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The Brilliant Reason You Should Put Hairspray on Fresh Flowers

updated Sep 7, 2022
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Put me on the list of people who really, really enjoy fresh flowers. Just seeing them on a table calms me down, so whenever possible, I gather a bunch from my garden and bring them inside. Many fresh flower lovers know that trimming stems, keeping vase water fresh and bacteria-free, and storing them overnight in the fridge are ways to keep cut flowers happy longer. But here’s another lesser-known trick: Spraying hairspray on fresh (or dried) flowers will prolong their lives and keep them upright even longer.

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How to Preserve Fresh Flowers with Hairspray

Whether you received flowers as a gift, regularly pick them up at the grocery store, or grow them yourself, one thing is for sure: You want them to last and (surprise!) spraying fresh flowers with hairspray can do just that. Here’s what to do:

  1. Trim your flower stems as usual.
  2. Before you put them in a vase, spray the flowers with hairspray, taking care to keep the nozzle far enough away that the force won’t damage delicate petals. Don’t overdo it: A light coat is better than weighing them down with hairspray.
  3. Hang the flowers upside down (in a well-ventilated space) until the hairspray dries completely.
  4. Put your flowers in the prepared vase (with water, as usual).
  5. Repeat every few days, as necessary.

How to Preserve Dried Flowers with Hairspray

You can also use hairspray to preserve fragile dried flowers—especially bouquets with particular sentimental value. They will hold up better when moved around, and colors will fade less over time. Here’s a step-by-step:

  1. Hang fresh flowers upside down in a cool, dark location until they are completely dry (about two to three weeks).
  2. In a well-ventilated spot, evenly spray the surface of the flowers, making sure all the surface is covered, and keep a good distance between the hairspray nozzle and the flowers so they aren’t damaged.
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