Alternatives to hair styling products


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The lists of chemicals in our products, is more like a chemistry lesson. Yes, I know some of the names, but really ,how many of us really understand the list on the back of a bottle of styling gel?

CLEAN BEAUTY GALS– ( I love this name! )“Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Hair Products.” Their List as follows, more info on the link.

Benzene, Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine (DEA & TEA),Isopropyl Alcohol ,Sulfates, Formaldehyde ,, CMIT & MIT Triclosan ,Artificial Colors, Behentrimonium Chloride, Silicones.

Plus Parabens -in your shampoo and conditioner to give them a longer shelf life. These can be a problem with reproductive issues and skin problems.

I have been searching for kind, natural and clean products that you can use. Also looking for Homemade and DIY recipes that can be made easily.

Every ingredient is a chemical, but some have more side effects than others. Why can’t we have products that we are confident in using.

There is quite a few products that fall into this category, mousse , hairspray, styling gels, serums, hair shining products.

It is amazing just how many products we use in our daily routine.

I hope to give you some ideas of cleaner and organic alternatives with great company ethics and ways you can make some of these products at home.

What we use on our hair could be due to the type of hair we have. Some hair types need different products to get the finish or style we are looking for – these follow as –


These seem to be categorized into Straight ( can often be fine hair), Curly, Wavy and Coily /Kinky.

There seem to be four types listed 1- Straight, 2- Wavy, 3- Curly, 4- Coily/ Kinky Hair ( tightly coiled curl) They have a huge chart really defining the types on the link for Wikipedia. They offer information on volume of hair also.

These Hair Types are defined more-

1a, b & c-Straight– Fine- Med & coarse

2 a, b & c- Wavy– fine, med & coarse

3 a & b -Curly – loose & tight

4 a & b Kinky / Coily – Soft & Wiry

The texture of your hair fine ( can be fragile, have some difficulty in holding a style and could be weighed down with products, which could cause it to break easily).

I have seen the use of Peppermint oil to help with hair growth, rubbing into the hair and leaving for around 30 mins then washing hair as normal- check that you are not allergic first ( diluting with something like coconut oil) NUTRAFOL– They have some fantastic articles on hair and thinning, which can effect men and women. They also offer supplements.

Medium– can hold the styles easier, not as fragile and looks much thicker, not such a problem with using products.

Thick- of course looks much fuller, it can hold styles much easier and doesn’t have a problem with products and using heat eg, hair dryers and tongs, though due to the thickness, it can take much longer to dry your hair (My daughter has very thick hair, she finds that a decent haircut can really help in styling).

If your hair feels dry or greasy that is considered the state of your hair, not the type. After understanding your hair type, it can help you understand what you can achieve with your hair, for example whether it will hold a curl.

I don’t know about you, but my hair seems to be a combination, of dry ends and not so dry on my roots. I made the mistake before of putting a little dry hair conditioner on the lot, and I ended up looking like a greasy chip!


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The care that you need for frizzy, curly hair is quite different, Ethnic hair has its own challenges, but the amazing styling that is possible is really beautiful. Treasured Have some great advice on caring for your hair, ideas of solving problems with dullness and condition.

Blacknaps has a quick quiz to see what hair type you have( 4 a, b or c)

Often men’s hair isn’t featured as often, but this great post by Frederick Benjamin gives a clear insight into Men’s Ethnic hair. That always surprises me, men are much more keen on their appearance than they ever were. Gone are the days of a bit of gel!


I have a few friends that have this hair type, beautiful! There are many ways of keeping it soft and more manageable .There seem to be a huge amount of products on the market to give us all that beautiful feeling we have leaving the hairdressers.

The amount of chemicals that can be used in taming our hair are very strong and can have long lasting health issues.

I was reading a newspaper article on the Daily Mail .This gave the story of Georgiana Grundinschi who has developed a treatment for smooth, shiny hair without the nasty chemicals that they normally contain. She was using a Keratin treatment in the hairdresser before ,which also came with a hefty price tag! Called a Brazilian Blowout.

Since realizing just how toxic the ingredients were, she has now developed a product called OWOW

She has packages for different prices, there are also many very interesting stories, about the problems with their health of hairdressers and customers alike with using the normal Keratin products.

Some of the photos look amazing , well worth checking this site out.


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Coloured hair has its own challenges. I was trying to explain Purple Shampoo and products to my husband the other day, and why they work with blonde hair, that was interesting!

While looking at purple products, I came across this brand ( BOLD UNIQ It seems to have a good rating and doesn’t use Sulphates, SLS & Parabens) They also explain, just why you need to use these products on white /bleached hair.

How do you preserve the color that you have spent so long applying?

I dread washing my hair the first time, after applying a color or a henna product, my hair seems to fade after the first wash.

Do you use anything different to keep your color longer and fresher? It would be lovely to hear from you.


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What is in Hairspray ? What do some of these ingredients do?

They use Polymers, which give that sort of glue like formula, for the hold and Solvents which allow it to be dissolved into liquid. So that it can be in a spray which is then in some form of aerosol or pump bottle.

Most Hairspray contains — Polymers such as PVP, Propylene Glycol , Isobutane, propane and perfumes and Alcohol-( Ethanol) other chemicals can also be present ( reading information on this, the worst part, seems to be if it is inhaled.) Each hairspray brand will have a different formula too.

Thirty odd years ago it also contained chemical vinyl chloride, which was used to propel the liquid in the can.

On the link is some cancer concerns that are associated with this chemical.( Cancer .Gov -“ Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC); PVC is used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is also produced as a combustion product in tobacco smoke.”) They changed this to methylene chloride, again due to safety and health issues this was removed. At the present time they are still not sure if the ingredients are totally safe. Even the list of fragrance could cover a huge amount of chemicals that due to trade secret , doesn’t have to be listed.


To avoid inhaling these chemicals ,this link is for a couple of different face shields, if you are continuing to use a hairspray.




This Picture is the closest I could find to a Beehive Hairstyle!

I have to admit, this brings memories of salons and ladies years ago, with backcombed hair. Along with those huge hairdryers.I know that things have moved on.

I personally am not keen on it for myself, the smell is so strong.

The only thing I use hairspray for is a cheap fixer to my charcoal drawings! How about trying to make something more natural.


There is a really simple homemade recipe for making a natural hairspray on LIVE ABOUT , Only two ingredients, lemons and water, boiling up the lemon slices with the water- amounts on link.

This uses lemons or oranges as a base.

Photo by on

I never thought it could be so simple, it must smell so much better too .

I haven’t tried this myself, as I mentioned, I only use it on drawings, I  doubt it would have the same effect.

One Good Little Thing By Jillee – has a really simple hairspray made from sugar, rubbing alcohol, water and essential oil. Recipe on the link. There is advice how strong to make it, to suit your hair.

DIY NATURAL-Written by Matt and Betsy. – Orange or lemon, distilled water, High proof vodka, essential oils, Recipe on the link. Again using citrus fruits.( Betsy says she has very curly hair too, and it works well for her)

BYRDIE – again using a citrus fruit and water. more on link.

It really sounds very simple to put together one of these recipes. The difference in chemicals and cost is very attractive too.

This one on the link is by JOHN MASTERS is an  Organic natural mixture.

They have many other organic products available too.


( Ingredients list from their website here)

NATURE’S BRANDS Organic Hair Spray by Herbal Choice Mari – natural ingredients ( no parabens etc. )they have other hair products too

HEALING SCENTS Hair spray – toxin free info on link.

Alberto VO5 Crystal Clear Hairspray, Unscented ( EWG ) Although this is coming up as a good rating of 2 , there are some use restrictions on the link .

LONDON IVY – Organic hair products.


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This was a new concept for me, I have to admit I wasn’t sure what it did?

Apparently  it gives hair that messy” beachy “look, and it can enhance waves in your hair. I love that look .


It seems that salt can be two fold, it can soften the hair but also dry out hair for other people.

It also depends on the other ingredients used.

There seems to be a salt spray body product as well.


For use with a spray bottle, you need Epsom Salts ( the minerals in Epsom salts help prevent the hair drying out.) or Natural salt, NOT table salt!

You can use different essential oils, the choice is  yours, though Rosemary or Peppermint  helps with hair growth. Then the addition of an oil which can be Coconut oil or Argan oil.

Use less oil ,if your hair is oily.

This one of the ways I have found on line, but I have not tried this out yet.

If trying anything, do a little tester first.

The way you make this, is to have hot, but not boiling water (I filter water then boil it before using it in the products,as this helps to prolong the use of the products) or you can use distilled water.

8 fl oz of water to 2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt, about 3 or 4 drops of essential oil, or more or less depending on your preference. One teaspoon of oil of your choice as mentioned above. The warm water helps to dissolve all the products together , also shake well before each use.

LAUREN CONRAD also has another recipe with some pictures of before and after .


I have seen another recipe on DR AXE which seems to be a stronger mixture, using much more salt, I believe it gives a greater hold. I have put a link on here for you to look deeper if you would like.


Some of the products I looked into, still added Perfume and other chemicals.

I hope this list helps you.

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE based in the USA .

The list of ingredients I have linked to this. 

Beauty By Earth Sea Salt Spray found here

John Masters Sea Salt Spray with Lavender – An Organic product with full ingredients on the link .

I have found it really hard, to find products without some sort of chemical.

I think it is probably better to make your own! Also a lot more cost effective ! I will add to this post as I find products without as many chemicals.


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Finding products that don’t weigh down your hair and your curls too much.

As mentioned above some of the homemade hair spray also works with curly hair.

I love this video on a hairdresser transforming the curls of two women. They have naturally curly hair , but haven’t embraced their curls for many years.

Totally beautiful. Maybe trying some of the clean products that are available to buy now. This video is a few years old. The views on this video is incredible.

Naturally Curly have a list of 10 Clean Hair Products for Curly Hair Written by Alexandra Wilson – the way this lady writes is very much in the same mindset that I have been working up to with these blogs.

Going ‘clean’ and not to put toxic chemicals on our bodies. Great article. If someone should know curly hair, its a blog called Naturally Curly!

SIENNA NATURALS – from link -“ free of harsh sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances.” Many hair products for curly hair.

Naturall club– This black owned company has some really interesting products, care also for the environment and recycling. Great ethics. Products for curly hair and trying to grow your hair longer too.

EVOLVH – Have some great clean hair products . No Nasties! They have packages of products for curls. They have a large range of products for your hair, I have seen some great reviews on people using these.

USA made.

How to Get Curls when your hair is straight– Is this possible without a perm?

I always wanted those beautiful curls and waves.

These two girls give it a go, not with much success!

Anything that I have tried myself has been short lived. I did try a perm one time, but I ended up looking totally weird and very dated, my hair became very dry and unmanageable ,it wasn’t a good look!

I have tried heated rollers ( these lasted the longest with my hair )

Though it is probably better to sleep in something to make your curls, it isn’t exactly sexy!

Soft rollers( have you used these and ended up with your hair knotted around the sponge?), Diffusers ( I have seen a few people using these to get waves, I think you need some kind of product to help your hair hold.

Then there are curling irons and braiding my hair at night ( this is fairly productive, but you need time to un- braid your hair in the morning. . Most ideas seem to last a little while then flop!

What works for you? Have you found a trick that is easy? join in a chat with us.

My daughter has gone back to using rags at night, (also using socks )to get her curls in the morning, yes its still works! We have also tried the method using straws but I found that very fiddly, some of the videos look great, a really tight curl due to the size of the straw.

This video has a neat easy to follow method.



Information below taken from their description.

Photo by Naman Nayar on
  • STIMULATES HAIR GROWTH – The brightly hued hibiscus flowers are rich in nutrients such as amino acids that are necessary for producing keratin, the building blocks of our hair. Hibiscus flower is capable of stimulating hair regrowth even from dormant follicles and bald patches.

This powder is also recommended on their information, to help with age spots on your skin.This also comes with a recipe book.

They also sell an organic pure ALOE VERA LEAF POWDER 

Again can help with the condition of your hair and hair growth. Info on the link.


This link has a lot of recipes and uses for this flower powder.


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Again the list of chemicals in these products are long.

there is a easy to read list on  GREEN LIVING TIPS

Which is really comprehensive.

I didn’t realise that some Mousse also can contain a colour, to cover for instance grey hair. So that is an added chemical combination.

You really need to look into the ingredients, on which ever product you are happy with.



They have a great section on making your own styling products.

This article gives 5 DIY tips to achieving the result you want without the chemicals.


There is a good solution to using a chemical based hair gel.

On this link is one made with Flax-seeds which look simple to make.

We do not use Hair Gel at home, but there seem to be a few recipes floating around with Flax-seeds. I am not sure how effective they are.


I love the branding on this product, it sounds fun and their message is pretty clear.


Made with 100% natural and organic ingredients. The list is on the link.

Their mission-Design & formulate the funkiest 100% natural grooming products, free from harsh chemicals & residue. I am all for that statement!


Again the list of chemicals in these products are long. Please have a look on the link below.

This is an easy to read list  GREEN LIVING TIPS

Which is really comprehensive.

I have found this a really hard product to find without a huge list of chemicals .

I think its one, I will have to add to bit by bit as I come across another brand.


( info on their website, which is linked on this ingredients section)

The link on the Amazon affiliate link has another list of ingredient from one of their sellers.


A more natural product without a whole list of chemicals.They also do a hairspray found on their link.

Info from the Link to Amazon

  • Flax protein and vitamin E protect hair from environmental damage. Alcohol-free. Scented with natural essential oils.


LEAF.TV is a link to how to make your own HAIR MOUSSE.

They offer other recipes too.  Loads of tips on making your own hair products.

JENN RYAN is a lady who has many ideas on safe products.

In this recipe for a hair mousse with Coconut , Olive oil and Lavender, she explains a homemade solution.In THE HEARTY SOUL .COM 


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I have put a little post on the Hair colour section, I am still not sure where is best for this product as some have colour and others a clear finish.

A little article here from ALL WOMENS TALK who give 7 Recipes for a homemade hair gloss. The article is a little old, but the recipes are simple to use.