How to Use Hair Spray to Transform (or Maintain) Your Look!
Hair spray is quite possibly the neatest hair tool around (no pun intended). Whether you just want your hair to hold its chic-and-tidy shape all day, or you really want to jazz up your look with a big bouffant or some spray-on color, almost anything is possible with the right hair spray product.
Wondering how to use hair spray to achieve those pro-like results? From how to use hair spray for volume to tips for creating fabulous texture or healthy shine, sit tight because we’re going to explain absolutely everything you need to know about this hair styling essential. Ready?
How to use texturizing hair spray
Is your hair looking a bit limp and lifeless? Then get yourself a sexy hair texture spray and literally spritz the problem away! Texturizing sprays come in many different varieties. Some are all about accentuating your hair’s natural shape, while others help you to create a new shape such as getting beautiful beachy waves from straight hair.
Unlike traditional hairspray, texturizing spray doesn’t ‘fix’ your hair into position. However, the added texture gives your strands a bit of grip, which will help hairstyles such as braids and buns stay in place for longer. It can also help bangs to stay up and away from your face instead of constantly falling over your eyes.
Do you use texture spray on wet or dry hair? That really depends on the brand and the specific product; we recommend checking the instructions on the hair spray bottle.
How to use texturizing spray on straight hair
Straight hair needs volume and texture too! By applying a sexy hair texturizing spray at the roots, you can give your locks a bit of lift so that they frame your face nicely instead of just hanging flat around it. Pick up sections of dry hair (after flat-ironing if necessary) and spray from below along the full length of the hair. As you drop each section, use your hands to gently push the hair up and into the desired position.
How to use texturizing spray on short hair
Ever wonder what hair spray barbers use to get very short hair to look purposefully styled? Sometimes it’s a heavier product such as spray hair wax which can create fun, spiky looks and also gives the hair excellent shine; other times it’s a light texturizing spray for a more natural look. For the latter, hold the bottle an arm’s length from your hair and spray it all over, then use your fingers to ‘rough it up’ a bit to create that nice, tousled look.
How to use hair spray for volume and fullness
If your hair is especially fine and flat, then a texturizing hair spray may not be enough. Instead, you’ll want a volumizing hair spray. These typically work in one of two ways (sometimes both). Either they include polymers to temporarily stiffen the hair strands, so that they stay up away from your scalp. Or they contain humectants to draw moisture into the strand, swelling it up for a fuller look.
Similarly to texturizing sprays, you want to spray the hair from below – it can help to flip your head upside down. For volume however, concentrate primarily on the roots since you want to create lift right next to the scalp.
So, what’s the best hair spray for fine hair? We’re huge fans of Boldify Hair Thickening Spray. It uses natural ingredients such as Epsom salt and algae extract to amp up hair thickness without weighing it down or leaving a residue that’s hard to get rid of.
And if your hair is visibly thinning? While volumizing sprays can help to disguise that, you can also go one step further and try a hair filler spray which literally fills in the gaps. Boldify Hair Thickening Fibers look completely natural, and come in numerous shades to match the rest of your tresses.
How to use color hair spray or glitter hair spray
Perfect for parties, hair glitter spray or spray color will make you stand out like never before! Plus, whether you choose a natural color such as black hair spray or brown hair spray, or something much more daring such as green hair spray, it can be a really fun way to experiment with a different hair color without committing.
Why not use a pink or red hair spray on just the tips for example, or create some colorful highlights? Sparkle hair spray is generally a subtler option than color – unless you use a lot of it! Then it’s perfect for festivals, especially when paired with eye and cheek glitter.
Note that if you’re spraying on a much lighter color, you’ll need a lot of product and it probably won’t look all that natural. Not such an issue if you’re using metallic silver hair spray to complete your futuristic party look, or gray hair spray for a costume party you’re attending as someone’s grandma, but worth knowing about in case you were hoping to use blonde hair spray color as a brunette. For that, a wig might be a better option!
How to use hair color spray? The important thing is to avoid holding it too close to your head while spraying. That will overload the hair with product, creating a sticky mess. Instead, hold it at least four inches away from your hair (but still close enough to be able to aim at the particular strand you’re targeting) and spray in short bursts to build up the color gradually. Be sure to cover your shoulders with a towel before you start too, to avoid staining your clothing.
How to use hair finishing spray
Hair finishing sprays are typically designed for hold. In other words, they’ll keep your cute fishtail braid looking neat and tidy, or your fancy occasion up-do from falling down. As the name suggests, you spray these on right at the end, once you’re done styling your hair.
Different hairstyles will require different levels of hold. If you’re wearing your hair down in, say, beachy waves, a lightweight finishing spray will help to keep those gentle waves from going limp. If you’ve used a curler to turn straight locks into ringlets however, you’ll need something stronger. Surface Curls Frizz Free Spray Gel for example is a fantastic hair curl spray for this, being a hair gel spray which will freeze those curls in place. The more complicated the hair-do or the further it is from your natural style, the stronger the hold you’ll want.
Some finishing sprays maintain your style in other ways, or otherwise enhance it. An anti-humidity hair spray for example will coat the hair to lock out moisture, preventing frizz, while shine spray for hair (such as the Shine Flash Redken hair spray, or Shine Spray by Keratin Complex) will give it a beautiful glossy finish. You can even get ‘sunscreen’ hair sprays which prevent UV light from fading your color.
How to use heat protectant hair spray
Whatever type of hair styling or hair finishing spray you decide is right for you, if you use any heat styling tools such as a curling iron or flat iron, one spray type you definitely need is a heat protectant. In fact, even if you just blow dry your hair, you should have this. Spray it onto the hair immediately before heat styling to minimize broken hair bonds and other heat-related damage.
Our recommendation for the best heat protectant spray for curly hair and straight hair alike? The Redken hair spray Extreme Play Safe is a strong contender, since it protects your locks up to 450°F! We also love Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Spray by the same brand, which is a 3-in-1 heat protectant, style-fixing spray, and hair shine spray.
Haven’t been using a heat protectant to date, and it shows? While adding one to your routine will reduce further damage, it won’t undo what’s already been done. The good news is you can treat your hair with a restorative treatment such as Keratin Complex to fix the breakage!
How do I know if a hair spray is a good one?
As with any hair or skin care product, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list for any ‘nasties’, particularly in products you’ll be using regularly. You don’t want your hair enhancement spray to make your hair briefly look better, but require more products to look good in the long term!
What should you be avoiding? Sulfates are known for drying out hair, plus can leach out color if your hair is dyed. An alcohol-free hair spray will also be less drying. And while phthalates are sometimes added to hair sprays to reduce stiffness, they may interfere with endocrine hormones which can in turn affect the hair growth cycle, potentially leading to hair loss.
As for figuring out whether the hair spray actually works? Whether you’re researching the best temporary color hair spray or you’re shopping for a firm-hold hair wax spray, checking reviews remains one of the best ways to see if it lives up to its promises.
At Editors’ Pick, we stand behind the quality of our products. If you try a new hair spray and don’t love it, you can return your purchase within 30 days for a no-quibble refund, and you don’t even have to pay to ship it back! Read our returns policy for more information.