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Facts about hairspray

Hairspray is commonly used to get people ready for fashion shows, promotion advertisements or big occasions like weddings.
Hairspray is commonly used to get people ready for fashion shows, promotion advertisements or big occasions like weddings.
Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Cosmetics include makeups like eye shadow, mascara, lipstick and nail polish. Many people—mostly women—use makeup to enhance their natural beauty and hide imperfections such as blemishes. Yet aside from traditional makeup there is hairspray, a liquid substance that helps to style hair.

Although usually associated with humans, hairspray can even be used on show dogs.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Although hairspray is still used by many women mostly every day, the product has a history of coming under scrutiny because the aerosol spray cans it comes in are bad for the ozone layer and certain brands of hairspray contain materials that can be harsh and damaging to hair. In fact, the earliest hairsprays (circa 1950) contained liquid plastics and vinyl that hardened when they were sprayed on the hair (touching hair sprayed with this product was sometimes described as being like touching a “shell”)!

In response to these criticisms, hairspray companies have recently tried to make their products more environment-safe and hair-friendly. After studies in the 1970s proved that some of the chemicals used in the early hairsprays were dangerous to both the environment and the women who used them, many such chemicals were banned from the market.

Below are some facts about hairspray:

• Hairspray became popular after World War II. Hence the “tall” hairstyles of the 1950s and 1960s (like “the beehive”) are mostly attributed to hairspray.

• There is a movie and a Broadway show titled “Hairspray” which pays homage to the hairspray fueled hairstyles of the 1960s.

• In the 1980s through the mid-1990s “big” teased hair was hugely popular and so hairspray sales were enormous during this time period.

• Hairspray is still used today, especially for special occasions like weddings.

• Hairspray is relatively cheap and can be purchased at most drug stores or even the hygiene aisle at grocery stores. Hence, it remains accessible to pretty much everyone.