BY HOPE NGO
There’s this new lipstick you’ve been dying to use while you wear your favorite blouse. And thanks to a small accident, your blouse ends up wearing the lipstick too. This is when cleaning experts think you should reach into your makeup cabinet for the can of traditional hairspray you’ve been meaning to toss but haven’t gotten around to doing. Why would you do that, though?
Basically, it’s because traditional hairsprays are alcohol-based, and Science-y Hair Blog says the stuff not only literally fixes your hair into place, it’s actually bad news for the health of your hair. It dehydrates your mane by stripping it of oils and moisture and can make your locks go blah. And while the damage to your hair isn’t instant, it does happen gradually, particularly if you’re doing other things to stress your hair out like using alcohol hair spray and using hair color and using a hair dryer regularly.
But the alcohol used in traditional hairsprays (ethanol) has its uses too — especially for that swath of lipstick you just planted across your sleeve.
Alcohol is hairspray’s secret ingredient
The “Queen of Clean” Linda Cobb credits the alcohol found in all traditional hairsprays, also called ethanol, for all the non-hair, cleaning, and laundry-related things this product can do. She says alcohol found in hairspray makes it effective at doing things like removing sticky labels and lifting stains caused by products with dye, such as hair coloring and lipstick.
Cobb says all you need to do is soak the stain in hairspray before taking your clothes for a spin in the washing machine — but do this ASAP so the hairspray has a chance to work its magic. Better yet, hairspray doesn’t just work with lipstick — it works with hair dye stains on clothing too!
So if you’re planning to use hairspray on your clothing, make sure you use the right kind (i.e. the traditional stuff with ethanol). And while you’re at it, look closely at your labels when you go hairspray shopping — and before you abandon alcohol hairsprays for good. While there are plenty of good non-alcohol hair sprays on the market today, hairdressers like Stuart Phillips says that hairsprays that use stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, and cetyl alcohol actually moisturize, making them suitable hair care products.