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Hairspray is like foundation in that it can be essential for nailing certain looks, and yet, the best products make it look like you're not wearing anything at all. Today's formulas are a lot better at achieving the effective yet invisible finish, but they can run a pretty penny. Luckily, there are many stellar drugstore options that won't break the bank, and fuse that natural finish with long-lasting hold.
Whether you want your updo to stay in place, your flyaways remain in check, or your soft waves to last all day, there's a drugstore hairspray out there that'll get the job done without making your hair look (or feel) overly stiff or crunchy. Plus, thanks to the reasonable prices, stocking up won't be a tall order.
Read on to see the best drugstore hairsprays for preserving your 'do.
Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
If there were a queen of drugstore hairsprays, it would be Elnett Satin. Celebrated by pro stylists and lifelong beauty enthusiasts alike, the superfine, never-sticky aerosol mist is considered the gold standard of affordable formulas. Plus, it leaves your locks shiny, and you can brush or tease your hair after it dries.
What Our Experts Say
"It's one of the best and often used for sets, weddings, etc.," says hairstylist Sky Kim of Serge Normant at John Frieda in New York City. "This will literally hold your hair in place all day, all night."
Best Budget: Rave 4X Mega Unscented Hairspray
Thanks to Rave 4X Mega, you don't have to spend more than a couple of bucks to get that invisible, all-day hold you're after. It kind of looks like a can of shaving cream, but don't let that throw you off. This unscented aerosol hairspray works to lock in your style, eliminate frizz, and resist humidity without feeling stiff or sticky.
Best for Natural Hair: OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Multi-Benefit Hairspray
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco is ideal for natural hair. In addition to keeping your style in place with a gentle hold, this multipurpose product offers heat protection and nourishment. Your hair will be manageable, better-looking, and silky-soft to the touch.
Best for Curly Hair: Bounce Curl Alcohol-Free HairSpray
Bounce Curl products are made by people with naturally curly hair for people with naturally curly hair. This award-winning hairspray is formulated to combat humidity and deliver a medium-strong hold without sacrificing any bounce.
Best for Thick Hair: Nexxus Comb Thru Volume Finishing Mist
"For a little flexibility on thick hair, I would use the Nexxus Comb Thru Finishing Mist," says Kim. This refreshing weightless hairspray leaves tresses glossy and smooth while encouraging movement and buoyancy. Your hair will be brushable, touchable, and oh-so-soft.
Best for Fine Hair: SexyHair Big Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray
Spray & Play can be a godsend for fine-haired folks. The lightweight, airy formula reduces frizz and keeps flyaways in check while delivering serious volumizing action. "It gives you a little lift and holds your look together," says Kim.
Best for Frizz: John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray
If you're looking for something that keeps frizz in check, look no further than John Frieda. Frizz Ease seals out moisture and prevents hair from falling flat in wet or humid conditions. You can count on a sleek, shiny, protected finish, rain or shine.
Best Volumizing: Aussie Headstrong Volume Hairspray
For a little extra oomph, reach for Aussie Headstrong. This volumizing hairspray gives your styled hair a boost of fullness while ensuring it stays in place with an all-day, up-for-anything hold.
Best Strong-Hold: TRESemmé TRES Two Spray Extra Hold
TRES Two Spray Extra Hold isn't messing around. This humidity-resistant, maximum-control product sets both elaborate up-dos and everyday hairstyles alike securely in place, providing a super-strong hold for hours on end.
Best Long-Wear: Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25
This volumizing hairspray has impressive staying power. It claims to keep your styled hair in place for up to 120 hours—that's five whole days! Not only that, but the quick-drying, non-sticky formula resists humidity and 25-miles-per-hour winds.
Best for Humid Climates: Garnier Fructis Style Extreme Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray
You'll be glad to have Garnier's Extreme Control Hairspray on hand when you're battling the effects of humid weather. Infused with bamboo extract, this ultra-strong yet flexible spray provides a firm hold and promises humidity protection for a full 24 hours.
Best Soft Finish: Dove Style+Care Flexible Hold Hairspray
Kim recommends Dove Style+Care for those looking for a softer finish. It's light and touchable, smells amazing, and is "not too wet, so you can move it without feeling gunky," she tells Byrdie.
Best for Updos: TIGI Bed Hard Head Hard Hold Hair Spray
Whether you're heading to prom or trying your hand at a 1960s-esque beehive, Bed Head Hard Head is a go-to for updos. This maximum-hold hairspray provides long-lasting control on all hair types and styles without any stickiness. Plus, it leaves your hair with a natural-looking shine.
Best Non-Aerosol: Suave Max Hold Non-Aerosol Hairspray
If you're partial to non-aerosol products, you can't go wrong with Suave Max Hold Hairspray. The formula is enriched with vitamins and proteins, leaving a natural-looking finish without sacrificing any hold.
Best Natural: Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Hair Spray
We recommend Andalou Naturals for those who prefer earth-sourced formulas. Made with aloe vera, sunflower seed extract, fruit stem cells, and chamomile, this medium-hold, anti-frizz hairspray leaves hair flexible with a nice shine.
L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray is hands down, the best drugstore hairspray on the market. This beloved product delivers a superfine, non-sticky mist to lock in your look and leaves a brilliantly shiny, brushable finish in its wake. However, if you're looking for something to tackle frizz and stand up to humidity, your best bet is John Frieda Frizz Ease Firm Hold Hairspray.
What to Look For In a Hairspray
One of the main keywords you'll see on the side of a hairspray bottle is "hold." This refers to the level of control you'll get from the product. If you need something that'll keep your updo in place or ensure your just-curled doesn't fall flat, you'll want to get an extra-hold hairspray. That said, if you're simply looking to tame flyaways and keep frizz in check, a flexible-hold formula will work.
Many drugstore hairsprays are also formulated to provide humidity protection. This means they lock styles in place and prevent hair from falling flat while safeguarding it from the frizzing, style-reversing effects of moisture in the air.
Like all hair products, there are scented and unscented hairsprays. Many scented options smell quite lovely and aren't overpowering—especially if you're only using a little bit. But if you're sensitive to fragrances or need to use a lot of hairspray to keep an updo in place, you might want to consider an unscented formula.
The best hairsprays for natural and curly hair are formulated to combat humidity and smooth frizz without impeding the inherent bounce or texture of your locks. Those with thicker manes should look for something that offers flexible hold and a brushable finish. If you have fine hair, we recommend a volumizing hairspray, as the formula will make it look thicker and fuller.
What does hairspray do to your hair?
Hairspray creates a light veil of protection against humidity and wind. It usually contains a mix of polymers to lock your style into place.
How should I apply hairspray?
To give your style some extra hold, first, shake your bottle. Then, hold the hairspray six to eight inches away from the area you want to apply and spray onto your strands.
How long does hairspray stay in your hair?
While its staying power varies (factors like humidity, hair type, and amount used can impact this), the product itself stays in your hair until you shampoo it out.
Why Trust Byrdie
This buyer's guide was written by Theresa Holland, an experienced commerce writer specializing in beauty. She's been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, covering makeup, skincare, and haircare. To keep her fine strands smooth and frizz-free, she often reaches for John Frieda Frizz Ease or Aussie Headstrong.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any drugstore hairsprays from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.