We Tested the Best Hairsprays for Fine Hair—Here Are Our Favorites

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Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Hairspray is no longer the sticky, crunchy, untouchable product from dance recital days (or was that just me?). The newest iterations manage to keep hair intact and fresh-looking while remaining completely touchable—even if your hair is fine and tends to be weighed down by hair products.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

After testing the market, R+Co's BLEU Featherlight Hairspray claims first place—it boosts volume and holds style, all while feeling like it isn't even there. For a more affordable option, you can't go wrong with TRESemmé's Two Spray Extra Hold, which keeps hair soft all day.

While I do have fine hair, I also have a lot of it, so with the wrong product, it falls flat.  On top of that, I’m constantly on the lookout for products that will keep my frizz, flyaways, and baby hairs under control—which is where the right hairspray comes in. Over 136 hours, I tested 17  hairsprays to see which ones were my favorites and then compiled them into categories to help you find the best hairspray for your particular need. We even enlisted the help of an expert, Boston-based makeup artist Mikayla Ricketts, to provide some tips.

Ahead, the best hairsprays for fine hair.

Best Overall: R+Co BLEU Featherlight Hairspray

4.3
R+Co BLEU Featherlight Hairspray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gives hair volume

  • Holds style

  • Won’t weigh down fine hair

  • Sleek bottle

What We Don’t Like
  • Feels tacky at first

This hairspray surprised me in the best way. While I wasn't sure about it, initially, by the end of the day, I’d decided it was the best hairspray I’d tried. Let me explain: While I loved the tall bottle, as well as the way it dispersed an even, generous mist (plus a mild scent with fresh, citrusy notes), it left behind a crunchy feeling and didn't hide my frizz or stray hairs. But signs of the hairspray to come were there—while I didn’t like the feeling it left behind, I noticed an immediate volume boost.

Then, as the day wore on, I realized that the residue had completely disappeared and my hair just felt like my hair, but with added volume and hold. There was zero crunch and zero product build-up—just completely touchable strands. By the end of the day, the waves I’d added to my hair remained smooth, intact, and fresher than they'd look without hairspray.

It was then I realized that this was the one. For me, this product did everything I need hairspray to do and more: It added volume, held my style, smelled light and fresh, and kept my hair feeling like I hadn’t used hairspray at all.

Additionally, this product—part of R+Co's Bleu collection—has UV protection and is vegan, cruelty-, and gluten-free. And it’s 100% recommended.

Hold: Medium | Size: 8.3 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Budget: TRESemmé TRES Two Spray Extra Hold

3.3
TRESemmé TRES Two Spray Extra Hold

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Leaves hair touchable

  • Medium hold

  • Large bottle

What We Don’t Like
  • Not a good choice for boosting volume

  • Fragrance is too strong

This budget option comes in a ridiculously large bottle, making it the best hairspray if you want to get the most out of each dollar. 

When I tested this product, I loved that my hair remained extremely soft and touchable throughout the entire day. Also, when it dried down, it felt totally weightless and kept my fine hair from looking flat. However, I did find that this hairspray didn't deliver much in terms of volume. It pumped up my strands slightly, but I wouldn't turn to it if volume was my main goal.  Also, though, it claims to be a strong-hold hairspray, I found it to be more medium—I had to touch up my hair later in the day, but when I did, my hair remained flexible and soft.

Overall, I'd recommend picking this up for humid days when you want touchable hair without frizz or flyaways. While it doesn’t have lots of hold or boost volume in a major way, I loved how it disappeared into my hair. However, consider other options if you’re sensitive to fragrance, as the scent is strong.

Hold: Strong | Size: 14.6 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Splurge: Oribe Superfine Strong Hair Spray

4.2
Oribe Superfine Strong Hair Spray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gives major volume

  • Holds hair well

  • Super-fine mist

  • Protects against UV damage

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Left behind some build-up

I’d heard a lot about Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray, so I was looking forward to trying its sister product (with high expectations).  The first thing that impressed me was the spray itself—out of all the hairsprays tested, Oribe's version had the finest, most mist-like texture. This allowed me to apply it evenly.

The other major plus was that it was really easy to build volume. With just a small amount of product and a little encouragement to the roots, my hair was noticeably fuller and more voluminous. However, it left behind some buildup and classic crunch, even after it dried. Because of that, I found that less is more—while it gives really good results, too much product can negate those benefits.

This product held my hair for most of the day, but it's not meant to be an extremely high-hold product—Oribe ranks it a 7 out of 10, which feels like an accurate to slightly generous assessment. I would trust this to hold my style, as long as it wasn't too windy and I wasn't engaging in any vigorous activities. It also protects hair from UV damage and oxidative stress, thanks to hydrolyzed wheat protein. The scent is mild, but it smells very high-end.

Overall, this is a high-quality hairspray that deserves a place on your shelf and is a good option for holding almost any style. It provides volume, moderate hold, and while it doesn't leave hair perfectly soft, I'm willing to overlook that due to how well it worked in other categories.

Hold: Strong | Size: 9 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Light Hold: Nexxus Ultra Fine Hairspray

3.2
Nexxus Ultra Fine Hairspray

Target

What We Like
  • Leaves hair touchable

  • Keeps hair controlled

  • Adds texture

What We Don’t Like
  • Low volume booster

  • Not the best spray nozzle

When hair needs just a little bit of hold, this hairspray will keep it together without weighing it down. The petite can is easy to use, but I found the nozzle to be harder to press than any of the other hairsprays I tested. It shoots out a defined spray, so you'll need to move fast to avoid oversaturating any one spot.

When applied evenly, this hairspray is super lightweight. The matte finish gives hair some grip (almost like a powdery feeling), but hair remains soft and touchable. The scent is medium-strong, and while I didn't mind it too much, I imagine that it might be too strong for those sensitive to fragrance. It’s not the best choice if you need volume, though. While it lifts flat hair slightly, this isn’t the hairspray if you need a serious volume boost.

It is a good choice for lightweight hold, though, especially if you want to keep hair in place while still letting it move naturally. I like to use this hairspray as an enhancer to styles that don't necessarily need to stay in place, but where I do want to minimize frizz and flyaways. It's also a great option for creating longer-lasting waves or curls without compromising their feel.  And if you need extra control without major hold, the dry texture and soft matte finish help make hair easier to work with by eliminating the slip that fine, clean hair can sometimes have.

Overall, this hairspray delivers lightweight hold without making hair crunchy—despite going out into the wind, my hair stayed relatively intact, and it didn’t turn frizzy or windblown. I find this to be an affordable but quality option for a lightweight hairspray.

Hold: Light | Size: 5 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Medium Hold: Living Proof Control Hairspray

3.5
Living Proof Control Hairspray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight feel

  • Heat protection

  • PETA-certified cruelty-free

  • Even, smooth mist

  • Safe for color-treated hair

What We Don’t Like
  • Small bottle

This is the hairspray Goldilocks would choose—it's not too weak, not too strong, and keeps hair just right all day long. The bottle is smaller than other hairsprays, but its soft matte texture and slim size make it a joy to use. The nozzle is a little tough to press, but it sends out a large, even mist. And when sprayed directly at the roots, it gave my hair a small boost of volume. 

This hairspray wasn't strong enough to keep my style completely intact, but it controlled my frizz and kept my hair looking neat for the entire day. It didn't leave hair completely soft, but it still remained touchable and with movement. While I could feel this hairspray on my strands, it remained lightweight enough that I wasn't bothered by the extra texture. The strength of the fragrance is about average, and if you're familiar with other Living Proof products, you'll recognize the scent.

This is a great middle ground hairspray—it has medium hold, about average texture, and it gives some volume. I'd turn to this when I wanted a little more than a light hold but needed to avoid the heaviness of stronger hairsprays. It's also a good option when you'll be heat styling, as it protects against temperatures as high as 410 degrees Farenheight.

Hold: Strong | Size: 7.5 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Strong Hold: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

4
L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Super strong hold

  • Boosts volume

  • Large bottle

What We Don't Like
  • Makes hair tacky

  • Some may not like the scent

This hairspray is often called a stylist favorite and I can see why—it's easy to use, will hold any style, and, when applied with a light hand, the hair stays touchable.

This hairspray comes in a large bottle, but its size doesn't make it overwhelming to use. The nozzle on it is unique and I found it harder to press than other hairsprays I tested, but it disperses a strong mist for targeted application. The scent is musky—if you're familiar with the scent of Kiehl's Original Musk fragrance, then the smell of this hairspray will bring back memories (it's also reminiscent of the classic scent of men's shaving cream).

Elnett Satin delivers major volume when applied at the roots, and it sticks around for most of the day. The amount of hold you'll get depends on the amount of product applied (and how much movement you want to retain). I found that even a few small spritzes calmed frizz and kept my hair in place. With a more generous spray, this is strong enough to hold the hair in even the most extreme conditions—like dancing at a wedding—as long as you don't mind the small price of slightly crunchy hair. This hairspray also claims to be humidity-resistant (which I wasn't able to test during the wintertime) as well as easy to brush out—a claim I found to be mostly true.

Overall, this is the best hairspray for serious hold, as long as you don't mind compromising movement and touchability.

Hold: Extra strong | Size: 11 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Flexible: R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray

3.3
R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray

R+Co

What We Like
  • Easy to change up styles

  • Adds texture

  • Light, soft fragrance

  • Controls frizz

What We Don’t Like
  • Minimal volume boost

If you need something flexible, this is the hairspray to pick. It sprays strongly yet evenly, and it immediately felt like it gave my hair better hold while remaining pliant. I didn't notice any major volume change, but it did give my hair more texture, which added a tiny boost. I could feel the product on my hair if I touched it, but it was overall free of any major crunch feeling and my hair still looked soft.

At first, I wasn't sure how well this hairspray would hold, given how soft it was. But it immediately calmed stray hairs and frizz, and even after a windy walk, it held my hair in place. I wore two messy space buns and it managed to keep them from veering into an actual mess. By the end of the day—and after laying on the couch—my hair still looked relatively smooth. I liked the fragrance, too. It was softer than the fragrance in other hairsprays I've used and I enjoyed it.

Hold: Medium-strong | Size: 9.5 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best for Shine: Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium Hold

4.2
Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium

Amazon

What We Like
  • Boosts shine

  • Leaves hair touchable

  • Controls frizz and flyaways

What We Don’t Like
  • Hold and volume could be better

This is the hairspray to turn to if you’re looking for major shine—and it was also in the running for my favorite overall. 

The only reason it didn’t make it to the top is that the hold and volume could be better, but both were still pretty impressive. I noticed that it kept my frizz at bay, as well as any of the usual flyways. While I would rely on this hairspray for most circumstances in which I need my style to stay intact, it’s probably not strong enough for situations where you need a more solid hold.

I was impressed by how little buildup or feel this hairspray left behind. Even when applied with a heavy hand, it was barely detectable on my hair, and a light spray leaves behind nothing at all. I liked the scent, too. It's light but smells good enough to be a standalone fragrance.

The most notable feature is the shine that this hairspray imparted. After a recent blow-out, I thought my hair was as shiny as it could get, but I surprised myself when I saw that my hair was practically glowing in the mirror after applying this product. I'd pick up this hairspray for any time when I wanted my hair to stay shiny and in place without compromising on movement.

Hold: Strong | Size: 10 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best for Volume: Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25

3.7
Kenra Volume Hairspray

Walmart

What We Like
  • Gives major volume

  • Medium hold

  • Good for wind and humidity

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves hair slightly crunchy

If your hair needs a big boost, this is the hairspray for you. With just a few spritzes to my roots, it gave it a lift of airy volume.

The bottle is super slim and nice to hold, while its height makes it easy to reach all around the head. It sprays out a fine mist, which I found was easy to apply evenly. The formula isn't the most lightweight, though. I could still feel this product on my strands even after it dried, and it clumped my hair together in spots. Spraying with a light hand reduces this a little bit, and I also found that this was easier to hide when I applied the hairspray directly to the roots, rather than all over the top.

While it's supposed to be a strong-hold hairspray, I found it to be more average. My low bun started slipping towards the end of the day, but overall, everything stayed intact and it kept flyaways and frizz at bay the entire day.

Lastly, this product claims to stand up to winds of up to 25 miles per hour, and while it never got quite that windy while I tested it out, it did stay in place during a walk on a moderately windy day. I tried the limited-edition throwback bottle which is inspired by the late '80s, but the original version performs the same way.

Hold: Strong | Size: 10 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Texture: Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray

3.3
Bumble and bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray

Sephora

What We Like
  • Texturizes hair

  • Adds grip to hair


  • Nice fragrance

What We Don’t Like
  • Not much hold

  • Small bottle

Sometimes, adding texture to hair is enough to add volume, hold, and a little something extra. And if that’s what your hair needs, you need this product. The small can size is easy to use, and while the nozzle is a bit tough to press and spray, it's not a deal-breaker. It sprays out a strong mist, so you'll need to move quickly to distribute it across hair evenly. It has a medium-strong scent, but it doesn't linger long or stray too far from hair.

This product gave my hair a boost by coating strands and giving them grip and texture—so while it had a slightly heavy feel, that's exactly what made it work so well. I wouldn't choose this if I was looking for some major volume, but it's a winner for pumping up individual strands.

Despite the extra texture, my hair stayed soft to the touch and free of crunch. Be advised that it doesn't have a strong hold on its own—my hair started slipping out of its style as the day wore on. However, it played well with other hairsprays when I needed a bit more control. Overall, I thought this would be best used to "dirty up" freshly washed hair for up-dos or messy styles, or coupled with stronger-hold hairsprays to finish a style.

Hold: Strong | Size: 3.6 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best Cruelty-Free: Living Proof Style Lab Flex Hairspray

3.5
Living Proof Style Lab Flex Hairspray

Ulta

What We Like
  • Cruelty-Free

  • Heat protection

  • Undetectable on hair

What We Don’t Like
  • Small bottle

  • Not much volume

While several products on this list are cruelty-free, this is one of the best. The hairspray bottle itself isn't very large, but it has a nice shape and feel. It dispenses a large cloud of mist, which allows it to be applied evenly over the hair without overdoing any one area. With just a spray or two, it immediately gave my hair shape, hold, and a little volume boost. It almost seemed to plump up individual strands so hair looked and felt thicker.

The formula is nearly undetectable on the hair, too. It left a little lightweight texture, but nothing that felt crunchy or dirty. Even the scent is mild, though if you've used other Living Proof products, you'll recognize the fragrance. Also, because of how light this hairspray is, I was surprised to see that it kept my hair intact all day. It didn't completely hide my frizz or hold my style so well that it didn't budge, but it kept my hair in place well enough without the usual negative side effects of hairspray.

Overall, I think this product works best for styles that benefit from a little texture. For example, I'd use this product on straight hair or waves where I needed some staying power. It can be used on damp or dry hair and provides heat protection up to 410 degrees. It also contains conditioning ingredients to keep hair soft.

Hold: Medium | Size: 7.5 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best for Heat Protection: IGK 1-800-Hold-Me No-Crunch Flexible Hold Hairspray

3.5
IGK 1-800-Hold-Me No-Crunch Flexible Hold Hairspray

Amazon

What We Like
  • No crunch

  • Adds shine

  • Heat protection

  • Controls frizz and flyaways

What We Don’t Like
  • No strong hold

  • Small size

A hairspray with heat protection can do double duty when applied before using hot tools. This one offers up protection against temperatures up to 450 degrees. I used it before and after styling my hair to add extra protection and hold. It also uses micro-light reflectors to add shine—my hair was freshly washed and already had lots of shine, and it remained super shiny after I applied the product.

This is a medium-hold hair spray, and it performs like one. I used it on my waves and found they stuck around all day, but they started to loosen by the end of the day. It had enough hold for everyday wear, but I wouldn't rely on it if I needed an updo to stay intact at a big event. Also, the bottle is smaller than many other options, and its thicker size is bulkier but not a deal-breaker. The aerosol nozzle is easy to press, and it sends out a quick stream of product that's just the right amount.

However, this isn't the product to turn to if you're looking for a volume boost—it adds minimal texture and grip to fine hair. I used a heavy hand when applying it, and when I touched my hair afterward, it was virtually undetectable. There was no product buildup, stiffness, or crunchy feeling. Even the scent was mild.

Overall, I liked this hairspray. It doesn't have the strongest hold or give the most volume, however, it did keep my style intact without feeling that I'd added a ton of product to my hair. 

Hold: Medium | Size: 5 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Best for Travel: Lee Stafford Mini Hold Tight Hairspray

3.5
Lee Stafford Mini Hold Tight Hairspray

Skinstore

What We Like
  • Travel size

  • Hold style

  • Well fragranced

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains butane and propane

  • Minimal volume boost

This mini hairspray is tiny, but the slim, palm-sized bottle is easy enough to hold. Despite its small size, it sprays out a wide mist, and at just 1.7 ounces, it's plane-safe and a great option for traveling. 

While it gives a bit of volume, I didn't find this hairspray to excel in this category—but thankfully, it didn't make my hair flat, either. However, I was surprised how well this hairspray held my style—it has a firm hold that left my hair mostly in place all day. For casual styles—whether you're wearing your hair down or in an updo—this hairspray is a good choice for keeping everything in place. I also found that even when I use a lot of this hairspray, it left behind very minimal residue and no stiffness. The scent is unique compared to other hairsprays, but this is a good thing. I think it smells more like a perfume than a hair product, so I'm happy with its medium-strength scent.

This is a good all-around hairspray (and it smells great) so it's the perfect choice for packing in your carry-on or in suitcases where space is tight.

Hold: Medium | Size: 1.7 ounces | Alcohol-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Final Verdict

The best hairspray for your fine hair will be different for everyone, but we have our favorites and top recommendations. The best overall hairspray for fine hair, R+Co's BLEU Featherlight Hairspray, gives a generous amount of volume and hold with practically zero product buildup or crunch.

But if you can’t get your hands on that one, Moroccanoil's Luminous Hairspray Medium Hold, our favorite for making hair look super shiny, is also a wonderful hairspray to try. It won’t hold quite as well as our number one pick—or give as much volume—but the shine it imparts makes it another highly recommended hairspray.

How We Tested

The author of these reviews, beauty writer Joline Buscemi, spent several weeks testing hairsprays, reading product reviews, and talking with experts. After testing how each one worked in the real world, she graded each one on a scale of one to five on features like hold, volume, and feel.

Joline tested 17 hairsprays for this piece. She used each one for eight hours for a total of 136 hours of testing. She assessed how well each one held styles and controlled frizz, as well as the way it made her hair feel. Using these real-world results, each hairspray that made the cut was assigned a category and rating. All testing was conducted at the reviewer's home near Boston, Massachusetts.

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Other Options We Tested

OGX Bodifying & Bamboo Fiber Full Big Hair Spray

While some reviewers have enjoyed this product, I couldn’t get it to work for me. I found that this OGX hairspray left behind the worst crunch out of all the hairsprays I tried, and it didn’t have any redeeming factors—it didn’t boost volume and it had minimal hold. I loved the fragrance, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the way my hair felt while using it.

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Ouai Texturing Hair Spray

My shoulder-length, middle-parted hair leans Hanson Brothers-esque right after a wash, but I found Ouai's Texturizing Hair Spray made it look more lived-in and deliberately styled. It's great for both freshly washed hair and third-day hair—on my freshly washed hair, it added texture and grit that gave my fine hair some life, and as my hair got oilier, it helped absorb that oil like a dry shampoo. However, this didn't quite make the cut because it provided very little volume and no hold—two attributes that are pretty essential in a great hairspray.

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

SexyHair Big Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray

Even when hair is meant to be deliberately messy, hairsprays can keep your style from being an actual mess. That’s where this product comes in. The bottle is tall and thin, which made it easy to hold and maneuver, but the aerosol-powered spray nozzle was a little tough to press, and I found the spray area too concentrated for an even application. It does provide a fair amount of volume, but at the same time, it can feel a bit heavy, so getting the amount of product right is key. Also, this hairspray left my hair with a crunchy feeling, more so than any of the other hairsprays I tested. It subsided slightly, but I could still feel it in my hair at the end of the day.

Hairspray Test

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Meet the Expert

What to Look For in a Hairspray for Fine Hair

Hold levels

Ricketts suggests choosing your hold level based on your hair type and styling goals. “Use a light hold for finer hair or fine-tuning when styling a natural wave," she said. "On the other end of the spectrum, use a firmer hold for thicker, heavier hair that is resilient to any style and prone to frizz."

Application

How you use a hairspray can ultimately affect how well it works. “Some stylists go in with a light-hold hairspray before using a hot tool on each section, and after combing out to ensure maximum coverage,” said Ricketts. If you find hair still feels heavy, Ricketts recommends using a light-hold hairspray for styling and a heavier hold one to fine-tune.

Special features

Some hairsprays excel at adding shine, while other mattify hair. Think about what you want your ultimate style to look like, and then choose hairsprays that align with your goals.

FAQ
  • How can you avoid hairsprays for fine hair feeling crunchy?

    This can depend on the hairspray itself, as well as how you use it. “Hairsprays can be drying—some more than others,” said Ricketts. “Sometimes adding a light heat protectant or hair oils before using hairspray can help you avoid that crunchy feel!”

  • How can I prevent hairspray from weighing down my fine hair?

    Ricketts recommends keeping a distance when spraying hairspray over your final look to keep from oversaturating any one area. “For my finer-haired clients, I tend to use my hand and fluff the hair while misting from a distance to create an aerated look that will hold,” she shared.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Joline Buscemi tested every hairspray on this list here to determine which ones were worth using—and to recommend the best times to use each. Along with the 100+ hours spent using the hairsprays, she also conducted an expert interview with a hairstylist for help with this piece.

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