Is Hairspray Bad for Your Hair

Hairspray is a popular type of product, used by both men and women to keep their hair in place. Because hairspray contains many chemical ingredients, you might wonder whether or not it could be bad for your hair.

Most hairsprays, when used normally, do not actually cause any long-term damage to hair. Many formulations do contain alcohol and polymers that are used in products like paint and glue, but in the case of hairspray, they are usually chemically modified to be better for the hair's condition. If you are a regular hairspray user, however, you may want to consider a few different factors that can affect the condition of your hair.


All hairsprays generally contain some type of alcohol. Some types can cause damage to the hair, while others may help to moisturize and condition it. Check the ingredients label on your bottle of hairspray. Ethanol should be avoided, because it tends to dry out and damage the hair. Other types of alcohol, such as cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, are not as bad for your hair and are sometimes even found in shampoos and conditioners.

Product buildup

Ideally, hairspray should only be used once between each shampooing. If you use the spray repeatedly without washing, some types of hairspray can cause a buildup of product, which appears as a stiff layer of white, flaky particles.

Excessive use can also result in your hair looking dull instead of shiny because of the excess polymers coating each follicle. If you want a hairspray to make your hair look shinier and feel less stiff, try choosing one that has silicone, sodium PCA, vitamin E or panthenol.

Allergic reactions

If your scalp becomes red or itchy after using hairspray, you may be suffering from an allergic reaction. Stop using the product immediately, and wash the product out of your hair. Check the ingredient list of the spray, and see if you can narrow down the ingredients that are causing your reaction. Then, you can avoid buying products with the same ingredients in the future.

More serious reactions can result from hairspray use, including asthma attacks. If you feel short of breath or have any other serious reaction after using a new type of hairspray, be sure to dial 911 or head to your nearest emergency department.

Hairspray safety

Singed and burned is not an attractive look, so be sure to practice safe spraying when it comes to hairspray. Almost all hairspray products are extremely flammable, so avoid using them near an open flame, while smoking or next to someone who is smoking. Do not smoke or stand near an open flame until the hairspray is completely dry.

Hair should be healthy, not dry or damaged, so it is important to avoid harmful ingredients and use hairspray properly. Hairspray is not necessarily bad for your hair, but it should not be used in excess, and ingredients like ethanol should be avoided for the best results.

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