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Guide: Choose & Use Hair Spray that’s Right for Your Hairstyle

Guide: Choose & Use Hair Spray that’s Right for Your Hairstyle

Hair spray—the 80s practically reinvented the term. But from the era that had big hair, bold colors and lots of personality, through to today’s modern twist on the 2000s, hair spray has done a lot of evolving.

Besides just holding our gorgeous locks in place, hair spray can now add color, texture, even glitter and sparkle to our hair. It used to be so simple; you could walk into a store and just buy whatever hair spray they had and that was that. Now, there’s hair enhancement spray made especially for curly hair, for straight hair, for natural hair, for colored hair… So where do you even begin?

Well, it’s important to use hair spray that’s appropriate to the look you want to create. The one you use when wearing your hair down should be different from the one you use to keep an ‘up do’ fixed in position. Why? Because if you choose too strong a hold for loose locks, you’ll struggle to brush them! And no one wants their hair to look and move like it’s a block of Lego.

anti humidity hair spray

Which hairspray for… taming flyaways?

If you’re looking for a way to just tame your pesky flyaways, a light hold, anti humidity hair spray is the option for you. It won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel stiff – it just keeps everything neatly in place. It’s great because it allows you to brush and restyle your hair through the day, just in case you want to change your look from a daytime do to a glam style come nighttime.

Wondering how to use hair finishing spray correctly? Always keep your hair spray bottles around 30cm from your head (not too close!) and use short bursts to build it up slowly, so you don’t accidentally overload your hair and turn it into a sticky mess.

Try this one: Flex Flow Hair Spray by Keratin Complex. (Side note: if you have yet to discover Keratin Complex’s hair-smoothing products, you’re missing out! Oh, and Olaplex is a must for seriously smooth locks too. But I’m getting side-tracked.)

Which hairspray for… simple up-dos?

If your hair takes a little bit more effort to tame it in, you could go for the next step up in hold which would be medium hold hair spray. This will give you control and bounce while also giving you a sleek look. It’s great for casual up-dos such as buns and ponytails. I personally LOVE the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium because it’s lightweight, smells amazing, and my hair style will last all day.

how to use hair spray to fix fancy up do in place

Which hairspray for… high-maintenance hairstyles?

Of course, the other option out there is extra hold hair spray. It’s spray just like they made it back in the 80s, only with much-improved formulas that won’t leave your locks feeling crunchy and heavy. Looking for a hair curl spray after using your curling wand, for example? This option’s great if you have heavily-styled down dos (such as vintage-esque curls) that you’d like to keep in place all day. The wind is no match for this hold and even Beyoncé would be jealous of your structured look.

You can also use this hair spray to assist you with your up-dos by spraying some onto your comb and brushing your strands into place. Bonus: it’ll add gorgeous shine! My recommendations? You could ball on a budget with my favorite Redken hair spray, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray, or go for hair so smooth it reflects the light with Tigi’s seriously firm-control hair shine spray Masterpiece Shine Hairspray.

Which hairspray for… adding texture?

Want a look that’s relaxed, yet not flat and lifeless? Whether you’re going for beachy waves on long hair or a sexy tousled look on short hair, hair wax spray is another option. Spray hair wax is a lighter-hold type of hair spray, but the difference between this and non-wax options is that this one adds a bit of ‘gritty’ texture, which gives your hair some shape.

Here’s how to use texturizing spray on short hair: take relatively small sections at a time, twist, and spritz on your sexy hair texturizing spray. The longer your hold the twists before releasing, the more defined the result will be. And on long hair? For well-defined waves, braid your hair before spraying it on. Once fully dry, undo your braids and voilà, instant waves! For a messier look, simply spray and scrunch.

Do you use texture spray on wet or dry hair? For the twisting or scrunching techniques I’ve just described, it’s best to stick to dry hair. For the braiding technique, wet hair works too – just be sure to add the hair spray before braiding in that case.

how to use hair spray for volume

Which hairspray for… voluminous looks?

Wondering how to use hair spray for volume? Let me shout it loud and proud: LIVING PROOF DRY VOLUME AND TEXTURE SPRAY. This product, ladies and gentlemen, should get an Emmy.

First of all, it smells incredible so you don’t need to smell like a straight-up aerosol can anymore. And not only does it give you volume when there wasn’t before, but it adds heat protection for your hair. (Let’s be honest you guys, no matter how hard we try to not apply heat to our hair, we’re all guilty. So that added protection is a god-send.)

This hair spray also absorbs oil in the hair so it can act like a dry shampoo. And as if that weren’t enough, you can use it on both wet and dry hair, it’s amazing for all hair types, and it’s not too pricey so you get salon-worthy results without breaking the bank. Is there anything else you could want from a hair product? I didn’t think so.

Speaking of volume, if you have thinner hair – or, you know, thinning hair – it’s important to steer clear of product that will weigh you down. Otherwise, your style will end up going flat and that is not the vibe. It’s all about fluff and volume now so you want a product that’s going to give your hair life. The best hair spray for fine or thinning hair is a lightweight one that still adds volume and texture such as Boldify Hair Thickening Spray, an alcohol free hair spray that creates bigger, bouncier hair without leaving a heavy residue.

pink and purple colored spray for hair

Which hairspray for… making a statement?

So now that we have texture and hold levels covered, let’s finish with something fun. GLITTER.

Glitter hair spray is the new necessity. It’s the perfect accessory to any going-out outfit and adds that je ne sais quoi to your look. You can spray it on your body or even your clothes to make the ‘fit really special. Really, just go wild with the glitter spray for hair that lets your inner Y2K shine! Oh, but remember to hold the hair spray bottle at a distance so the result doesn’t look patchy.

And if sparkle hair spray isn’t bold enough for you, remember there’s always temporary color hair spray. Pick up a bottle of red hair spray, green hair spray, black hair spray, brown hair spray, or maybe even silver hair spray, and unleash your creativity! And who says you need to stick to one? Mix together colored spray for hair that’s stripy, ombré, or patterned with a stencil (leopard print hair is a look.)


There are so many options out there now, it can get overwhelming. But the good thing is that there are amazing stylists and experts out there who can help you choose the best product for you. If you follow their advice, such as choosing the the products I’ve suggested here, I promise you’ll be rocking gorgeous styles that will look beautiful and last you all day long.
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