My wife bought me a new can of hairspray today. That may not be exciting for some, but the longest hair I have on my head is in my mustache. The fact that I am quite balding would make anyone wonder “Why?”.
Well, it isn’t for my head. No, not for the curly locks on my chest either.
I read something a short time back about using an art fixative for your inkjet photos. This fixative spray is used in charcoal, pastel and pencil art to “fix” the picture. It helps protect the art from casual water and smudges. The article said that it would do the same for inkjet photos.
Back in my more artful days I used aerosol hairspray instead of the professional art spray. If you had seen any of my art from back then, you would understand why it was not worth spending more than just the few cents that White Rain hairspray cost in those days. That got me to thinking that I could probably do the same with inkjet printed photos. If I used hairspray to coat the photos, then that should help give them some water resistance.
So that is why my wife bought me the hairspray. I tried it and let it dry. Then I ran the photo under the water in the kitchen sink and it came out mostly unaffected. The one spot that did go wonky in the photo was right on one edge where I apparently did not get the spray on well.
Since my testing, I have done some research. I know, most people research and then experiment, but not me. Here are some things I found out.
You want to avoid hairspray with conditioners in it. The conditioners are usually oils which can cause spots in the paper. Another caution is that the reason the art spray costs more is because it is designed for that purpose. While the chemical makeup in the hairspray is fine for the job, the nozzle that delivers the hair spray probably is not as well metered. You can end up with spray coming out in blobs instead of a nice mist.
Do your own testing. Use at your own risk. But, it may be just the thing to use when you print out snapshots that are going to be handed around in a group. I realize that you can always print a new one, but this is supposed to also help keep the ink from fading over time.
By the way, this is not necessary in photos from a photo lab. The process used is totally different. In fact, if you get something on a real photo you can just rinse it off with water. The last step in a photo’s birth process is a water rinse cycle. Just let it dry (best results if hung on an edge) and the photo will be as good as new.
Please don’t sue me if none of this works for you and it ruins your photos. I am just giving info that has helped me. Apply at your own risk.