What is the healthiest hairspray to use? That’s difficult to answer. But hairspray without alcohol is a good start. It’s not drying to the hair and scalp, making it a smart choice for curly hair.
Although there aren’t lots of options available, the best alcohol-free hairspray isn’t hard to find online. Use the links below to quickly see our top picks.
So, what is the best alcohol-free hairspray? Let’s talk about how it’s different from hairspray with alcohol, and how you can choose the right hairspray for your needs.
|The best alcohol-free hairsprays||Why we love them|
|Herbal Essences Bio-Renew Flexible Airspray Alcohol-Free Hairspray|
|Aussie Air Spray Alcohol-Free Hairspray|
|Kenra Shaping Spray|
|Pantene Pro-V Airspray Hairspray|
|AG Hair Volume Spray Body Soft-Hold Volumizer|
|Honeybee Gardens Herbal Mint Alcohol Free Hair Spray|
|Ion Alcohol-Free Finishing Hair Spray|
|Sun Bum Sea Salt Spray|
Table of Contents
- How alcohol-free hairspray is different
- How to choose the best hairspray
- Best Alcohol-Free Hairspray in 2021
How alcohol-free hairspray is different
Although the alcohol in hairspray isn’t necessarily harmful, regular use of it may strip moisture from the scalp and hair. It’s the ethanol that does the damage. (Ask anyone that used hand sanitizer all year long.) Therefore, you may see “alcohol-free” hairsprays that list other forms of alcohol on the label. They’re not lying – they just haven’t included the most drying form of alcohol.
Alcohol-free hairspray is water-based, so it dries slower. Up until a few years ago, it was only available in pump sprays, but now there are aerosol alcohol-free hairsprays.
That’s great news because the original formulas sometimes clumped if too much was used.
How to choose the best hairspray
Here’s how to end up happy with your hairspray. Get the kind that provides the benefits you need. For example, how much hold would you like?
Light and flexible hold
Light hold provides the most natural look, allowing the hair to move freely, but still maintaining the general style. It reduces flyaways and frizz for fine hair.
Medium hold hairspray works well for maintaining a sleek appearance, like preventing stray hairs.
Extra or firm hold
If you have a hairstyle you want to maintain all day, like waves or an updo, go with firm hold hairspray.
Ultimate or extreme hold
How do people keep mohawks looking perfectly pointed? It’s not just the gel, but also the extreme hold hairspray. Definitely the stiffest option, but ideal for finishing the hairdo that you worked so hard on.
But there’s more to think about than how much holding power a spray offers. Consider the following features too.
Anyone with fine, straight hair can appreciate how hairspray provides body and volume. Most volumizing sprays can be used during styling, not just finishing.
Does your hair freak out in high humidity? Some hairsprays are specifically formulated to keep strands smooth.
You’ll use styling hairspray on damp hair to straighten it or add volume. Generally, it offers light hold, so it’s not the best choice for a finishing spray. Check out Kenra’s Shaping Spray below to learn more.
Best Alcohol-Free Hairspray in 2021
Herbal Essences Bio-Renew Flexible Airspray
There are pluses and minuses to everything in life, including hairspray. This one smells clean and a little floral, dispenses evenly, and provides light to medium hold. Moreover, it’s not stiff or crunchy like some hairsprays, yet it reduces frizz.
Not only is it alcohol-free, but it doesn’t have parabens, colorants, or gluten in it. It’s specifically formulated to help damaged hair recover, especially if you use it with the other bio:renew products like shampoo and conditioner. The blend of aloe, bamboo, and antioxidants restore shine and bounce to the hair.
That all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? So what’s the downside? Well, we found that it’s difficult to wash out and it may feel sticky if you try to brush your hair after applying it.
PS: The label says that it’s flammable, and it’s not because of any alcohol but rather the propellants.
- Revives damaged hair with bamboo, aloe, and antioxidants
- Light to medium hold that reduces frizz
- Disperses evenly (it’s an aerosol)
- Light, clean floral fragrance
- May be difficult to brush after application and challenging to wash out
Aussie Air Spray Alcohol-Free Hairspray
Aussie offers different levels of hold. We selected their level 3 hairspray which has extra hold without going crunchy. Of course, you can step down from that and get the (soft and) strong hold instead.
It features jojoba oil, sea kelp, and aloe to keep hair soft and nourished. Interestingly, it also has sunscreen to protect hair from fading and UV damage.
What’s nice is that for this level of hold, it doesn’t make the hair feel heavy. Still, it’s firm enough to sleek down stray hairs and keep an updo looking perfect. It’s also excellent for finger curls.
- Various levels of hold available
- Extra hold feels light and natural, never crunchy
- Contains sea kelp, aloe, and jojoba oil to nourish the hair
- Also has sunscreen to prevent fading
- Takes a little longer to dry than an alcohol-based formula
Kenra Shaping Spray
Here’s the alcohol-free hairspray that started it all. By that, we mean it was the first professional-grade aerosol without alcohol. And without that ingredient, it gives extra time for shaping a hairstyle. It takes a little longer to dry, unlike a typical aerosol, so it’s perfect for styling.
Moreover, the formula was developed to help hair retain plenty of moisture to stay healthy and strong. It also adds shine. Imagine how much good it could do for dry, damaged hair. Users with curly hair are thrilled with it, too.
Once it has set, you can still run your fingers through it. Plus, it smells fresh and fruity.
If you need firmer hold, Kenra has other alcohol-free sprays.
- Truly alcohol-free formula that pampers curly, dry, and damaged hair
- Designed for styling as it provides extra time for shaping the style
- Medium hold with shine and a pleasant, fruity scent
- First professional-grade alcohol-free aerosol
- Allows for restyling
- Not a firm hold as it’s possible to run the fingers through the hair after applying it
Pantene Pro-V Airspray Hairspray
Pantene is one of our favorite drugstore brands of hair care products. We were thrilled when they came out with alcohol-free “Airspray”. It’s available in various levels of hold. We reviewed the Level 3 version which offers light to medium hold that’s brushable after application. But feel free to try the Level 4 spray with extra strong control as a setting spray.
This spray prevents humidity from wrecking your hairstyle. It seals each strand to keep the moisture where it belongs and keeps the weather from causing trouble for your hair. As a result, the hair stays silken and manageable. You can still run your fingers or a brush through it after it dries.
- Light to medium hold that’s brushable after it dries
- Leaves the hair silky soft and eliminates frizz
- Made by a brand that offers alcohol-free hairspray with other levels of hold
- Not ideal as a setting spray for very fine hair
AG Hair Volume Spray Body Soft-Hold Volumizer
If you have flat hair, you’ve got to try this volumizing hairspray. It gives fine, straight hair the right amount of body without adding weight. Apply it to damp hair starting at the roots. Then use the hairdryer if desired. Even when air-dried, it will still add texture and volume.
Plus, if you spray again later in the day, it doesn’t get sticky or crunchy. It just refreshes the style and keeps the hair tamed.
The label reads like a spa treatment for the hair. It includes nutrients like panthenol, silk proteins, rosemary, ginseng, and ginger. It’s formulated to add shine and elasticity as well as promote hair growth.
- Adds volume to fine, straight, thin hair whether it’s blow-dried or air-dried
- Leaves the hair sleek and shiny even after a second application
- Packed with nutrients for improved elasticity, moisture, and hair growth
- Not the least expensive option
Honeybee Gardens Herbal Mint Hair Spray
We had a lot of people asking about the Honeybee Gardens alcohol-free hairspray. It’s popular for several reasons.
First, it has a woodsy mint scent from the natural ingredients like peppermint, rosemary, and lavender oil. It has no artificial fragrance or animal ingredients. It’s also certified cruelty-free.
Second, the water-based formula is enriched with chestnut, panthenol, aloe, chamomile, and other goodies to nourish the hair and scalp. It gives the hair a natural-looking shine and protects against the elements.
Third, it’s not just a hairspray but also a volumizer for styling. Spray it on damp roots and layer applications to add body. But be careful, because too much can make hair feel crunchy. Thankfully, it rinses easily.
If you scroll through the reviews online, you’ll see that the biggest complaint is the applicator nozzle. It has a large coverage area and users end up having to clean up overspray.
- Certified vegan and cruelty-free, contains no gluten, parabens, or harsh ingredients
- Infused with essential oils and herbs for moisture, shine, and healthy growth
- Volumizer for styling damp hair as well as a setting spray
- Has an attractive natural fragrance
- Watch out for overspray
Ion Alcohol-Free Finishing Hair Spray
After you finished styling, use this setting spray for medium hold. It prevents frizz while leaving the hair shiny while giving it body and allowing some movement. Fortunately, it has a light, sweet fragrance that fades soon after drying.
Furthermore, it’s vegan and paraben-free. But the good news ends here. We saw many people complaining about it feeling sticky on the hair and clogging the nozzle. Therefore, we suggest that you try it if you’ve enjoyed other products from the same company. Otherwise, we recommend one of the other alcohol-free hairsprays we reviewed.
- Contains no animal derivatives or parabens
- Adds shine and prevents frizz
- Light fragrance
- Tends to clog the nozzle and may feel sticky on the hair
Sun Bum Sea Salt Spray
We know this isn’t exactly hairspray. In our defense, we know several people who use it instead of hairspray. It does provide a little hold. But more than that, it’s great for styling anytime or reviving second-day hair. It smells like vacation in a bottle, too.
Depending on how much you use, it can simply add body or give the hair a tousled appearance. In any case, it’s safe for color-treated hair and it guards against fading and UV damage. Check out all the tutorials online for how to use sea salt spray to style the hair. You may never go back to regular hairspray.
- Protects against color fading and UV damage
- Creates the perfect tousled look
- Revives second and third-day hair
- Only offers light to medium hold
Whatever your styling needs are, chances are there is an alcohol-free hairspray that’s up to the challenge. By avoiding drying alcohol, you’ll protect your hair against damage, keeping it strong and glossy.
We hope our reviews helped you find the best hairspray for your situation. If you love your new hair care product, please feel free to leave us a comment below.