Brown Sugar Hair Straightener

1 Posted by - February 1, 2013 - DIY & Crafts, Hair & Beauty

I don’t usually do this. Most of the time, when I test pins on this blog, I make sure that there is a source to that pin– usually a blog post. But I’m making an exception here because of the ubiquity of this pin:


As far as I can tell, there is no source anywhere for these instructions besides the caption of this pin, and I don’t even have any idea where the picture came from. (If it’s yours, let me know.)

The caption of the pin reads: To straighten hair without heat, just mix a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of BROWN sugar, pour it into a spray bottle, then spray into damp hair and let hair dry.

I’ve also seen a version with one cup water and half a cup brown sugar, but the idea is the same in both.

My theory is that people just pin random shit on Pinterest and then caption it this way to see if anyone will be gullible enough to try it.

In this case, the “anyone” gullible enough to try it is me.


I put everything in the spray bottle and got ready to go. (In case you need to know for scientific purposes, I went with the formula containing 2 tablespoons of brown sugar rather than half a cup.)


And then the spray bottle refused to spray.


Not cool, spray bottle. Not cool.

I performed some surgery to see if I could fix it.


Alas, it was a failure. So I had this whole bottle of brown sugar water, and wet hair.


And I’ll be damned if I was going to give up because of a spray nozzle malfunction. Nope. So I did what I had to do. I turned my head upside down and poured that shit on my hair.


I have to tell you, my expectations were low. Very, very low.


I have a lot of hair, so even on a day when I don’t re-douse my hair with a bottle of water after I’ve washed it, it can take hours to dry completely. Seems like this took all day.

Of course, part of that is that when your hair is gross and sticky, it never quite feels dry. And I passed from completely drenched to damp to gross and sticky without ever reaching dry.

This is a horrible photo, I know, but it demonstrates “gross and sticky” pretty well.


Keep in mind that I’d washed my hair with fucking shampoo and everything hours previously.

But was it straight?

I know you’re all just dying of anticipation…



To the untrained eye, I realize that looks fairly straight. It’s at least on the continuum between straight and curly. But my hair is not naturally curly. In fact, it’s pretty much naturally this-y, minus the gross and sticky.


See? Gross. Sticky. I know someone’s going to make this joke in the comments anyway, so I may as well say it: Imagine pouring an entire bottle of jizz on your head and then letting it dry. Why would you do that?

On the plus side, you could maybe store things in your hair with this technique. You know. Combs. Lipstick. Snacks. Small children.

This is a comb because I didn't have any small children handy.

This is a comb because I didn’t have any small children handy.

In conclusion, don’t do this guys. Don’t. It gained me nothing but heartache and strife, and the pain of having to wash my hair twice in as many days.


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  • atattdgnome

    Ok you are hilarious!!! And did you note the curling iron in the background of her pic!! hehehehe Thanks for being so KICK ASS I love reading your blog!! :) <3

    • Dani

      I was looking to see if anyone else commented about the curling iron!! Don’t try to pull the wool over MY eyes with a fake hair recipe, Pinterest!

    • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre

      Can you straighten hair with a curling iron? I know you can curl with a straightener…

  • Debra Yoo

    wow–for serious…cleaning up semi-dry sugary liquid off a counter top is already gross (which is another reason i drink/spill diet soda, btw), but getting ti out of your hair?! you got balls. big, gross and sticky balls.

  • Dratndarn

    Well, DUH! Of course it didn’t work – you didn’t follow the recipe! (Bwah hahahahahhaahhaa! HIGH-larious. Thanks for this.)

  • MallowFairy

    I wondered about that. Couldn’t figure out how it would straighten your hair and not leave you with a mess. Thanks for taking one for the team on this one!

  • ADunlap

    For some reason I feel like when I saw this it said to use vinegar???

  • beeethanyj

    Gross! I’ve seen other captions for that photo. Why do people make this shit up? Ugh.

  • Involuntary Housewife

    Can I just say thank you, thank you, thank you for testing this so I didn’t have to! I was both fascinated and terrified by this one! I am so glad I get to skip the gooey mess!

  • Sarah Mills

    I have that same theory about a lot of these ‘OMG’ pins. Thanks for being brave enough to try this out on our behalf!

  • mel

    I was skeptical when I saw this recipe to straighten hair. So glad you tested it out for the rest of us! Your writing about it was very funny, thanks for sharing!

  • The Swede

    You do realize that people used sugarwater to make all the cool punkrock hairstyles back in the day right? :p

  • katykersh

    Hillarious!! I love the pic with the comb sticking out of your hair! And your reference to jizz,, it reminded me of Cameron Diaz in “Something about Mary” ewwww so gross! Oh, and I forgot….your caption with the picture, “this is a comb” LMAO. You crack me up!!!!!

  • Ethne @

    I was expecting either gross and sticky or dry and brittle (like peanut brittle, only hair). I am definitely glad you got sticky, except it woulda been better with a Barbie doll sticking out of the mess. Or she coulda laid on the comb like a daybed. I tried homemade leg wax the other day. Similar fail.

  • embers618

    It just occurred to me that you are kind of like the Pinterest version of Snopes.

    • Yarnoven

      This is perfect!!

  • Nicole Meacham

    Oh, I’m so glad you tried this before I did. I thought it sounded a little… odd… to spray sugar on your hair but who am I to judge a Pinterest claim?
    I hope it comes out rather easily.

  • brigidkeely

    That sprayer you have is shit. My husband took my good sprayer, which I use for making bread, and put a bunch of fucking chemicals in it and replaced it with a sprayer just like yours and every time I use it I want to punch him repeatedly in the head.

    Who the fuck thought putting wet sugar in hair is a good idea? or that wet sugar would magically make hair straight? Someone who’s never encountered sugar and doesn’t have hair?

  • katykersh

    brigidkeely LMAO!

  • Karen

    And — I also hate sugar scrubs for my face. Everything gets sticky — the sink, the face cloth, my hairline, the spots on the mirror and counter. They sell this stuff for money, and it is bogus.

  • Katherine Horejsi

    You could have moved straight on to a “pin your hair up in this completely impossible example of hair engineering for a wedding you’re planning but don’t have a boyfriend yet” pin. That shit would have set like concrete.

  • Brittany Lynne Borden

    I saw this a while ago and thought, “No fucking way” so I looked into it more.

    I guess people use this as sort of a cheap ass hair gel replacement, especially if you have a mohawk. Seriously, imagine how much hair gel those people go through!

    • Crystal Puckett

      The guys I’ve known with mohawks used glue.

      • Red Angry Bird

        My friends in high school used Crisco… the regular Crisco, not butter-flavored, as we disastrously learned that does not work. (It just leaves your hands smelling like gross butter, as I learned when I tried to help my friend Roy with his mohawk.)

  • Stephanie

    Even without being a hair dresser I could have told you that sugar makes you sticky. Oh well. Maybe you could walk outside and be mosquito bait

  • Truffles8761

    Nice fail. However, I must defend your poor little spray bottle. How could you expect it to pass sugar crystals through its tiny tube? Alas poor spray bottle. I weep for you.

  • Kate

    Sounds like a Pinterest prank to me. You know, make up some stupid shit claim and see how many people try it because it’s on Pinterest and if it’s on Pinterest it just HAS to work/be true…?

  • Shelly Irritation

    Apparently the girl in the picture with the super straight hair spent all her money on brown sugar and didn’t have enough left over to buy herself a full sized shirt.

    • LKGirlHPFan

      Two internets to you.

  • LittleChestnut

    Even if this did work, I bet if I tried it I would have a trail of sugar ants trailing up to my hair in a matter of minutes. Sexy. I refuse to try any odd hair remedies anyways, I had a series of rather traumatic childhood experiences involving green hair slime, and my mother trying to get rid of it by pouring beer, mayonnaise, eggs, placenta, etc., into my hair.

  • itsjustme

    I think I cracked a rib laughing. You are AWESOME! I had be thinking of trying this, safe to saved me! Keep up the good work!!

  • Diane

    I think whenever I actually read the caption for this pic, it usually has the “grow your hair super long” recipe attached. Probably because hair length is something I am interested in usually, and hair straightened is something I am interested in never since I have stick straight hair.

  • Shavone Carter

    The only good thing about this pin is that it does NOT involve heat. Can you imagine the amount of people that would be showing up in local emergency rooms because they have hot sugar melted onto their scalp.

  • Craig Thom

    Maybe the weight of all the ants your sugary hair will attract will pull it straight.

  • Michelle C

    I was sooo excited to see that you tested this! I’ve been waiting for someone to tell the masses this is the stupidest idea ever! I keep seeing it all over pinterest. Apparently us girls will fall for anything!

  • Annabelle

    You too can have that beautiful long hair… a wig. I’ve seen someone wear one that looked just like that. Beautiful hair, big price, take it off at night.

  • Sarah McMullin

    If spunk could be made to taste like brown sugar…let’s just say that would solve a lot of problems.

  • Stacie @A Lot of Layers

    I tried the beachy sea salt water bottle method so I could look like Malibu Barbie and this magic formula also wouldn’t come out of the bottle. Lame.

  • Alyssa Hirlemann

    I did this last week and had the same result: Sticky feeling hair that was not straight. Since it did not make my hair straight, I had to find another way to style my hair for the day, and in doing so, found that this actually makes a really good hairspray. It even kept my hairstyle in place all day, something that drugstore hairsprays have never done.

    • Michelle

      You must not have been around for the 80s. Aqua Net in the orange can. Your hair would not move in hurricane force winds and I’m pretty sure if somebody had hit us in the head with a baseball bat, it would have been more protective than a helmet.

  • Crystal Puckett

    You just didn’t use enough sugar. Now you gotta try the half a cup recipe.

  • LitDiva

    repin it as a way to attract ants to your head.

  • LitDiva

    I once tried a conditioner recipe from cosmo…it involved vodka and orange peel, which I had to PICK OUT OF MY TANGLED WET CRUNCHY HAIR. Because that was glamorous.

  • Pintester

    SHIT girl! I’ve got a mean streak, but that is EVIL. I love it.

  • Ashley Chesson

    omg this is the best!

  • Jessibeth Viera Gautier ✩

    I try this, believe me It was horrible, I have curly hair…the outcome, was duplicating my curls. When I find your site and see this post, I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one. Here is my most horrible picture on the internet…after I try the brown sugar pin… :/

    • JonasandDelice Herum

      LOL! Awesome that you shared your pic. LOL! Your natural curls are gorgeous though!

  • elizabeth

    I’ve been wondering about this pin. Not so much whether it would work or not, but why someone would put sugar in their hair. What about flies and ants and other creepy critters that may want to eat your head covered in sugar? I think I’ll stick to my flat iron.

  • Toshia Robbins

    I will never trust anything I read on pinterest again! lol

  • Monique Brown

    oh thank you for the info, it’s nice to know this things, I guess the only way is with chemicals or the straightener, lucky me I have the karmin g3, which is very good. :D

  • PursuitofCraftyness

    Here is basically the same thing, but with a mixture of glycerin, oil, eggs, vinegar… shoot, you should probably just try this as a new pin. Haha.

    • Michelle

      Wouldn’t that be the same as making mayonnaise on your head?

      • JessieLynn

        Mayo is actually good for your hair IF you can get past the smell..

  • Gretchen Brown

    You are a rock star. Thanks for trying it and saving the rest of us from the sticky mess!

  • sophks

    looks pretty shiny though

  • Spify23

    I’ve seen this exact same recipe, albeit using hot water so the sugar dissolves and allow it to cool down first before spraying into your hair as a hair spray.

  • Sara

    This post was hilarious! I’ve seen that Pinterest pin and was really curious whether it would work. Thanks for saving me the heartache!


    I am guilty for trying this…but then again I have curly hair and it came out to be hair spray without all the funny chemicals….This was sooo funny! thank you!

  • meghan

    I was stupid enough to test this right beforeI went to school and was left with gross sticky hir in public all day. not fun.

  • zaina

    this would have been nice to read before i put it in my hair.

  • Shannon

    LOVE IT! I tried this myself and it was horrible!

  • Lindsay Ridling Richardson

    How many times has the stuff you posted been repinned or liked?

  • mamabear

    your fans should chip in and buy you a bottle of wine for all the shit you put yourself through to save our asses from sticky hair , wasting money on things that don’t work and cupcakes that look like penises. Just sayin.

  • Katelynn Brooks

    you are amazingly accident prone aren’t you?

  • Maria

    Haha I just laughed harder and harder as I scrolled passed each one of your pics and read your captions! Ive been searching for the “how to” of this pin for a legit week!! I’m so glad that I came across this! “I turned my head upside down and poured that shit on my hair.” died laughing right after I read that hahaha

  • Becca

    I’m so glad I ran across this, I was just about to try it! Thank you so much!

  • Dana Al Abdessalaam

    Hehehe The thing is, brown sugar and water mixed together makes a great hairspray :) If you wanna use a hairspray and don’t like the idea of your hair drowning in all these chemicals just to make you look good, mix sugar and water and spray. It works, I use it :) The stronger you want it, the more sugar you add, but I use 1/2 cup water and a tsp of sugar and it holds well enough for me. Buuutt I love your blog :D

    • JonasandDelice Herum

      Ohhh nice! I was wondering what the point of that invention was and actually have wondered quite a few times what a substitute for hairspray might be! Thanks!

  • cra

    Well of course it didn’t work you too forever!

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  • diemenbratt

    That’s fucked up PINTESTER should not allow bullshit ass pins be posted

    • ashash

      Yeah it’s fucked up that she supply you with free content while you sit on your your lazy ass.

      • DIEMEN

        Who’z a lazy ass?

  • Shirley

    You have WAY too much time on your hands.

  • Dqblizzards

    Wow, and I never saw this pin or thing done before. Total failure, and I’m sorry for those who’ve already tried it and it didn’t work.

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  • Amber Hall

    So glad I read this. I was seconds away from doing it, then I’d definitely be late. Thanks (:

  • Jade

    My hair is sooooo curly and frizzy and i like it straight so i looked up this found out the recipe for it and did it. And of corse i didnt read the whole thing so i just took some brown suger and water in a bowl and dumped it on my head. Then i read the rest of this. I am such a dumbass

  • Amanda Weidig

    I tried it before I looked at this and it made my hair curly and sticky and gross! Do NOT do it! It is just work that is not worth it!

  • Hakuna Matata

    I read this while the mixture was drying in my hair… My hair is thin and has a tinsy bit of curl in it… all it did was make my hair feel like it had a shitload of hairspray in it… THIS IS A FAIL.. (plus a baby) haha just kiddn.. well sorta.. MEOW

    • Hakuna Matata

      aaaaannd my hair was SUPER tangly

  • Rose

    For those of you like me who are lazy and live in a dry climate like I do, I find the best way to straighten hair is to bring a brush with me in the car in the morning on my way to class or work, roll down the windows, and brush while I drive on the freeway. Please do not try this if you cannot multitask. Haha

  • ThetaSigma

    I have the *perfect* straight hair technique — curly-haired people, you’re gonna facepalm when you hear it! I have naturally very very curly hair — there are times when it’s a definite Jewfro. So. I keep it about an inch long. At an inch, my hair is very straight, and BONUS! It takes 20 min to dry, and I never have to worry about combing or styling or shit like that. Mornings are fast ’round here!

  • dgfdafgad

    I have that spray bottle and you have to twist the tip of the nozzle were it sprays out of in order to turn it on and the looser you twist it it goes from a mist to a stream

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  • JonasandDelice Herum


  • Aschlag

    Bahahaha! Guess what was on my grocery list…. Brown sugar! Because of this very pin! Glad you got to it first & shared your grief.

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  • rachel

    hahaha..great..i wanted to try this for a long time now but thank god you tried it out for me!

  • Bethany

    Yep, I tried this. & I have thick hair, too. Long, thick hair. I couldn’t wait all day for it to dry, so I used a blow dryer. I think it actually turned to candy on my head. Solid & Sticky. Absolutely a fail. :)

    • thatpandabitca

      Oh god that must’ve been a joy to wash out. D:

    • Filly

      I was thinking Cotton Candy hair. That made me laugh out loud. I feel for you. I have the same hair. :)

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  • mspinnk

    Haha! You Crack me up! Thanks for taking one for the team!

  • jocelin

    What color is your hair? In the pictures

  • melanie

    what i will say works well is the hair mask containing brown sugar, olive oil, and egg whites. it makes your hair softer and none of the stickiness. however the brown sugar does lighten your hair a little each time.

  • tiffayn

    Gazillion things to do today and I do not have time to do anything to my hair that’s a mix of straight/wavy/curly depending on which section of hair. Pony tail it is. No time for blow drying and straightening. That whole straighten while you blow dry stuff is crap never works for me. Remembered pinning this and I’m so glad it led me to this instead of instructions. I’d be super mad and super late if I had to shower again to wash the sticky mess out of my hair. I was also thinking that while I was in the shower. How is sugar water gonna straighten my hair?