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How to Pick the Right Hairspray

Cheryl Mascarenhas
A hairspray can lend volume, lock out humidity, and make hair shinier, apart from allowing you to try out different hairstyles to suit your mood. There is no doubt that it is considered a must-have styling product for both men and women. Read this story to know what to look for when purchasing the right hairspray.

Hairspray Tip

Spritz hairspray onto your palms, and gently smooth the hair down with your hands to prevent frizz and flyaways.
The ensemble of a modern woman or man, for that matter, isn't complete without a stylish and suave hairstyle donning their mane. While pastes, creams, and gels are used to style hair and give it the desired texture, a hairspray is used extensively to give the hair a good finish.
A great hairspray helps lock the look, and holds the desired style all day, making it one of the most sought-after styling products recommended by experts. A quick mist of hairspray post styling can do more than just polish off any style, it can be used on all hair types to lend volume, shine, and protect the tresses from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Albeit, choosing the right hairspray depends not just on your styling desire, but also on your hair type, making it seem like a tedious task at hand. However, the task of keeping your style in place can be simplified with a couple of handy tips you need to keep in mind.

Aerosol vs. Non-aerosol Hairspray

While these are the two available types of hairsprays, the working principle for both these hairsprays is what differentiates one from the other. In an aerosol spray, the product is sealed in a container under pressure, using a release valve to dispense the atomized liquid.
On the contrary, the non-aerosol or pump sprayer uses springs, valves, and tubes, to aerate and emit the liquid. While both formulas are equally effective for achieving the desired look, aerosols provide a continuous emission of mist, while non-aerosol sprays need to be pumped onto the palm, and then applied to the hair.
Ideally, individuals with thin hair who wish to lend volume to their hair should opt for aerosol sprays, while those blessed with thick and naturally curly hair should opt for the non-aerosol varieties to give it a better hold.

Understand the Formula

Depending on the hold the spray provides, hairsprays are classified into three types―flexible, medium, and maximum. Before you pick your hairspray, do make it a point to read the label to know what category it falls under.
Flexible or working spray is known to offer the least amount of hold, keeping the hair under control sans the stiffness, making it ideal for daily use. It can be used to soft style and hold curls, waves, or even flipped ends in place while allowing optimal movement, making it apt for those with short, fine, and manageable hair.
On the other hand, the hold provided by medium or styling spray is slightly stronger than its flexible counterpart. These provide a fair amount of hold with minimal stiffness, and are ideal to keep certain sections of the hair in place. Great for holding bangs in place, adding volume, and making curls bouncy.
In short, this type of hairspray works well to create a natural look for otherwise thicker and hard to manage hair.
Maximum hold or finishing spray offers a long-lasting hold, good for updos that create sleek and unruly looks. It provides the strongest hold, making it apt for people with thick, luscious, natural curls, and for those trying to obtain a neater look for longer-hours, like in weddings.


Modern-day sprays enhance shine, reduce frizz, promote volume as well as protect from UV rays. Volumizing hairsprays, for that matter, utilize lightweight ingredients that expand once dry, thus, giving hair extra bounce and body. While these sprays breathe life into your hair, they do little to hold your updo in place.
Finishing hairsprays, on the other hand, not only keep hair in place, but also add a healthy sheen to your hair. Water- and humidity-resistant hairsprays are excellent choices to provide more control over the hairstyle, besides, they help avoid last-minute disasters.
Mentioned here are the different types of hairsprays that provide different action on hair, and the right way to achieve the desired result.


Keeping hair smooth and in place, and for enhancing shine.

Suitable for:
All types of hair

How to:
For a soft finish with control, spray onto the palm, and smoother over the hair.


Lifts and amplifyies big styles, adds a dramatic touch to your style.

Suitable for:
Fine, thin, straight, and wavy hair

How to:
Flip your head over and spray your roots, wait for it to dry, and flip back over.

Control, hold

Locking looks in place

Suitable for:
All types of hair

How to:
Use your control spray while flat ironing or blow drying to set each strand to get an unruly look.

Setting, light styling

Holding hair with touchable texture, smoothing flyaways

Suitable for:
Fine, straight, medium

How to:
Light spraying on your hairbrush can help tame flyaway ends and eliminate static.


» Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray for fine hair.
» Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Series Satin Hold Hairspray for naturally curly hair.
» TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Hairspray for adding volume.
» TRES Two Extra Hold Non-Aerosol Hair Spray for long-lasting hold.
» Vidal Sassoon FLEXIBLE Hairspray for locking out frizz.
Do make sure to consider your natural hair texture as it will help you choose a hairspray that is specifically designed to suit your hair's needs. Always remember, a good hairspray is one that will cater to your hair requirements.