternatives to hair spray? There are many options available today. Read on to know about some of the best alternatives to hair spray, and their unique benefits.
When you don’t want any mess—with your looks, especially your hair, you trust the can of hairspray and get rid of the frizzies.
The humidity in some places increases, which makes your hair go insane. During such situations, hairspray is the only savior—or is it?
The first can of hairspray was launched in 1948, and it caught everyone’s eyes as they can now have many options in hairstyles.
Still, some women, including me, hate the smell of the hairspray or the chemicals inside it and wish they had some alternative.
The good time has come, and I’m here to show you some excellent alternative options to hair spray. They are natural, DIY, and some are commercial products.
Let’s get the ball rolling!
Amazing Alternatives To Hair Spray
Mousse or Texturizing Spray
If your hair falls flat most of the time, then you might want to use a mousse. Why? Because it increases the hair volume and makes sure the hairstyle is in place.
I love to use a mousse because, oh gosh, it changes the game for thin hair. I prefer to do curls with mousse and they are intact the whole day while adding texture to it (what else do we want?).
How To Use– First, ensure your hair is damp. Take the mousse in your hands and rub it gently, then apply it to your hair.
I prefer my hands to apply it. Start from the roots and then go all the way to the tips. Then use a blow dryer or a hairdryer and dry your hair upside-down. It will not work if the hair is dry and makes it look wet all the time.
Some people prefer to air dry, but if you do so, then your hair will look all greasy. If you apply too much, then too it’ll look wet. So, only blow-dry your hair to get the best results.
- Increases the volume
- Adds texture
- Is lightweight
- Can make it look greasy if applied too much
- Will not give results if you air dry it.
Kenra Volume Mousse Extra 17 | Firm Hold Mousse | All Hair Types
Pomade has been used for a long time and has its different benefits. Pomade is best to style slick back hair or where a comb is required to make the hairstyle. You can do those curlies too. I do curls with pomade and they last longer.
How To Use– take some portion in your hand and rub gently to create warmth then apply it on your hair while combing it in the way you’d want to style it.
It provides flexibility and a fantastic hold. Even better than hairspray! It is usually oil-based or greasy and hard to rinse.
Pomade has evolved over time, and we have water-based pomade too. The oil-based lasts long and gives a stunning shine to the hair but is hard to remove.
In comparison, the water-based pomade doesn’t provide that shine but is easy to rinse.
- Gives strong hold
- Adds shine to hair
- Difficult to remove
- Can look greasy if used too much
Suavecito Pomade Original Hold 4 oz, 1 Pack – Medium Hold Hair Pomade For Men – Medium Shine Water Based Wax Like Flake Free Hair Gel – Easy To Wash Out – All Day Hold For All Hairstyles
Hair gel is the best option if you wish to have a firm hold on your hairstyle. It can be used to make spikes, slick back styles, or tight ponytails but is not suitable for making curls or some other hairstyle.
I use it to tame my baby hairs for longer durations and when I want to wear a wig or put on extensions.
How To Use– you can use a tiny patch or more on your hands, rub a little to warm it up. Then apply it to your wet/damp hair. Also, you can use a comb. Style it while it is wet or you won’t be able to style it when it dries up.
After the gel dries out, you will surely experience your hair being rough or rugged. No matter which gel you use, it will have this effect.
Don’t use much gel, as it may cause flakes after it dries. Mostly gels give a flaky look after they’ve dried but provide a firm hold no matter what. They come in different strengths, so you can choose which one you prefer.
- Best for spikes and slick back styles
- Provides strong hold
- Can give a flaky look after drying out
- After it dries up, it feels hard when touched.
Recommended- Eco Style Professional Styling Gel Krystal, 8 Ounce
Natural or DIY alternatives
Yes, the aloe vera plant that is in your backyard can help you go frizz-free all the time. It’s natural and has no side effects.
It requires minimal hard work in its application and is easy to rinse. I can’t stop using it since I used it the first time. I usually prefer to buy it from the store than make it myself.
You can easily make it at home by using aloe leaves. Cut the leaves from the plant with scissors then peel them by a knife (be careful with the thorns). Then what you’re left with is the aloe vera gel. 100% natural.
You can make a spray of the gel by putting the gel in a spray bottle and add 5-6 drops of essential oils of your choice. Then you’re good to go. I prefer it in a paste form instead of a spray.
How to Use– take some portion of aloe gel in your hand then apply it on your hair, you can use comb as well to spread the product evenly.
- Easy to apply
- Gives fine results
- Won’t last long
- If used too much it may look flaky after drying.
Recommended- Organic Aloe Vera Gel from 100% Pure and Natural Cold Pressed Aloe – Great for Face – Hair – Acne – Sunburn – Bug Bites – Rashes – Eczema
You can buy it in a store or make it at home by using a citrus fruit—lemon or orange. I prefer making it at home.
Lemon is for lighter hair shades of hair and orange is for darker shades. If you use lemon spray on dark hair color, then it can cast a whitish look after drying. So, choose correctly.
You’ve to take 2 cups of water, put in the fruit (either lemon or orange), and boil the mixture until it reduces to half a cup. Then strain the fruit, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and add essential oils for the perfect aroma.
How to Use– I comb my hair already then spray it from root to tips and dab with my hands and style it.
It’s easy to make and has a pleasant smell and works best to get rid of the frizz.
- Easy to make and easy to apply
- Gives fine results
- Provides nourishment
- Can make dark hair whiter
- Won’t provide a stronghold
Recommended- Andalou Citrus Spray
Just look into your pantry, and you might find the best natural alternative to hairspray. It’s sugar!
You have to boil the mixture of 1.5 cups of water and two tablespoons of sugar. Then put the mixture in a spray bottle, add essential oils and shake it before use every time.
How to Use– remove any knots in your hair then spray the mixture on your hair and style with your hands or comb. I prefer styling with a comb here, because it settles the spray appropriately.
It provides a good hold and is natural, but it won’t last long like a hairspray. It’s best if you just want to go frizz-free.
- Easy to make and use
- Makes the hair frizz-free
- Can make the hair sticky if used in a large quantity
- Won’t last long
Recommended- Wella EIMI Sugar Lift Sugar Spray for Voluminous Texture, 5.07 Oz
Use Shea Butter
You can use Shea Butter to hold your curls like you’d use pomade.
I use Shea Butter whenever I want my curls to last long (I find it better than a pomade though). It’ll provide a good hold and also hydrate your dry strands.
I apply shea butter with my hands, you can apply it with a brush too. I prefer my hands over brushes anytime because it makes the product settle perfectly.
How to Use– take some Shea Butter in your hands then apply it from root to tip and then do your curls and flaunt. You can expect the curls to last longer with Shea Butter as compared to other natural alternatives.
- Gives strong hold
- Provides nourishment to hair
- Can make hair look greasy if used too much
Recommended- OKAY | African Shea Butter | For All Hair Textures & Skin Types | Daily Moisturizer – Soothe Irritation | White Smooth Refined | All Natural.
Beeswax Pomade is a natural ingredient-based pomade. You can make your homemade pomade if you want a firm hold that a hairspray provides, and the other natural alternatives don’t.
I use it when I want to part my hair and put on bindiya (an Indian Jewellery) and it works well.
You have to take three tablespoons of coconut oil and add two tablespoons of beeswax pasteilles. Then add bentonite clay about two tablespoons, and for the aroma, add ten drops of essential oil.
How to Use– take some portion in your hand, rub it gently to warm it, then apply it thoroughly on your hair then style it with your hands then comb it. Don’t use too much or it will get messy.
It will last longer but won’t provide you exact hold like a hairspray. It’s moisturizing and provides flexibility and a good grip.
- Provides strong hold
- Gives the moisture to hair
- A bit difficult to make and apply
- Hair can get messy of used too much
- Difficult to rinse
Recommended: Wavebuilder Deep Wave Beeswax Pomade Smooth Hold Formula
What does a typical hair spray contain?
They do contain some harmful chemicals but help in freezing the hair. It is basically an aerosol (when a substance is kept under intense pressure and comes out as a spray when forced to) or mist.
Its mechanism is simple—it freezes hair by coating them with substances like vegetable gum and PVP (a water-soluble polymer).
Absorb the oil in the hair and seal it. It does wonders for intricate hairstyles and styles where keeping the hair in its place is essential, also when you need next to no frizz.
Is hair spray harmful?
It does contain chemicals—Propylene glycol, Carboxymethylcellulose, Polyvinyl alcohol, Hydrofluorocarbon, and many more.
In which way are these chemicals harmful? These chemicals can cause dryness of the scalp (which may lead to dandruff), damage your hair intensely, and make your hair extremely dry if you use it almost regularly. It will definitely cause dryness because it absorbs the oil from the hair.
It can mainly cause irritation because it damages the hair follicles too.
Now, I know you have already decided to ditch your traditional hairspray or are on the verge of doing so.
Here are some natural alternatives to chemical hairspray, and many are easy-to-make at-home DIY products.
There are some regular/non-natural commercial products, and they are almost less harmful than hairspray.
What should you look for while choosing a hairspray alternative?
You have to be cautious while choosing a hairspray alternative as every product will not be suitable for everyone. You have to pay heed to
- Hair type– if you have thin hair or hair that falls flat easily, then alternatives like hair gel and pomade may decrease the volume and make your hair look wet, flatter.
I have a similar issue with these two alternatives because my hair type is the same.
I prefer mousse because it adds texture to my hair and my other favorite alternative is Aloe gel (use it in a less quantities).
I use aloe gel mostly to tame my baby hairs and it does a fantastic job here!
For curly/thick hair, I’d say sugar spray and citrus spray won’t provide jaw-dropping results.
The best-suited option for this hair type is Shea Butter, beeswax Pomade and clay. They will tackle the curls and provide the required moisture as well.
- Hairstyle you want– yes, when you’re choosing the best alternative for hairspray then you have to consider this thing.
If you want a flat look then go for hair gel, hair clay, and pomade. If you prefer curls then go for mousse and Shea Butter.
Want a stronghold? Then sissy you can make pomade your best friend. The beeswax Pomade will work just fine like the commercial one.
- Ingredients– If you’re looking for a natural or DIY alternative (which I always prefer) then you can steal my favorite alternatives—Aloe gel, Citrus and Sugar Spray. Looking for a commercial alternative? Then go for pomade, mousse, and hair gel.
With that being said, I’ve come to the end of this article, and I hope you found the suggestions helpful and hope you can ditch your hairspray now and go for something more natural.
Hey there! I’m Joanne. I’m a hair stylist by the day and a beauty blogger by the night. My hairstyling journey leaped when I started writing blogs on different topics related to the same.