I’m going to be honest: A couple of years ago, my kneejerk reaction when I thought of hairspray was to cringe. It gave me flashbacks to my childhood when I watched older women around me soak themselves in hairspray and end up with crunchy hair and shellacked updos that looked so stiff and heavy.
But as I grew up and went on my own curly girl journey, I learned that hairspray can be my friend too. There are many hairsprays out there that can hold my curl definition all day and still leave my pretty ringlets soft and touchable.
Best curl-holding hairspray
Definition, volume, and hold are key when it comes to picking out the right hairspray for your curls.
Stiff, crunchy hair that’s a nightmare to detangle? Don’t know her.
Here are my recommendations for the ten best curl-holding hairsprays that will lock your frizz-free curls in place while giving you volume and natural shine.
Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium
Let’s start off the list with a tried and tested haircare brand, shall we? Moroccanoil is known for its argan oil products that leave the hair soft and shiny. So it comes as no surprise that their Luminous Hairspray holds curls without that dreaded crunch.
This hairspray gives curls a medium, flexible hold, for a healthier, more natural finish to your hairstyle. Unlike many other hairsprays, this actually softens the hair, thanks to argan oil. You can even layer on as much of the product you want without it getting all crispy.
This is the hairspray to go for if you want to hold your curls in place but still make them look healthy and natural. It even gives your hair a sweet and musky scent that stays all day.
- Medium, flexible hold
- Very lightweight
- Makes the hair softer and easier to manage
- Can be sprayed on in layers without making the hair crunchy
- Has that amazing signature Moroccanoil scent
- Contains argan oil, but doesn’t leave an oily residue
- The fragrance can be quite strong if you have a sensitive nose
R+co Vicious Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray
For those nights out when you need to be airbrushed and can’t risk your curls getting all frizzy, you need something stronger. R+co’s Vicious hairspray is fantastic for that satisfying strong hold, without the crunch and flaking.
This spray holds even the tightest curls in place all night long. Don’t be intimidated – it’s actually quite style-friendly. The hair is easy to brush and play around with even after spraying this product on. It’s a great tool to use if you want an extra va-va-voom of volume too!
Its warm, romantic scent of cardamom, pineapple, and tangerine will have you reaching out for this any time you can. Just make sure to spray 10 inches away from the hair to keep your curls in place without drying out the hair.
- Strong hold without the crunch and flaking
- Holds tight curls in place all day
- Hair is easy to brush through after spraying
- Has a warm, cozy, romantic scent
- Contains pro-vitamin B5 to strengthen hair and build volume
- Can make the hair feel dry and textured
amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray
Who doesn’t love touching their hair after a good blowout and styling? I know I do! And for lightweight, touchable curls with awesome definition, I love to use amika’s Fluxus hairspray.
The spray gives a flexible hold that makes the hair easy to style. I never feel scared of ruining my hair even when I run my fingers through it when I use this product. It’s especially excellent for setting the hair after curling or blow drying, because it improves longevity.
It gives the hair an ultra-glossy and therefore super healthy finish. It even protects it from humidity, which can lead to frizziness. It’s a great choice for all curl patterns, from pin straight hair to tight, coily locks.
- Flexible hold for easy styling
- Not uncomfortable to run fingers through hair after using this
- Increases blowout longevity
- Protects hair from humidity
- Great for all curl patterns
- Gives an ultra glossy finish
- The nozzle of the aerosol can get stuck from time to time
Biolage Styling Freeze Fix Hair Spray
Anyone with curly hair knows that humidity is the number one enemy of perfectly tousled spirals and waves. If it’s summer time where you live or are taking a trip to the beach, make sure you have this hairspray by Biolage packed for protection against humidity.
This spray gives a firm hold on curls, which can last you a good amount of time in the day. Its key feature is protection against humidity, to make sure your locks don’t frizz up or blow up into twice its size.
It also gives curls a healthy lift, for bouncy hair. Blue Agave lends a hand to repair hair damage by retaining moisture in the hair for an added healthy shine.
- Gives your hairstyle a firm hold
- Protects the hair against humidity, for anti-frizz
- Lifts the hair for bouncy aerial support
- Infused with Blue Agave to repair hair damage
- Retains moisture and nourishment to keep it shiny and healthy
- No parabens, mineral oils, or artificial dyes
- The hold doesn’t last till the end of the day – maybe just around mid-day
- Tends to produce a bit of dandruff
Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair
It’s always a challenge looking for styling products that can make tight, unruly curls look natural. Color Wow’s multi-award winning Dream Coat doubles as a hairspray and a styler that makes hair feel like hair, and holds the curl all day long.
This spray is very lightweight, and doesn’t give the hair that sad, droopy, weighed down look like heavier creams do. It leaves the hair moisturized and nourished, with no crunch and stiffness.
This is a great product to go for if you want to control frizz as well. It was given its name for a reason—it truly is a dream product for girls with tight yet unruly curl patterns.
- A multi-award winning spray
- Lightweight, doesn’t weigh down the hair
- Can be used as a standalone curl-enhancing styling product
- Leaves hair soft and moisturized, with no crunch
- Tames the hair for zero frizziness
- Perfect for unruly curl patterns, types 3 and 4
- Weighs down and even straightens wavy, type 2 hair
Ouidad Curl Last Flexible-Hold Hairspray
A hair flip always looks fabulous when curls are defined, moisturized, and voluminous. It’s a good thing Ouidad’s Curl Last spray gives all of those and more.
The best thing about this spray is how natural the hair looks and moves because of the product’s flexible hold. You can even build it up to a stronger hold, if you please. There’s never that feeling of stiffness that comes with many other hairsprays in the market.
This spray is formulated with hydrolyzed oat protein and sunflower oil. These help to strengthen and moisturize the hair shafts, and help to control frizz to keep you looking crisp and clean.
Last but not the least, it helps to boost volume. This is especially helpful for more loose and finer hair, or waves that can look more alive.
- Flexible hold for natural hair movement
- No distracting crunchiness
- Oat protein and sunflower oil moisturize and control frizz
- Makes your curls touchable and bouncy
- Buildable formula for stronger hold
- Boosts volume on finer hair
- The formula has a sticky and oily feeling
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Multi-Benefit Hairspray
For an all-in-one product to keep the hair looking good and feeling strong and sturdy, try this hairspray from renowned haircare brand, OGX. It does a multitude of things for your gorgeous curls, like hold them in place, protect them from heat damage, and keep frizziness at bay.
It goes on light and dry once sprayed and tousled into the hair, but has an impressive strong hold for curls that are bouncy and defined all day long. Moroccan argan oil also gives it softness and shine to die for.
Silk proteins work to strengthen the hair, while vitamin E and antioxidants revitalize it to make it sturdier and look more lively. It protects your hair while glamming it up too!
- Goes on light and dry but has strong hold
- Can be used as a heat protectant and anti-frizz spray
- Keeps fine hairs and flyaways at bay
- Moroccan argan oil gives softness and shine
- Revitalizes hair with vitamin E and antioxidants
- Has silk proteins to strengthen the hair and retain its texture
- Can make the hair crusty if you spray too close to the head
Free & Clear Firm Hold Styling and Finishing Hairspray
Not everyone is blessed with resilient scalps and skin that doesn’t react to fragrance and other irritating chemicals. For curly girls who love their hair but carry the burden of a sensitive scalp and skin, Free & Clear is a hairspray made just for you.
The spray is non-irritating because it’s free of parabens, dyes, fragrances, preservatives, and other potentially harmful ingredients. It is dermatologist-tested too, making it perfect for those with skin and scalp concerns but still want their curls to hold all day. It has a firm hold, but still leaves the hair looking natural.
Just because you have sensitive skin doesn’t mean you can’t have fabulous, defined curls! Take it from Free & Clear—there’s always a way.
- Firm but natural-looking hold
- Fragrance-free, which is great for those sensitive to scents
- Free of parabens, lanolin, preservatives, and other harsh chemicals
- Perfect for those with easily irritated scalps and skin
- Makes the hair a bit stiff and hard to brush through
Bumble And Bumble Spray De Mode
This spray works two ways: you can use it as a finishing spray to lock those curls in place, or as a working spray to help you as you style your hair.
If you choose to use the spray to top off your finished look, you’ll be rewarded with a soft to firm, yet flexible hold. It has great memory for hair shape, so you’ll have no problem with your hair having a life of its own. It leaves the hair touchable and brushable, should you need to fix up.
As a styling product, it’s very workable and easy to incorporate into your curling method because of its fine mist. It serves as a heat protectant as well, for those who try to achieve waves with a wand.
The spray dispenses quite a fine mist for easy, satisfying styling. The can also has a twist-lock nozzle, which can help prevent product leakage over time.
- Flexible and workable hold
- Has excellent memory for hair shape
- Leaves hair brushable and touchable
- Dispenses a satisfyingly fine mist
- Has a twist-lock nozzle for fewer chances of leakage
- Doesn’t leave the hair feeling heavy
- The curls don’t hold all day long; fall flat after some hours
L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold Unscented
Used by celebrities for red carpet walks and high fashion photoshoots, this hairspray by L’Oreal is the ultimate spray for a luxe glam look. It has an extra strong hold, which is perfect for when you want your curls and waves to keep looking tight and bouncy for hours on end.
Though it locks your hairstyle in place, the finish of this spray is soft, never crunchy and stuff. It’s actually quite flexible and even brushable.
It is lightweight and comes out in a lush, ultra-fine mist. It also has built-in micro-diffusion technology to help dispense the product evenly across every strand of hair.
This hairspray is loved by high-profile showstoppers with gorgeous hair around the world. It’s a fantastic product to use for everyday glam or when you need to put your best foot forward.
- Strong, long-lasting flexible and brushable hold
- Soft finish that is never crunchy and crispy
- Ultra-fine mist for a luxurious feel
- Micro-diffusion technology dispenses product evenly
- Lightweight and doesn’t leave residue on hair
- Claims to be unscented but has that hairspray smell that lingers
Gone are the days of using hairspray as you would glue to keep your hair hardened and rigid to stay in place. Over the decades, hairspray has developed into something of a styling weapon for the modern woman. It holds curls, protects you from humidity and rain, and keeps that pesky frizz in check.
So whether you’re a natural curly girl or love to play with your curling wand to give yourself ringlets tousled to perfection, there’s always a hairspray for you. All you have to do is decide what’s most important, be it a strong hold, volume, flexibility, softness, or something else entirely.