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Hairspray often presents us with this catch-22: We want something that will firmly keep whatever hairstyle we have in place, but we don't want it to be so stiff that our hair can't naturally move. Formulas have improved over the years to give us what we want, but at what cost? We know the price isn't always reflective of how good a product really is, and we're always down to save a buck or two (or a hundred) when we shop. That's where drugstore hairsprays swoop in and save the day.
These are the best drugstore hairsprays to preserve your ‘do.
Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
If we had to pick one hairspray to have on a desert island, it would surely be this one. It’s such a cult favorite that before it was available in the U.S., people would bring it back in their suitcases during out-of-country travels. It's widely considered the gold standard for celebrity stylists, who use it on the runway, red carpet and during plenty of photoshoots.
Although the hairspray has amazing hold, it always leaves hair soft to the touch and super flexible. The superfine mist never feels sticky and can be brushed out if you want to restyle your hair. Bonus: It leaves locks incredibly shiny.
Best Budget: TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Level 2 Hair Spray
This superfine spray looks and feels completely invisible on hair. It delivers amazing shine and 24-hour hold, fighting humidity, frizz, and flatness. Strands are super swingy and smooth, but never stiff.
Best for Fine Hair: SexyHair Big Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray
Heavy hairsprays can weigh down fine locks and make them fall flat fast, but that’s not the case with this volumizing option. Even though it is lightweight, the airy formula still has a firm hold and actually boosts volume. It leaves hair shiny and protected from humidity.
Best for Curly Hair: John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray
Curly girls are well aware that their texture can make them more prone to frizz. Luckily, John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray can fight it off and keep hair smooth for up to 24 hours. As extra frizz insurance, it also creates a barrier for humidity, as well as UV rays. The quick-drying formula will hold down any style while delivering extra shine.
Best for Thick Hair: Matrix Vavoom Freezing Spray Finishing Spray
Have a heavy head of hair? No worries—Matrix’s Vavoom Freezing Finishing Hairspray can handle it and hold every hair in place. Even intricate updos will stay intact, thanks to the fast-drying formula’s 24-hour humidity resistance, anti-frizz protection, and hold. Plus, it offers UV protection to keep strands safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
Best for Volume: Kenra Volume Spray 25
When you want to pump up the volume, just as its name suggests, Kenra’s Volume Spray 25 is up to the job. The hairspray adds volume and strength to keep any style in place for up to 120 hours—seriously. The quick-drying formula has 24-hour humidity resistance, it’s wind-resistant up to 25 MPH and won’t leave behind any residue.
Best Strong Hold: Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Hairspray
True to its name, Redken’s Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray will preserve your style. The formula boasts 8-hour control, keeping styles safe from humidity and frizz. It’s a great option for all hair types, including colored hair since it’s infused with vitamins C and E to prevent color fade, as well as antioxidants to boost hair health.
Best Non-Aerosol: Aussie Instant Freeze Strong Hold Hairspray
You don’t need an aerosol spray to get strong hold, as Aussie’s Instant Freeze Non-Aerosol Hairspray proves. Infused with Australian aloe, jojoba oil and sea kelp, it also boosts hair health by improving its strength and delivering UV protection. More good news: The hairspray is designed to work with all hair types.