Given the challenge of how to kill something that is too small to shoot, it was the US Army that invented the aerosol can to spray insecticide during World War II. The technology quickly spread, much to the chagrin of the ozone layer, being used for various applications. The first commercial hair spray popped up in 1948 in Illinois, using shellac as it’s active ingredient. Shellac is a natural resin that comes out a bug. We eat it on things like shiny candies, and a century ago it was the most popular wood finish. Definitely one of the better bug-goos/candy-coatings/floor-polishes available.
All hair spray is basically glue. You spray it in your hair and a bead of the solution slides down a single hair until it hits a spot where two hairs cross. At that point, it welds the join together, and en mass, creates some structural significance. Over time, those scientists who are less concerned about cancer research have been working to create a “longer lasting hold”. Sure, polyvinylpyrrolidone is a great polymer for hair spray, but it just doesn’t stay for the whole party. So newer formulations combine it with vinyl acetate to make it waterproof so it doesn’t dissolve from humidity. (but not so waterproof that a hairstyle is a long-term deal)
in the 80s and 90s, hair spray became infamous for it’s use of ozone-depleting CFC’s as the aerosol propellant. Eventually it was banned from commercial products, and the popular replacement is HFC’s which are not as polluting. Not as, but still significantly moreso than the water used in pump-spray bottles. Water-based hair spray takes longer to dry, but that gives you more time to quietly enjoy the planet.
- Source: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Hairsproy.html (hairsproy? whatever works.)