Best Hair Spray for Men: A Review of the Top Brands In 2020We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn More.
Like it or not, your hair style is important and it says a lot about you.
Men, in general, have many different hair types, then beyond that, look how many styles are out there: the Pompadour, Crew Cut, Combover, Quiff, Mohawk, Faux Hawk, Top Knot… the list goes on.
In the world of men’s hair styling products it seems hair clays and pomades have risen to the top and hairspray is somewhat of a relic. Maybe it is just that we think hairspray is for the ladies, maybe it is the salon culture of clays? The fact is hairspray is criminally underrated and, while we do love gels, pomades, and clays, we think it is time to dispel some misconceptions with hairsprays and prove why it may be missing from your grooming routine.
Before we break down the benefits found in the leading hairsprays, here is the summary of the top hairsprays for men currently available:
Comparing The Best Hairsprays For Men
Purpose and Benefit of Hairsprays
Hairspray isn’t just for women
There is a stigma with hairsprays that it is only for women: false.
Men tend to think this because we think of mom busting out the big ol’ aerosol can and dousing her perm, remember?
The whole house smelled like a salon and you were gagging on the fumes, right? Well, this isn’t 1985 anymore. Hairspray’s are now being designed specifically for men and the products are varied to suit your hair type, and built with ingredients to treat your hair right and meet your hold needs.
Not only that, some men simply don’t want a handful of jelly run through their hair, coating every follicle and weighing them down. So how are hairsprays different today?
What’s in Hairspray?
Let’s start by changing the way you think of hairspray historically, by reminding you that Mom’s can of Aquanet is a thing of the past. Hairsprays no longer contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the legal agreement via “Montreal Protocol” protects the environment from these extremely harmful chemicals.
Today, hairspray can be alcohol based or not, but often include beneficial ingredients that fortify hair, give volume and help hold in place even the most intricate styles all in earth-friendly products.
We tend to have this thought of hairspray related to pageants, talent shows, and entertainment where it is “caked on” and abrasive. Sure, that is what it is when needed, but why can’t it be a simple tool to manage hair and hold tight cool styling?
Well, it can.
What it comes down to is selecting the right spray for your hair type first, then considering what type of hold your style demands.
Where does Hairspray stand vs other products?
Frankly, it comes down to if you want it as a supplement or a standalone. Hairspray as a standalone product can meet a ton of needs: hold, maintenance, volume, etc.
As a supplement, it is key as a way to freeze great style, tame frizz or loose hair, add bounce to design, etc. You name it, it can be a wonderful tool.
Hairspray For Thin Hair:
You probably want to focus on volume and hold. Typically, men with thinner hair actually get the best of natural oil from the scalp as it easily works from root to tip, so what they want is boost.
The concern is that you pick a hairspray that ends up plastering your hair to your scalp and now you are the creepy guy, not the suave guy.
You want to look for key words like “boost,” “volume,” and “lift.” Consider John Frieda Collection Luxurious Volume as a good hairspray for thin and thinning hair.
Hairspray For Thick Hair:
Men with thicker hair are typically looking to contain frizz and hold shape. Men with thicker hair love to style; they love to flaunt and get creative.
All good, but they tend to struggle with dryer hair, frayed ends and frizz. Unlike thin hair types, thicker hair types do struggle to see the true benefit of the scalp’s natural oils (especially at the tip, thus frizzing occurs) so using products that include some natural ingredients to fortify the hair and manage stray ends will certainly help.
Consider Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturizing Sea Spray as a good answer to managing thicker hair, with the added benefit of healthy ginger.
Hairspray For Curly Hair:
Why don’t men with curly hair use hairspray?
Because they think it will hold too strong or mat down the natural curl and wave. This is not true; you just need the right product. Curly hair begs to be styled right, but you must look for a product that enhances your hair’s bounce and movement.
Curly hair can also be fun and played upon, but there is a fine line between trend setter and “dude looks crazy.” Usually, the best hairspray’s for men with curly hair are alcohol-free, allowing your hair to move but managing frizzy ends.
Look at Schwarzkopf Professional Got2b Rockin’It Encore Hold Hairspray to give you style and movement.
So, How Do You Use Hairspray?
Pretty simple actually.
No sticky hands with hairspray – simply style your hair to your liking, hold the can about 10 inches from your head and spray. Typically, you want to use about 3 or 4 hits, or if using an aerosol just do a 3 or 4 count.
Like other grooming products, input begets style so watch what you put in as it is dependent on how much hold you want—experiment with it.
Thick hair types may shampoo less but, perhaps, you cannot get in the shower without an all-out cleaning. No matter the hair grooming product you use, consider the importance of proper hair treatment. Your shampoo should clean, strengthen, and benefit your hair type.
Conditioners are often forgotten, but if you are frustrated with frayed ends, split hairs, or poor control you should be using a conditioner. Your grooming products (gels, pomades, clays, and, now, hairsprays) will help harness these difficulties but proper cleaning will mitigate need for supplemental products.
Hairspray vs. Other Hair Products:
As mentioned before, hairspray is a bit underused these days, probably because men just don’t know the product. Gels, pomades, waxes, mattes, clays, etcetera are big now because they go directly in the hair to coat the follicles almost entirely then allow you to comb your style from there.
This is all fine and well, but it does add more weight to your hair than hairspray will and, typically, these other products don’t showcase your natural hair.
Hairspray holds more tenuously, so you’ll notice that it feels much lighter and, if you so want it, you still get bounce and movement without losing shape.
It is not uncommon to use hairspray with other styling products, however. One often used combination is to style your hair with a pomade or clay and top it with hairspray.
This is mostly done because men with thicker hair that want to craft their specific hair style with a pomade to give it shape, then use hairspray to freeze that style in place but give it extra shine and polish.
The 13 Best Hairsprays For Men Reviewed 2020
We all know AXE, right? A big brand with lines on everything involving men’s grooming. Naturally, they are in the hairspray game and Spiked Up Look is a player.
Recommended for thicker hair, don’t be thinking this is only for the youngsters; Spiked Up Look is for men that want that extreme, never budge hold. The alcohol-based three pack set is a good value on bulk but as a stand-alone product it is a great styler.
Besides the pleasant scent that AXE is known for, Spiked Up Look really does keep styles as difficult as the spike held and in place a long time. The matte, semi-shine look is popular so this is recommended for those new to hairspray.
As far as application goes, it’s quick and easy like body spray – just style, spray the even mist over your hair and done.
For men that still aren’t convinced hairsprays are for men, I present you with a new idea: Grooming Spray. Clubman’s Supreme Styling and Grooming Spray comes in non-aerosol form and allows you to spritz your hair to a neat style.
The grooming spray is traditionally used with other products like pomade because it adds brilliant hold and shine, with a subtle, yet manly scent.
Clubman Supreme is well liked for its hold and quick drying, non-flaky formula. In terms of hair types, grooming spray is suitable for all types including curly or wavy as it holds all day and still feels very light.
The non-aerosol spray comes in an 8oz pump bottle that dispenses in a fine mist for simple application.
Besides the aforementioned benefits, we think it is among the best hairsprays… excuse me, grooming sprays for men on its low, low pricing.
Consort Extra Hold is ideal for the guy who wants style but doesn’t want the annoyance of weight and strong scent. Users of Consort Extra Hold say it is “like you don’t even know it is there.”
The aerosol spray allows for easy application without scent, yet still gives a strong and lasting hold with minimal shine. The beauty of this product is how great the hold is without the weight or stickiness, so really it works for men of all hair types and styles.
You may also like this product if you are active as it is great at maintaining hold even when battling sweat. The 8.3oz can is priced right and is ranked among the best men’s hairsprays because of its versatility.
The Japanese made Gatsby Hard Set & Keep Spray is well-described in its name alone: Super Hard Set (mega hold) & Keep (will not budge).
Besides just powerful hold Gatsby will hold all day even in humid climates or versus sweat. The aerosol spray is a very fine mist that will go on even but, like Schwarzkopf, this will freeze your style in place fast, so make sure you’ve got your style the way you want it.
This is another product that is recommended for thicker hair, so guys rockin’ the Pompadour will love Gatsby for the mega hold and its added natural shine. The “Jumbo” aerosol can (180g / ~6.35oz.) is a bit pricey, but if Gatsby is for you, we’re guessing you willing to pay to turn a few heads.
If you don’t know the John Frieda name your girlfriend will as these style pros have been in the game a long while and their salon grade products have been top of the line year after year.
Luxurious Volume Forever Full is another self-explanatory product name: full, classy look and volume that lasts forever… well all day at least. What the name doesn’t say is that this hairspray is ultra-lightweight, giving the hair a natural look and lift.
Additionally, it employs a quick drying anhydrous formula that locks your locks into place fast. Overall value is probably the best for a product that is so versatile and friendly to all hair types and styles. Added value to you on a low, low price and a large 10z aerosol can.
Like the previously mentioned John Frieda Luxurious Volume Forever Full, Fine to Full Blowout bring great volume, but will really please men with fine or thin hair looking for boost. This product comes in a spray not an aerosol and will transform your light, thin hair from dull and falling to full and robust.
This is more of a volume tool than a hairspray, so the idea is to make sure hair is coated from root to tip, styled then blown dry to maximize volume in a well-held style. Users rave about its effectiveness but remind that it is a bit pricey and typically only use it for weekends or special events.
As mentioned before, John Frieda is a very big name, so buy with confidence.
If you don’t know Paul Mitchell, well… you are just lying. Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturizing Spray is the Rolls-Royce of Hair Sprays for its naturally infused, lift and definition spray.
The super high quality, water-based spray is laden with white ginger for awesome scent and great definition. Paul Mitchell calls this the “beach look” so you can imagine how great you’ll be looking and, as may be expected, curls and wave can be well kept with natural bounce.
This is a pump spray and, as such, it will help with texture or dealing with difficult hair styles.
The benefits are plentiful, the product is legit, and the brand is a big as it comes so you’ll reap the rewards and you will impress, but expect to pay a penny to style at celebrity status.
The folks at Schwarzkopf are famous for their professional line of products that are super popular with young men and twenty-somethings. Got2b Rockin’It Encore is a really solid product that amazes with a mega strong hold that stays super light feeling on your head.
This product can be used for any hair type but is recommended for thicker hair, and will fearless hold even the wildest styles. For men worried about holding curly hair, fear not; Got2b Rockin’It Encore holds the curls natural shape and still gives you soft hair with bounce and movement.
Reviewers say that it is quick drying to freeze your look in place, nearly weightless despite the rock solid hold, and smells great.
The 9.2oz aersol spray can is modestly priced especially considering how popular it is.
Sebastian’s Shaper Hair Spray is a cool spin on hair spray products that active men will love.
Shaper uses “multi-blend” hold, meaning that it bends movement back into shape and form so you don’t have to worry about control on the run. Because of this it also uses humidity protection to keep its long-lasting hold firm.
This product is not just for the active man though, the light-weight, multi-blend formula is great for all hair types and styles because it holds and is very light. Users report really liking how easy it combs out and the soft, yet pleasant scent.
Consider this among the best men’s hairsprays on the market based on its useful hold technology and large 10.6oz can.
The Dry Look is an alcohol-based hairspray that is ideal for men with finer, thinning hair. This will provide a sturdy hold that stays light, keeps all day and manages those pesky fine hairs that seem to constantly fall out of place. Men with thick hair will also like this product because it does not harden or give a greasy look, yet still has the strength to hold more course styles.
As the name says, this product will give a dry, natural look so you will not get much shine. That being said the trusted Gillette name is one of the most popular brands and, as such, this product comes with glowing reviews for men that really want to show off what their natural hair looks like.
The aerosol spray provides and even and easy application in an average-sized 8oz can with a very fair price point.
TIGI gained tons of popularity when their “Bed Head” line of products hit the market years back and that lineage continues with Hard Head Hair Spray. Bed Head hangs its hat on super hard hold with a light feel.
For men that don’t need any extra style points and simply want the hold, this is your product – no added shine, just long lasting hold. The alcohol-based, aerosol spray will apply evenly in a fine mist and is ideal for any hair type. Intricate styles can be held in place with ease, so go ahead and get creative.
In terms of value, TIGI Bead Head Hard Head ranks with the best hairsprays for men on great name, large can (10.6oz) and super fair price. It’s unisex too, so feel free to share with your lady friend.
TRESemmé Tres Two Extra Hold is superb for all hair types and offers a multitude of benefits that support just about any style. One unique benefit of this hairspray is that it is formulated to provide styling time before the hold sets, so you can spray it in and make some final touches if need be. Tres Two is a salon-grade styling product that works for all hair types and will provide added volume.
Users of Tres Two rave about the light feel, non-sticky hold, but report that the “flyaway control” truly does keep in place stray hairs.
In terms of value, Tres Two is top notch for several reasons: usage for any hair type (it’s unisex as well), trusted brand name, fair price, and large 11oz can.
Vitalis Hairspray Pump is a solid choice for hairspray for any hair type looking for a super strong hold. We like Vitalis because it holds great and, even as a spray, coats evenly.
The trouble with pump spray is clogging or evenness, but Vitlais has an advanced pump that understands your frustration with clogs/plugs and brings a fresh bottle of hairspray that won’t leave you disassembling your grooming gear like a mechanic.
Beyond the frustration-free technology, Vitalis is one of the best hairsprays for men because it holds great from thick to thin. The weight is light, like its top rated counterparts, but unlike many pumps it is not sticky and will not make your hair stiff.
In the end we men like easy, inexpensive, and effective…
Vitalis covers you (pun intended) with an unscented, strong holding, fan favorite.