DIY Hair Spray: Make This Simple and Natural Homemade Hair Spray

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DIY Hair Spray Homemade Make

This DIY hair spray is simple and natural. So stop using chemicals on your hair and make this fruit-based homemade hair spray recipe instead!

I was so excited to share this homemade hair spray recipe that I had a hard time conducting an adequate test phase! But after a month of use, I’m thrilled with the results. (UPDATE: I’ve been using this formula for over two years now, and won’t ever go back to store-bought!)

Here’s how and why I make my own DIY hair spray.

DIY Hair Spray Allows Me To Control Ingredients

Nowadays I have very thick, curly, long(ish) hair and need to use a generous amount of hair spray no matter how I style it. (My hair scares Matt if I don’t tame it with at least a little bit of hair spray.) I used to be a fan of maximum hold hair spray, but it left my hair so crunchy my 4-year-old nephew wanted to touch it every chance he got.

Also, the chemicals and cost of keeping my coif looking good frustrated me. I cringe when I think about the chemicals I inhale with cheap hair spray, not to mention that it sits on my hair all day. (Poison control categorizes hair spray as minimally toxic.)

The cost of natural hair spray tends to make me cringe too.

It’s time for something different. It’s time for homemade hair spray.

To my delight, Matt received a basic recipe for DIY hair spray from a DIYNatural reader named Charli. I. Was. Giddy!

I tested the recipe, made a few tweaks, and came up with this wonderful recipe for DIY hair spray.

DIY Hair Spray Homemade Make

DIY Hair Spray: Citrus-Lavender

5 from 1 vote

This DIY hair spray is simple and natural. So stop using chemicals on your hair and make this fruit-based homemade hair spray recipe instead!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
20 minutes
Cooling Time
15 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
9 ounces
Estimated Cost



  • 1 whole orange (For dark hair OR use lemon for light hair, preferably organic to avoid having pesticides in your hairspray.)
  • 2 cups filtered water (or distilled)
  • 2-3 Tbsps high proof vodka (or other clear grain alcohol)
  • 6-8 drops lavender essential oil


  1. Start your DIY hair spray by cutting a whole orange or lemon into wedges and combine with 2 cups of water in a small pot. Boil over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half.

  2. Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a measuring cup. If you boiled too much liquid out add water until you have 1 cup. Allow citrus juice to cool.

  3. Combine alcohol and essential oils in a small bowl, swirl to mix, then add to the cup of citrus juice. (Feel free to experiment with your favorite essential oil or leave them out altogether.)

  4. Use a funnel to pour your DIY hair spray into a spray bottle with a fine mister and shake to combine ingredients. Shake before each use.


This is not a maximum hold hair spray that will freeze a prom up-do or 80’s bangs. I can say with confidence that it’s a flexible-hold formula. I was a loyal user of firm-hold hairspray for years before trying this formula, now I PREFER this to my old sprays.

This DIY hair spray formula has been tested on my brunette hair. Use oranges for darker hair, and lemons only if your hair is light-colored. There is a chance the lemon can lighten your hair when exposed to sunlight.

Made this recipe?

Mention @diynatural or tag it #diynatural!

Grab the orange or lemon sitting in your fruit bowl and give this homemade hair spray a whirl!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Mrs. M says

    In the hairspray recipe, does a “whole” citrus fruit include the peel? Thanks for your great recipes!

  2. Jocelyne says

    I have very thin, curly, and sparse hair. Loosing much of it with age. I’ve been looking for a hairspray that would not damage the little hair I still have. This is hopeful and I will try it this week. Will ACV work as well as the alcohol? I’m afraid the alcohol will dry my hair, and cause more loss or breakage. Thank you so much in advance.

  3. blakey says

    I sprayed this on my hair and then curled it, I had the best curls ever you should really try spraying it on your hair than curling it.

  4. Elaine says

    I have been using the orange version of this recipe, with white rum as the alcohol, for a number of months. Unfortunately, I think I’ve narrowed down a skin issue to using this hairspray. I have never reacted to citrus fruit, so was reluctant to blame it, but having ruled out everything else, it must be so. I’ve tried sugar-water, and don’t like it at all. Are there any other hairspray recipes out there?

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Hi Elaine,
      What a serious bummer! I’m not a huge fan of the sugar hairspray either. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other hairspray recipes. 🙁 Have you tried this recipe using a lemon? If so, does it create the same problem for you?

      • DeLeon says

        It could be an allergy to alcohol. I have an allergy to drinking alcohol and realized last year I have an allergy to the rubbing alcohol and had to stop using it in my diy insect repellant (your recipe).

    • Betsy Jabs says

      No, hair does not have to be washed the day after using this. I typically only shampoo my hair every other day so as not to dry out my scalp and hair (and I use the hairspray almost every day). It doesn’t leave buildup like commercial hairsprays.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Yes, you can omit the alcohol and essential oil, but leaving out the alcohol will greatly reduce the shelf life of your hairspray. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator if leaving alcohol out.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Use it up within two weeks. If you want to extend the life of the hairspray, keep only a small amount in your bathroom, and your “refill” supply in the refrigerator.

  5. Amanda Mauricio says

    Have you considered experimenting with witch hazel instead of the alcohol? Witch Hazel is a much lower proof, but I’m wondering if it would work similarly.

      • beebee says

        hey thanks for this! cant wait to try it out! but since an orange is a lot bigger than a lemon, can we use it with the same quantity of water? or should i use more water with the orange?

        • Betsy Jabs says

          I have made it with both lemons and oranges, and always just used the same amount of water. When you mix up your first batch with an orange you can see if you like the “stickiness,” and add more water if it’s too sticky for you. Hope you like it!

  6. Jenni says

    Thanks for all the extra tips! I made the recipe and loved the way it works, but it is making my hair really dry and brittle. I’m going to try AC vinegar next, then maybe vodka.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Thanks Brian! We actually don’t recommend using rubbing alcohol in our recipes anymore…I need to update this article to reflect that. You just reminded me of this. 🙂

  7. Terrie says

    I suspect that one of the reasons this recipe works is that there is a lot of pectin in citrus fruits (in which case maybe grapefruit or tangerine would work?). Pectin would be in the boiled-out product, and that would definitely give it a hold. Pectin is also often used instead of gelatin to thicken things, so it makes sense to me! I wonder if you could get a firmer-hold spray by adding actual store-bought canning pectin to it? I might have to experiment a little.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Great thinking Terrie! I’m the first to admit, I’m not very science minded, but it all makes sense when you break it down like that. Please let us know how it turns out if you do some experimenting!!!

  8. Sara says

    I too plan to omit the alcohol, but I will replace it with Apple Cider Vinegar for preservative and conditioning effects. Thanks for this!

  9. tahnee says

    What if you have black/brownish hair? I am worried that it may lighten my natural dark color that I have hopes not to change. Will it highlight my hair if I’m in the sun pretty often. And what if you live in a humid bug attraction area, am I going to have a swarm around me if I use this recipe?