If you want a hairstyle that lasts and looks amazing in the process (which, obviously, you do), then you absolutely need hairspray. The classic product is a crucial styling tool, but many people still get confused by it. Deciphering which hairspray to use and how to use hairspray for your hair type can be tricky for even the savviest stylist. But just because you don’t really understand it doesn’t mean you need to be intimidated by it.
Never fear, we’re here to help. Read on to find the right one for you, plus tips on mastering the fine art of spraying.
Hairspray is essentially a mix of holding ingredients that are misted onto hair. As it dries, it keeps hair in place by connecting spots or films between fibers.
There are two main types: aerosol and non-aerosol. The former is a spray that allows for a more even, widespread application. The latter uses a pump action that creates a more targeted spray. Unlike most aerosols (more on that later), non-aerosol usually contain more water and less alcohol than aerosols.
Hairsprays are the styling all-stars work for almost every hair type and style — you just need to know how to pick the one that’s best suited to you.
• For Curls
Whether you’re creating curls or defining your natural coils, hairspray is crucial for getting the best results. Pantene’s Airspray – an alcohol-free, brushable aerosol hairspray - is perfect because it leaves hair soft and bouncy instead of stiff & rigid. For those with natural curls, spray damp hair with Airspray, then allow to air dry to achieve maximum definition. And if you’re worried about alcohols that dry out your curls, no fear! Airspray is alcohol-free - instead of an ethanol-based formula it was developed from a water-based formula.
• For Volume
Limp strands in need of some oomph need look no further than Pantene Pro-V Volume High Lifting Hairspray. Strong actives hold “lifted” strands, so you can create a targeted shot of volume that locks hair in place. Spray at the roots for maximum volume and a voluptuous shape. Get even more volume if you apply to your roots when your hair is flipped over.
• For Updos
In addition to creating different hair effects, hairsprays also come in varying strengths. The general rule is the higher the number, the stronger the hold. If you’re trying to keep an intricate updo in place, you’ll want to opt for a 3 or higher. Pantene Pro-V Extra Strong Hold and Maximum Hold Hairspray both have 24-hour holding power to keep even the most gravity-defying style from falling, meaning you can let your coif creativity go wild.
Hairsprays have been used for decades, but they weren’t always so versatile. Debuting in 1948, hairspray was made with resin polymers. While being integral to creating and shellacking sky-high bouffants and beehives, they were notoriously difficult to wash out.
In the ‘60s — when women began to take a more relaxed approach to, well, everything — beauty companies introduced hairspray that could be brushed out. It still cemented everything in place, but at least you could get it out of your strands without a gallon of hairspray and a power washer. The ‘70s brought an even more casual aesthetic, leading to the invention of less stiff polymers for a soft-yet-strong hold.
In addition to bringing us the “Macarena” and platform sneakers, 1995 was also the year the flexible-hold hairspray was introduced. A combination of conditioning actives and holding polymers in the formulas gave hair a soft look, plenty of natural movement, and long-lasting hold.
In 2015 Pantene created alcohol-free hairspray. Called Airspray, it eschewed ethanol for a water-based formula that provides hold and softness without any residue or flaking.
See, we told your hairspray was going to be your new favorite styling tool. Now, grab yourself a can and get misting!