Versatile hair-setting lotion — a styling product applied to wet hair that fixes styles in place in about an hour — lends itself to curls, bobs, straight locks and African-American hairdos, but it has become somewhat scarce since its heyday in the 1950s. Whether you’re having trouble tracking down a bottle or simply wish to avoid the potentially harsh chemicals contained in some off-the-shelf products, you can whip up your own all-natural setting lotion with safe, readily available ingredients.
Things You'll Need
An All-Purpose Solution
Add a teaspoon of honey and about a half cup of warm water to a small mixing bowl. Stir the solution with a spoon until the honey — which serves as a moisturizer and humectant — dissolves.
Mix in a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and about five drops of geranium essential oil. Lemon juice packs plenty of hair-healthy vitamin C and lends your locks a bit of lift and shine while essential oils restore moisture. Geranium, in particular, gives the blend a pleasant aroma and serves as an antiseptic agent.
Funnel the lotion into a spray bottle and store it in the refrigerator. This homemade hair-setting lotion keeps for about two weeks.
For Fine or Treated Tresses
Dissolve a teaspoon of honey in a half cup of warm water, combining the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
Stir in a tablespoon of cleansing, cuticle-smoothing apple cider vinegar, four drops of conditioning and structure-bolstering rosemary oil and 1/4 teaspoon of moisturizing jojoba oil if you have fine or dry hair. For chemically treated hair, use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, five drops of geranium oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of jojoba oil instead.
Funnel your DIY lotion into a spray bottle and place it in the refrigerator, where it’s safe to store for about two weeks.
Substitute pure maple syrup for honey if you are allergic or vegan.
For an alternative, all-purpose hair-setting lotion, boil 3/4 cup of water and a tablespoon of flax seeds for about 15 minutes until the mixture takes on a gelatinous texture. Strain out the seeds and comb the warm gel through your hair before setting it. Flax seeds offer hair-nourishing omega-3 oils, essential to hair growth.
References and ResourcesThe Daily Mail: Wave Goodbye to the Secret of a Girl's Curl as 1950s Setting Lotion Is Discontinued
SMB Essentials: DIY Hair Setting Lotion
Care2: Kitchen Cupboard Beauty: Lovely, Lively Lemon Juice
Care2: Essential Oils for Hair Care
Care2: Flax Seeds for Setting Hair, Body Scrubs and Dry Skin