Project Organically Smash Part 1: Testing Organic Hairsprays

Best Organic Hairsprays

When Amy from Hair by Smash reached out about collaborating, I was so excited! She is basically a hair goddess and always amazes me with her awesome hairstyles (seriously, go look at her Instagram). We came up with the idea for this series, #ProjectOrganicallySmash. I am going to rate hair products based on their ingredients, and she is going to test them out for effectiveness! First up: hairsprays.

Andalou Naturals Medium Hold Hairspray

Price: $7.96 for 8.2 oz. bottle
Ingredient Grade: A-

And the first hairspray we’re reviewing for #projectorganicallysmash is @andalounaturals Perfect Hold Hair Spray. Becca at @organicallybecca actually gave me her bottle for a week so I could try it out, and I think I used more in seven days than she’d used in the previous year 😳I wasn’t in love with this hairspray, but I’ll admit I was surprised by it. It’s not a great working hairspray, as it goes on very wet, so you need to let it dry without touching it for several minutes, and when it does dry it feels very crunchy. BUT! It does not LOOK crunchy, which is huge, and it actually did a good job of holding my styles in place—absolutely zero complaints in that department. And it smells fanTASTic, like sunflower and citrus! And Becca is down with this product too, giving it a grade of A-minus. It’s non-GMO and cruelty-free, made with organic and fair-trade ingredients. And while I don’t know 100 percent what all of that means, I do know it’s made with ingredients I can actually pronounce, like aloe, chamomile, white tea and tangerine oils So would I use it on my brides? No. But as an everyday hairspray? Maybe. At $10 for an 8-oz. bottle, it might be worth incorporating into my daily, non-special-event routine to do something a little healthier for this holy divine temple I call my body. Because, as I learned from Becca, even going green 50 percent of the time is better than not at all!

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Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hairspray

Price: $22 for 4 oz. bottle
Ingredient Grade: A

The second product to go under the proverbial microscope for #projectorganicallysmash is @joshrosebrook Hair Spray Firm Hold. And I gotta tell ya—this. stuff. is. awesome. It passes all of Becca’s tests over at @organicallybecca and she gives it a perfect A on the this-isn’t-gonna-kill-you scale. Everything is it in organic, certified organic (because I guess there’s a difference?) or non-GMO—all good things. And it’s made with organic essential oils like sage, thyme, lavender and more, so it smells amazing without having any fake fragrances. AND it’s made in the U.S. AND it’s not tested on animals. So in terms of good-for-you-ness, this one hits on all cylinders. And when it comes to holding your hair in place, this stuff works like a dream. For instance, I wore a VERY delicate hairstyle (my hair bow post from December 14) to a pretty intense workout class, and even though I was basically dead afterward, my hair still looked PERFECT. Even the instructor was like OMG YOUR HAIR LOOKS SO GOOD and I was like *pant pant* "Thanks" and then I died. But there are some negatives to this hairspray too. Like the Andalou, it goes on very wet so it’s not good as a working spray. Now, I don’t math, and I’m not very science, but I’m guessing this is because the first ingredient in this hairspray is water (instead of spray-on god-knows-what like traditional hairsprays). And a 4-oz. bottle is gonna cost you close to $30 after shipping, so even if your hair looks and feels great, your wallet’s gonna be like womp-womp. SO—would I use this on my brides? Maybe! And that’s pretty high praise right there. But I’d only use it as a finishing spray and stick with my regular stuff during the styling. I wouldn’t use it as an everyday spray on myself because I’d probably have to give up like, eating and paying my mortgage to afford that. But I could see keeping a bottle of this stuff around to use on special occasions. That’s two hairsprays down, and two more to go! Coming up next: @carinaorganics

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Carina Organics Unscented Firm Hold Hairspray

Price: $9.99 for 8 oz. bottle
Ingredient Grade: A-

The latest spray I’ve been testing for #projectorganicallysmash is @carinaorganics Unscented Fast Drying Hairspray, and it took me on a deep dive into one of my fave things: alcohol. But first, the spray. It’s rad as a working and finishing spray and brushes out easily. I can see myself using it on my brides this year, which is praise in the highest form. @organicallybecca likes it too, giving it an A-minus because it’s made with mostly certified organic ingredients and healthy goop like olive fruit oil, pumpkin seed oil and chamomile extract. Plus, it’s free of bad stuff like parabens (whatever they are). But back to the booze. The first ingredient in this spray is ethyl alcohol, which is why it got an A-minus instead of an A. (Ditto for the Andalou, btw.) Ethyl alcohol carries the ingredients to the hair, then evaporates, leaving the good stuff behind. But it can also take natural moisture with it, so it can be drying and irritating to the skin and hair. BUT—and this is important—the alcohol in Carina’s spray is derived from organic, non-GMO corn. It is not linked to toxicity when applied topically. It may make it easier for other ingredients to permeate your skin, but when those are like, organic unicorn tears, NBD. The alcohol in regular sprays is denatured, meaning they add a bunch of poisonous crap so peeps won’t be all, YAY ALCOHOL and drink it. So if the choice is something that came from a veggie, or literal poison, I’m pretty sure that’s like, the definition of a no-brainer. Do I love the idea of throwing alcohol on hair (instead of in my mouth where it belongs)? Nah. But I do love that I’m not doing anything worse for my hair than I was before, and in fact I’m doing something much better for this bod. Lastly, this spray doesn’t smell great. It basically just smells like alcohol. Not a deal-breaker—just a small downside worth mentioning. I did order the other scent Carina offers (sweet pea) to see if I like it mo betta, but haven’t received it yet. At $9.99 for an 8-oz. bottle, the price rocks. Shipping is a shocker at $7.99, but just buy several bottles at once to make shipping worth it. Cuz you can’t have too much hairspray (amiright?)

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Giovanni Maximum Hold Hairspray

Price: $7.79 for 5 oz. bottle
Ingredient Grade: C

Okay guys, our very last hairspray is @giovannicosmetics L.A. Hold Hair Spritz. This spray is kind of a mixed bag, only earning a C from Becca at @organicallybecca. On the positive side, she says, it has lots of certified organic oils and extracts like aloe and sunflower seed oil. It also contains no parabens, SLS or dyes (still don’t know what two-thirds of those things are), and it’s vegan and not tested on animals—so no animals were harmed in the making of this hairspray. But, there’s a but. A couple of big ones, actually. (lol—big buts) The first ingredient, for example, is SD Alcohol-40B—which is another name for denatured alcohol. Which is another name for “alcohol with bad stuff added to purposely make it poisonous.” (Denatured alcohol will also attempt to masquerade under such names as alcohol denat, SD alcohol, or sometimes isopropyl alcohol.) So major strike against this hairspray right out of the gate. As we continue perusing the ingredients label, we come across things like “Acrylates/Hydroxyester Acrylates Copolymer” and “Aminomethyl Propanol.” Those sound scary, and that’s because they are. “Polymer and propanol are synthetic ingredients that are carcinogenic and have been known to irritated the skin, eyes and lungs,” says Becca. “Wtfffffffffffff,” I say. Another ingredient in this bad boy is “natural fragrance.” While that sounds innocent, don’t be fooled, fellow users of hairspray! “Natural fragrance,” “fragrance,” “aroma” and “parfum” are catchall terms that could actually include any of thousands of different chemicals. And while some may certainly be safe, others have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress (?!) and potential harmful effects on the reproductive system. Sooooooooo I’m gonna go ahead and say let’s just avoid those across the board. SO … if you wanna know how this hairspray works, it’s pretty good. And it’s $8.95 for a 5-oz. bottle, so the pricepoint is budget-friendly. But now that I know what I know about this hairspray and some of its ingredients, I can’t recommend it. It’s certainly not the worst one out there! But you and your body can definitely do better.

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And there you have it. Get excited for #ProjectOrganicallySmash Part 2: dry shampoo!


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