Shopping for styling and finishing sprays can be mind-numbing, especially when you start to seriously read the packaging where all the benefits are listed. Do you need firm hold with frizz control? If you choose one that promises volume, do you have to sacrifice fade protection? Here’s a simple guide to not only decode the different types of sprays, but also to match their best benefits with your needs:
Styling Spray means just that. This type of spray is applied during the styling process to help build body, add grip when blow-drying and ironing your hair, and give your style real staying power.
Finishing Spray is applied once your style is in place. The term “finishing spray” is interchangeable with “hairspray.” Usually, finishing sprays are rated fine, medium and extra-hold or hard hold. To avoid buying an old-fashioned product that delivers a hard, helmet-like hold, look for one or more of these key terms: touchable, brushable, workable, style memory.
All-in-One Sprays are those that act like a styling spray and a finishing spray. There isn’t a standard name for this category, so you’ll need to read the benefits and instructions listed on the packaging, which should include one of the following words or phrases: spray in layers to build hold, workable, brushable, shaping and styling spray.
Special Benefits can include color-fade protection, anti-humidity and/or anti-frizz properties, shine enhancement, fine mist, or dry spray.
• Color-fade protection is a must for everyone with color-treated hair, as well as those who play outdoor sports, do gardening or simply like to spend time in the sun.
• Anti-humidity or anti-frizz properties are especially important during the summer months when the atmosphere is laden with moisture, for tropical vacations, or even all-year-long, if you live in a tropical or sub-tropical environment.
• Added shine gives lustrous results, although if you really want your hair to have lasting dazzle, you should finish your style with a shine spray or apply drops before and after you blow-dry your hair. Remember, a small amount of serum goes a long way; too much and you’ll develop greasy hair in no time.
• Fine Mist and Dry Spray are desirable qualities because they don’t wet the hair unless you spray too close (remember the 12-inch rule). Wet sprays can be problematic for curly or frizzy hair, as well as fine or limp hair.
The best thing for you to know: Quality professional styling and finishing products include most of these benefits, with several embracing everything listed above.