The Gloss Report: hairsprays, tried and tested

Ayesha Muttucumaru 18 August 2017
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The Gloss Report: hairsprays, tried and tested

When it comes to giving your hairstyle of choice extra staying power, a good hairspray can fast become a girl’s best friend. Long gone are the days of over-scented aerosols, over-inflated bouffants and curls so crisp that they’re more akin to carefully carved planks of wood. That being said though, with the new array of formulations and strengths now on offer, how far exactly have they come and do you in fact need to spend more to gain longer-lasting results?

From high street to high end, the GTG team have been curling, preening and up-doing to our hearts’ contents to put an assortment of hairstyle fixers to the test. Which ones gave us most ‘do for our dough? Click through our gallery to find out.

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L’Oreal Professionnel Infinium

Price: £4.20 for 300ml

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The promise: "Give your hair an instant, extra strong hold with brilliant shine."

We give it: 9/10

Review: “When I first embarked on my relationship with hairsprays, I like to think I was fairly low maintenance. I did my best to shut my eyes while keeping to the '35cm away from your head' instructions, and in return just hoped to open my peepers and not be greeted by a halo of pot noodles (pre boiling water) looking back at me.

“This time though, I decided to get firm. So when L'Oreal Professionnel's Infinium landed on my desk with it's somewhat sophisticated black and gold bottle, I decided to put it through its paces. I wasn't disappointed.

“I tried out the 'extra-strong' hold and was instantly pleased at how light it felt, even though I applied it far too close than first intended. Drying almost immediately, it was an additional delight to discover an unusually delicate and neutral scent. I ventured out into a blustery, drizzly evening and on my return (two wind tunnel tube rides later), I was happy to see that my naturally poker straight hair was still looking distinctly tousled. The best bit? When I brushed it through the next morning it was as if the whole thing hadn't happened - no residue left at all. While I didn't notice the additional shine they say it gives you, all in all this was infinitely superior to other varieties out there.”

Reviewer: JRJ

3 / 12

Kerastase Styling Laque Couture Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

Price: £14.15 for 200ml

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The promise: "Provides resilient yet flexible hold, helping to keep your hair in pristine condition as the day goes on."

We give it: 9/10

Review: “Although many moons have passed, it’s quite hard to shake the memories of my overdone hairsprayed ‘dos of years gone by. However, thanks to a new legion of style setters that have hit the market in recent times, their reformulated successors have redefined what it means to be a modern day mane multitasker - and this hairspray is up there with the finest I’ve tried thus far.

“My style of choice? Tousled curls. The challenge? To delay their transition to unruliness for as long as possible without leaving them feeling like straw. Did it succeed? Yes. My hair was left soft and frizz-free with zero crispiness, with my lose curls lasting impressively well from morning until evening. Plus, it also brushed out incredibly well with none of the matted, knotty aftermath that some hairsprays I’ve tried in the past have caused. It's a great finishing touch to any hairstyle in my opinion, whether up or down, to help it last whichever way the wind decides to blow.”

Reviewer: AM

4 / 12

Philip Kingsley Finishing Touch Hairspray

Price: £9.50 for 100ml

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The promise: "Enhances and protects all styles whether curly, straight, up or down."

We give it: 9/10

Review: “I hate hairspray that feels heavy on the hair and slightly sticky to the touch - I want my hair to stay in place, but I’d prefer not to weigh it down. This particular hairspray claims to provide long-lasting, flexible hold without leaving the hair feeling stiff - so it sounded like it had just what I was looking for. I loved the feel of this spray on my hair and it did exactly what it promised - held my style in place from morning to evening without weighing my fine hair down. It also had a fresh scent to it too - not a hint of the usual off-putting chemical aroma that other hairsprays often have; a definite plus!”

Reviewer: SM

5 / 12

Redken Fashion Work 12 Versatile Hairspray

Price: £8.71 for 400ml

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The promise: "A fast-drying, fine-mist hairspray that lets you work, shape and finish for flawless styles."

We give it: 7/10

Review: “Initially taken aback at the sheer scale of this spray can, I was pleasantly surprised to find my first spritz was light, airy and, importantly, moist. The formula is a far cry from the white sticky powder that fizzes from the nozzle of many a hairspray gone by and instead settles effortlessly on the hair with enough flexibility to continue sculpting the style as you go.

“The hold is medium to light so not one for crafting your best bardot, but a good answer to daily control. The fragrance is an unexpected and, dare I say, quite masculine spice, but a welcome break from the trademark hairspray scent!  Finally, for those of you with colour in your hair, the formula is enriched with Vitamin C and E to protect your locks and prevent colour fade.”

Reviewer: GB

6 / 12

Schwarzkopf got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray

Price: £3 for 300ml

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The promise: "Let you hair freeze - until the next shampoo."

We give it: 7/10

Review: “This hairspray sounds like a group of marketing executives had a breakout session to come up with as many ‘manly’ verbs as possible to shoehorn into its name. But don’t be put off by this product’s resemblance to a football match air horn. Inside the violently yellow bottle is a hairspray with a difference. I find most traditional hairsprays simply coat your hair in a shell of crispy-ness without actually helping your style hold. Instead, the got2b spray makes your hair tacky and pliable - the glued part of the name, presumably. This allows your style to hold together in a very natural looking way.

“I let my hair dry wavy in a braid, tonged the fronts, sprayed and low and behold my hair did stay in exactly the same style until my next wash. No mean feat when you have a head full of wilful curls and frizz. Even if your hair is poker straight, the Blasting Spray would be brilliant - it gives what hair stylists love to call ‘texture,’ allowing you to perfect that mussy, undone look. My only nitpicks are that the smell is reminiscent of a bathroom air freshener, and I’m afraid my boyfriend is going to steal it to prop up his masculinity (and his quiff).”

Reviewer: IB

7 / 12

L'Oreal Elnett Satin with Precious Oil

Price: £2.60 for 75ml

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The promise: " The legendary, long-lasting hold of Elnett now infused with weightless, extra-caring argan oil."

We give it: 6/10

Review: “No one is ever going to trifle with Elnett's bulletproof credentials; it's been keeping women's barnets in place since the 60s - from beehives to feathered mullets, via the Dynasty style updos favoured by Joan Collins. But now we have a new iteration of the cult classic which contains ‘precious oils.’ To demystify L'Oreal's packaging claim, we're talking about Argan oil to be exact, which in its most basic form helps to keep hair shiny, strong and soft and has become a much celebrated ingredient in recent years. However, shiny, strong and soft are three adjectives that I have never really associated with hairspray, so the Argan oil feels like a bit of an afterthought to me and the product would, I feel, never contain enough to have a lasting effect on your hair. If you want to really nourish your hair to the root, this is not going to cut it (just use Argan oil!). However, if you need your ‘do’ to work overtime for a party or wedding, this will definitely do it.”

Reviewer: AEM

8 / 12

Ouai Soft Hairspray

Price: £22 for 213ml

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The promise: “A lightweight hold mist that locks in your look and shields hair from humidity.”

We give it: 8/10

Review: “The first remarkable element of this hairspray is its scent- alcohol may be first on the ingredients list, but you can’t smell it- a squirt of this and you may as well not wear fragrance, because you’ll be wafting around Ouai all day and it smells awesome. Scent aside, the fine mist creates a soft effect as promised, as long as you don’t spray at close range, and the addition of hydrating, nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, castor oil and botanical oils and extracts gives the formula an edge and in theory boosts hair health. From the off, hair holds nicely with a bit of a sheen and no crunchy heaviness. It’s seriously spendy for a haircare basic, but the fact that the fragrance clings to the hair all day possibly means you can economise with your perfume...I’ll leave that up to you, but I’ll be rationing this out for the foreseeable.”

Reviewer: AH

9 / 12

TIGI S-Factor Vivacious Volume Hairspray

Price: £20.95 for 371ml

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The promise: "Helps protect volumised styles from humidity for a long-lasting, smooth and polished finish."

We give it: 5/10

Review: “I’ve been impressed by TIGI hairsprays before, but I must say I was a little disappointed with this one. To be fair, it had a tough task: to keep my (naturally straight) hair curly all night despite brief episodes in the gale-force wind and drizzle… what can I say, I have high expectations, particularly as it rates itself as medium hold.

“Spraying it onto my styled hair, it went on as a fine mist (tick) but left a slightly sticky feeling behind - and you could see the product in the hair, which is my pet peeve with any kind of styling. Much careful combing of the top layers later, and it still had hold but was less ‘stringy’ looking, with a slight shine to it as promised. The sweet fragrance is quite overpowering (though as someone who relies on fragrance-free everything for my sensitive skin it was a treat to have hair that smelled as good as a hair salon), and though it’s a large can (almost 400ml) I do think the price is a little steep. Were my curls in at the end of the night? Well, they were more kinks than curls, but a wave of sorts was certainly still there - so I can’t be too harsh given the forces of nature doing their best to ruin it.”

Reviewer: JJ

10 / 12

Silvikrin Classic Hairspray Maximum Hold

Price: £3.14 for 400ml

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The promise: Reliable, long lasting natural hold that keeps your style flexible.

We give it: 10/10

Review: “An oldie but a goodie and in my opinion the best on the market, Silvikrin is certainly reliable - it’s been keeping my tonged curls curly (my hair is poker straight) for years. Lightweight and definitely not sticky, it keeps your style in place for hours without leaving a visible trace on the hair - I hate it when hair looks rigid - and it brushes out easily when you’re ready. It’s a great setting spray for fine hair like mine as it helps to create volume where there is none; all in all a top notch hairspray.”

Reviewer: JJ

11 / 12

Batiste Stylist Hold Me Hairspray

Price: £4.49 for 300ml

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The promise: "Keep your style all day with this invisible max strength hairspray with keratin and inca inchi oil."

We give it: 8/10

Review: “I’m a huge fan of Batiste products generally, particularly the brand’s range of dry shampoos. I hadn’t yet tried the hairspray, and it’s safe to say it did not disappoint. It’s light and not sticky at all, but a little does go a long way. The brand’s top tip is to spray it onto a hair brush and smooth over your hair before styling - absolute genius. Perfect for wedding season and a little bit of last minute oomph.”

Reviewer: AMW

12 / 12

Percy & Reed Surprisingly Strong Extra Hold Hairspray

Price: £12 for 250ml

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The promise: “Humidity-resistant, weightless mist helps combat heat styling damage, frizz and flyaways.”

We give it: 9/10

Review: “New for 2017, this is indeed the future of hairspray in the sense that it’s firm hold, without the 80s crispiness you may have come to expect from hardcore hairsprays. For ultimate softness, spray at a good distance from your head- close-up application will result in crackly strands, which is more of an application fail than a product one. This style setter smells fruity and floral without being sickly, and the spray is fine- it won’t settle on your hair in a weird film (I find this surprisingly common and noticeable on dark hair). Humidity wise it was up against peak August mugginess, but it held my style in shape all day, with a little bit of fuzz creeping in at the roots after a rain shower. The clean white bottle with monochrome line drawn illustrations is a cute addition to the dressing table and a nice change from the usual garish cans too.”

Reviewer: AH