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Be honest: When you think of hair spray, do you have visions of the overly teased hair from decades ago?
While those memories are hilarious, hair spray has evolved tremendously over the years.
“In the '80s, hair almost defied gravity! The hair spray of that era was pure lacquer — a version of the hair spray of the '50s and '60s — when women needed to keep their hair in for a week,” celebrity hairstylist Gregg Giannillo of Giannillo Salon told TODAY Style.
The modern version is much more flexible, brushable and has a completely different finish than you remember — more of a smoothing finish rather than a glued-in-place feel.
“Hair spray can now protect you from humidity and can help your style last without it being stiff or sticky. Think of it as more of a styling spray than a typical hair spray because you can work with it and also finish with it,” said Giannillo.
TODAY Style asked celebrity hairstylists to share their favorite modern sprays to keep hair in top form all year-round. Here are their top picks!
Light and flexible hold hair spray
1. R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hair Spray, $30, Amazon
Also available for $30 at Dermstore.
“R+Co Outer Space is my favorite go-to hair spray. It has a medium, flexible hold that’s forgiving for a soft-set, brushed-through look but also strong enough for tight, slick styles. Over the years, hair spray formulas and molecules have advanced. Outer Space is packed with vitamin B5 that conditions, thickens and builds volume,” said celebrity hairstylist Netty Jordan, who works with celebrities like La La Anthony, Laverne Cox and Hayley Kiyoko.
2. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $46, Amazon
Also available for $46 at Nordstrom.
“(This is) one of the best sprays out there. It gives volume and texture and hold. You can also use it as a dry shampoo so it will look like you walked right out of the salon for days. It’s invisible so there's no residue and it holds styles,” said Kacey Welch, senior master colorist at Roil Salon in Beverly Hills, California, whose clients include Sharon Stone, Erin Andrews, LeAnn Rimes and Marcia Gay Harden.
3. Aveda Air Control Light Control Hair Spray, $29, Nordstrom
Also available for $40 at Amazon.
“(This spray) builds body without weighing the hair down or making it stiff and crispy!” said Eloise Cheung, a celebrity and editorial hairstylist.
4. Sebastian Shine and Define Flexible Spray, $14 (usually $17), Amazon
Also available for $11 (usually $17) at JCPenney.
“It gives the hair a beautiful, healthy shine and keeps the moisture in versus drying it out. And it acts as a thermal protector, so double the protection especially when you use hot tools on the hair,” said Fisher.
5. Bumble and Bumble Does It All Light Hold Hairspray, $30, Nordstrom
Also available for $30 at Sephora.
"It's a working spray that's brushable and easily layered with different products. The malleable hold this spray offers takes my styling to the next level while leaving the hair touchable. It's not crunchy or hard; it has a soft hold that's still able to tame flyaways. It's one of the best hairsprays on the market today," said Sarah Rappolt, celebrity stylist at ManeSpace, a co-working salon.
Strong hold hair spray
6. L’Oréal Elnett Hair Spray, $12 (usually $13), Amazon
Also available for $12 at Walmart.
"This is great for setting hair (since it) holds hair very well and you can brush through easily. This is my favorite that I’ve discovered over the course of my career. It’s always stashed at my work station or in my travel bag,” said New York-based master hair colorist Stephanie Brown, whose celebrity clients include Kate McKinnon and Melissa Villaseñor.
7. Oribe Superfine Strong Hair Spray, $39, Amazon
Also available for $39 at Nordstrom.
8. John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Hair Spray, $7 (usually $9), Amazon
Also available for $7 at Walmart.
“It's amazing in the humid weather and really lasts for a full 24 hours with minimal touch ups. It’s my go-to on set,” said Felix Fischer, who has worked on Kelly Clarkson, Kate Winslet, Marisa Tomei and Ashley Graham.
Moisturizing hair spray
9. Moroccanoil Luminous Hair Spray, $22 (usually $23), Amazon
"This is virtually weightless, plus it smells great and doesn’t dry out the hair like others,” said Brown.