Hair Sprays to Help Your Look Last

Hair spray products

To hold the curl, you need a great spray.

Hair spray can be broken down into one of three types: Working spray, dry spray, and finishing spray.

Working hair sprays

Working sprays are used when building body in the hair, usually in preparation for teasing and formal work. They are flexible hair sprays that may be combed or brushed as you are working to create your finished shape. These are the most popular because they are great multi-taskers that give light-to-medium hold. These are almost always in aerosol form.

Sebastian Shaper hair spray is popular in the professional word. And it’s also the top-rated on Viewpoints (95/100). Reviewers swear they “could not live without it” because of its “minimal scent” and you “don’t feel as if you have hairspray on.” About the only drawback is the price (about $20 for a 10.6 oz can).  The Sebastian Shaper Plus is a bit harder to comb through. Kevin Murphy also makes a good one called Session.Spray.

Stylist favorite hair sprays

Stylist Rachel Leipzig recommends Sebastian, Kevin Murphy, Paul Mitchell and Aqua Net hair spray brands to achieve the perfect hold.

Dry hair sprays

Dry sprays (or dry shampoos) are having a moment and are great for second-day hair revival and many of them have some hold so they can be useful when working with finer hair in order to build body. Not all of them have hold so you need to ask or try it first if possible. You can spray it on your finger and tap your finger and thumb together, you will feel some tackiness if there is any hold in the spray. These are usually in aerosol form although I have see some in powder form. For no hold, try Kevin Murphy Fresh.Hair which also comes in travel size. For some hold, try Serge Normant Dry Shampoo or Oribe also makes a good one that is very popular right now in the professional world.

Best hair sprays

Don’t overlook dry shampoo as a way to hold your style, while reducing the oil.

Psssssst is an oldie but goodie (rated 81/100 on Viewpoints) that is available in drug stores and is inexpensive (about $6.50 for 5.3 oz.). Reviewers on Viewpoints give it points for giving their hair “amazing texture” and adding “volume to limp or fine hair.” But they warn “a little spray goes a long way,” otherwise the white powder is difficult to work in your style.

Finishing hair sprays

Last, but not least, are finishing sprays. These have the most hold of all the sprays and are called finishing sprays for a reason. When you spray, you had better be finished styling because most of them cannot be combed through afterward. These are best used with a light hand and applied in light layers as not to wet the hair too much. I usually use these hair sprays in the salon for formal work that needs to last all day, or for a photo shoot. They do tend to build up in the hair with daily use and the product build-up is easily removed with a clarifying shampoo once a week. These usually come in pump form, but I have seen some aerosols.

Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine is a classic. Kevin Murphy also makes a good one called Texture.Master. Aqua Net is an oldie but goodie that is affordable, still available in drug stores and is, I believe, still the best selling hair spray of all time. Go figure. Its fans on Viewpoints are fiercely loyal because of “maximum hold” that will survive “wind and rain and whatever natural disaster.”

So spray away ladies (and gents) and may your coif last late into the evening even after you’ve been swinging on the chandeliers!

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Rachel Leipzig Rachel Leipzig (30 Posts)

Rachel Leipzig has been styling hair in Chicago for 15 years, after relocating from New York City and opening a salon on Oak Street on Chicago’s Gold Coast. She is currently working at Sho Studio in Chicago. A specialist in makeovers, her television appearances include Oprah, ABC, and FOX. Leipzig’s work has also been featured in Allure, Chicago Social and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines.