Ever wonder what hairstylists use to make once limp and lifeless locks look magazine cover ready? I'll give you a hint: it comes in a can and you spray it directly in your hair.
If you thought of hairspray or dry shampoo, you're close but just missed the mark. While both of those things have the ability to improve the final look before and after styling, what we're actually talking about is texturizing spray.
If you've never heard of it before, we've got you covered. Shop TODAY spoke to a few hairstylists to explain how texturizing spray differs from other common hair aerosols, what it actually does for your tresses and how to apply it to get the best results.
What is the difference between texturizing spray, hairspray and dry shampoo?
When it comes to hair products, not all aerosols are created equally — meaning different sprays serve different purposes.
“Dry shampoo is mainly used to block sebum from the hair so it doesn’t get too oily,” Shinichi N., manager at Masa Kanai in New York City, told us. “It’s mainly meant for cleaning as opposed to style.”
Traditional hairspray, on the other hand, is more meant for holding a style after the work has been done. “Texture spray is not necessarily going to give you the same amount of hold that a hairspray will, and it won’t give you the shine that a hairspray will,” said Kasey Bertucci, co-founder of Salon 120 West in Boston, Massachusetts.
So what does that mean for texturizing sprays? Think of it as a middle ground between dry shampoo and hairspray. While some sprays have the ability to absorb oil and some have the ability to provide light hold, texturizing spray is to be used on clean hair and can be used before applying hot tools like a heated styling brush or curling iron.
Bertucci said the key to success is making sure you’re using the right product for your desired result. “As long as you know what to use it for, it should definitely do the trick,” she added.
What are the benefits of using texturizing spray?
One of the biggest benefits of using texturizing spray is increased volume, Chicago-based hairstylist Jenna Spino told us. It can also be used for hold and adding grit to softer hair.
Depending on your goals, texturizing spray can also be used to achieve the “I just rolled out of bed” messy chic look or to perfect your beach waves, Shinichi added.
How to apply texturizing spray
Applying texturizing spray is pretty simple. It can be sprayed all over your hair and should be used when your hair is clean, Bertucci advised. If your goal is more volume, Spino suggests using the spray at your roots.
Texturizing spray can be used on the middle and ends of your hair before or after curling, according to Bertucci and Spino. “If your hair is very fine and doesn’t hold a style well, you could spray first and then curl," Bertucci said. "Then it will give you a little bit more longevity and a little bit more hold. And you could also finish with a texture spray, which will give you a little bit of grit and it will be more of a beachy style versus your full formal glamorous curls."
Another approach Spino suggests is spraying the underside of sections of your hair to piece it out and show off your layers. “A lot of people like [texturizing spray] on second day [hair] just to re-fluff it,” she said.
Different types of texturizing spray can also produce different results, Shinichi told us. A beach wave or curl can be achieved with a sea mist-like texture spray. Spraying an appropriate amount in slightly damp or towel-dried hair, that is then brushed through lightly or combed through with your fingers, can produce a natural-looking beach wave. But if you want a slightly more put-together messy-but-natural look, then she recommends using a texturizing spray that offers a bit more hold and can be used as a finishing product after you’ve used a curling iron. Again, follow up with some finger combing to reach your desired result.
Best texturizing sprays, according to hairstylists
IGK Beach Club Volume Texture Spray
Bertucci describes this spray as a "happy medium" between too much grit and not enough. According to the brand, this salt-free formula is non-drying and instantly adds volume and hold.
O&M Surf Bomb Sea Spray
For a water-based mist, Shinichi likes O&M Surf Bomb Sea Spray. She recommends applying it to damp hair and mussing it around to get an easy beachy look.
"If you have straight hair, you can actually use this by straightening your hair and then use your fingers to curl it to get more of that wave to keep it in place," she offered as another tip.
Kenra Platinum Dry Texture Spray
If the scent of a product really matters to you, this Kenra texture spray might be the one you need. "[It] smells absolutely incredible if people like sweet-smelling hair product," Bertucci told us.
According to the brand, it also absorbs oil and leaves hair with a matte finish so you don't have to worry about greasy hair.
For a texturizing spray that can also be used as a finishing spray, Shinichi likes this one from Kevin.Murphy.
"It’s still texturizing, but it would hold the hair in place while still giving it that messy look. So it’s lighter hold compared to actual finishing sprays like the normal hairsprays you would buy at the salon or CVS," she said. "This one give you more of that natural 'I rolled out of the bed' look."
Living Proof Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray
Spino is a fan of this multiuse texture spray from Living Proof. Not only is it designed to provide grit, texture and volume, the brand also says it provides heat protection up to 410°F.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Bertucci also recommends this Oribe pick. Ringing in the highest price point of the bunch, she says it's well worth the money. "It’s beautiful packaging, smells incredible and it also does work. " Bertucci assured us.
Best texturizing sprays, according to shoppers
Unite Texturiza Spray
Described by the brand as providing a "medium, workable hold," this texturizing spray has over 1,200 verified five-star ratings. "I can easily style my long hair giving it volume & hold in all the right places," raved one reviewer. "When I no longer need the hold it can be combed out without any product buildup!"
Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray
This Moroccanoil spray can be used more for keeping your latest style from falling out. Once you're done reaping the benefits for your hair, the empty container is recyclable so the earth benefits, too.
Amika Un.done Volume and Matte Texture Spray
From providing grit to absorbing oil, this Amika spray touts benefits that do it all. According to the brand, it's even safe for color-, Brazilian- and keratin-treated tresses, on top of being suitable for all hair types. Reviewers say it not only gives them the perfect amount of texture, but it also smells good!
Color Wow Style on Steroids Performance-Enhancing Texturizing Spray
You've probably heard of Color Wow because of their fan favorite heat protectant spray or root cover-up, but their texturizing spray is also a hit amongst shoppers with over 1,100 verified five-star ratings on Amazon. "I have fine but coarse, wavy hair & used it for the first time the other night & got so many compliments! It really adds texture and definition without being crunchy or sticky," enthused one reviewer.
SexyHair Texture Surfer Girl Dry Texturizing Spray
If you want to achieve the perfect beach waves, you might want to put your trust in a product called "Surfer Girl." Described by the brand as giving you the "lived in touchable texture of your dreams," this spray is best used after styling the hair to give your look its final missing bits of hold and texture.
For more stories like this, check out:
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- This curling cream gave my hair definition and shine — and it's only $14
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