The Best Hair Spray Products for Different Occasions

All Things Hair | 21 November 2016

Lock in your awesome hairstyles with hairspray!

Some days, you’re strutting down every sidewalk like a catwalk. Other days, you just want to hide out with a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap, in your best version of the #DadHats trend. Bottom line: We’re ever-evolving creatures with looks, issues and product needs, like the best hairspray, that can vary from day to day. And, frankly speaking, any “hair apparent” worth her salt has an arsenal that reflects this variance, from her current rotation of shampoos to the best hair spray to wear for any occasion.

Fine, flexible, all-day, malleable, beehive-proof—all sorts of hairstyles require different kinds of hair care products, and so it goes for your finishing sprays as well. Specifically, you do not want to be a bride with flat hair at your own reception, or that one girl on the beach with a rock-solid, frigid updo. The devil is in the details, ladies, so read on as you discover some of the best hair spray products to use:

Best Hairspray Products for Different Occasions

best hairspray for your needs finishing hairspray
Lock in your awesome hairstyle with hair spray!

Your desired result: Everyday touchable grip
Buzzwords to look for: Light, flexible hold, anti-humidity

Ideal for keeping downstyled, blown-out hair in place after a normal commute or while running errands, an effective best hair spray for natural hold usually has anti-frizz properties to shield hair from environmental humidity and other city-life aggressors. It provides some touchable, swingy bounce while retaining the shape and shine of your overall look. It also helps keep strands from assaulting your lip gloss on a windy day. Lighter mists such as Dove Style+Care Flexible Hold Hairspray and TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Mist Hairspray offer up frizz protection and malleable movement, for a look that isn’t overdone, i.e. on natural curls or a blowout.

Your desired result: Noticeable control, non-crunchy, keeps updos in check
Buzzwords to look for: Medium hold, brushable, comb-through

The preferred hair spray to keep more elaborate hairstyles from unfurling has a fine-mist formula that retains hold without any crispy feel afterwards—or worse, any white flaking. Around a three on the hold spectrum, the best hair spray products in this category are ideal for holding down flyaways, cowlicks or the halo frizzies you get at your hairline, like TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Ultra Brushable Hairspray. These also help keep braids and buns plaits from unraveling while still showing off some strand dimension. And when the time comes to unravel, some brush-out ones, like Nexxus New York Salon Care Comb Thru Finishing Mist, don’t leave a noticeable bend in your hair.

Your desired result: Budge-proof/9-to-5-proof, without a stiff, matronly look
Buzzwords to look for: Firm hold, all-day hold, strong hold, long-lasting bounce

These are modern times and we now have a slew of products that give firm hold without sacrificing volume and body. Best for all-day wonder women that can’t forego one for the other, these fine-mist aerosol formulas have weather-defiant formulations for a frizz-proof finish (we love Nexxus New York Salon Care Frizz Defy Finishing Mist for this). For looser updos and downstyles, they hold lift and bounce, as offered by TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray; for updos, they keep all strands looking neat, clean and perfectly in place the entire day, without a stiff feel.

best hairspray for teasing
Oh, bee-have! Big, poufy hair requires a lot more control.

Your desired result: Wedding-proof hair, beehive intensity control
Buzzwords to look for: Extra-strong hold, hard hold, maximum hold

For big moments that require big hair, you gotta bring out the big guns. Thankfully, we’ve evolved from the crunchy, shellacked bird’s-nest finish of first-generation hair sprays and can now enjoy super budge-proof, immaculate hairstyles at a company conference (or while drunk line-dancing till the wee hours of the morning) without looking like a fire hazard. These formulas, such as the ones in Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray, Nexxus New York Salon Care Maxximum Finishing Mist and Bed Head by TIGI Hard Head Hairspray, offer humidity-fighting properties as well as enhance shine and suppleness, crucial aspects in an all-day look.

Your desired result: Beachy texture on steroids, low-key outdoor control
Buzzwords to look for: Non-aerosol, texturizer

For those fringe events in life where you need to look like you didn’t give a damn (but you obviously have to, because duh), like on the beach, a rooftop barbeque, Sunday brunch with the girls or a gym date with your man, non-aerosol hair sprays, like Nexxus New York Salon Care Maxximum Finishing Spray, Dove Style+Care Strength & Shine Extra Hold Hairspray (Non-Aerosol) and TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra-Fine Mist Non-Aerosol Hair Spray, are handy-dandy products to keep close. They can spot-spray tiny problem areas, like troublesome under-ponytail flyaways (no more bobby pinning). They can also help give beach and tousled waves more shine and control. Bonus: Travel-friendly!

Best Hairspray to Stash in Your Luggage

best hairspray for travel
You don’t have to sacrifice your hair when you travel.

1. If you’re going somewhere tropical.

While many people associate the holidays with cozying up by a fire while the temperatures drop, it’s becoming more and more common for folks to head down South for quite the opposite of a White Christmas. So, often when preparing for a festive getaway, hairspray is the last thing on your mind, let alone your packing list, but believe us, you’re going to want it as soon as that toasty, humidity engrosses you the moment you cross the Florida border. So this holiday season while you begin packing your luggage, don’t forget to scoop up a humidity-fighting formula, like the Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Hairspray. Its ultra-fine mist will perfectly protect your hair without weighing it down, leaving you flawless as you open your presents on the beach.

2. If you’re all about the #IWokeUpLikeThis vibes.

Ever see girls strolling down the street with that perfectly undone messy bun or those rolled-out-of-bed waves that you so badly wish you could emulate? Well, there’s no time like the holiday season to let you know that you can!  The trick is to give your hair a little quality time with a curling wand and locking in that style with a flexible hairspray. Our current fave is the TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Hairspray because the more you layer it, the more it can work for whatever look you’re going for without looking too stiff. Oh, and did we mention it smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!?

3. If you need to create a look that really stays put.

Believe us, we get it, the last thing you want is to spend that much time on creating the perfect updo only for it to come undone halfway through your Hanukkah dinner. So, when you’re faced with a party and a hairstyle that can be tricky to stay in place, don’t risk a hair faux pas and instead seal in your style in with a strong, long-lasting spray, like the Bed Head by TIGI Maxxed Out Massive Hold Hairspray. Perfect for any hair length or texture, this formula will make sure that you hairstyle stays put while shining brightly this holiday season.

The world of hair products is growing at a rapid pace. But with all of those different products it can be quite overwhelming to understand exactly what they do and how they’re different —which is how we get to the great hair serum vs. hairspray debate. These two products couldn’t be much different, but they do have a few similar characteristics that work on similar hair types. See what we’re saying!

Need more info on hairspray? Check out the best hairspray for curly hair.