Hair spray poisoning occurs when someone breathes in (inhales) hair spray or sprays it down their throat or into their eyes.
This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
The harmful ingredients in hair spray are:
Various hair sprays contain these ingredients.
Symptoms of hair spray poisoning include:
Seek medical help right away.
Move the person to fresh air right away.
Have this information ready:
Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated.
The person may receive:
If the poisoning is severe, the person may be admitted to the hospital.
Hair spray is not very toxic. Most hair spray poisonings are not serious.
How well someone does depends on how severe the poisoning is and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery.
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.