Like it or not, hair is an essential part of who we are as human beings. It’s symbolic of our conceptions of beauty, virility, and youth. Many religions and cultures consider hair to be sacred or a source of power. It carries our DNA and it’s a deep part of our material identity.
These values around hair are true for men and women alike. Yet, most product development and advertising dollars go towards women’s hair and, we believe, men have been given the shorter end of the stick when it comes to hair care.
In this 21st century, men are equally as consumed with the need to be stylish and one of the easiest ways to do so is to take care of your hair. For that, there are a number of products out there, but today we’re focusing on hair spray for men.
THE BEST HAIRSPRAY FOR MEN
Ready to try to style with the best hairsprays for men? Here are our top picks for men’s hairspray.
R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray $32
This extremely popular (over 1200 5 star reviews) flexible hairspray is formulated for those who like to constantly change their looks without creating buildup. A lightweight, working spray, it can be reapplied to dry hair anytime you need to freshen up, add a little volume, or change your desired style. Made with pro-vitamin B, color-safe, heat and UV protective, it’s true to the R + Co brand, whose ethos of delivering high-performance products with hair and scalp health as their top priorities is one we totally stand behind.
For the ultimate hold on a finished look, R+Co’s Vicious Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray ($32) is what you need. It’s strong and resilient but you can still brush through it without any flaking or cracking. Plus, it contains ingredients that your hair and scalp will love, including pro-vitamin B5 and amp copolymer, the former for conditioning and the latter for thermal protection.
TIGI Bed Head Hard Head Hair Spray $15
TIGI Bed Head Hard Head Hair Spray is one of the best hairsprays for men that is also relatively affordable. That means if you have fine or thin hair, the product may not work as well. Bed Head Hard Head hairspray dries instantly, and guys love the lightweight formula.
Important to note is that you should hold the can around a foot away from your head when you apply this spray. Some men have said that spraying too close can lead to “flake city.” But the hairspray has a very strong hold, and men say there’s no need to reapply throughout the day.
Oribe Superfine Hair Spray $42
Who says a hair spray can’t double as haircare? Certainly not Oribe with their luxurious formulas! They’ve added a host of ingredients your hair and scalp will love to this flexible, brushable, light to medium-hold hair spray, including nourishing aloe, protecting antioxidants like mango and kiwi, conditioning wheat protein, smoothing passion flower, and nettle leaf for added shine. With 1000+ 5 star rating, the high-end hair formula is not only one of the highest rated on our list but also does double duty as a sheer, dry working spray and a high-performance finishing spray.
Oribe’s Freestyler Working Hairspray ($42) ultra-fine, light-hold hair spray option has just as many ingredients we love. This premium ingredient list boasts the Oribe Signature Complex of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts, which protect the hair from oxidative stress, photoaging, and the deterioration of keratin. It’s also got moisturizing kukui seed oil, strengthening and softening cottonseed oil, and ginseng root to help prevent breakage and which allows you to brush through the product, even when it’s layered with other products.
Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($49) is less about hold and more about volume and texture. It’s formulated with patented polymers and zeolite crystallines that absorb oil from the roots, and with a little added heat, that means a high-level volume and touchable texture. Not only does it freshen and revitalize your look, ingredients such as sunflower seed extract, mango extract, and kiwi extract, do wonders for revitalizing your hair and scalp.
Moroccan Oil Luminous Hairspray (Strong Hold) $26
If you’ve been caring for your hair for any amount of time, you definitely know this iconic brand. Morracanoil was one of the first to introduce argan oil to the mainstream hair care world, and forever change it. Now they’ve created an entire line of argan oil-infused hair and body products, including this flexible hairspray that gives a strong hold. Made with antioxidant, essential fatty acid, and vitamin-rich argan oil, of course, it provides long-lasting and moveable hold along with natural-looking shine and frizz control. It’ll nourish your hair and scalp as much as it’ll help you keep your style. If you’re looking for more flexible hold, check out Moroccan Oil’s more pliable Medium hold hairspray ($26).
Rahua Defining Hair Spray $37
When you need hold but also malleability, this environmentally-friendly non-aerosol natural formula gives you just a hint of definition that you can brush through with ease. Spray it at the roots and under layers for volume and curls or cover your pa
What are you looking for? Voluminous waves? Or sleek and shiny? You get both with this defining hair spray. Simply spray at the roots and under layers for support and umph or spray it into your palms and run them over your hair to keep every strand in its place and give a sleeker look. It’s no secret how much we love a double-duty product, but we also love this hairspray for its ingredients. Sugarcane extract is the star here, providing definition and malleable hold, but other mention-ables include lavender oil, Palo Santo oil, bergamot orange, patchouli, and green tea leaf extract.
Baxter of California Clay Effect Style Spray $25
Baxter of California Clay Effect Style Spray is next on the list of the best hairspray for men. It’s great for men who have fine or thin hair, as the spray will add volume. Just apply it to the root area of your hair to add weight and volume that lasts all day.
Men who use this product say they like the control the bottle gives. Instead of using an aerosol, this spray uses pump action, which means a more “targeted” application. Many men say that applying this hairspray using your hands works even better than using the pump.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Forever Hairspray $7.12
If you’ve got fine or thin hair, this hairspray is perfect for you. Men who have used John Frieda Luxurious Volume Forever say that when you first apply it, it may make your hair feel “crispy.” But in this case, that’s a good thing. The added texture on your hair will work to increase the volume, giving your hair a fuller, thicker look.
Men with straight hair love this product. Even the straightest limp hair will perk up with John Frieda Luxurious Volume Forever Hairspray. Do note, though, that some men say the spray is difficult to wash out. Be sure to rinse well, and apply a conditioner after you shampoo to keep your hair healthy.
John Masters Organics Hair Spray $24
Organic is not just for the food you eat. Let us remember that your hair is only an extension of your skin – the largest and one of the most absorbent organs of your body. So, if you’ve got your health and well-being at heart in all things, then organic hair spray is a no-brainer. This best-selling organic hairspray by John Masters contains absolutely zero synthetic polymers and plasticizing agents and is filled with organic and natural ingredients like hydrating aloe vera leaf juice, acacia Senegal gum for volume and hold, and purifying bergamot oil. Choose this hairspray for medium, long-lasting hold with no flaky residue.
Living Proof Control Hairspray $23
Made for use on finished styles, this spray protects your hair from the heat you need for styling and is safe for color and chemically-treated hair. A control spray that provides all-day hold, that doesn’t have to mean your hair feels glued into place. Living Proof has formulated this hairspray with both flexible and firm polymers, so your hair will still be touchable and flake-free without any dampening or deflating.
Even the flattest, finest hair will be completely transformed with Living Proof’s Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray ($35). The secret is Living Proof’s patent-pending Volumizing and Texturizing Molecule, which increases the space between hair fibers. It’s weightless, provides long-lasting volumizing and texturizing results, and we absolutely love it.
HOW TO USE HAIRSPRAY
Using hairspray is quick and easy! Keep these tips in mind for a flawless finish in just a matter of minutes.
#1 Style your hair before you spray. If you’re using your hair spray as a finisher or to provide hold, then it’s meant to be sprayed after it’s been combed and styled. If you try to style or brush your hair after it’s been sprayed, you risk damaging or breaking your strands.
#2 If you’re using your hair spray for adding volume, try and spray as close to the roots as you can. There are sprays specifically formulated for this – so be sure you’re using the right product for the job. Using a hairspray that’s intended for hold or texture too close to your roots is a no-no, which we’ll talk about next.
#3 Spray from a distance for texture or hold. Keep the can or bottle around six to eight inches from your head for the best results. Spraying too close will cause uneven spots that look strange. Spraying too close to your scalp can also leave a residue behind that resembles dandruff, and nobody needs that!
#4 If you’re just trying to tame a few fly-aways, you can actually apply hairspray using your hands. Just spritz some hairspray onto your fingertips, then run your fingers through your hair. This creates a natural, product-free look while still holding your style in place.
COMMON HAIR STYLING PRODUCTS FOR MEN
To be fair, over the last two decades or so we’ve witnessed a huge increase in the number of hair care products developed for men. While there’s no physiological difference between men and women’s hair, men do tend to wear their hair differently than women. And that’s why there’s a need for specific products for them.
Below, we’ll go through the most common hair styling products available to men and tell you a bit about their difference.
Hair gel is not what it used to be. Long gone are the days of crunchy, alcohol-based gel that dried out the scalp and left the hair dry, hard, brittle, and flakey. Today’s gels are alcohol-free and come in a variety of types, from matte finish to wet and shiny.
They provide medium, flexible hold to super strong hold and they can give anywhere from medium to a super high shine. They’re best for men with short to medium-length hair who are looking for a bit of shine. Only opt for a gel if you’ve got thick or dense hair, men with thin or fine hair will find that it adds too much weight.
If there’s one men’s hair product that’s been around forever, it’s pomade. In use since the 18th century, a pomade can be used by men with either thick or thin hair and for those with short to medium hair length, especially those with classic, highly-manicured styles that require high shine. We’re talking combovers, pompadours, quiffs, and side parts.
Oil-based pomades are great for overly dry hair, but it’s more difficult to shampoo out of the hair (because oil and water don’t mix). Water-based pomades give a little more flexibility in terms of texture, hold, and shine, but they can leave a little crunchiness as they dry.
Hair wax is the modern cousin of pomade. It gives a lighter hold than pomade does and it’s great for messy, textured, bed-head styles with medium to a high shine. And while pomade can be applied wet or dry, wax is generally recommended for already dried hair, which means it can take a bit longer to complete your grooming routine.
If you’ve got thicker hair that provides its own lift and hold, wax is a great complementary product and an even better way to add shape. Because of its flexibility, you’ll be able to play with it throughout the day, but that means you don’t get total hold when you need structural integrity for your style.
Mousse is another way back playback that’s evolved throughout the decades. And this hair care product offers something that many other products do not. That is, the polymers contained in mousse surround hair follicles in a way that makes them appear fuller. Some formulas even contain ingredients that can help with hair loss. For these reasons, mousse is an excellent product for men concerned with thinning hair. It provides the appearance of fullness and can even help prevent future loss.
But mousse may also be your product of choice if you’re sporting medium to long hair and looking for volume and control. It can be blow-dried for a polished look or left to air-dry for something a little shinier. However, of all the men’s hair styling products out there, this is definitely the most difficult to use correctly – so consider yourself warned!
Styling balms are newer to the men’s hair care scene, and they offer a wide range of textures and holds for a wide range of lengths and needs. Best for men with short to medium-length hair, basically any hair type can benefit from a styling balm, depending on what kind you choose.
Some are made with cream-like consistencies that condition the hair and provide low hold, others have a thicker consistency that dried hard and provides ultimate hold. Nailing down which balm to buy for your needs takes some trial and error.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER HAIRSPRAY
Of all the products we’ve listed thus far, none quite compares to the variety of hold options that hairspray can provide. You can get hairspray that provides very little hold and tons of flexibility, hairspray that won’t let your hair move even in the gustiest of wind storms, and hair spray with hold that falls somewhere in between. Hair spray can add texture, volume, and shine depending on the product you use, how much you use, and how you use it.
Hairspray is truly one of the most versatile men’s styling products available. It’s great if you have thinning hair because it can have the same polymers and thickening ingredients as mousse. It’s great if you already have thick hair and just want it to stay put or add a little texture. It’s great as a finishing treatment, it’s great to tame frizziness, and if you’re going for a more natural look. Plus, it’s easy to use, easy to find, and even easier on the wallet.
Gels and pomades can leave your hair looking stiff, greasy and unnatural. But hairspray is a lightweight, natural-looking solution for your hair styling needs. Choose the hairspray that’s right for your hair type, and enjoy a natural, flexible hold all day.