Is Hairspray Bad for Your Hair? Does It Do Harm?

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Do you wish to keep flyaways and frizz at bay? One product you will need for this is hairspray. However, you might be reluctant to use it since you are unsure if it is good for the hair. Nevertheless, everyone wants to keep their hair in place using hairspray without risking hair loss. 

There are several myths revolving around hair styling products – myths linking hair thinning and hair loss with styling products. One of the many questions surrounding hair products is if hair sprays are ideal for your hair. 

Is Hairspray Bad for Your Hair?

As long as you remove it properly, it shouldn’t do harm. While there are many claims that hairspray harms your hair, many do not have much evidence to back the claims. We’ll look into responsible hairspray use and how to do it right.


Is Hairspray Bad for Your Hair? Is It Good or Bad for Your Hair?

Do you use hairspray products with heavy alcohol composition instead of products with natural resins? Then you are putting yourself at risk of hair loss and damage.

It is important to ensure that you wash out hairspray from your hair within a day of using it to avoid damage.

It is important to ensure that you wash out hairspray from your hair within a day of using it to avoid damage.

Most popular ingredients usually contain polymers and alcohol. Though they might be identical to the contents of things such as glue and paint, they are chemically modified in hairspray, making them fast-drying and flexible.

Other constituent ingredients of hairspray include neutralizing and conditioning agents. 

Since a majority of hairsprays have ethanol as a drying agent, ensure you give the hair extra care if you are using styling products with alcohol.

In general, the majority of hairspray does not lead to damage. Nonetheless, some types of hairspray could be harmful to your hair (in the same way some gels can be not so great). Therefore, consider the ingredients before settling on any hairspray.

Below are some helpful pointers.

Alcohol and Hairspray

There are a variety of different types of alcohol. For example, hairsprays containing ethanol may be pretty damaging to the hair since they cause it to dry out. The ingredient can also lead to scalp irritation.

Other alcohols such as Cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol can be found in shampoos and help moisturize the hair. 


An accumulation of hairspray can be an issue for you. This is because repeated usage of hairspray in-between washing hair can lead to some brands forming dandruff-like particle layers that peel off.

Though this is different from dandruff, the tiny white flakes can drop to your shoulders or scalp, resulting in a dandruff-like appearance.

If you realize your hairspray causes this, wash the hair more regularly (and thoroughly), use cool water, and consider a different brand. Also, consider using brands with conditioners. 

Dull Hair

Hairspray serves by forming polymers to coat the hair. With excessive hairspray use, you could start realizing that the hair is not shiny but dull. Hairspray containing panthenol or vitamin E, sodium PCA, and silicone help maintain moisture within the hair and make it shine. 


If allergies like itchy scalp start developing following the use of particular hairspray brands, stop using the brand immediately.

Go through the ingredients list and try to establish the ingredient(s) that affects you so that you’ll know what to avoid in the future.

Hairspray Do’s

The more regularly you use hairspray, the more likely it is to accumulate on the hair strands. To avoid feeling as though your hair is too stiff, ensure you wash out the excess product and thoroughly cleanse the scalp as you wash the hair. 

Since a majority of hairsprays have ethanol as a drying agent, ensure you give the hair extra affection if you are using styling products with alcohol. Too much ethanol can lead to the hair drying out and eventually brittle hair. Instead, you could use nourishing leave-in conditioners before applying hair spray to prevent dry hair. 

Extended usage of hairspray makes the hair weak, putting it at the risk of falling out. 

Hair Product Ingredients You Should Avoid

The effect of hair spray on your hair is dependent on the constituent ingredients present. 

The most popular ingredients you should avoid with hair products include:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate – sulfates
  • Silicones
  • Sodium chloride
  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate

1. Sulfates

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – an aesthetic foam that is pleasurable to touch.


  • It makes thicker hair products
  • Cleans the hair since it is a detergent
  • Removes fat accumulated on your scalp


  • It may lead to dandruff
  • Irritates and dries out the scalp
  • Causes redness or eczema

2. Silicones 

Dimethicone – has the effect of softening the hair but weakens it.


  • Most commonly used cosmetic silicone
  • It is a polymer sourced from silicone via a chemical process.
  • Forms a protective shield to moisturize hair by preventing the present water’s evaporation.
  • Protects the hair from aggressive agents over winter, a season when it is most weak loses texture and volume and has a frizzing tendency. 


  • Blocks the pores hence making it a challenge to sweat impurities away
  • In some individuals, the ingredient leads to an allergic reaction like burning your scalp or itching

3. Parabens

Propylparaben and methylparaben increase the durability of hair products. Nonetheless, research has shown it is associated with some shortcomings.


  • They are preservatives
  • It prevents bacteria, yeast, and fungi from damaging the hair products


  • Causes hair loss
  • May lead to allergic reactions and scalp irritation
  • Research shows that it alters hormonal balance

An example of hairspray you should avoid is lacquer which includes more alcohol and other elements because of its spray format.

So what exactly is wrong with lacquer hairspray? Most significantly, it does not allow breathing upon drying and setting on your hair. It also does not let your scalp breathe if you apply it from where the root begins. 

Extended usage of hairspray makes the hair weak, putting it at the risk of falling out. However, using limited amounts or on only a few occasions helps your hair regain its original volume and shape. 


Not every hair spray will contain similar ingredients. Be aware of the ingredients of your spray of choice.

Though hairspray might not be harmful to the hair, you don’t need to go crazy with it!. It is a great hair product when used on occasion, or if you form a habit of regularly washing it out at least once a day. But if you’re using it all the time, without washing… well that’s probably not a great idea.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).