In the days BCP (Before Curl Products) available hairsprays were stiff, sticky and smelled like Aqua Net and Final Net. I remember my bottle of Final Net, which I plastered on my blow dried and straightened hair. My hair felt like a helmet. It was a fire hazard!

How hairspray has changed

Hairspray actually was born in the 1940's and developed by a manufacturer originally manufacturing aerosol cans in the WW2 for insecticides. Hairsprays have evolved over the years, with new technologies, innovative ingredients and a wide range of holds. 

The latest generation of hairspray can lock waves and curls in place without crunch. Many are designed specifically for curly hair. They promise to prevent your waves and curls from turning to frizz, even on the most humid days. And it can help create more volume and lift at your roots. And many of these new hairsprays have conditioning properties in addition to ingredients that hold.

Types of hairsprays

There are three varieties of hairsprays:

Flexible Hold Hairsprays

These have the least amount of hold, making them ideal for waves and curls. They provide hold without crunch, maintaining movement rather than paralyzing your tresses. The majority of hairsprays for wavy and curly hair are flexible sprays as well as those with medium hold. 

Medium Hold Hairsprays

Sometimes these are called working sprays and have a stronger hold. They provide a hold without making your hair feel like plastic.

Maximum/Firm Hold Hairsprays

These are the strongest sprays and really keep your curls in place. These may not be the best choice for everyday styling for curly girls, but may be a useful tool for certain occasions. 

Here are a few great options for flexible, medium, and strong hold hairsprays.

Flexible Hold Hairsprays 


1. Ouidad Curl Last® Flexible-Hold Hairspray

The iconic curl brand Ouidad has two hairsprays. This flexible buildable finishing spray that holds curls in place while maintaining softness and bounce. It is formulated to keep curls pliable and encourage movement. Natural moisturizers like hydrolyzed oat protein and sunflower oil help control frizz, It can be layered for a stronger hold or used to boost volume on fine hair.

2. Ouidad Going Up! Volumizing Texture Spray

This volumizing texture spray is infused with manuka honey to create a soft, touchable style. It separates curls for volume and lift.

3. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Soft Texture Finishing Spray

This salon brand has developed two hairsprays in the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil collection - a favorite for those with waves and curls. The Invisible Oil Soft Texture Finishing Spray is infused with signature 6-Oil Blend, this finishing mist gives styled hair a soft, casually-tousled texture, with light hold. It is designed for dry or damaged hair, and anyone who wants soft texture that lasts.

4. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil UV Protective Dry Oil Finishing Spray 

The ultra-lightweight formula delivers radiance, softness, and frizz control. UV filters help protect hair against the drying effects of the sun, making it a good option for curlies who spend a lot of time outdoors. Dry, dull hair is left looking revived and healthy.

5. TRESemmé Flawless Curls Frizz Control Moisturizing Non-Aerosol Hair Spray with Coconut oil

This lightweight paraben-free formula provides all-day curl hold and frizz protection. It promises defined curls without feeling stiff and sticky. 

6. Innersense I Create Finish

This flexible-hold spray is made with certified organic honey, rooibos tea, and aloe and rice proteins, this non-toxic hairspray nourishes and strengthens strands without any sticky residue. Aside from banishing humidity and infusing your mane with antioxidants, it smells like fresh, calming lavender.

7. Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray

This flexible working hairspray provides all-day style that you'll still be able to run your fingers through. It includes ingredients like sea buckthorn- a "superfruit" with the fatty-acid omega 7 typically found in fish oil. omega 7. It promises to promote elasticity and provides superior hydration.

8. R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray 

This flexible spray contains Amphomer Polymer, which thickens and provides flexible hold and heat styling protection. It also contains 

Pro-Vitamin B5, this conditioning agent moisturizes, thickens and builds volume.

9. Aveda Air Control Hairspray

This water-free formula can be layered to create light, workable hold. It contains pine and certified organic flax seed, which both are natural holding agents, as well as conditioning ingredients such as certified organic jojoba and aloe. Aveda is funding the construction of wind turbines to ensure that Air Control™ has a net-zero impact on the Earth’s climate.

10. DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray 

Stay-put style with flexibility! A wind and humidity resistant spray that gives you flexible hold, frizz control and shine.

11. Nexxus Maxximum Hold Finishing Mist Hairspray

Nexxus Maxximum Hold Finishing Mist Micro fine, flexible hair spray helps maintain hairstyles by providing superior long-lasting control for hard to retain styles, provided maximum hold while maintaining touchability.

12. Kevin Murphy Bedroom Hair

This flexible texturizing spray provides separation and movement that allows you to run your fingers through your curls. The formula is enhanced with ginger root to help increase elasticity and suppleness. 

13. Pantene Pro-V Level 2 Lightweight Finish Alcohol Free Hairspray

This NaturallyCurly Best of the Best award winner offers ultra-lightweight hold that wavies love. At less than $5 this Holy Grail is budget-friendly too. Pantene Pro-V labels there hairsprays "Level" 1-5 to signify the amount of hold, so you can always find exactly what you need.

Medium Hold Hairsprays

14. MONAT Studio One Flex Control Hairspray

This light-to-medium-hold hairspray is a versatile, finishing spray provides with buildable, flexible hold. It is infused with REJUVENIQE® to help condition waves and curls.

15. CHI Better Together Dual Mist Hairspray

This unique spray is adjustable to offer two hold options. The “Good” hold setting provides a natural hold that is perfect for styling, beachy waves and taming flyaways. The “Great” hold setting provides a stronger hold for updos, braids, tights curls and slicked back ponytails. It  contains white tea, Panthenol/Provitamin B5, and a conditioning blend of natural botanicals.

16. ZOTOS: All about Curls Curls for Days Finishing Mist

This frizz blocking spray promises long-lasting hold that blocks out humidity for 48 hours. It offers long-lasting hold free from SLS/SLES Sulfates, Silicone and Parabens.

17. Living Proof Frizz Humidity Shield

This weightless finishing spray contains polymers that promise to offer six times the humidity protection to prevent frizz. It also contains emollients designed to smooth the hair shaft. 

18. Color Wow Cult Favorite Firm + Flexible Hairspray

This lightweight spray provides all-day, flexible, brushable hold. 

Firm Hold Hairsprays

19. Sexy Hair Spray + Play Volumizing Hairspray

This hairspray provides a medium to high hold that promises up to 120 hours and provides up to six times the volume and lift. This workable hairspray provides up to three days of humidity resistance. It also provides 450 ̊ F of thermal heat protection.

20. It’s a 10 Miracle Superhold Finishing Spray Plus Keratin

This spray offers asuper firm, yet weightless hold. It contains Hydrolyzed Keratin, a conditioner that has been proven to smooth the hair cuticle, creating excellent shine and smoothness.

21. Aveda Firm Hold Hair Spray

Aveda’s firmest hold hair spray offers long-lasting hold and humidity defense for all hair types. The fast-drying spray , non-flaking formula contains a blend of organically derived flaxseed, marshmallow root, aloe and hydrolyzed wheat protein helps provide all-day, humidity-resistant hold. 

21. Redken Triple Take 32 Extreme High-Hold Hairspray

This extreme high-hold hairspray promises to keep your curls in place without the crunch. The super-fine, fast-drying mist also gives hair volume and 24-hour humidity resistance. The fragrance is a mix of jasmine, orange blossom and sandalwood.

Read next: The 20 Best Styling Products for Type 3 Curls