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How to Use Hairspray the Right Way

photo of stylist using hairspray on client in salon

After decades of being the hair product everyone had in their arsenal, hairspray somehow earned a bad reputation. While many people have removed hairspray from their hair styling routine, we’re here to tell you hairspray isn’t the enemy—you just may not be using it the right way.

We think everyone should use hairspray. Once you learn exactly how to apply hairspray, you’ll think so to.

Hairspray Basics

No matter how you’re using hairspray, there are a few basic rules you should always follow. Most importantly, you’ll want to spritz from a distance. Because the product comes in mist form, many people assume hairspray very lightly coats the hair. However, the formula is deceptively heavy and can build up on your scalp and locks. It’s best to spritz your hairspray from at least six inches away. If you feel like your style needs more product after your first application, feel free to add more—from six inches away.

You should also never brush or comb through dried hairspray. Because most hairsprays effectively “lock” your style in place, combing through hair that has dry hairspray on it can cause unnecessary tearing and breakage. Instead, comb the product through your hair before it completely sets. If you plan to brush or comb your hair after the hairspray has dried, opt for a flexible hold formula.

If you want to add volume:

One of the main reasons people use hairspray is to add major volume to their everyday styles. Adding volume is as easy as picking up a volumizing hairspray, but follow this simple technique if you want to make sure your sky-high style lasts all night long.

Instead of spraying just the top layer of your hair, section off your mane and spritz a volumizing hairspray underneath each section, right at the scalp.

If you want to set your style:

If you want to make sure your style doesn’t budge all night long, hairspray should be the last step of your routine. After you’ve finished styling your hair, spritz a strong hold hairspray all over your ‘do.

If you want to add shine:

Hairspray can not only hold your style in place but also add shine to it. If you’re looking to give your ‘do a glossy finish, it’s all about which hairspray you use. Look for a lightweight hairspray formulated with oil to add glitz to your style without any crunchy hold.

If you want to get rid of flyaways:

Using hairspray to get rid of flyaways is all about your technique. Applying hairspray the traditional way (spritzing from at least six inches away) won’t do anything to your flyways but lock them in their undesirable position. To smooth down flyaway, spray the formula into your palm and smooth the product over your hair. This technique gives you total styling control and ensures flyaways are a thing of the past. Alternatively, you can spritz a comb or brush and use them to smooth your flyaways.

If you have curls:

Whether you're using hairspray to set your curls or to add extra shine, curly girls should take extra precautions when using hairspray. Because the formulas usually have a sticky consistency, it can cause spirals to stick together. Avoid having one huge curl clump by spraying your hair in sections.

Now, who’s ready to add hairspray back into their styling routine?