Search by product name or hair type/concerns
by: Better Not Younger
October 03, 2022
Hairspray can make or break a bad hair day. It fixes flyaways and helps keep gorgeous updos in place. And if you're like us, you've probably been using hairspray for decades. Using hairspray correctly seems like a no-brainer on the surface—simply apply the hairspray until your hair holds the style you want, right?
Many of us aren't using hairspray correctly, which can damage our hair and cause a loss of hair shine and hair volume due to buildup. Keep reading to learn more about six common mistakes we make when applying hairspray and how you can make sure you're using hairspray correctly!
We're all familiar with using hairspray to lock a style in place and even boost hair volume, but we're less familiar with what hairspray actually is and how it works. Hairspray for women provides structural support and hair volume using a blend of polymers of different strengths. This is how we get different "holds" in hairspray for women, such as flexible, medium and strong.
When we apply hairspray, these polymers wrap around our hair, creating a thin, lightweight barrier on our hair. As this barrier dries, it hardens and gives us the support and structure needed to lock our hairstyle in place.
This drying process is why hairspray should always be the last step in any hair-care routine—the polymers can't give us the hold we crave if we apply hairspray on wet hair or use it before other, heavier products! Check out our tips below for how to use hairspray correctly and avoid common hairspray mistakes.
This mistake is so easy to make, especially when we're having a bad hair day! When our hair is unruly, it's tempting to force it into submission with a boatload of hairspray. The more, the better, right?
Nope! In fact, piling on too much hairspray can leave your locks feeling rough and tacky from the excess hairspray that couldn't dry fully. Plus, using excess hairspray daily can lead to buildup and loss of hair volume and hair shine.
Correct Hairspray Use: Apply hairspray with a light touch to reap its benefits while preventing flatness and dullness from buildup. One technique is to separate hair into layers horizontally and apply your hairspray that way to ensure all your strands benefit from the hairspray—not just the top layer. Especially if your goal is to pump up the volume, spraying underneath each layered section will help add more lift and fullness and prevent the top layer from becoming weighed down. Spraying in sections also helps curls from sticking together!
Pro tip: Prep your strands with a thickening product like our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener so your hairspray doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting!
Applying hairspray to wet hair can cause damage because most hairsprays use alcohol to speed drying time. Using hairspray on wet hair prevents the evaporation of these alcohols, which can pull moisture from our hair strands. And the polymers we talked about earlier? They can't dry properly when we apply hairspray on wet hair. Hairspray should only be used on hair that’s completely dry, so nothing interferes with its ability to create hold and boost hair volume. Not to mention, when you use hairspray on wet hair, like when you’re air-drying your hair, you’re only begging for crunchy strands!
Correct Hairspray Use: To make your hairspray as effective as possible, fully dry your hair before application. There’s not much more to say on the matter!
Using hairspray before heat styling can be super-drying on your hair resulting in breakage and loss of hair shine and vibrance. Another reason to hold the hairspray until after you’ve heat styled your hair? You never want to use a hot styling tool on hair that isn’t fully dry—and this includes any moisture created from styling products like hairspray—as you’ll risk frying it. The safest route is to save your hairspray until the end.
Correct Hairspray Use: Add hairspray post-heat styling to avoid damage. And remember, when using heat stylers like curlers, flat irons or even a hot blow-dryer, be sure to always apply a frizz-taming heat protectant like our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray with avocado oil to smooth and protect your mature tresses up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit!
Pro tip: To maximize the hair-smoothing benefits of your flat iron, after straightening your strands, mist hairspray onto a flat brush and run it through your tresses. This technique not only helps hairspray go on lightly and evenly but it also helps to seal your hair cuticles and reduce frizz. Got curls? Spraying hairspray directly on your fingers before gently gliding them over your hair also helps cut down on frizz without disturbing the curl shape as brushing would.
All hairsprays are not created equal! There are tons of hold-strengths, from flexible to firm, as well as continuous spray and pump spray options. Keep in mind, some hairsprays also add texture and volume, while others smooth hair and add shine. Figuring out which hairspray will work best for your locks isn't always as easy as it looks!
Correct Hairspray Use: The key to choosing the right hold-strength comes down to knowing the hairstyle look and feel you want to achieve. If you want tamed yet soft-to-the-touch locks, your best bet is a flexible-hold hairspray. Save the firm-hold hairsprays for more formal updos that need to be locked into place!
Holding the hairspray nozzle too close to your hair makes it easy to use too much hairspray, which can weigh your hair down and make it appear lifeless and lackluster. On the flip side, spraying your hair from too far away can limit the effectiveness of your hairspray because less of it actually reaches your hair.
Correct Hairspray Use: Before applying your hairspray, shake it well, position the nozzle about 8-10 inches from your head, and spray it onto your styled hair. (Remember—it should be the final step!)
Pro tip: For extra volume when wearing your hair long and loose, try applying your hairspray while your hair is flipped upside down. Wait 10 to 15 seconds, and then flip your hair back into place for a major body boost!
This common mistake ties in with using too much hairspray—you simply end up with too much product in your hair. The only difference this way is that it just may take a little longer to happen, especially if you’re applying your hairspray in light layers. We want our hairspray to be a "one and done" application—so a high-quality hairspray that offers lasting hold is the way to go.
Correct Hairspray Use: Apply your hairspray once—two applications max, if you have especially unruly hair! This will help stop the product buildup that dulls our hair shine and causes flat, lifeless locks.
Pro tip: If you've used too much hairspray, there’s a fix! For small sections of hair or to "spot" fix, find a clean, soft-bristle toothbrush and gently pull the brush through the top layer of your hair. This keeps the hairspray's hold intact while loosening the frozen-in-place look that too much hairspray gives our hair. If you've applied too much hairspray throughout your hair, use the same technique with a soft-bristle hairbrush to clear away excess product.
Hairspray has come a long way since the days of helmet hair! Our all-new Wake Up Call High Hold Thickening Hairspray offers a bunch of benefits that cater to the needs of aging hair including helping hair look thicker and fuller while holding voluminous hairstyles in place with lasting 24-hour hold!
Designed with our signature Wake Up Call™ blend of naturally derived nourishing and strengthening ingredients like biotin, burdock, hops and bamboo, this hairspray offers an ultra-fine, continuous mist and non-sticky flexible-hold formula that increases volume and helps resist humidity (something frizz-prone hair will surely appreciate!) for 24 hours. In fact, a 3rd party clinical evaluation found that Wake Up Call High Hold Thickening Hairspray offers an instant increase in volume up to 187%*
*3rd party clinical evaluation tested 24h after application. Individual results may vary.
Like what you read and want more hair-care content delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters for the latest hair intel and exclusive promotions for your mature hair needs!