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10 Different Types of Hairspray

Let’s talk about the different types of hairspray

You know that there’s finishing spray, shaping spray, texture spray, etc…. but what’s the difference between them all?

I mean… surely, they all serve different purposes, right?

And then you’re probably like, “but what type of hairspray should I use for my hair?” Girl, there are so many factors that go into choosing the perfect hairspray for your everyday style.

But have no fear! We’re about to dive deep into everything you possibly need to know about hairspray!

Keep reading to find out what the different types of hairspray are, how to use each of them, and some other fun hairspray terminology.

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Finishing spray? Texture spray? What's the difference? Find out what the difference is between them all and how to use these different types of hairspray to your advantage...

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So What is Hairspray?

Hair rollers and hairspray.

Hairspray (aka hair lacquer or spritz) is defined as a solution you spray onto hair to hold it in place and protect it from humidity and wind.

Not to get all scientific, but… this solution is made of long, chainlike molecules called polymers, and their purpose is to add structural support to the hair. In other words, it makes your hair stiffen and stick to other pieces of hair, preventing it from moving.

Although hairsprays typically come in aerosol form, they can also be found in a pump bottle.

Many people choose pump nozzle types of hairspray to avoid the harmful chemicals found in aerosol cans, as well as the inability to catch fire easily.

Pump nozzle-type hairsprays also provide more of a wet-look, making them a popular choice for those with curly hair.

Hairspray Tips:

Happy woman spraying her hair with hairsprayl.
  • Do make sure that the nozzle isn’t clogged with product… otherwise, it won’t spray predictably. To unclog it, remove the nozzle, run it under hot water, and wipe away the residue.
  • To prevent your hair from completely sticking together (which causes breakage), hold the hairspray 12 inches away and move it around your head as you spray.
  • Run your fingers through your hair as you spray so the product can reach all areas of your hair.
  • To tame down smaller areas, spray directly onto a toothbrush and use it to brush over those areas gently.
  • Use hairspray to tame down fly-aways and static.

Hairspray Terminology:

Hairstylist spraying women's hair with hairspray.
Here are a few things you should consider when choosing the perfect hairspray:
  • Flexibility – This has to do with the amount of hair movement after applying the spray. Opt for a more flexible spray if you just want your hair to move more freely.
  • Hold – This is the opposite of flexibility, and measures how well the hair stays in place after spraying it. The amount of hold is affected by the size of polymer droplets and it’s regulated by the size of the nozzle.
  • VOC / LVOC – You’ll often see something like “55% LVOC” written in the hairspray description. VOC means “Volatile Organic Compound,” which refers to the chemicals in aerosol cans that are harmful to the environment. New regulations have been put in place to lower the amount of these chemicals and protect the environment. Similarly, LVOC means “low volatile organic compounds.”

10 Different Types of Hairspray:

Happy woman spraying her hair with hairspray.

Now, onto the good stuff. Let’s talk about the different hairspray types and what makes each of them unique. It’s essential to consider the different varieties when choosing the best hairspray for your needs!

# 1. Everyday Basic Hairspray

Regular hairspray is basically just a spray that holds your hair in place with no extra features. Aqua Net, anybody?

Hairspray Gif

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: I like the Sebastian Professional Shaper Hairspray for a general spray that works great for most hair types. It’s a great brushable hairspray with a solid medium hold.

So now that you know the basics of good ol’ regular hairspray, let’s chat about the different varieties and other types of hairspray that exist in our fabulous world of modern hair…

# 2. Working Hairspray

Working sprays typically have the least amount of hold and can be built up over time. They’re usually pretty flexible and take longer to dry, allowing you to use them while “working” through the hairstyle.

This types of hairspray allows maximum movement of the hair. Plus, you’ll be able to tease and texturize the hair after applying the working spray.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: The Rusk Shaping Spray is an ultra-dry, brushable hairspray that won’t make your hair sticky or crunchy. It’s also worth noting that it can also be used on both wet and dry hair.

# 3. Volumizing Hairspray

Volumizing spray (sometimes called thickening spray) offers the same benefits of regular hairspray while making your hair appear to be thicker and fuller.

These work by coating each strand of hair to create the illusion of extra body while locking in volume.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray is pretty much my go-to hairspray. It holds my fine hair in place without weighing it down and helps me achieve bigger hair on the daily.

# 4. Shaping Hairspray

Kenra Shaping Spray 21
Kenra Shaping Spray 21, Amazon

Shaping spray is a slow-drying hairspray that allows you to work through your hair after using it. These types of hairsprays can be used while styling the hair or even after, to hold the style in place.

An advantage to using shaping spray is that your hair will be able to move freely and have natural bounce, while still holding the style in place.

I know you’re probably thinking… what’s the difference between shaping spray and working spray, right?

The main difference is that working spray is generally used while styling the hair and shaping spray can also be used to lock in the style when it’s finished. In other words, shaping spray is more of a finishing spray and tends to have more hold than working spray.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: The Kenra Shaping Spray 21 is alcohol-free and provides maximum moisture retention. It has a firm hold and high shine finish.

# 5. Texture Hairspray

Texturizing spray is similar to dry shampoo, except you can use it all over your hair, whereas dry shampoo is mainly for the roots.

It also doesn’t leave that pesky white residue like dry shampoo does, but it also won’t soak up excess oil from your scalp. It basically gives you all the styling benefits of dry shampoo without the cleansing action.

Texturizing spray also adds airy volume by creating separation between strands of hair… all while still offering hold.

It’s a killer way to add weightless texture to your hair while pumping up the volume!

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: I love the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray because it adds that perfect amount of texture without weighing down your hair. It works wonders on my fine hair!

# 6. Thermal Hairspray

If you do a lot of heat-styling, you should definitely be using a thermal spray.

These products work by adding extra moisture to your hair while preventing the natural moisture from evaporating. They also add a protective barrier to the hair.

I mean… can you even imagine what happens when you press your hair between two hot metal plates? Protection is a must.

Furthermore, some thermal sprays are designed to hold the style in place after your hair leaves the heat. You should use thermal spray over traditional hairspray, as they have less alcohol, which can seriously damage your hair when combined with high heat.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: I love the Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist since it locks your hairstyle in place while protecting your hair from nasty heat damage.

# 7. Weightless Hairspray

Weightless hairsprays are incredibly light and won’t weigh your hair down at all. This is a good option for someone with super fine hair.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: Healthy Sexy Hair Weightless So Touchable adds weightless hold, shine, and moisture. It’s an ultra touchable hairspray that won’t leave your hair feeling crunchy.

# 8. Freezing Hairspray

A freeze spray offers the most hold out of all different types of hairspray. Use one of these bad boys, and I guarantee that your hair won’t move for a while.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: Matrix Vavoom Freezing Spray will hold your hair in place for the rest of the day, has 24-hour humidity resistance, and dries quickly…but still won’t make your hair look crunchy. It’s pretty much the best thing ever!

# 9. Shine Hairspray

Basically, shine spray is just a type of finishing spray that also adds mega shine to your finished hairstyle.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: I love the TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Mega Shine Hairspray since it offers a strong hold, humidity resistance, and massive shine.

If you’re looking for shine without hold, the It’s a 10 Miracle Shine Spray is wonderful for that!

# 10. Finishing Hairspray

Finishing sprays are meant to be the absolute last thing you put on your hair before walking out the door.

They’re designed to hold your style in place for the rest of the day… so as you can imagine, they’re typically pretty heavy.

There are several different types of finishing sprays; some add shine, while others give your hair a matte finish. It’s all up to your preference.

▶︎ MY TOP PICK: Joico Power Spray is perfect for all hair types. It adds shine, humidity protection, and a strong, brushable hold.

General FAQ

FAQ Icon
What are the different types of hairspray?

Hairspray, shaping spray, texture spray, freeze spray, finishing spray, weightless spray, working spray, volumizing spray, thermal spray, and shine spray are all commonly used types of hairspray.

What is flexible hold hairspray?

Flexible hairspray offers hold to the hair but also allows it to move about freely. This gives it a natural look and is perfect for bouncy hairstyles.

What’s the difference between hairspray and finishing spray?

Finishing sprays are meant to be used after your style is complete. They typically have a strong hold and aren’t intended to be used while working with the style. Additionally, they add shine or a matte finish to complete the finished look.

What is brushable hairspray?

This is a flexible hairspray that you can brush through without pulling or breaking your hair. It’s best to use this type when working through the hairstyle.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts Icon

Whether you want a nice light-hold hairspray or something that will keep your hair in place until the end of days, it’s important to understand the different types of hairspray.

Each of them serves a purpose, and finding the perfect hairspray will make your life that much easier.

After reading this ultimate guide, I’m certain you’re on your way to better hair days!

Until next time,

The image contains the word  Hollee  written in cursive script with a pink heart-shaped outline next to it.

YOUR TURN:  Are there any other types of hairspray products I left out? What’s your favorite hairspray, and why? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


👉🏼 REMINDER: If you liked this article, don’t forget to pin it to your Hair Products board on Pinterest!

Finishing spray? Texture spray? What's the difference? Find out what the difference is between them all and how to use these different types of hairspray to your advantage...


Monday 18th of December 2017

Hi !!

Just for you to know, my natural hair has been silky straight to slight wavy from childhood but never ever frizzy. So at 30, this first time front hair frizzing, without taming no matter what I do is totally surprising.


Monday 18th of December 2017

Hi !!

I reside in Singapore. I’m new to hairspray as well. I have straightened my hair (Shiseido straightening) about 8 months ago. But the problem is, post delivery (my baby is now 20 months) Only the front section of my hair have started curling/frizzing making my entire hair look mess. Kindly advice on the best hairspray for me.

Farin Hazarika

Sunday 5th of November 2017

Hello to you from Assam, India. Your article is very easy and simply. It helped me to know about tge "Hair sprays" clearly. I've never used it before, so I've no idea for which one should I buy. Can you please suggest me one or two of these for my natural hair? Because I've never used any any hair styling product before. Thanks! I'll wait for ypur reply.

Hollee Wood

Tuesday 28th of November 2017

Hi Farin! Thanks for reading! I’m glad to help! What type of qualities are you looking for in a hairspray? Do you want it to be super natural?


Sunday 28th of May 2017

is it ok to use 3 types of hair spray at the same time ... like I want to use dry texture spray and shine spray to get shine and shaping spray to get hold on them . ? is it ok ...

Hollee Wood

Sunday 28th of May 2017

I mean, I'm sure it's okay, but you will be adding a lot of build-up to your hair. They also might counteract each other so that they don't work as good. I would probably recommend finding the one you want the most and using that. Hope this helps :)