Hairspray Guide 101: What Different Hairspray Strengths Mean

Take control with our comprehensive guide.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find any woman worth her well-coiffed tresses who don’t consider hairspray one of her go-to products. And we’re sure those who often spend time creating elegant and elaborate updos, or voluminous hairstyles that need holding in place can also attest to their brilliance. Because whether you need to keep your hair up, straight, wavy, curly, or even create texture, this wonder product can help to achieve the perfect ‘do and give you that sleek, salon-like finish and longer-lasting hold.

But if you think shopping for hairspray is a straightforward task, then think again. A lot has changed since hairsprays first entered the beauty market; there’s now not just one, but an over-abundance of types available. So, to help you avoid confusion on your next trip down the hair care aisle, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that’ll hopefully shed some light on all the different strengths and what each is best for.

 

 

Light/flexible-hold hair spray

Great for: Natural-looking styles, ‘undone’ looks and for going from day to night.

We recommend: TONI&GUY Tousled Texture Creation Hairspray.

What it does: This lightweight hold hairspray provides flexible hold and keeps flyaways in check, which is great if you want to achieve natural-looking styles, or more ‘undone’ looks, or if you have ultra fine hair that doesn’t require much hold. Want your daytime hairdo to transition seamlessly into a glam night look? Then this flexible hair spray is the one for you.

This hairspray is specially designed for creating, not just finishing, your look.

 

 

Creation hair spray

Great for: Creating and fixing hairstyles.

We recommendVO5 Sleek Creation Hairspray.

What it does: These formulations have been specially designed so that they can be sprayed onto the hair multiple times during the styling process to aid in creating a hairstyle. The layers hold the ‘do in a long lasting way, but the finish is still flexible and lightweight.

Use this hairspray to achieve sleek, smooth styles with hair straighteners, and to help tame flyaways. Now that’s what we call a multi-functional product!

 

 

Classic/medium hold hair spray

Great for: Creating smooth hairstyles, teasing and giving silky manes a bit of grip.

We recommend: TRESemmé Firm Hold Hairspray.

What it does: Want to control your hair, but don’t want to lose movement and bounce? Then you should go for a medium-strength hairspray. This classic hairspray is great for helping you keep your locks smooth, and can make teasing much easier. So, if you find that your braids frequently slip out or that your updo just won’t hold up throughout the day, give a medium-strength hair spray a go. Spritz it on your tresses before you style your hair and it’ll help provide you with some much need grip and texture, too.

This hairspray provides a natural hold without stiffness or stickiness and with 24-hour frizz control, it’s great for a polished yet flexible finish.

 

 

Volume hold hair spray

Great for: Glamorous volume and bounce, or reviving flat hair or hairstyles.

We recommend: VO5 High Volume Hairspray.

What it does: This strength hairspray is ideal for holding glamorous ‘dos in place. Movement is slightly more controlled compared to classic hairsprays, but it might be the answer if you’re in need of volume. Try applying the hair spray to your roots for extra oomph. Tip: use this hair spray to revive fine, flat hair or blow out hairstyles that have lost their body, plus, if you’ve created gorgeous, bouncy curls and waves, this will help stop them from dropping out.

Reach new hair heights with this long-lasting, high-impact hairspray. Its ultrafine, fast-drying formulation with no sticky residue makes this the perfect pick and it’s humidity resistant too!

 

 

Extreme hold spray

Great for: Long-lasting hold to keep your elaborate updos in place all-day.

We recommend: TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray.

What it does: If you’re creating an intricate updo for a special occasion, then opt for an extreme-hold hairspray. It’s great for holding your hair in place for the whole day and setting elaborate wedding-appropriate hairstyles. Back in the day, strong-hold hairspray models were often referenced to as ‘lacquers’ because of their rigid hold, but hair spray technology has come a long way since then, and nowadays, this strength hairspray doesn’t always have to mean stiff, untouchable hair.

This fast-drying hairspray gives you an all-day hold that can easily be brushed out, leaving hair soft to the touch. Win-win!