Here’s why little bit of hairspray in your life is a very good thing—plus top products to try.
BUY RIGHT | Hairspray is often associated with our yucky prom ‘do or wedding hair. But every chic girl should have some on hand, and you won’t find a stylist willing to work without it because after you’ve laboured to create a great look, often the most difficult part is to keep it in place. Men can also use hairspray to hold their styles in a natural, relaxed way—especially good for photos or film.
Nowadays hairspray is not so much for stiffening your coif as it is for perfecting your locks, to rapidly remedy a bad hair day or to tame unruly bangs. Ever had lots of static in your hair and a halo of frizz floating above your head? Or have trouble recreating those perfectly relaxed flatiron curls your stylist showed you or that ultrasmooth blowout? Hairspray is the key.
What’s In Hairspray
Hairspray is usually a combination of polymers (for hold), platicizers (for flexibility) and stiffening agents (the solvent, usually alcohol). Every brand has unique variations of these agents that offer a different answer to most hair problems. Thus you can find brushable, shiny, curl-enhancing, hard hold, flexible, finishing, working and herbal hairsprays.
The more flexible hairsprays (often also labelled “regular hold” or “working spray”) are the most broadly helpful. These sprays have a good combination of hold for your style and touchability. Maximum hold or ultrastrength hairsprays are nonetheless useful for adverse weather conditions or more elaborate styles that need extra assistance.
5 Ways To Spray
1. Use hairspray on dried hair. The closer you spray, the more saturation you will achieve and the stronger the hold.
2. For smooth looks, spray each section before ironing and comb through. Aerosol hairspray is extremely flammable so take care not to place it next to hot surfaces such as your flatiron or curling tools.
3. For curls, spray before using your iron and then again after forming the curl (if you spray them individually, they will move independently; if you spray your whole head, they will form a more solid unit).
4. To reduce static, spray your comb or your hand with the hairspray and touch up the areas affected.
5. For bouncy and more voluminous hair, tip your head upside down and spray liberally while your hair is inverted, wait a few moments and then right your head and recollect your strands into a pleasing position. This is an especially helpful trick for limp wavy or curly hair.
Three Great Sprays
Best Quality: Bumble and bumble Spray de Mode, 300 ml, $32.75
This product has a very fine aerosol mist of infinitely workable hairspray. The sticky sweet smell fades quickly, and it offers more shine than most sprays. It is user friendly (even for beginners) and won’t flake.
Available at all salons that carry Bumble and bumble, at Kiss and Makeup and Sephora.
Best For Less: Tie between L’Oreal Professional Texture Expert Infinium 2, 371 ml, about $20, and Sebastian Shaper, about $18.
The L’Oreal spray is easy to use and offers a dry, brushable hold you can touch almost immediately, good for first time hairspray users. Sebastian Shaper smells like the hairspray you remember from prom and is consistently ranked the best-selling hairspray in the U.S. as it works for nearly everyone and everything. It needs a moment to dry, though, and can get a bit sticky if you go overboard.
Available at many salons and markdown beauty retailers such as Zennkai. —Kristy Davies