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The best hairsprays

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Is there a more iconic styling product than hairspray? Likely one of the first beauty products you experimented with as a youngster, for decades now it has been associated with high-octane (and high-bouffant) glamour, and has even spawned a musical of the same name.

Unsurprisingly given its popularity, there’s an almost overwhelming array of hairsprays on the market, which can prove a bit of a minefield if you’re wondering what to buy. Faced with row upon row of identical-looking products, how do you know where to start when choosing the best one?

First things first, rest assured that most modern formulations will provide decent hold, which is probably your number one requirement when you’re in the market for such an item. After that, it’s down to your individual hair type and needs: do you want to boost shine for fine hair (in which case, TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray is your friend) or have coarse hair that needs extra volume (hello Nioxin Strong Hold Hairspray)? 

On the other hand, perhaps your main priority is keeping the price down, in which case you truly can’t go wrong with that old classic, L’Oreal Elnett – a staple of bathroom cabinets across the globe for decades.

Either way, we’ve whittled down the many options available to bring you the best hairsprays available to buy, whether you’re channelling loose curls or sculpting a mega-beehive into shape. 

(Image credit: Moroccanoil)

Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray

Best for dry or damaged hair

Contains nourishing Argan oil
Lightweight formula
Flexible hold
Fairly pricey

If you haven’t tried Moroccanoil’s signature product – known as the original treatment oil – then you need to. It’s an absolute treat for dry, porous hair, adding much needed strength and hydration.

Luckily, those same qualities have been transferred into hairspray form with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, which contains Argan oil, a much-lauded ingredient from Morocco. It’s a powerful antioxidant, provides UV protection and is rich in vitamins to strengthen hair and increase its elasticity. 

Basically, if you’ve bleached your hair into oblivion or use a lot of heat styling, this hairspray will help inject some life back into your tresses, while at the same time enhancing shine and providing non-sticky, strong hold. 

(Image credit: Nioxin)

Nioxin Strong Hold Hairspray

Best for adding volume

Firm finishing spray so your style won’t budge
ProThick technology for more volume
Pricey
The scent won’t be for everyone

If you’re not already aware of the brand, Nioxin’s raison d'être is creating products that will improve hair thickness and growth using advanced science. It was the brainchild of Eva Graham, who watched her father struggle with losing his hair and became determined to help.

When it comes to hairspray, that means a product that not only provides extra strong hold (seriously, your ‘do’ won’t budge), but also boosts volume, thanks to the special ProThick technology. A complex of thickening polymers are deposited throughout the hair, forming bonds between the gaps in each strand for an overall appearance of fuller, thicker locks.

Nioxin’s Strong Hold Hairspray works best on medium to coarse hair and is easy to brush out when you’re done.

(Image credit: L'Oreal)

L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray

Best for flexible hold

Great price
Brushes out easily
Good, flexible hold
Not the coolest, packaging-wise

What’s the number one smell we associate with a good night out from our younger days? The waft of L’Oreal Elnett, of course! An incredibly popular product – and with good reason. 

Created in 1960, Elnett meant women no longer needed to lacquer their hairstyles into place, and could instead rely on the fine polymers of this spray to provide excellent hold. To this day it tames stray hairs, keeps locks in place while still offering flexibility, and can thankfully be brushed out without flaking.

What’s more, it’s a complete bargain, but performance-wise still manages to stand up against products with much heftier price tags. 

(Image credit: KMS)

KMS HAIRPLAY Makeover Spray

Best for refreshing your style

Great for adding texture
Refreshes styles between washes
Adds lightweight volume
The scent can divide opinion

KMS originated in California in the 1970s, and it definitely retains that cool Cali-vibe, with products to give you effortless, textured locks.

If you need to give limp styles a boost, KMS Hairplay Makeover Spray is the product for you. It instantly absorbs oil from the hair, leaving it looking refreshed and clean. What’s more it’s great for quick styling in-between washes, building bulk and adding texture into lifeless tresses.

Essentially, this product is your best friend to sling into a suitcase or backpack when you’re heading off on holiday, going to a festival or escaping for a weekend break. 

(Image credit: TIGI)

TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray

Best for high-shine hair

Great hold with no stickiness
Lovely tropical smell
Works well on fine hair
Can leave hair feeling crunchy if not used sparingly

Looking for shinier, more lustrous hair? You’ll love this medium-hold hairspray, part of TIGI’s popular Bed Head range.

It’s a big bottle – 340ml to be exact – so you won’t run out too fast, and we love the bold packaging (although it suits a maximalist bathroom more than a minimal one).

However, as we all know, it’s what’s inside that counts. This product packs a punch, with a gorgeous tropical scent that leaves your hair smelling fabulous, as well as adding that glossy finish we all crave. Plus, it’s humidity-resistant, meaning even on a damp day your style will stay in place.