Use of commercial hairspray is known to cause considerable damage to the environment.
Hairspray contains volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs. These include chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, or CFC’s.
Just a few sprays send these chemicals up to the ozone, where they will break apart thousands of ozone particles. This damage reduces our protection from UV rays and will eventually lead to global warming.
That’s a pretty potent blow coming from 15km or so below. Hairspray’s immediate damage is found in its negative effects on your health.
The formaldehyde found in many commercial hairsprays can lead to migraines, low blood pressure, and even coma. So unless you want your hair so firm it dents, why not make use of common household items to create your own hairspray?
Circulating the web are a couple ways of doing this. They vary slightly, but both provide a natural, pollutant free alternative to the commercial time bombs. Depending on your hair, you may find you prefer one method to the other.
For a gentle hold
This spray works for thick and thin hair, achieving a looser hold that won’t leave hair stiff. To begin, you will need a lemon or orange, 2 cups of water, and clear grain alcohol. The alcohol is optional, but allows the hairspray to last longer. Use one-fourth cup of alcohol for every two cups of water in this method.
To start, cut the citrus of your choice into wedges. Put the wedges in a pot or saucepan with the two cups of water. Heat to a boil over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to half the original amount. Then turn off the heat and strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a measuring cup. You should be left with one cup of liquid. Next, add the one-fourth cup of alcohol. You can add scented oils if you wish to make you spray more fragrant. Six or so drops of essential oils will do quite well. Now, with all the ingredients combined, pour your mixture into a sprits bottle. You may want to use a funnel for this. Once in the bottle, give it a gentle shake and enjoy!
For a simpler hold
It may take as little as two ingredients, sugar and water. This provides an easier option with a firm grip. To start, place one cup of purified water in a saucepan. Heat over the stovetop until just below boiling point. Turn off the heat and stir in 4 teaspoons of sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and allow the mixture to cool. Once cooled, you need only to pour the mixture into a sprits bottle. If you wish to lengthen the spray’s shelf life, you can add a teaspoon of clear grain alcohol, like gin or vodka to the mixture. Essential oils can be added in this version as well.
Though I wouldn’t attempt to tame a 60’s beehive with this hairspray, it is efficient for thick hair and up-dos. It also works to add texture.
If you don’t have essential oils, another way to add fragrance is by using herbal tea in place of water. Peppermint and floral teas both lend a fresh, alluring scent to your hairspray.
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