Non-Toxic Beauty

Non-Toxic Hairspray: Your Best Options

Are you looking for non-toxic hairspray? A hairspray that doesn’t make you shudder every time you spray it into your otherwise clean and healthy bathroom air?

Many hairsprays have a variety of chemicals in them that may make our hair look great but aren’t so great for our bodies. 

If you’re looking for something that’s a little cleaner, here are my favorite non-toxic hairsprays on the market!

This post may include affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

The Best Non-Toxic Hairspray

QET Natural Sea Spray

This isn’t your typical hairspray. QET’s Natural Sea Spray isn’t sticky, and it isn’t necessarily meant to hold your hair in place, but it does a great job of volumizing your hair. Made with a mere six completely pronounceable ingredients, this non-toxic hairspray is lightweight and smells great too.

Crowd Favorite Non-Toxic Hairspray

Captain Blankenship Sea Salt Spray

Again, this non-toxic hairspray does not have a heavy hold power, but it will definitely add some texture to your hair. It’s great for getting a sun-washed, beachy hair look. It won’t work for all hair types, but it’s great for my curly (2C) hair, and it smells so good! Plus, the bottle is glass, so it’s better for you, and better for the planet too. You can also buy it directly from Captain Blankenship instead of Amazon.

The Best Non-Toxic Hairspray on a Budget

VO5 Crystal Clear Hairspray, Unscented

Alberto VO5’s Crystal Clear Hairspray is a little easier to find (I found it at my local Walmart store), and the price will give your wallet some relief. It’s certainly not the cleanest hairspray around, but the ingredient list is short, and there aren’t any incredibly concerning chemicals on the list. If your eyes are easily irritated, this may not be the best non-toxic hairspray for you though because it does contain aminoethyl propanol, which is an irritant.

The Best Salon-Quality Traditional Non-Toxic Hairspray

Paul Mitchell Fast Drying Sculpting Spray

If you’re looking for great hold and control, Paul Mitchell’s Fast Drying Sculpting Spray is your best bet. This classic salon-style hairspray is easy to find and easy to use, so it’s great if you’re in a bind and just need to quickly grab a non-toxic hairspray from your local Ulta. It has the longest ingredients list out of everything else I’ve mentioned, but it receives a toxicity score of “2” on the EWG’s skin deep database.

What’s Wrong with My Regular Hairspray?

Some hairsprays on the market have a number of harmful ingredients that may be toxic to the environment and toxic to human health. Here are some common ingredients that you may want to avoid if you’re looking for a non-toxic hairspray:

Ingredients to Avoid


Some hairsprays (even some that claim to be non-toxic) use fragrances in their formula in order to make them smell good. Because the FDA does not require companies to disclose the ingredients they use in their fragrances (it’s considered a trade secret), fragrances may include phthalates, parabens, and other harmful chemicals. Be aware that natural fragrances may be just as harmful as synthetic ones.


I’ve talked quite a bit about phthalates in the past, but it’s just as important here to reiterate how harmful they can be. Researchers have linked phthalates with a wide range of health issues, including reproductive issues, breast cancer, and even neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD. Specifically, Dimethyl Phthalate (DMP), a plasticizer, is typically used in hairsprays in order to keep them flexible and less “crunchy” as they dry.


Some hairsprays include formaldehyde in order to kill germs and bacteria that can grow in the product. Formaldehyde is an environmental hazard, and many researchers believe it can cause cancer. 

Propylene Glycol

The FDA considers propylene glycol to be “generally safe” for human use and consumption (you can also find it in many of the foods in your pantry). However, some research suggests that it may be harmful to human health. Specifically to pregnant women and young children and infants because they produce less alcohol dehydrogenase in their bodies, which is an enzyme known to break down propylene glycol. That being said, propylene glycol doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker if your favorite hairspray contains it. Most toxicity in humans occurs at extremely high levels of exposure (like when you take a medication that has it).


Octinoxate is used in many sunscreens because it filters the sun’s UV-B rays. Many hair care brands also use it in their products (especially hairsprays) because it keeps the product from decomposing when it’s exposed to the sun. It’s almost like a sunscreen for your hairspray. As great as that may sound (I mean, who wants to go outside and their hair immediately fall flat?), researchers believe that it is an endocrine disruptor and may be harmful to our reproductive systems.

Interested in learning more about non-toxic beauty products? Here are 8 ingredients you should avoid in your makeup and beauty routine.

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