Hydrate thirsty hair with this DIY moisturizing hair spray. The lightweight hair moisturizer is formulated with glycerin, silk protein, and other natural ingredients that revive dry hair and provide shine and softness to brittle strands. This hydrating hair mist is suitable for all hair types, and the moisture spray includes tips for curly and high porosity hair.
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Homemade moisturizing hair spray recipe
You’ll love this DIY moisturizing hair spray! It makes your hair feeling super soft and silky and adds a shine without feeling heavy or greasy. The ultra-light DIY hair mist is deeply moisturizing and will keep your locks and scalp hydrated but won’t weigh down your hair.
This post is very detailed, and I hope you’ll find it informative. But if you prefer to skip over the information part, tap here to head straight to the recipe.
What is moisturizing hair spray?
What does hydrating hair spray do? Moisturizing hair sprays are designed to protect the hair from dryness and breakage. They contain ingredients that moisturize, lubricate, soften, calm frizz, and add shine to dull hair. Including a hydrating hair mist can help to maintain your hair’s elasticity and promote length retention.
Although everyone can benefit from it, moisture spray is especially useful to care for curly and coily hair types that tend to be naturally dry due to the composition of the strands.
Some store-bought hair products are loaded with synthetic additives. But this natural DIY moisturizing spray is all-natural, biodegradable, and free of silicones and aerosols – and is just as moisturizing!
Benefits of hydrating hair mist
Let’s talk about what hydrating hair spray can do for your hair. Here the potential benefits:
- Hydrating: The DIY hair mist adds lightweight moisture and makes the hair soft and silky.
- Nourishing: Silk peptides nourish and replenish your hair’s natural protein content.
- Softening: The hair moisturizer softens and conditions dry, brittle hair.
- Volumizing: The moisture spray for dry hair attracts moisture to the hair shaft, giving it volume and definition.
- Detangling: The spray contains a natural silicone replacer, which provides slip that allows you to separate knots and makes your locks more manageable.
- Lightweight: The lightweight formula won’t weigh down fine hair.
- Buildable: The hair mist is the perfect foundation for after-wash hair care and styling. The spray doesn’t cause residue or buildup, and you can layer your other hair care products on top.
- Natural: I formulated this DIY moisturizing hair mist with ECOCERT-approved materials that are gentle, skin-friendly, and biodegradable. The hydrating mist won’t irritate your scalp and is free of aerosols found in many conventional hair sprays.
- Quick + easy: It takes only seconds to apply this leave-in product, and there’s zero downtime. Just spritz on your mane, and you’re set.
Another benefit is that you can adapt the formula to your individual hair care needs. I’ll show you 2 different formulas, one low-oil high-humectant hair spray and a low-humectant formula for high porosity hair.
Ingredients for homemade moisturizing hair spray
Now that you know the benefits of this DIY moisturizing hair spray, here’s what you need to make it:
- Distilled water provides hydration for the hair and acts as a solvent for the other ingredients. I recommend distilled water because it’s free of chlorine and metal minerals. Still, you can use boiled, and cooled tap water if distilled isn’t an option. You may also opt for a hydrosol to impart a natural scent and additional benefits. A third idea is to mix distilled water and aloe vera gel.
- Glycerin is a natural humectant, which means it pulls moisture into the hair and deeply hydrates your strands from the inside out, providing shine and moisture.
- Dermofeel sensolv is a light, non-greasy emollient and refatting agent. The ingredient acts as a natural silicone replacer to provide slip and conditioning.
- Hydrolyzed silk is a liquid form of silk small enough to penetrate the hair shaft. Silk is rich in proteins that nourish and strengthen depleted hair.
- Argan oil helps to enhance the shine and settle down frizz and flyaways. You can swap argan oil for another liquid oil that works well on your hair (e.g. jojoba oil, marula oil, squalane oil, broccoli seed oil, or camellia seed oil).
- Solubilizer ensures that the water and oil mix properly. I used Tego Solve 61, which is a PEG-free solubilizing agent and has moisturizing attributes. You can opt for another liquid emulsifier or solubilizing agent.
- Preservative is needed to keep the hydrating hair spray free of bacteria and mold. I opted for Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT), a natural broad-spectrum preservative.
Let’s talk about some of the key ingredients and possible substitutions in this moisturizing hair mist.
Glycerin is an odor- and colorless liquid and one of the most-used ingredients in personal care. Although natural glycerin is derived from plant oils, it is actually a sugar alcohol.
Glycerin is an essential ingredient in this moisturizing hair spray DIY. If you spray your hair with just water, that water will evaporate quickly and have no moisturizing effect. As a humectant, glycerin helps the hair retain and preserve the moisture the water provides.
Is glycerin good for your hair?
Yes, glycerin is beneficial for hair care. Glycerin doesn’t stimulate hair growth, but it conditions the hair and scalp. It can help to lessen breakage and alleviate dandruff.
Glycerin works best in a moderately humid environment. If you want to avoid glycerin or live in a humid or arid climate, try my glycerin-free formula for high porous hair that I share further down.
If you find glycerin too heavy or sticky, I highly recommend you try 1,3-Propanediol. It’s a natural, COSMOS/ECOCERT-approved multipurpose ingredient that can function as a humectant, emollient, and carrier for actives. 1,3-Propanediol is a lot lighter than glycerin and offers even higher water absorption.
Dermofeel sensolv vs silicones
Why are silicones used in hair care?
Silicones are synthetic polymers. They form a protective coating around the cuticle that keeps the hair hydrated, shields it from the elements, and prevents moisture loss and fizziness.
Silicones have acquired a somewhat dubious reputation. Although cosmetic silicones aren’t toxic and completely safe to use, I still prefer to avoid them.
I’ve used silicone products on my hair for many years. They never caused any irritation, but my hair became very brittle and snapped off easily. My hairdresser pointed out that silicones could be one of the reasons, and this is what she told me:
Some silicones aren’t water-soluble and hard to remove. They build up on your hair, resulting in a dull appearance and dry, weighty feel. Over time, this buildup can weaken the strands and cause breakage.
Furthermore, silicones aren’t biodegradable, meaning they can have a lasting effect on the environment.
What is Dermofeel sensolv?
Dermofeel sensolv (INCI: Isoamyl Laurate) acts as an ultra-light, natural silicone replacement. It offers similar benefits as silicones but is of natural origin and fully biodegradable.
Dermofeel sensolv has an antistatic effect and will condition, smooth, and moisturize your hair. The slick texture adds shine, closes the cuticle, improves the slip, and makes your hair overall more manageable. The ingredient won’t weigh down your hair and doesn’t leave unwanted buildup.
Sadly, Dermofeel sensolv isn’t available everywhere, but I hope you give it a try if you can.
Dermofeel sensolv substitute
Bamboo extract is another natural silicone replacer and will add beautiful sheen to your hair.
The last ingredient I want to highlight is hydrolyzed silk. Hydrolyzed silk protein is an excellent ingredient to restore and replenish the hair. The material is made from real silk, which is broken down into small, water-soluble particles.
Our hair is built from proteins, mostly keratin. Heat styling, chemical processing, and the lack of nutrition can weaken and deplete the hair’s protein content, making it prone to breakage and losing elasticity.
Silk, one of the strongest, naturally occurring fiber, is made up of protein and amino acid. It can bind with the hair, strengthening the strands and shielding the hair from environmental influences.
Substitutions for hydrolyzed silk
Hydrolyzed silk is a vegetarian ingredient. If you prefer a vegan moisturizing hair spray, opt for hydrolyzed rice protein or hydrolyzed baobab protein instead.
Essential oils for hydrating hair spray
Yes, you can customize the moisturizing hair mist with whatever essential oils or fragrances you like. Be sure to add not more than 0.5% (approx. 1 g or 20 drops) to the oil phase. Here a few essential oils that can benefit hair:
- Tea tree essential oil can help to soothe inflamed cuticles and unplug hair follicles.
- Rosemary essential oilis said to speed up hair growth.
- Lavender essential oil is another oil touted to promote hair growth.
- Peppermint essential oil will increase circulation.
- Cedarwood essential oil can balance the oil production of glands in the scalp.
- Vanilla oleoresin smells amazing and gives the hair a warm, sweet scent.
Citrus essential oils can lighten the hair if you’re exposed to the sun or visit a tanning bed. Avoid them if you don’t want this effect.
If you feel unsure about a specific essential oil, leave a comment (with your hair type + color), and I’d be happy to advise more.
How to make moisturizing hair spray
How do you make hydrating hair spray? The steps for how to make moisturizing hair spray at home couldn’t be simpler. Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Mix the water phase
Add the distilled water, Dermofeel sensolv, glycerin, hydrolyzed silk, and preservative into a glass beaker or measuring cup. Stir until combined. The liquid will become white and opaque. You may see traces of the different ingredients. That’s okay; the mixture doesn’t have to be 100% homogenous.
Step 2: Prep the oil phase
Combine the argan oil and emulsifier in a separate container. The mixture will look milky.
Step 3: Combine both phases
Drizzle the oil phase into the water phase. Mix until all ingredients are blended.
Step 4: Store
Transfer the hair spray mixture into a spray bottle or mister.
How to use moisturizing hair spray
My homemade moisturizing hair spray is suitable for all hair types (from 1A to 4C), but the application will differ slightly depending on your hair structure and porosity.
Shake before application
I used only a tiny amount of emulsifier, just enough to disperse the oil in the water phase. After a while, the DIY hair spray will separate into 2 layers, the translucent water phase at the bottom and the white oil phase on top.
Be sure to shake the hair spray before every use. Shaking will combine the 2 phases and create a short-term emulsion.
The spray can be used daily or whenever your hair feels dry and brittle.
Straight and wavy hair (1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C)
Try these tips to apply the homemade hair moisturizer on straight and wavy hair:
- Post-wash: Simply spray the conditioning mist into towel-dry hair and comb through. Follow up with a light hair oil or leave-in conditioner to lock the moisture into your strands. I like to spray some on my hands and rub them together before applying it to my hair.
- Refresher: Spritz hydrating hair spray on dry hair to refresh your locks or just the ends between washes.
For fine, straight hair, 2 to 3 spritzes are probably enough. If you have thick straight hair, feel free to apply 5 to 6 spritzes.
As I mentioned earlier, the homemade hair spray for dry hair is very buildable. It allows you to layer other hair products on top.
Curly, coily, and natural hair (3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, AB, 4C)
The DIY moisturizing hair spray is an excellent first step (the L) in your LOC method routine. It provides plenty of hydration and nourishment. Just be sure to lock that moisture into your strands by following up with hair oil and moisturizing cream.
However, this hydrating spray doesn’t help to define curls or avoid shrinkage. You will need to use other products for that.
Since the spray contains glycerin, a humectant, the spray is best suited for low and medium porosity hair. Of course, I haven’t forgotten about my high-porosity friends and show you a humectant-free formula below.
Here are a few ideas how you can use this moisturizing hair spray for black hair:
- Post-wash: Spray the hair moisturizer into washed, damp hair and comb or use your fingers to work the product on your hair. Continue with your usual hair oil and cream or leave-in conditioner to retain the moisture and seal the cuticle.
- Refreshment: You can also give your hair a spritz between washes if you notice signs of dryness. Just spray until lightly saturated.
- Protective styles: Another idea is to keep your hair damp when you create a protective hairstyle. Furthermore, apply the spray over your protective style and scalp to keep your scalp from feeling tight and protect your hair from drying out.
- Locs: Mist the moisturizing hair spray recipe over your locs, roots, and scalp for extra hydration.
Quick disclaimer: I don’t have curly, and it’s not my place or intention to tell anyone how to care for their hair. Do what works best for you. I just want to be helpful, inclusive, and respectful to all hair types. If you have curly hair and know other or better methods to use a hydrating hair mist, please leave a comment so other readers and I can learn more. Thank you!
High porosity hair
Hair porosity affects how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture and products. Low porosity means that the cuticle is closed. In contrast, high porosity means that the cuticle is raised or in parts missing.
Humectants, like glycerin, are recommended to moisturize low and medium porosity as they help the hair soak up and store moisture.
However, if you have porous hair and live in an area with high humidity, it’s best to avoid glycerin. This quote from Naturally Curly explains why:
“In high humidity conditions, humectants may attract too much water to the hair […]. This can cause the hair shaft to swell, the cuticle to become ruffled, and the hair to lose its shape and become big and frizzy.”
The opposite is true for extremely dry/low humidity conditions: humectants may pull moisture from the hair shaft, drying the hair out and potentially causing damage and breakage.
Unsure if you have low or high porosity hair? Dela from Curls and Cocoa shares valuable insights and a simple test to identify high porosity hair.
So, can I use this hair spray on porous hair?
Yes, you can certainly use this homemade hair spray on porous hair. Just be sure to use the following low-humectant formula:
- distilled water
- Dermofeel sensolv
- hydrolyzed silk
- Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT )
- argan oil
- Tego Solve 61
This version doesn’t contain glycerin, and I also reduced the amount of hydrolyzed silk. Instead, we’re going to increase the oil content to provide optimal moisturization and water retention.
DIY moisturizing hair Spray FAQ
Is the DIY hair spray conditioning?
Yes, the hair has a mild conditioning effect. As I mentioned earlier, Dermofeel sensolv works as a natural silicone replacer, helping to detangle your locks and making the hair more manageable.
Does the spray volumize hair?
Yes, the DIY moisturizing hair spray will add a little volume to your hair. The glycerin pulls moisture into the hair, which adds subtle volume.
Does the moisturizing spray hold hair?
No, the moisturizing hair mist won’t hold your hair but will leave it soft and flexible.
Does hydrating hair mist leave a white cast?
No, the hair spray leaves no white cast or other visible residue on the hair.
Does the spray make fine hair greasy or limp?
No, the hair spray won’t weigh down your hair. The formulation contains just 1% oil, which is enough to add a little moisturization and shine without making your hair limp or greasy.
My hair ranges between 1A and 1B on the extended Andre Walker scale and doesn’t tolerate oil-heavy products. I’m happy to report that this lightweight hair mist keeps my strands light and detangled.
Does the homemade moisture spray define curls?
No, the spray’s only job is to hydrate the hair. You still want to use hair gel or a curl custard to define your curl pattern. It’s also great for wetting the hair while you create a protective style.
Why use a preservative?
Water-based beauty formulations are prone to contamination. Water is the perfect feeding ground for mold, yeast, and bacteria. A natural broad-spectrum preservative will protect the hydrating hair spray from microbes and fungi.
Storage and shelf life
How to store DIY hydrating hair spray
Store the hair spray in a cool, dry place, for example, a bathroom cabinet. Room temperature is fine. Ensure that the DIY moisturizing hair spray isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. UV rays can break down the ingredients and render the preservative ineffective.
How long does homemade moisturizing hair spray last?
The hydrating hair mist has a shelf life of 4 to 5 months. Discard the product if you notice a change in smell or color.
Printable Hair Spray Label
Tap or click the button to download free printable label!
This article is outstanding! I recent started a body care business including hair products. I love the detail about each ingredient and/or category of ingredients. Thank you for sharing this information.
Thank you for your kind comment, Donna! I’m so happy to hear you find this post helpful.
I foudn this post through Google. I have 4b curls and this is the first time I feel included on a white blog talking about hair. I appreciate you making the effort. And good points on glycerin. I live in Houston, TX and tolerate humecants in the winter months but not summer because of the crazy humidity. I’m excited to try the spray and I’d like to see more recipes with this level of detail. God bless!
Hi Latonia! I’m so glad you found this post helpful and hope you’ll enjoy the hair spray. We have posts scheduled for different shampoos, leave-in conditioners, hair masks, and other hair care products, all of which can either be adapted for natural hair or were created specifically with natural hair in mind. Thank you and God bless you!