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Whether you spent the morning with your favorite curling iron twisting your hair into the perfect beach waves, your fingers ache from all that braiding, or you finally nailed the top knot, the last thing you want is for your hairstyle to going straight, unravel, or fall flat by noon. That’s where the perfect hairspray comes in. You should put just as much thought into choosing hairspray as you do your favorite shampoo and conditioner. After all, that’s what is going to give your style staying power.
Many formulas come in different strengths, which might leave you wondering which is best for you. Those with thick hair—especially a mane that’s hard to handle—will want to opt for a stronger hold formula to keep their hair in place. Since thick hair is heavier, that makes it more challenging for a style to stay where you want it, and a top-notch strong hold hairspray will do just that sans making it feel like a shield or sticky. On the flip side, if you have fine or thin hair, a strong hold hairspray will probably be too heavy for your delicate strands and will weigh them down, making your hair flat. Instead, go for a lightweight hairspray that will bring on the volume. Many hairsprays contain alcohol, which is drying—and bad news for hair that’s already dry and damaged. Looking for a formula with a lower alcohol content and nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like Argan oil to help heal your locks and prevent them from getting even more parched.
These are the top hairsprays for a variety of hair types that will keep every lock in place, no matter how you wear your hair.
Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
Before this was available stateside, stylists and hair fanatics would fly across the pond to the UK to stuff their suitcases with this hairspray. That’s how good it is. Considered the gold standard in hairspray, it’s a go-to for professional stylists for the red carpet, photo shoots, and glam events. The hairspray has incredible hold that will keep any style in place all day, yet it leaves hair silky soft and flexible. It goes on with a super fine mist that never feels tacky or sticky, and hair gets a major shine boost. It can even be brushed out in case you want to restyle your hair—and reapply this hairspray.
Best Budget: TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Smooth Hold Level 2
Truly a micromist, this hairspray has such an incredibly fine mist that is it actually undetectable—except for the gorgeous sheen it leaves on your hair. Designed to last for 24 hours, it is humidity-resistant, fights frizz, and won’t let your hair fall flat. Locks are still natural, swingy, smooth, and touchable—there’s no stiffness with this one.
Best Strong Hold: Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray
You won’t have to worry about your braid unweaving or topknot come tumbling down with this mega hold hairspray. A spritz will leave you with 8-hour control, plus humidity and frizz protection. The universal formula is made for all hair types. Even better, this hairspray is infused with antioxidants to give hair an extra boost. Vitamins C and E protect your strands and prevent color from fading.
Best for Fine Hair: Kenra Volume Spray 25
Fine hair can be especially susceptible to the dangers of hairspray—think heavy formulas that can leave hair weighed down and looking flat—but there’s no need to worry about that with this gem from Kenra. This hairspray actually adds volume and strength to hold your style in place for up to a whopping 120 hours. The formula also boasts 24-hour humidity resistance and it’s wind resistant up to 25 MPH. Plus, it dries super fast and doesn’t leave any flakes behind.
Best for Thick Hair: Matrix Vavoom Freezing Finishing Hairspray
Keep a heavy updo in place with this firm hairspray. Made for salon professionals, the formula dries fast and delivers 24-hour humidity resistance, anti-frizz protection, and bounce back hold, even in high humidity. Aptly named, it freezes your style in place so that even the most intricate styles won’t budge. An added bonus: it provides UV protection.
Best for Curly Hair: Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong Finish
Even the most tightly coiled curls will keep their shape with this Argan oil-infused hairspray that delivers long wear. It protects curls from humidity by fighting frizz and retaining the curl’s shape, all without leaving a flaky or sticky feel. Though its hold is powerful, it feels weightless and leaves hair soft and super shiny. The hold is flexible, making it perfect for updos and complex styles like braids.
Best for Humidity: Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray
Basically, you could venture out into the jungle after applying this hairspray and not have to worry about ruining your ‘do. Need proof? The formula was tested in Miami’s notoriously sticky climate to ensure that the humidity-blocking formula does its job. The hairspray contains a unique copolymer that coats strands to extend the lifetime of your style in any climate, including the steamiest ones. It works for all hair types and is safe for keratin-treated and colored hair. It can be applied before styling to lock in texture and hold, or after to freeze a style and fight frizz.
Best Flexible Hold: Joico JoiMist Firm Finishing Spray
Yes, you can still get super firm hold without feeling like a piece of your hair is going to snap off, as the Joico JoiMist Firm Finishing Spray proves. The ultimate in flexible hold, the finishing aerosol spray locks down styles for all day staying power. The formula is humidity resistant and protects strands from environmental stress. To give your style even more staying power, layer the hairspray as you style.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular hairspray on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different projectors overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 4 of the projectors themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.