I Believe in Hairspray Poster available at I Believe In
Yes, hairspray. That most taboo of hair styling products that eats up our ozone - or used to anyway. Yes, you read me right. Used to. Most hairsprays no longer contain evil, environment-destroying CFC's but, you should still use them in a well ventilated area. Folks with asthma have a bad reaction to the stuff and inhaling too many of the other chemicals can also lead to lung damage. We are, of course, talking about aerosols here. Any aerosol, not just hairspray, for that matter. It should be noted that the CFC-free hair glue formulas are flammable so, you know, don't use them near any open flames.
Warning! Highly Flammable Poster available at Destructobot
Pump hairspray is much less harmful than aerosols to all environments (yours and the earth's); however, it still shouldn't be used in small or enclosed spaces. While pumps allow for a more controlled spray and release fewer chemicals into the air, they still release some chemicals into the air and, therefore, can still cause problems for asthma sufferers and other folks with lung trouble. Except where noted, pump hairspray will work as well if not better for the jobs listed here.
Flying Cowgirl Business Card available at Serendipity
That being said, if you're a daily hairspray user, I found a recipe for eco- and lung friendly version that you might like to try:
2. Cut the lemon into wedges.
3. Put the wedges into a pot with two cups of water.
4. Boil until only ½ of the liquid is left.
5. Let the mixture cool. Strain and pour into a spray bottle.
6. The mixture will keep in the fridge for one week.Troubleshooting:
If mixture is too sticky, add water.
To make the hairspray last a week longer add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.
If the lemon hairspray causes dry hair, use an orange instead.
I don't think this will work as a substitute for the uses listed here, though, since it is the polymers and other chemicals in the classic offender that make the hairspray so useful for other things.
Stylist Apron available at MishMosh Tees & Gifts
1. Stockings strengthener - Before you put them on, spray some hairspray onto your stockings to stiffen and strenghten the nylon. When spray is dry, your pantyhose and stockings will ladder and tangle resistant.2. Stop run in your hose by spraying it with hairspray (clear nail polish works too).3. Zipper stiffener - Some zippers have a tendency to unzip, especially those on a pair of (too) tight jeans. To stop them from opening, spray the zipper. The spray’s active ingredient will harden the zipper teeth’s grip, which lowers the chance of an accidental exposure. To unzip it later, dab some baby oil on it.4. Cut flower preservative - Hairspray, much like a cryogenic prison, slows down the wilting of cut flowers by stiffening the blooms to preserve their youthful appearance. Hold the spray nozzle a foot away from the plants and spray the underside of the leaves and petals. The formulations of some hairsprays may be too potent to be sprayed directly on the bloom. Maybe the local florist could recommend a brand to use.
5. To dry and preserve flowers, hang them upside down in a dark, dry closet until they dry. Once dried, spray the tops of the petals and leaves with hairspray to help hold them together.
Charm City Hon Card available at Charm City Hon
6. Preserve the the color in autumn leaves and pressed flowers with a spritz of hairspray.7. Fur removal - No, not from the animals, from the places where they leave it :). To easily remove pet fur from floors and furniture, spray a generous amount of hairspray onto a cloth and rub it over the scattered fur. The fur will adhere to the spray.
8. Lint remover - If, like me, you don't use dryer sheets, you may occasionally need to de-lint your clothings. To do this, spray a generous amount of hairspray onto a cloth and rub it on your clothes. As with the aforementioned fur removal, the lint will adhere to the spray and lift off easily.9. For self defense - A small trial-sized bottle of hair spray tucked into your bag may come in handy if you're ever cornered by a would-be attacker. While not as crippling as pepper spray or mace, it is still quite painful, in a burning sort of way, when sprayed into the eyes and, therefore, can buy you enough time to run away and find help.
Hairspray Tie for Hair Stylists available at San Francisco Glitterati10. Petrify pests - Use hairspray on flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps and even spiders to stop them in their tracks. Then, while they're too stiff to move, either squish'em or put them outside. Whichever you prefer.11. Shoe polish extender - After polishing your shoes with a banana, spray a little hairspray on them to keep them shining all day long.12. Food enhancer - NOT flavor enhancer. For food that is going to be used in a display, hairspray works as a way to enhance its appearance. The styling solution will make the food look more colorful and moist, which will stimulate appetites of onlookers. Just remember that you shellacked them so you don't try to eat them later - yuck!13. Newspaper enhancement - Make your poor man's wrapping paper look store bought by spraying it with hairspray. After wrapping the gift, spraying the newsprint will cause it to harden and make the colors more vibrant. (I love poor man's wrapping paper :)14. Art fixative - If your child creates a masterpiece you can preserve it for all eternity by coating it in hairspray. The liquid polymers and other chemicals will sollidify chalk, crayon, and pencil dust to keep it from smudging. Pastel and charcoal artists who don’t have fixative can also use hairspray to seal their work. Dry hairsprays are best for this.15. Ink remover - Hairspray’s sticky base, when rubbed, can fade ink marks off of fabrics and furniture. Spray it on the ink blots and blotches then scrub them with a rag or a toothbrush. Moments later, those stains will be gone. I've even just thoroughly soaked the spot with hairspray and thrown it in the wash to get ink out. Worked like a charm!
Poofy Hair T-shirt available at nerDyhippo
16. Clean ink and marker off of walls. The jury is still out on whether or not it works on permanent marker, so you may just want to stick with using rubbing alcohol for that, since I know that will work.
17. Curtain and drape straightener - Overtime curtains can develop creases from being mashed between furniture and walls. If you don't want to take them down and iron them, you can straighten them by coating the wrinkles with hairspray. Press and rub the areas before the solution dries. After you have worked all the kinks out, the dry hairspray will keep them that way. Of course, if you're able to just let them hang loose and dry for a while, a generous dousing with water will work too and it's much less work.18. Dirt protector for drapes - Like everything else in a house, long flowing curtains are dirt magnets. You can help keep dust and dirt from staining your pretties by applying several coats of hairspray. Dust particles won’t be able to penetrate the polymer coating.19. Makeshift flamethrower - Do this with caution! DO NOT release the spray nozzle until after the flames have gone out. If you do, the flames can be sucked into the can, causing it to explode. As I mentioned, the new hairspray formulas are highly flammable, making fun in a pyromaniac sort of way. Simply place a lit flame in front of the spray then press the nozzle. Whoosh! Instant bonfire lighter and nightime party favor!20. Threading aide - If you have dry mouth or a general aversion to using saliva to wet the ends of your sewing threads, sprinkle a little hairspray onto the tip instead. When the solution dries, the thread will be stiffer and easier to push through the eye of a needle.
Vintage Acme Hair Vigor Label Poster available at Vintage Greetings
21. Wreath preservative - Apply hairspray to the wreath, thoroughly coating all the pretty bits, to trap the moisture in the fibers keep it looking beautiful all season long.
22. Recipe guard - Cookbooks, recipe cards and printed Web pages get messy, especially when used in the kitchen. Help keep them stain-free by spraying them with several coats of hairspray. It will forms a thin layer of shellac-like protection to repels stain-causing agents.23. Remove hair color from fabric - If you get non-chlorine hair dye on your shirt or favorite towel, soak it in hair spray for a while and then wash as usual.24. For science - Doctors use hairspray to preserve tissue samples and biologists use it to preserve some insects and of all kinds of other samples. To find out more, Google it ;).25. Glue remover - To remove the sticky residue left behind by labels or your wee one's redecorating project, spray liberally and wipe. If that doesn't work use an acetone-based nail polish remover.
Hairs Poster available at Maruto
26. Polymer clay finisher - Spray your creations and buff with a soft cloth for a nice sheen.27. Spray polished metals, like brass and copper, to help them retain their shine longer and make them more resistant to fingerprints.28. Remove lipstick stains by spraying the stain and letting sit for a few minutes before wiping away the lipstick. I think this was covered in yesterday's "45 Uses for Toothpaste" post too. Lots of lipstick removers out there. Ya'll oughta be more careful about what you're kissing! lol29. Maureen Carter has a great post about making rub-on transfers One of the things you will need is hairspray.30. Tightly secure screws on household items such as door hinges, toy boxes, etc. After you have twisted the screw in as tightly as you can, coat it with a little hairspray. When the hairspray dries it will create a polymer seal and help keep them from loosening during every day use.
Voluptous Brunette Stylist Business Card available at The Bootique
31. Sparkly fruit - Cover ordinary plastic fruit with glitter powder to give it a frosted look by first spraying the fruit with hairspray (the cheaper and the stronger the hold the better) and then dip it into glitter.32. Nail polish spills, especially on carpet and other synthetic fiber, can be cleaned by adding water, about 15-20 squirts of hair spray and 3-5 splashes of rubbing alcohol. Scrub and blot with a paper towel. Do NOT use acetone based nail polish on synthetic fibers. Acetone melts plastic. If, on the other hand, you have a non-acetone nail polish remover, that will work too.33. When doing home improvements that require the use of chalk lines, spray the line with hairspray to help keep it in place. Afterwards, it can easily be washed away with water and soap.34. Cotton Halloween spider web decorations shed small fibers, but spraying with hairspray will keep that shedding to a minimum.35. Another great Halloween use for hairspray is to apply temporary color hair. Spray the hair, either all over or in sections, and sprinkle with an unsweetened (not sugar-free) drink mix, like Kook-Aid, in the color you desire. Store brand is ok too, just make sure there are no sugars or artificial sweeteners in it.
Hairspray iPad Speckcase available at Annie Preece Urban Artist36. Eliminate static cling - The product Static Guard neutralizes static electricity with a mixture of water and alcohol—ingredients that are also in hairspray. Spray some on the underside of your charged garments to disrupt the power surge.37. You can de-charge static-infused hair by spraying your hairbrush before running it through your fly-away locks.38. Comb through your eyebrows for a sleeker, more controlled look.39. Spray hairspray onto the insole of your shoes to keep them from slipping around when you walk. This is especially useful if you wear stockings or pantyhose over your feet.40. Use hairspray as a quick-dry for nail polish. This works best with an aerosol hairspray and the can needs to be held at least a foot away from your nails.
Z Style Jr. 1239 New Hair Do Button available at YABBASH
And last, but not least:
41. Worm stiffener A little boy and his grandfather are raking leaves in the yard. The little boy sees an earthworm trying to get back into its hole. He says, 'Grandpa, I bet I can put that worm back in that hole. 'The grandfather replies, 'I'll bet you five dollars you can't. It's too wiggly and limp to put back in that little hole. 'The little boy runs into the house and comes back out with a can of hair spray. He sprays the worm until it is straight and stiff as a board. Then he stuffs the worm back into the hole. The grandfather hands the little boy five dollars, grabs the hair spray and runs into the house.
Thirty minutes later, the grandfather comes back out and hands the little boy another five dollars. The little boy says, 'Grandpa, you already gave me five dollars. 'The grandfather replies, 'I know. That's from your grandma.'
Just for the record - ew! Interesting but, ew. Yes, I know it was my idea to go looking for this stuff, but well, did I say "ew," yet? I do not own one single bottle of hair spray, pump or otherwise, and haven't for over 20 years. Yes, I'm old. Synthetic chemicals make me cringe and the thought of filling my house with them is even worse. I'm sort of ok with them being in the laundry room though, just because, in my house, the laundry room has all sorts of volatile stuff stored in it. LOL Anyhow, my point is that this will be the last "Uses of" post about icky things of this nature. There may be icky things of another nature at some future date, but the next few posts will focus on clean, healthy alternatives to unnecessarily hazardous cleaning and styling products. In the meantime, if you have any other uses for this surprisingly versatile smelly stuff, please, do tell :).