Homemade Hairspray Recipes

Category Hair
You can make your own hairspray at home for a fraction of the cost of retail products. This page contains homemade hairspray recipes.


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This homemade hairspray really works and doesn't polute the atmosphere or put toxic chemicals on your hair. Just chop 1 lemon (or orange for dry hair) and place in a pot with 2 cups water. Boil down by half. Cool, strain, and place liquid in a spray bottle. Add 1/8 cup (1 oz.) rubbing alcohol. Store up to a month un-refrigerated, or put in refrigerator for longer. You can omit the rubbing alcohol if stored in the fridge. Lasts about 2 weeks. Shake a little before using.

Source: I've used this for years, so I don't remember where I learned about it.

By Rosemary B. from Eatonville, WA

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What was that recipe for hairspray again, I want to give it a try. Thanks

Jamish from Ransom


By Diane (Guest Post)
December 18, 20070 found this helpful

For those of you who have recommended the sugar and water combination, I would be extremely careful. A friend tried that and it attracted wasps like crazy.


Sorry, I wish I could use it too but I don't dare. I am allergic to bees so no sugar water for me. I hope this helps someone.

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By priss punk (Guest Post)
February 6, 20080 found this helpful

Try egg white and lemon mixed.

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By Lauren and Nicole (Guest Post)
February 28, 20080 found this helpful

We have experienced some GREAT homemade hairspray that has made our lives so much easier! You have to do is get water and put sugar in it. The sugar will make your hair stick and smell beautiful.
We feel like we are twenty again! This recipe has made us get guys and it has made our social life so much better! TRY IT!
You will be so happy! =]

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By Addie (Guest Post)
March 10, 20080 found this helpful

Do you guys know any volumizing hairspray recipe?

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By shelby Brastermood (Guest Post)
March 11, 20080 found this helpful

a cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of sugar
70% of Hot boiling water.
Add any food coloring and mix it all together and it will be the color you wished for.


(I love it) -shelby

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By unknown (Guest Post)
March 27, 20080 found this helpful

im scared 2 try the sugar water thing!! :S

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By Danielle (Guest Post)
April 4, 20080 found this helpful

1 Cup Tomato Juice
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups boiling hot water
4.0 grams of gelatin
2.99 grams of zinc oxide
1 tsp sugar

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By daisy (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

I think the spray will dry quicker if you get a finer spray head on your bottle, but obviously you will need to make sure that you strain the liquid as the person above suggested, through cheese cloth or nylon, if you are going to be spraying it through a fine spray head.

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By Fat man (Guest Post)
October 31, 20080 found this helpful

It worked well

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By Lindsey (Guest Post)
January 18, 20090 found this helpful

The recipe I use is just 1 C. of hot water with 1 teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a spray bottle. Sometimes I add a couple of drops of EO's that I have on hand.


Works great, DD and I are both Multiple Chemical Sensitive.

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

Adding rosemary oil is wonderful for volume!

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By lol (Guest Post)
February 2, 20090 found this helpful

Can you use lime instead of lemon?

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Answer this Question...

September 19, 2013

When you say chop one lemon/orange then boil, do you mean the whole thing, skin and all? This is definitely one of the most interesting DIY recipes for hairspray I have seen!

By Jude

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 16, 2007

I wonder if anyone has a homemade recipe for hairspray. My young daughter seems to be going through so much, trying to keep her hair in place, that I thought maybe someone has come up with a substitute. Thanks!

Kelli in Ohio


Homemade Hairspray

When my mother was a teenager and they didn't really have hairspray, they used sugar water. I am not certain on the measurements though. (05/11/2004)

By Tawnda

Homemade Hairspray

I had a friend that used a sugar and water mixture and she loved it. You just have to be careful on the amounts. Too much sugar, and it crystallizes in your hair--but it's shiny! (05/12/2004)

By Annette

Homemade Hairspray


  • 1 Lemon or orange (orange for dry hair)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol

Cut up the lemon or orange and bring it to a boil with the water. Boil off half of the water. Then add alcohol if you plan on preserving the mixture. I have not tried this yet but I found the recipe on tipking's site a while back and plan to. I'll post when I do if no one has posted sooner. (05/12/2004)


By Janet

Homemade Hairspray

I've read that white glue diluted with water and used in a spray bottle can be used as a hair spray if you need a REALLY strong hold. (05/23/2004)

By Rob

Homemade Hairspray

Grandma's Hairspray

  • 1 T Sugar
  • 1/3 to 1 C hot water
  • 1/2 t oil of choice (I like lemon)

Mix well and pour into spray bottle. Use sparingly at first. Less water for stronger spray. Your hair will really shine. (06/18/2004)

By Nancy

Homemade Baking Powder

Baking Powder

  • 3 T cornstarch or Arrowroot
  • 1 T Soda

Put in small jar & shake well. This works as well as the store bought kind and is much cheaper with no aluminum or phosphates. (06/18/2004)

By Nancy

Homemade Vanilla

Unsweetened Vanilla

  • 1 pint Vodka
  • 1 Vanilla Bean - chopped

Cut vanilla bean into small pieces with kitchen shears
directly into Vodka bottle. Let stand, shaking once a week for 3 weeks. Then use same amount called for in your recipe. You can add 1 T honey or sugar to make it sweeter, if desired. (06/18/2004)

By Nancy

Homemade Hairspray

If you take 1 tsp. sugar and 1 cup water and 70% rubbing alcohol and put it all together. Boil it, let cool and pour it in a dark bottle with a sprayer top. (08/03/2004)

By leslie

Homemade Hairspray

Tropical hairspray

To make a tropical mist for your hair
you need 2 tablespoons of coconut milk
and 6 tablespoons of water
You need a spraybottle
Put both ingredients together
and shake
and viola

Note: put it in refrigerator, it can go bad.
It makes 4 ounces (07/19/2005)

By natalie

Homemade Hairspray

When I go to the beach I bring a lemon to use the juice in my hair. it acts like hair spray and lightens too(if already blond of sorts). But to actually use as a hair spray I would mix with some water and be sure to strain it well, maybe through a coffee filter. It gets nice and stiff and it's not sticky (08/05/2005)

By valery

Homemade Hairspray

Does anyone have a recipe for a quick drying hairspray? Need one that will hold fine hair.

Thanks, and have an exquisite day!

Bev (08/09/2005)

By Skipper

Homemade Hairspray

Wow those are great.. I need something that will put PROTEINS in my hair.. I want smooth hair! :) (09/22/2005)

By Emilu

Homemade Hairspray

I've tried the orange homemade hairspray. Don't know what I'm doing wrong. but it isn't sticky. I heard if too sticky add more water. I can't get it sticky. so it won't work for me. Please help! (12/09/2005)

By Skipper

Homemade Hairspray

Peace out dogs it does work (01/18/2006)

By peace people

homemade hairspray


  • 2 lemons(yellow)
  • 2 limes(green)
  • 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of elmers glue
  • 1 cup of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of castor oil

Take as much juice out of all three fruits and drain as much possible. Take rubbing alcohol and glue and mix well.Bring to a boil. Once boiling add water and sugar and stir until very well mixed. Bring to boil again because most likely water will stop boiling once you pour in water and sugar.After brought to a boil let cool to a lukewarm temperature and pour in castor oil.

This mix will definitely keep your hair very shiny. I use it on my daughter's hair everyday and always have and we do not use any other products because i think that they damage the hair. This will make your hair less likely to develop split ends which is great and will keep the hair form becoming dry. Hair will not become oily, i promise, so don't worry about the castor oil. The alcohol is also good for the hair because it helps keep the emollients form the lemon,lime, and orange in. If sprayed sparingly will dry in about 10 minutes and will have good hold with out over harding,. If saturated into hair this can be used as a type of gel-spray to style hair and then can be hairdryed to water style you need. Hope y'all enjoy it. Please leave comments. Your welcome.
-Marylou (02/22/2006)

By Marylou

Homemade Hairspray

This really works a lot and I can do it myself. (04/27/2006)

By kira

Homemade Hairspray

Which works the best? (05/09/2006)

By julia

Homemade Hairspray

I find this holds curls & up dos well.

  • 1 tablespoon boiled salted water
  • 2 tsps lemons squeezed
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs white school glue
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 3 tsps Mayo


By Olive+ Hae Hae

Homemade Hairspray

I make the Gelatin. 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin (Knox), 1 tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel (Lilly of the Desert), 1 cup of boiled water. Mix well and put in a spray bottle. Store in the Fridge. To use run under hot water. Style hair and spray on gelatin spray.
To finish spray with sugar water.
1 tsbp. of sugar, 1/4 cup of hot water. Stir well and the add Aloe Vera Gel (Lilly of the Desert) so it makes a 1/3 cup of mixture. Will hold style very well and is very good conditioner for the hair. I have had breast cancer and my scalp is very sensitive. I have no problems with this. Holds through dampness, rain and wind. (02/27/2007)

By Shirley

Homemade Hairspray

We are doing a science Fair, And using your ingredient. We think it is the best of all our ingredient. Hope it works (05/22/2007)

By lily, Olivia

Homemade Hairspray

I need hair spray that make my hair curly! (06/07/2007)

Homemade Hairspray

I have tried sugar water, salt water and everything and it just doesn't work! (11/01/2007)


Homemade Hairspray

I was skeptical at first to try a homemade hair spray recipes, thinking for certain they would not hold up. I saw many recipes for the orange hairspray and tried this one this afternoon and it is simple to make and it holds well. To the person who posted that they made it and cannot get it to be sticky, the key is to be sure to boil it long enough! Down to 1/2 of what you started out with.

To insure that I was boiling it down far enough, I poured it into a Pyrex 2 cup measure to see how far it had gone down, then allowed for the chopped orange which I emulsified in my food processor to be sure to release all the juice and oils for boiling. I didn't want to store it in the refrigerator so I added one ounce of alcohol to preserve it.

To strain it I cut a square from a knee high nylon and used a rubber band to hold it secure over a glass Pyrex measure, using a spoon to make a dent into the nylon (a funnel affect) to pour the hot liquid into and into the glass. I chilled it in the freezer for about 15 min, then added one ounce of alcohol and put it in an empty pump style hair spray bottle for use. It's 5 hours later and it is still feels like store bought spray, just needing a touch up, and the cost, for 8 ounces of hair spray that filled the bottle, was a cost of one orange, 2 cups of water and an ounce of rubbing alcohol.

REMEMBER THE KEY Is boiling the liquid down to at least half and to strain it through nylon or cheesecloth to insure that no particles are left that will clog the spray pump. I will never buy store bought hairspray again. So easy. 1 Orange, 2 cups of distilled water, or use tap, but I used distilled and either store it in the refrigerator or add one ounce of alcohol to preserve it. Remember 2 cups becomes one cup when boiled down.

Here is the actual recipe I used this afternoon. Chop one lemon (or an Orange for dry hair) But I suggest using a food processor to release all the oils and juice from the flesh of the Lemon or Orange. I used Orange because I have dry hair. Place this is a sauce pan (I used stainless steel) and bring to a gentle rolling boil and BOIL IT UNTIL IT REDUCES TO ONE CUP. Cool and strain and place in a spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator and it will last for 2 weeks. OR add one ounce of alcohol as a preservative and then it can be stored for up to 2 weeks unrefrigerated.

And it dried rather quickly after spraying it on, although not as fast as store bought, it still dried soon enough that I am very pleased. This is so easy to make, simple ingredients, no glue, or oils. (11/04/2007)

By Hope

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

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