The Best Natural Hairsprays & Why You Need One

Hair sprays can be scary! Here’s why you need to switch to a natural hairspray NOW!

By Arwa Lodhi

Hair spray is  a beauty cabinet staple, and has been for decades. Any why not? It can do marvellous things for your hair: give superior hold, boost the volume, add some scent and control flyaway hair. But did you know that with every spray, you’re likely increasing your risk of cancer, skin irritation, and lung disease, thanks to inhaling fine particles of carcinogenic gases?

The National Institute of Health states that it’s unknown whether all of the ingredients in hair spray are safe for human use, but to compound the problem, hair spray manufacturers have knowingly included ingredients that have had cariogenic effects, including those that have caused rare liver cancers and birth defects.

Many of these harmful chemicals are also included in other hair products, like dyes. Want to know what to watch out for? Read on!

What are the worst ingredients in hairsprays?

Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is the stuff you top up your car with so fuel doesn’t freeze. You know, that chemical that’s so tough that it can withstand temperatures of -34 ° degrees. But propylene glycol has been linked to red, itchy skin; allergic reactions; kidney and liver toxicity; and stupor, convulsions and other unspecified “severe mental symptoms”. Yipes! Of course, natural hairsprays won’t have this.


This chemical is very dangerous to the environment because it disrupts the ozone layer. While it is known as an improvement from another chemical, chlorofluorocarbons – which has since been banned, it is still concerning.


These  are used to push all those chemicals out of the can and onto your hair. But this practicality comes at a cost – with propellants linked to allergic skin reactions, asthma and breathing difficulties. In some cases, they’re even (and rather frighteningly) linked to fatal heart complications.


The alcohol content in hair sprays isn’t only a source for potential scalp and skin irritation, it’s also an ingredient with potentially the most serious of consequences.

When coupled with hydrofluorocarbons and other hair spray ingredients, alcohol increases absorption rates. So, inhaling significant amounts of hair spray spritz can cause acute poisoning. Symptoms include low blood pressure and breathing problems. If you deliberately inhale the alcohol in hair spray, you can even fall into a coma!


It’s a weird word to spell, but phthalates are seriously nasty! This is a group of plastics and plastic softeners that can be found in perfume, skincare products, and many a hairspray brand. By far the biggest problem with these is that they mess with our hormones and can put the skids on the development of the reproductive system.

Today, they’re strictly banned in the EU from use in children’s toys, with previous research linking phthalates with birth defects and developmental abnormalities. No such luck with the beauty products we use all over our bodies, though –  consumers must simply learn to be diligent ingredient checkers.


Despite their myriad chemicals, not all hair sprays smell like chemically induced bio hazard substances. In fact, some smell lovely. But it might be these that you should look out for the most!

The ingredients that contribute to what the industry calls ‘fragrance‘ can be seriously harmful (and also non-vegan). These ingredients often also go completely unlisted, so the manufacturers are able to protect their “Intellectual Property”.

Hopefully the health impact of hairspray has now truly and deeply stuck in your mind. And if you should go on to use it again, just remember that we’ve covered is just as applicable for anyone else unfortunate enough to breathe the fumes that hover around you during application.

You may have noticed that aerosols usually have instructions telling you not to use them in a confined space. There’s a big reason why!

Healthier Hairspray Alternatives  

Plant-based natural hair sprays remove the plastics, the phthalates, the chemical perfumes and the propylene glycol. In fact, they remove the hocus pocus concoction of chemicals altogether and instead opt for solely natural ingredients.

What of the results? Well, in addition to providing a firm hold, such products are also better for your hair – for happier follicles and shinier locks – whilst never compromising on hold and volume. So, when it comes to Toxic Hair Spray Cloud vs. Non Toxic, Natural Hairsprays, we’d say that it’s game-on in favour of the natural product.

When Mother Nature provides plentiful ingredients for sticking and slicking your hair into any style, it’s worth wondering –  just why are we surrounding ourselves with a thick fog of harmful chemicals with each spritz of traditional hair spray?

Image credit below: Mihail Rydishun

The Best Non Toxic Hairspray Brands

The Best Non Toxic Hairspray Brands

1. Rahua Voluminous Hair Spray

This is a spray that gives a medium hold, dries fast, protects your colour and keeps your hair brushable throughout the day. Rahua is a wonderful organic brand that sources many of its ingredients from the Amazon. This means local people there are given incentives to harvest local plants instead of turning to logging for a living.

Price: From $34

Free from: Phthalates, sulphates, silicone, 1,4 dioxane, parabens, propylene, butylene glycol, PEG, MEA, TEA, MIA, EDTA artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances

One of the best natural hairsprays for: Thin hair.

Ethics: Organic ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly packaging, protects rainforests

Location/Shipping: International.


best Natural Hair Spray brands

2. John Masters Organics Hairspray

Hair specialists John Masters offers an all-natural, plant-based hair spray with  flexible hold and no flaky residue. Six organic ingredients suffuse hair with beneficial nutrients while delivering an all-day hold with a light, citrusy scent.

Price: $29

One of the best natural hairsprays for: Doubling as a hair perfume.

Free from: Synthetic polymers, parabens, synthetic BHA/BHT preservatives, phthalates

Ethics: USDA Certified, 95% or more organic content, cruelty free

Location/Shipping: USA, ships internationally.


best Natural Hair Spray brands

3. Innersense I Create Finish

If you’ve just created a gorgeous hairstyle, you’ll want to use a versatile finishing spray like this one, which provides shine and hold. This unique product offers certified organic honey, which acts as a natural resin. It also features organic rooibos tea for antioxidant care. Aloe and rice proteins moisturise and strengthen every strand, leaving hair full and shiny.

Price: $28

One of the best natural hairsprays for: Non-vegans (this contains honey extracts).

Free from: Phthalates, sulphates, silicone, 1,4 dioxane, parabens, propylene, butylene glycol, PEG, MEA, TEA, MIA, EDTA artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances

Ethics: Certified organic, cruelty free, recyclable packaging, 1% for the planet, Certified Carbon Neutral.

Location/Shipping: USA


Natural Hair Spray

4. Aveda 

What kind of hold do you need? Strong, medium, light? Well, Aveda will have exactly what you’re looking for! This company has one of the best non toxic hairspray collections around. No matter what you select, you’ll find natural ingredients, such as rosemary, witch hazel, aloe and jojoba oil.

Price: From $30.00

One of the best natural hairsprays for: All your diverse styling needs.

Free from: Parabens, mineral oil, petrol based products, SLES

Ethics: B Certified Corporation, Leaping Bunny Certified, 100% vegan

Location/Shipping: USA


aveda hairspray

5. Evolvh Ultraflex

This natural, non toxic hairspray promises to hold your hair and set your style the way you want it all day! But get this: it’s not just hairspray. It’s also a dry shampoo, too! It’s the perfect product for when your hair needs a boost between washes. Ideal for for refreshing your style, absorbing oil, and adding some volume.

Price: From $11

One of the best natural hairsprays for: Those looking for a 2-in-1 styling product.

Free From: Alcohol, silicone, parabens, panthenol, phthalates.

Ethics: ECOCERT Certified ingredients, organic ingredients, non-GMO, vegan

Location/Shipping: USA/Canada

Evolvh Ultraflex

6. Josh Rosebrook

Infused with rosemary, organic brown rice extract, sage and organic yucca starch, this is one non toxic hairspray that’s almost good enough to eat!

And this hair styling product is firm, too. Whether you’re trying to keep a ballerina bun or 70’s style waves to last, all you’ll need is a quick spray of this to make it happen.

Price: $22

One of the best natural hairsprays for: A firm hold.

Free from: Paraben, sulphates, phthalates

Ethics: Certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, Fair Trade ingredients, eco packing

Location/Shipping: USA, ships internationally.

josh rosebrook hair spray

7. Herbal Choice Organic Hairspray

This organic product with a sweet, citrusy scent is great for keeping frizz at bay. It holds down flyaway hair, leaves no ‘crunchy’ buildup, and is safe enough to use even if you’re pregnant or around little kids.

Price: $18

One of the best natural hairsprays for: Those on a budget.

Free from: Phthalates, sulphates, silicone, 1,4 dioxane, paraben, propylene glycol, butylene, PEG, MEA, TEA, MIA, EDTA artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances

Ethics: Certified USDA organic, cruelty free, recyclable packaging, small business.

Location/Shipping: USA

best Natural Hair Spray brands


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