Hairspray is a common step in many haircare routines. It's important to understand the long-term effects of hairspray, and how best to use it, in order to maintain healthy hair.
What is hairspray made of?
A basic aerosol hairspray consists of a polymer, a solvent, and a propellant. The propellant forces the solution out of the can to spray as a light mist. When this liquid is sprayed, the solvent and propellant evaporate. The polymer sets on the hair, leaving a stiff layer to keep the hair in place.
Hairspray propellants used to contain CFCs, which have now been banned, as these ingredients are damaging to the ozone layer. Today, hairsprays tend to contain hydrocarbons and compressed gases instead to work as propellants.
Pump hairsprays have never contained any propellants—only polymers and solvents.
Does hairspray damage hair?
There is nothing in hairspray that's known to be damaging to your hair or health. However, you should be aware of certain things when using hairspray so you can maintain healthy hair.
1. Avoid hairsprays that contain ethanol.
Ethanol is a type of alcohol that can be drying and damaging to the hair and irritating to the scalp. It's best to avoid hairsprays that use ethanol as their solvent. Instead, opt for stearyl, cetearyl, or cetyl alcohol, which are non-drying fatty alcohols.
If you want to encourage hydration, use a nourishing hairspray, such as Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, which contains argan oil.
2. Be gentle with brushing.
One of the most common ways to damage to hair is to over-brush it. Brushing hair that's coated with hairspray can be particularly damaging, as you'll weaken the hair cuticles, making them prone to breakage.
Avoid using super-hold hairsprays if you're planning to brush through your coif afterwards. Instead, opt for something lighter, such as Neuma NeuControl Medium Hold Hairspray, which gives your hair flexibility and leaves it touchable.
3. Control product build-up.
If you regularly use styling products on your hair, your hair is prone to product build-up. Product build-up weighs your hair down and makes your products less effective, as they have to work through layers of old product. Hairspray can deposit dandruff-like white particles onto the hair over time.
It's important to use a clarifying shampoo in order to clean the hair thoroughly of hairspray residue. We recommend using a clarifying shampoo such as O&M Original Detox Shampoo once a week to prevent product build-up. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub offers a deep clean for the scalp.
4. Hairspray can cause lacklustre hair.
If you're coating your hair in polymers every day, your hair will begin to look dull over time. Use a hairspray containing vitamin E to ensure shiny and nourished hair. We recommend Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray.
Using hairspray alone will not cause damage to your hair. However, with repeated use of sprays, your hair can lose some of its best qualities.
It's important to use other products to retain shine and moisture and reduce product build-up. And always be careful with your hair. This way you can reap the benefits of hairspray whilst maintaining healthy hair.