The hair spray is one of the most important tools in your hair styling routine. It is involved in all of the steps of styling your hair, from prep to adding finishing touches, different kinds of hair sprays serve a variety of purposes. The sheer scope of hair sprays is also the reason why so many of you tend to get it wrong. Formulated with salon-worthy, result-oriented ingredients, getting the type, technique and trick of the hair spray wrong can ruin your entire hair look. When your hairstyle becomes unravelled after only a couple of hours, you realise your mistake (and that is too late!). So, if you are a hairstyling enthusiast and want to master tricky hair sprays, here are some tips to help you out…
- 1. Pick the right kind
- 2. Get the strength right
- 3. Get the technique right
- 4. Keep the desired texture and volume in mind
- 5. Know when to brush sprayed hair, and when not to
- 6. Be mindful of your curls
- 7. Use your hands for more control
- 8. Use a hairbrush for better dispersion
- 9. Hold your head upside down for incredible volume
- FAQs about hair spray
1. Pick the right kind
As mentioned above, there are so many different kinds of hair sprays, that you have to be careful about picking the right kind. For instance, heat protectant sprays have to be used before styling and serve the purpose of minimising thermal damage in your hair. This cannot be replaced by a finishing spray, which is used at the end of your routine, and may or may not have thermal protection benefits. Do a label check to know exactly what you are buying, and follow the directions exactly as mentioned.
2. Get the strength right
Hair sprays are not only formulated to serve a variety of purposes, but also the level of protection, hold, curl or control they offer can vary widely. The right strength of a hair spray depends on the hairstyle and how it should look in the end. For instance, picking a hair spray to hold your hairstyle can have three strengths:
- Low-hold for hair that is down and needs minimum hold and lots of movement - this is ideal for daily hair styling needs.
- Medium-hold for simple updos like buns and textured ‘dos like braids - this is ideal for vacay and party hair styling needs.
- Strong-hold for occasions like bridal and festive hairstyles - this is ideal for occasion hair styling needs.
3. Get the technique right
While using a hair spray, the rule of thumb is to spray the product from a distance of 12 inches (30 cm). Spritzing too close to your hair can cause the formula to disperse in a concentrated manner on a small section of the hair. This can lead to hardening of the tresses and loss of movement. Also, avoid spraying the product on your scalp, it can lead to greasiness and weigh your hair down.
4. Keep the desired texture and volume in mind
Apart from hold, hair sprays are also used to add volume and texture to your hair. Fine-haired girls can spritz volumising hair sprays and rustle the hair at the roots to lift them up and create a lot of body. Similarly, texturising hair sprays can turn boring, straight hair into a multi-dimensional mane, jazzing up your haircut and giving you that chic, unkempt French look. Keep the desired texture and volume in mind while choosing a formula of hair spray.
5. Know when to brush sprayed hair, and when not to
Brushing your hair has some set rules when a hair spray is involved in the mix. While you can carefully brush or comb low-to-medium hold hair, extra strong-hold sprayed hair should never be brushed. You can end up tugging and pulling on your hair, which causes cuticle damage in the long run. Which is why it is recommended using minimum hold sprays for your day-to-day hair styling needs.
6. Be mindful of your curls
If you have naturally curly/coily/kinky hair, then some hair spray can provide definition and nourishment. But unlike straight or wavy hair, curly hair has to be sectioned and individual curl clumps should be sprayed. If you spray your whole head without sectioning, it can make your curls fall flat and lose their definition. And once you are done spritzing individual sections on your hair, scrunch with your palms to put the bounce back into the ringlets.
7. Use your hands for more control
While the traditional way of applying hairspray is to do it directly on to your tresses, you can instead use your hands for more control. This is especially true if you are styling certain sections of your hair, like bangs or face-framing tendrils in the front. Spray the product in your palms and apply to the chosen section. You can also use your hands for touch-ups, patting the product gently on your hair to tame frizzy flyaways on a very humid day!
8. Use a hairbrush for better dispersion
Your hands are not the only tools available to apply hair spray with. You can use a brush as well! Paddle brushes can help disperse the product more thoroughly on your hair. All you need to do is spritz the spray on the brush instead of directly spraying on your hair. Brush through the lengths of your hair to correct issues like static during the winter months, frizziness from dryness and lack of shine. The same trick can be used to style baby hair on your mane, but this time, use a small toothbrush instead. Use a medium to strong hold spray to lay down the tiny hair by the edges of your hairline.
9. Hold your head upside down for incredible volume
A top tip while using hair spray to add volume is to hold your head upside down and shake your head while spraying close to the roots. Use your hands to shake your hair, still upside down, and straighten up once the product is properly massaged in. You can do this a couple of times to stack and build volume in layers, till you reach your ‘big hair goals’.
FAQs about hair spray
1) Are there any side effects to using a hair spray?
A. Most hair sprays used for styling won’t cause any damage to your hair. In fact, they are formulated to protect your hair from external factors like heat, sun exposure and humidity. But you have to follow the right technique and pick formulas that are devoid of baddies, like ethanol, which can irritate your scalp and damage your hair.
2) Can I use hairspray on a daily basis?
A. Yes, if you are using it in moderation and as directed on the label, hair sprays can be used every day with little to no harm. However, you have to maintain other aspects of hair hygiene, like regular washes to get rid of the hairspray buildup. Also, avoid using extra strong-hold sprays daily as they can limit movement in your hair and are difficult to manage and wash off.
3) Can I use hair spray on wet hair?
A. No, you should never use hair spray on wet hair! Even prepping sprays should be used on dry hair. Hair spray formulas can turn flaky and crunchy on wet hair, so make sure your hair is completely dry before going in with a spray.
4) Does hair spray hinder growth?
A. No, since hair sprays are applied on the lengths and do not penetrate the strand, they cannot be directly responsible for inhibiting hair growth. However, if you tend to not follow hair spray guidelines, it can lead to breakage.
5) Is hair spray better than hair gel?
A. Both hair sprays and gels serve a similar purpose while styling your hair. The debate about which one is better is entirely dependent on the kind of hairstyle you are going for. If you just want to set your style in the end, use a spray. But if you need to set certain sections of hair while you are styling, a gel will come in more handy.
Written by Sumona Bose on Feb 02, 2021
Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!