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As anyone with fine hair will tell you, finding the perfect hairspray can be a seemingly never-ending struggle. Whereas other hair textures can simply grab any old can, spray, and go, those of us with limp locks are faced with a tricky conundrum. You obviously need a mist that will hold your style in place—we are talking about hairspray, after all. But that most definitely cannot come at the expense of it being too heavy, weighing down your fine strands, and leaving your locks looking limper than when you started. If we’re being honest, a good hairspray for fine hair is kind of a unicorn in the hair product world. Still, we’re always up for a good beauty challenge, so we got to spritzing, in search of the sprays that could get the job done.
These hairsprays for fine hair are the fruits of our labor.
Best Overall: Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25
If you need serious, serious hold, this formula can’t be beaten; it resists humidity for up to 24 hours and winds up to 25 miles per hour. It’s impressive for sure, but we get it, it does kind of sound like that will all come at the expense of winding up with helmet head. Nope. Despite the extreme hold, it still builds plenty of volume, dries quickly, and feels lightweight.
Best Drugstore: Aussie Headstrong Volume Hairspray
Affordable and effective, this is one of the best drugstore picks out there. It packs a stronger hold than many of the options on this list, though still is lightweight enough to impart sky-high volume. The lovely, citrus-floral scent is just the cherry on top of the sundae.
Best for Updos: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
This guy has been around for over 60 years, the true definition of a cult classic. Once only available in Europe, obsessed stylists used to smuggle it back stateside in their suitcases. (Happily, that’s no longer the case.) The mist is ultra-fine and packs some intense hold, choice if you’re sporting a ‘do that really needs to stay in place. Still, we love it for thinner strands because it’s so brushable; comb through your mane and it pretty much disappears.
Best for Blowouts: Nexxus Comb Thru Volume Finishing Mist
A proprietary Fluid-Fix technology ensures that the nearly invisible mist remains completely weightless. It also stays touchable, flexible, and brushable, exactly all the criteria necessary in hairspray that you’re using to create and set a blowout. It also imparts a nice glossy finish onto your newly bouncy and full hair and earns extra points for the floral fragrance, a blend of rose and jasmine.
Best Strong Hold: Oribe Superfine Strong Hair Spray
As a general rule of thumb, those with fine hair should steer clear of strong hold formulas, which are typically more likely to weigh down your strands, says Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon. But this is the exception to the rule, a good thing given that there are certain situations when you just really do want or need extra hold. It’s one of Aguirre’s picks, offering a strong hold to lock in your finished look, though still boasting a superfine mist (hence the name) to ensure your hair never falls flat.
Best Volumizing: OGX Bodifying & Bamboo Fiber Full Big Hair Spray
Volumizing is always the name of the game for anyone with fine hair, which is why this particular styler is so great. A combo of bamboo fibers and collagen plumps up strands, while simultaneously imparting all-day hold to keep your newly voluminous look locked in.
It’s actually best to spray this on damp hair before blow-drying.
Best for Styling: Aquage Finishing Spray
“This is an amazing working hairspray that works beautifully no matter whether you work it through the hair or while using hot tools,” says Aguirre of another one of her favorites. To that point, don’t think of hairspray just as the final step in your styling routine. Aguirre says you can easily use lighter formulas, like this one, layered with other products to help add body to hair, without adding extra weight.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray
Truly, the name says it all. For large and in charge hair (what do they say in Texas, the higher the hair, the closer to God?) this can’t be beaten. It’s a pretty firm hold, though it won’t weigh down strands, instead of giving them a major boost. The addition of UV protection to safeguard your hue and ward off fading makes it especially choice for anyone who colors their hair.
Best Splurge: Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray
A bottle of this is pricey, for sure, but a) it lasts a long time and b) it’s totally worth it. Just a quick spritz packs hold and major frizz-fighting power, locking out the humidity that can quickly wreak havoc on your style (and make fine hair fall flat). It also contains panthenol to increase the diameter of every strand, a major win for those with limp locks. Plus, it’s safe for color- and keratin-treated hair, too.
Best for Humid Weather: Kérastase Laque Couture Medium Hold Hairspray
Rainy nights, muggy days, tropical vacations—no matter what type of frizz-inducing scenario you find yourself in, this spray has got you covered. With frizz control and humidity protection, it keeps all textures smooth and sleek by maintaining the integrity of the hair cuticle. (As a quick reminder, the cuticle is the outer layer of the hair, which is ultimately responsible for how your hair looks and feels). It works well on all textures, but the featherweight feel is especially nice for anyone with finer hair. Aguirre is also a fan, noting that it adds plenty of hold, but no extra weight.
Best Texturizing: Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray
True story: We once left this in the gym locker room and shed a tear over the loss. Okay, maybe we were a little hormonal, but this really is that good. A hairspray-dry shampoo-texturizing spritz hybrid, it builds plenty of volume and texture and imparts a touch of hold. But the benefits don’t stop there. Volcanic minerals absorb excess oil, making this choice for second- (or third-) day hair. And in true Ouai fashion, the floral and citrus scent is oh-so-sophisticated. It works great on all hair types and textures but is definitely a must for those with fine strands.
Best Customizable: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Body Builder
It may not technically be called a hairspray, but don’t worry, this innovative spray does give you plenty of hold. It also gives you the exact amount of volume you crave, thanks to the innovative delivery system. Turn the nozzle to adjust the particle size and spray rate of the flexible and firm polymers that impart body. We like using a little bit less for the smaller pieces around our face, and cranking it up to add loads of volume to the hair on top and at the back of our head.
Best with Benefits: Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Hot Off the Press Thermal Protection Hairspray
Per our previous point about hairspray being an invaluable styling asset, this one goes above and beyond the standard call of duty. Yes, it gives the hair a nice foundation as you style, but it also offers, you guessed it, thermal protection. Rice hull extract in the formula creates a barrier between hair and heat, a major boon for those with fine strands, which are more susceptible to damage (heat damage included) to begin with. And you can also use post-hot tools as a finishing spray to set your final look.
Choose wisely and the right hairspray can be a great asset for anyone with fine hair. The Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25 is our overall favorite, imparting serious, long-lasting hold, plus tons of root-boosting and lift. There are also plenty of options for any kind of styling. The lightweight and ultra-combable Nexxus Comb Thru Volume Finishing Mist is great for blowouts, the stronger hold L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray is ideal for updos, and the Aquage Finishing Spray is a stylist favorite for using throughout the styling process and to seal in the finished look.
What to Look For in a Hairspray for Fine Hair
An Aerosol Formula
Aerosol sprays will innately be lighter than those in pumps, and have a generally softer delivery, exactly what you want for fine hair, explains Aguirre.
Flexible or Medium Hold
There are exceptions to the rule, but when in doubt, err for formulas that have a lighter level of hold, suggests Aguirre.
Technique Matters, Too
No matter which hairspray you pick, if you use it incorrectly it can weigh down the hair. Aguirre recommends holding the can about an arm’s length away from your head when spritzing.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. As someone who’s had extremely fine hair her whole life, she knows first-hand the difference the right product can make—hairspray included.
Meet the Expert
Shelly Aguirre is a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. She specializes in precision cuts as well as extensions and is known for helping teach her clients about the best ways to embrace and style their own hair texture.