Hairspray: Science's Trick to a Longer-Lasting Christmas Tree

Yes, you read that right.

Photo: Emily Roemer

Christmas is coming! Tree markets are starting to pop up with the familiar smell of pine in the air. So it's only normal that you are ready to pick out a tree and with that comes the age-old question: How do you keep your tree looking fresh and healthy until Christmas?

Well, a new study may have revealed a surprised answer. Researchers in Australia tested four ways that they suspected could prolong the health of cut Christmas trees and would counteract dehydration.

According to findings published in the Australian Journal of Botany, researchers sprayed one with hairspray because it blocks the stomata, which comprise of small respiratory holes on the needles. A second tree was "watered" with energy drinks, because some plants react better to sugar solutions. A third one was treated with freshly boiled water, because it may improve the water uptake. Lastly, one was given the booze treatment (beer, to be precise) because of the nutrients and minerals found in it.

And the winner? Hairspray! The researchers found that after a month, the needles of the hairspray-treated tree were just as healthy looking as they were at the beginning of the experiment. The least-affective methods were beer and energy drinks, and hot water ranked somewhere in between.

Now, we know what you're thinking: won't it leave the boughs sticky to the touch? Our recommendation: Set it with a long-lasting aerosol spray, such as Redken Wax Blast 10 or L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray (two of our editor's go-to picks). And before you do so, bear in mind that hairspray is highly flammable so avoid positioning your tree near the fireplace or other heat sources.

Ready to decorate? Watch how to decorate an "Elf on the Shelf" Christmas tree:

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