Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Friday, 6 March 2015

Six Second Hacks: Hairspray That Will Actually Hold Your Hairstyle In Place

The Debrief: Don't fork out on some hairspray you think might work because it has a nice advert. Fork out on the one that kicks follicle-based arse

Hairsprays are supposed to keep your hair in whatever shape you’ve put it in, for a satisfying amount of time. Simple. Except, like lots of things that are sold to women (hey, body firming cream, I’m looking at you), I’m incredibly suspicious of what it actually does. And I have a theory that it’s actually just perfumed water and we’re all being conned with words like ‘DOUBLE HOLD’ and ‘EXTRA STRENGTH SUPER FIXATION HOLD’ and ‘FREEZE FIX EXTRA HOLDY HOLD’ and ‘HOLD ME I’M ALONE’. 

Why the mistrust? I have the straightest hair in the world, and went through high school desperately trying to work against my genetics to no avail. Once I have curled my entire head of hair, it will take less than hour for it to return to a state that is, if anything, straighter than before, as if it’s overcompensating for what I’ve tried to do to it – which is a shame because I love curly hair.

I want curly hair. I want it to be free and wild and the thought of someone straightening their hair feels almost like sacrilege when I’d give my left arm for a bit of bounce. Specifically, on my head. But, perms aside, there’s not really anything I can do. 

Or is there?

No, there isn’t. But I can definitely use my hilariously straight hair to test out three hairsprays claiming to fix my hair in place like hairy stone (?) because if John Frieda, L’Oréal and TRESemmé can’t freeze hold my follicles, then who can? For some reason Uri Geller springs to mind, but he bends spoons and has nothing to do with hair. Which is a shame. 

Anyway, this is for everyone who decides once a year to curl their hair only to find that within an hour it looks the same as it did before if not worse. 

L’Oréal Elnett Extra Strength 

Price: £6.70 for 400ml

What it says on the tin: Our finest hairspray used by the finest stylists. Long lasting hold and a satin touch. 

Hours it lasted: One 

Summary: I am so disappointed with this I sort of wanted to cry. Firstly, it didn’t feel like I even had hairspray on my head – which was wonderful but a bit stressful – like when you realise how Sugar Free Red Bull has like no calories or nutritional value but tastes so strong and makes you feel funny, so what the fuck is in it, you know?

And then, it didn’t hold. I went out to grab some lunch under an umbrella and no rain went on my hair but, by the time I’d come back in, I looked like one of the dogs with dreadlocks. Straight dreadlocks. Straight, flat, sad dreadlocks. Which surprised me, because this is marketed as the number one hairspray in the universe, or whatever. 

John Frieda Ultimate Fixation

Price: £4.79 for 25oml

What it says on the tin: Extra strength hold, create multiple styles that last all day (Alright John! I will!) 

Hours it lasted: Six 

Summary: Incredibly impressed, because this lasted during a dinner party, three rounds of parlour games that included a lot of movement (it was a party hosted by actors, if that makes it sound any less wanky), some dancing, and me rugby tackling my boyfriend on the sofa while he said ‘Oh great, you’re drunk’.

While the curls weren’t held perfectly, you definitely wouldn’t have described me as ‘the girl over there with the straight hair’, which was a massive result. In terms of how it felt, yeah I could feel that I was wearing hairspray, and there was a bit of crunch, but I prefer that to no crunch and no curls. 

TRESemmé Salon Finish

Price: £5.25 for 500 mls (that’s loads)

What it says on the tin: Fast drying long lasting hold. Professional quality.

Hours it lasted: Four

Summary: Not bad at all, but does spray very finely so you’ve got to use a shitload of it and, while it didn’t hold as firmly as the John Frieda, it did manage to survive a day at the office with some clothes changes (we were doing the latest Online IRL piece so look out for that) and me getting stuck in a jumper.

The curls did, however, drop quite significantly and considering I didn’t go outside or do anything other than change my jumper, that’s a bit concerning. 

Conclusion: Go and buy John Frieda if you want to live (with a hairstyle that holds). If it managed to keep my hair curly, then can you imagine what it could do for you. It could probably fight crime. 

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Tags: Beautification