When it comes to styling products, hairspray definitely earns our vote for the most improved. Forget the crispy, crunchy, stiff, shellacked hair of decades past, because the best hairsprays will lock your look in place without these issues. The latest and greatest formulas are more undetectable than ever, no matter their hold level, and work across all hair types.
Speaking of which, when it comes to selecting a spray, the hold is the most important piece of the puzzle. On one side, you have flexible or light-hold formulas. “I think of these as working hairsprays — the ones to use while you’re styling your hair and maybe aren’t 100 percent ready to commit to a finished look,” advises Los Angeles-based hairstylist Mark Townsend. He adds that these hairsprays are easier to brush out and still allow you to manipulate and play with your style.
In the opposite corner, strong-hold hairsprays are your finishing touch, best for locking a style in place, says Townsend. He also likes these for smoothing any errant hairs around your hairline or nape of your neck when you’re sporting a polished pony or updo — similar to how you would use an edge control. Townsend likes to spray a tiny bit of hairspray on a (clean, obviously) natural-bristle toothbrush and use it to smooth down fly aways.
Whether you’re in the market for a soft or strong-hold spritz — or want one of each — we’ve got you covered. Below, take a look at these 17 standout hairsprays for sleek, frizz-free looks without crunchiness or a tacky feel.