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Hairspray has come a long way since its roots as an over-saturating, chemically-scented women’s product.

These days, it’s evolved to become a useful product for men’s hairstyles as well. After all, the chances are that bits of your hair have a wild streak.

On days when you need a little extra help getting your strands to stay put, hairspray is exactly what you need.

What is Hairspray for Men and Benefits of Using It

Useful especially for men with an active lifestyle or those looking to achieve a specific style in mere minutes, hairspray is a fast-acting, easy-to-use men’s product that locks your hair in place.

Though it was popularly used by women to pile and maintain the famous 1950’s beehive style, hairspray is now useful for men of all haircuts and styles, even shorter ones like a crew cut hairstyle.

Thanks to its ultra-powerful shaping abilities, volumizing qualities and added sheen, hairspray allows you to achieve a professional-style hold and quality without ever hopping into a professional barber chair.

Additionally, it holds up even in humid climates and can stand up to sweat.

In fact, some hairspray products can function as an alternative to products for hair dyeing and coloring, as they are specially formulated to touch up gray areas and hide fading hairlines.


Looking for a little lift? Hairspray is a great way to add body and texture to boring, flat hair.

Its volume-boosting qualities help give the hair a fuller, healthier look with no fuss or drama. Perfect for men with thin hair, hairspray can add that little extra something your style is missing.



While the hairspray market has both fragranced and unscented options, one added bonus of scented products is how fresh and enticing they smell.

While you probably never want to use hairspray instead of cologne, it can add a little extra zest to your overall appeal.


If you’re after healthier, shinier looking hair, then hairspray is a great way to achieve it.

While there are all matte finish alternatives for those seeking a more natural approach, hairspray users also have the option to use products that add a rich luster and shine to the surface of the hair in ways no other product can.

Frizz Control

Flyaways and frizz are no fun. Hairspray is the perfect way to tame your frizz and get a casual, yet controlled look.

Even just a light spritz of hairspray can help smooth frizz and give hair a more even, healthier look and feel.

Environmentally conscious

After their boom in the 1950s, hairsprays quickly lost popularity due to change in styles and the realization that the aerosol cans they were packaged in were massively harmful to the environment.

However, these products are no longer the environmentally harmful cosmetic glue of the 1950’s – they’ve evolved.

Now, products often come in eco-friendly, pump-spray bottles and are being produced with the environment in mind.

Does hairspray Damage Your Hair

Anything in excess is harmful. Too much of a good thing will inevitably have negative consequences.

However, when applied using the correct technique and used appropriately, hairspray doesn’t damage hair.

In actuality, some products help nourish hair by adding moisture and even delivering doses of vitamin E, which helps stop breakage.

Other variations on the market claim to offer heat protection, add proteins and protect against humidity.

While overuse of alcohol-based hairsprays can lead to hair becoming dry or brittle, a couple spritzes used in moderation can actually lead to healthier, fuller-looking locks.


When it comes to selecting a product, the biggest determining factors will probably be duration and strength.

Sprays range from moderate to extra-strength, with holds that last all day or just several hours. Which you select will depend mostly on your hair type and desired style.

For drastic, exaggerated styles, you’ll want to go with a stronger, longer lasting hold. However, be careful with these extra strength products.

Applying a spray that’s too strong or using too much of any spray will cause hair to be crunchy and hard.

Inevitably, stronger, longer holds take more effort to wash out. The balance between a firm hold and one that washes out easily is essential.

Thankfully, there are plenty of products that fall somewhere in the middle of the road.

With most hairsprays, a single spritz or two can get you pretty far – you don’t have to sacrifice all-day hold for a comfortable, natural appearance.

Types of Hairsprays for Men

Types of Hairsprays for Men

From delicate, thin hair to wild, unruly curls – hair comes in all shapes and sizes imaginable. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all hairspray that suits everyone’s needs.

Thankfully though, there is a wide enough array of options on the market to suit your specific needs.

Whether you’re after that passively maintained bedhead allure or a slicked-back and neat professional approach, there’s a hairspray that’s got your back.

For Thin Hair

If you’ve got a thinner, more delicate head of hair, you’re probably interested in hairspray for its volumizing properties.

The right product capitalizes on adding body and texture to your mane with a light, airy hold.

Additionally, specified hairsprays can even serve as an irreplaceable tool for men wishing to conceal the thinning of their hair, as it reduces the appearance of receded hairlines when it maximizes volume.

To achieve this, look for sprays with light hold that focus on boosting volume rather than sealing a style in place.

For Thick Hair

Thick, robust hair calls for a stronger product to tame it (without matting it down into a strange, solid helmet of hair).

The trick is to find a product strong enough to wrestle your thick hair, without being too thick and leaving a residue of causing flaking.

For these needs, look for products that have a fearless hold but are quick drying.

Those with thick hair are also prone to frizz and probably looking to contain it.

On top of implementing great hair conditioners for men into your daily routine, a smoothing hairspray will really help reduce frizz and hold overall shape.

For Curly Hair

Curly hair is a gift. Unfortunately, those who have it are usually too busy taming it to notice that everyone’s envious.

The goal of hairspray for curly hair is to hold it in place without demolishing its natural bounce.

For this reason, curly hair does best with lighter sprays, as heavier products can flake and crunch.

Curly-headed men might want to search out sprays that advertise beach looks which are flexible and don’t oppress natural volume and bounce.

How to Choose the Best Hairspray for Your Needs

The list of ingredients of hairspray can read a bit like a tongue twister.

Because of its adhesive properties, hairspray products usually contain a lot of adhesive polymers. These are absolutely okay.

Additionally, alcohol is a common ingredient. If you’re confused on what’s what on the label, here are a couple of things to look for and a couple to steer clear of.

Most common ingredients:

  • Panthenol is a provitamin sometimes added to hairspray in order to soften and condition. It can help prevent dryness or breakage which might otherwise occur in alcohol-rich products.
  • Organic ingredients such as oatmeal, avocado or berry extracts are sometimes included to provide additional nutrients.
  • Essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus or patchouli are sometimes used as an all-natural fragrance alternative.
  • Natural resins are an adhesive plant product which serves as a great alternative to synthetic, chemical ingredients.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Diethyl phthalates are solvents that have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and, even more concerningly, have been linked to the onset of cancer. These should be avoided in all cosmetic products.
  • Chlorofluorocarbon is a propellant also known as CFC and shouldn’t be present in any hairspray manufactured in the USA as it has been banned after an act in the 1980s for creating a hole in the ozone layer.
  • Vinyl chloride is another propellant banned by the US Food and Drug Administration for its dangerous effects.

How Often Should You Use Hairsprays

How Often Should You Use Hairsprays

Most hairspray products are safe to use as frequently as you’d like.

However, in order to prevent buildup, flaking and brittle hair, it’s important to wash the product out of your hair thoroughly each evening.

Using hairspray regularly without cleansing it properly can lead to gummy, coated locks or even frizzier, split ends.

Using hairspray incorrectly or overusing it can potentially damage hair and leave it to look greasy and stiff.

When it comes to application, the key is never to use too much and never to spray too close.

How To Use Hairspray on Men’s Hair

Here’s a step-by-step guide for ensuring that your hair comes out perfectly styled and not rigid or brittle.

Step 1 – Preparation

For soft curls or a lighter hold, wet your hair lightly before application.

Additionally, if you’re using a pomade or gel in conjunction with your hairspray, you’ll want to apply it in this initial step.

Step 2 – Shake the Can

To make sure the ingredients of the hairspray are adequately mixed, give the can a good shake.

Shaking the canister helps make sure that the formula sprays evenly onto your hair to ensure the best overall effect.

Step 3 – Application

To apply the product effectively, you must be sure to hold the applicator can/bottle at the appropriate distance.

This is usually about 8 to 15 inches away from the head. Any closer than that is a risk of oversaturating the hair.

Step 4 – Spraying

Spray lightly and remember that you can always go back and apply more if necessary.

It’s harder to remove hairspray from oversaturated hair than it is to simply apply more.

Lastly, spray the product only where you need the extra hold – it doesn’t have to be sprayed on all parts of the hair.

Step 5 – Styling

After spraying, you can either let the hair set or you can style it with a comb. Which you choose will depend solely on your hair and the style that you’re after.

Hairspray vs Other Products

Whether you choose hairspray, gel, clay, wax, cream or another styling product, your decision should be based on your hair and the style you’re after.

For example, an extreme, spiked-up design is going to take more hold than a laid-back, low-key look.

However, hairspray can be used in conjunction with other products for the ideal, perfect hold.

Gel vs Hairspray

Generally a bit stiffer and harder to wash out when the time comes, gel works with hair of all lengths.

A gel is known for its styling strength, but it definitely comes at a cost – gel products are prone to flaking and can sometimes dry out the scalp, causing itching or dandruff.

One positive of using hair spray in place of a gel is that it can provide the hold without any mess.

If you’re after a hair gel that has all the positives of an unwavering hold without any of the negatives, look for the best hair gel.

Clay vs Hairspray

Hair clay (not-so-shockingly) contains clay elements. It comes in texture variations from cream to paste and usually aims to make hair look and feel thicker.

One benefit of clay is that its natural properties never dry or break your hair. Instead, the clay draws out impurities, which is something no hairspray can do.

As far as styling properties go, a professional hair clay doesn’t have the strength of traditional hairspray, but for those looking for more relaxed, fuller styles, it might make a good option.

This product is also used in conjunction with a spritz or two of hairspray after the initial styling.

Clay vs Hairspray

Pomade vs Hairspray

Pomade for men is perhaps today’s most popular styling product choice. It’s not so much for dramatic styles that require stiff holds – it’s more intended to just add a little shape.

For men aspiring for slick, neat, combed looks, pomade is the go-to.

Extremely common especially in the business world, pomade is oil-based and usually has a bit of a shine to it.

For a little bit of extra security, it’s not unusual to use it in combination with a bit of hairspray.

Wax vs Hairspray

Styling hair wax is very similar in texture and performance to a pomade but without the same strength of hold.

By definition, wax products never harden over time and usually add a moderate sheen to the hair’s surface.

For those concerned about their styling product turning their hair stiff or brittle, this product is perfect.

However, many may find themselves irritated by the presence of the wax throughout the day.

Cream Vs Hairspray

Cream products are generally more hydration-focused than style-focused.

These products usually deliver a healthy dose of moisture to your hair and scalp and are a popular choice for a pre-styling product.

Of course, it’s not that natural hair cream doesn’t have styling properties.

It definitely can tame frizz and add shape, but it’s not going to hold your mohawk in place.

However, because of cream products’ moisturizing capabilities, it’s often used in conjunction with hairspray to combat hairspray’s naturally drying properties.


Hairspray has come a long way since its roots as the cause of the horrendous 1950’s beehive style.

Women no longer have the monopoly on this fabulous styling tool – there are plenty of variations on the market designed specifically for men.

Whether you’re trying to control flyaways, achieve a dramatic style or simply tame an unruly mane, men’s hairspray is a great product to add to your grooming gear right alongside a high-quality comb and of course a cordless hair clipper.

Photos from: DmitryPoch /, gpointstudio, kelpfish /, / and belchonock /

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