What’s in a good hairspray? The ingredients, oils, and chemicals to look out for

What’s in a good hairspray? The ingredients, oils, and chemicals to look out for

The higher the hair...

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @oribe
Image: Instagram | @jayden_fa

While retinol remains the reigning champ of misunderstood beauty products, hairspray runs a close second. Often thought to be responsible for stiff, shellacked locks seen on many a pageant queen (hehe), it's maligned rep is attributed to several bad apples within the market formulated with a lengthy list of unnecessary chemicals and polymers (i.e. the sticky stuff responsible for a hairspray's glue-like effect). Unbeknownst to most, though, the hairsprays of today have shed their toxic blends and now hold tresses in place without the risk of crunchy, helmet hair. Praise be. The trick is, of course, lies in picking out the right pump-and-spray. To help you along, we provide the ingredients, oils, and chemicals commonly found in stellar sprays to keep those bad hair days away. You're welcome.

What's in a good hairspray: Polydimethylsiloxane
There are two highly popular forms of polymers in the market right now: polyvinylpyrrolidone and polydimethylsiloxane. The latter is not water-soluble and thus is able to hold hair in place for longer stretches of time.


What's in a good hairspray: Aminomethyl propanol
Aka anti-humidifiers. This bad boy makes hair more resistant to humidity due to its ability to control the acidity of a mixture, maintaining a neutral pH so as to allow for more balanced locks (translation: tresses that aren't too greasy or dry).


What's in a good hairspray: Cyclopentasiloxane
A silicone that makes the film left from hairsprays water-repellant, it also eliminates tackiness and grants a silky soft coating on locks. Yipee.


What's in a good hairspray: Butylene glycol
Typically used as a humectant (moisturizer) and preservative, butylene glycol is particularly beneficial for sprays containing vitamins, proteins, and food items due to its ability to retain scents.


What's in a good hairspray: Oils
Much like our favourite skincare formulations, essential oils play a part in nourishing our tresses too. Argan oil is often included to help hydrate locks, while patchouli is known to contain anti-ageing and anti-dandruff properties.

Here are the best hairsprays that check the boxes.