Aerosol hair spray has been around since the ’40s. Initially known for their gluey texture and fragrant aroma, hair sprays were a necessary evil to hold women’s updos in place. Chances are, women used a whole lot more for their perms and bangs back in the ’80s. Luckily, the hair spray industry has kept up with the times, making its products longer-lasting and better-smelling. The right hair spray for you depends on your hair texture and needs, so choosing one can be a daunting task. Never fear; we’ve got the ultimate hair spray buying guide right here.
Buying Guide for Hair Sprays
Why buy hair spray?
A cute hairstyle is pointless if it falls out the second you walk out the door. Hair spray is a game-changer that ensures your look will last throughout the day. It protects against humidity, flyaways, and even the windiest days. Using hair spray on your locks will help you consistently achieve those sought-after good hair days.
What should you look for in a hair spray?
- Texture: As with most hair products, the best one for you will vary based on your hair type. Fine hair requires a lighter, airy spray to prevent weighed-down locks, while thicker hair performs better with a stronger formula. The best spray for curls should be buildable to ensure compatibility with other products.
- Fragrance: Choosing a product with the right aroma is vital to ensuring all-day confidence. Hair sprays come in an array of scents, from mango to vanilla, or just a simple, fresh scent that will refresh and revitalize your hair.
- Features: Some hair sprays also absorb oils or have heat protectants. Depending on your hair needs, these features can be assets that are too good to pass up.
Does hair spray damage hair?
Hair spray shouldn’t damage your hair if you use it correctly. The product alone won’t break your strands, but you should typically avoid brushing through recently dried hair spray (unless the product states otherwise) since that can be harsh on your strands. You should also wash your hair regularly to prevent product buildup on your scalp.
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Our Picks for the Best Hair Sprays
L'Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Lock It Bold Control Hairspray
This is an affordable yet effective holding spray that offers humidity resistance and up to 48 hours of staying power.
Pros: If you need a hair spray that can keep up with whatever you throw its way, the Lock It spray from L’Oreal is a smart investment. With the promise of 48 hours of hold, you also get anti-humidity protection and a fine mist that allows for more even coverage.
Cons: The bottle design tends to be the biggest point of contention. The most common complaint centered around the spray nozzle getting easily clogged, causing the hair spray to drip instead of being released in a fine mist.
Bottom Line: The 48 hours of hold, along with a fine mist and serious staying power are the defining features of this L’Oreal hair spray.
Keranique Lift and Repair Treatment Spray
A hair spray that's good for your hair thanks to instant volume, a keratin hair treatment, and the inclusion of a body amino complex.
Pros: Traditionally, thin hair and hair spray aren’t a match made in heaven. But this treatment-turned-hold spray from Keranique is designed to give you instant volume and lift while simultaneously repairing your hair. Along with giving you heat protection, this pick is designed to control frizz, infuse shine, and smooth your hair. Your hair will instantly look thicker, fuller, and stronger. Better still, the keratin amino complex in this spray works to replenish the natural keratin fibers in your hair.
Cons: The biggest complaints we found about this product was that the bottle was smaller than most shoppers expected.
Bottom Line: Those with thin, fine, or damaged hair will appreciate the added oomph that this thickening spray gives while also providing a touchable soft hold.
Kenra Volume Spray 25
This volumizing hair spray resists humidity, dries quickly, and works for all hair types.
Pros: There’s nothing worse than styling your hair, heading outside, and having it fall flat or balloon to epic proportions in two seconds because of the humidity. This volume spray from Kenra is specifically designed to not only add body to your hair, but lock in styles and fight frizz. It’s perfect for all hair types and dries quickly without encouraging flaking. And you’ll get up to a 120-hour hold.
Cons: Along with being a bit pricey, the nozzle clogging was a big point of contention.
Bottom Line: When you need a hair spray that can offer volume and body, withstand wind and humidity, plus offer an impressive five-day hold, Kenra’s Volume Spray is a solid option. But it comes at a price, and you may have to frequently contend with a nozzle that clogs.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for Unisex
This texturizing spray adds body and definition, ensuring that limp locks don't have to be your signature look anymore.
Pros: People with fine hair usually crave volume. Not only does it make their hair look lush, but it also adds serious life. If you feel that bigger is better, this texturing spray from Oribe is going to be your new best friend. It works as a dry spray for a touchable soft effect and works to absorb oil at the roots to help lift and add texture. Use this in place of regular dry shampoo.
Cons: This dry spray may work a little too well, drying your hair out until it feels like straw. Additionally, it’s one of the pricier options in our roundup, considering that it’s just 2.2 ounces.
Bottom Line: For those tired of flat, listless hair, this volumizing dry spray is here to bring life back to your tresses. But be aware that for some hair types, it might make dryness more of an issue.
Garnier Hair Care Fructis Style Volume Anti-Humidity Hairspray
The perfect setting spray for curl and roller sets when you need that body to last all day long.
Pros: Hair spray is one of the tried and true ways to ensure that a style lasts more than a few minutes. This is especially true if you’re curling your hair—either on rollers, hot curlers, or even with a curling iron or flat iron. This anti-humidity spray from Garnier Fructis ensures that you get all the volume minus the nightmarish frizz that can sometimes accompany a trip outdoors. The firm hold ensures that you’ll get plenty of lift. But you’ll still enjoy hair that’s soft to the touch but with a style that lasts all day.
Cons: The majority of reviews were positive, but we did see a few shoppers note that the spray comes out more wet than dry. Still, it dries fairly quickly and shouldn’t pose a problem.
Bottom Line: Don’t let humidity keep you stuck inside. This anti-frizz, anti-humidity firm hold spray will ensure that you always look your best no matter what the barometer is saying.
Almost everyone needs hair spray in their beauty bag, whether they use it every day or just for special occasions. Features like heat protection, texturizing, and dry shampoo additives make this product even more vital to a beauty routine. Because each of us has our own hair types and needs, there’s no universal product, but these are certainly worth trying.