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Should I Use Hairspray on African American Hair? Tips for Definition and Humidity (2024)

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should i use hairspray on african american hairLooking to define your African American hair while battling humidity? Wondering if hairspray is the answer? Well, you’re in the right place! This article will provide you with tips and insights on whether or not using hairspray on African American hair is a good idea.

From considering different hair types to exploring alternative styling options, we’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • Use hairspray sparingly to avoid buildup or stiffness.
  • Look for moisturizing formulas and consider humidity resistance.
  • Select a hair spray made specifically for kinky-curly hair.
  • Prioritize moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter that nourish 4C strands without stiffness.

Use Hairspray Sparingly

Use Hairspray Sparingly
When using hairspray on African American hair, you’ll want to apply it sparingly to avoid buildup or stiffness.

Overusing hairspray can lead to flaky residue and crunchy locks, which inhibits movement and causes breakage over time.

Instead, focus on strategic application to tame flyaways and define curls without weighing hair down.

This allows your texture to shine while maintaining bounce and curl integrity.

With the right technique, a little goes a long way – use a light mist to target frizzy sections rather than heavily saturating strands.

This prevents excessive product buildup so your curls stay touchably soft and defined.

Getting the balance right lets you fight humidity without compromising the health or appearance of your beautiful coils.

Look for Moisturizing Formulas

Look for Moisturizing Formulas
When selecting a hairspray, examining the ingredient list closely pays dividends for curl longevity. Seek formulas crammed with nourishing oils, butters, proteins, and humectants that drench strands in moisture without weighing them down.

Prioritize these rejuvenating ingredients:

  1. Shea butter to soften and prevent frizz
  2. Argan oil to smooth cuticles and add shine
  3. Aloe vera to hydrate hair and scalp
  4. Honey to attract and seal in moisture

The right blend of emollients coupled with moderate use keeps curls buoyant, touchable, and free of crunchy buildup.

Consider Hair Type and Style

Consider Hair Type and Style
When considering hairspray for your clients, keep their hair type and desired style in mind. Curlier textures may opt for spray to enhance definition without stiffness, while those seeking sleeker looks could use it lightly when battling humidity.

Assessing individual hair goals allows for recommendations balancing hold with moisture.

Consider Curl Definition

Why should you consider curl definition when using hairspray on African American hair?

Proper curl definition starts with choosing hairsprays designed for your specific curl pattern that provide flexible hold without stiffness.

Consider the hold strength of the hairspray to ensure it can define and maintain your curls throughout the day.

Take into account factors such as hair texture, volume, and porosity when selecting a product that will enhance your natural curls while promoting overall hair health.

Consider Flyaway Control

To achieve flyaway control with hairspray on African American hair,

  • Apply a moderate amount of product formulated for dry or damaged hair
  • In thin layers on damp, not dry hair.

Avoid overuse which can cause damage; reapply as needed throughout the day to hold hair in place without stiffness.

Target stubborn flyaway areas but avoid excessive buildup.

Consider Humidity Resistance

Another determinant for picking the right hairspray is its ability to stand up to humidity.

When it comes to African American hair, it’s important to consider how a hairspray will hold up in humid conditions.

Look for sprays specifically formulated with humidity resistance in mind.

Read the ingredients and test on a small section of hair before applying all over.

By choosing a humidity-resistant hairspray, you can avoid buildup and flakiness while maintaining your desired hairstyle even in high moisture environments.

Apply Properly for Best Results

Apply Properly for Best Results
How can you apply hairspray properly for best styling results?

  1. Shake the can vigorously before each use to thoroughly mix the ingredients and activate the propellants inside.
  2. Hold the nozzle 6 to 8 inches away from your hair. Any closer risks saturating your strands; any farther reduces coverage.
  3. Mist hairspray over your entire style instead of just the edges. This locks in all sections evenly while still allowing movement. Avoid targeting only flyaways or frizzy areas to prevent crunchy, helmet-like texture.

Alternatives for Natural Styling

Alternatives for Natural Styling
When considering hairstyling options, you’ll want to explore gels and mousse for definition without stiffness.

Both provide hold while allowing hair to remain touchable and movable.

Try applying in sections to maximize definition without overload.


Considering gels as alternatives for natural styling while assessing their attributes like hold strength and possible flakiness.

Gels offer firmer hold but may leave hair crunchy compared to hairsprays, which provide a lighter hold with less flakiness. Some gels contain drying alcohol unlike certain hairsprays. Ultimately, personal preference determines if you choose gel or hairspray.

Options like Kenra Volume Spray suit curls, while Creme of Nature Argan Oil Mousse adds shine.


You can also style with mousse for a flexible hold that enhances shine on 4c hair.

Opting for mousse over hairspray provides versatility – it tames frizz and defines curls without stiffness or buildup.

Mousse gives your spirals definition and touchable texture while resisting humidity.

Best Hair Sprays for 4C Hair

Best Hair Sprays for 4C Hair
Looking for the perfect hairspray to define and tame your beautiful 4C curls? I feel you, girl.

Start by considering hold strength. Do you need a gentle mist to lightly tame flyaways? Or serious control for definition that lasts through humidity and activity? Know your goal.

Also, select a formula made specifically for kinky-curly hair. General market brands often contain alcohol that can dry out and damage delicate 4C strands. Seek out alcohol-free, moisturizing sprays designed to enhance our texture without stiffness or flakes.

Brands like Taliah Waajid and As I Am offer reasonably priced, curly-girl approved options that won’t wreck your wallet. Check the ingredients and read reviews by our fellow 4C sisters. With the right spray, you’ll achieve the perfect blend of definition, softness, and frizz control.

Make Your Own Natural Hair Spray

Make Your Own Natural Hair Spray
Looking to define your curls without harsh chemicals?

Whip up your own homemade hair spray with simple kitchen ingredients.

Sugar- or lemon-based spritzes add polish minus the toxins for natural definition and frizz control.

Sugar Spray Recipe

To create your own natural hair spray, try making a sugar spray with just a few simple ingredients.

This homemade hair spray has a shelf life of 1-2 months and allows you to adjust the amount of sugar for different hold strengths.

Avoid alcohol in this recipe to promote healthy hair.

For effective results, use real lemon juice in your DIY mixture.

Experiment with the amount of sugar to achieve the perfect hold for your style.

Lemon Spray Recipe

When making DIY hair spray, create a lemon one to fight frizz and acidity.

Boil lemon water then strain.

Mix in some baking soda to counteract acidity plus optional rosemary essential oil for scent before pouring into a bottle.

Shake vigorously.

Must be refrigerated and tossed after 2 weeks, but utilizes real lemon juice for fab frizz results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does hairspray damage African American hair over time?

Yes, excessive hairspray use can damage African American hair over time.

The alcohol content can dry out hair, leading to breakage.

Use nourishing products underneath and apply hairspray sparingly for special occasions.

Prioritize gentle styling approaches focused on moisture retention.

How often can I use hairspray on my hair without damage?

You can use hairspray on African American hair a few times per week without damage if you:

  • Start with small amounts.
  • Focus on ends, not roots.
  • Deeply condition regularly.

Limit use, never daily, and stop if hair seems dry or brittle. Moisturizing between uses is key.

What ingredients make some hair sprays better for 4C hair?

Choose hair sprays free of harsh alcohols that cause dryness.

Prioritize moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter that nourish 4C strands without stiffness.

Natural options without toxic chemicals promote healthy hair growth.

What home remedies can reduce hairspray buildup?

Try an apple cider vinegar rinse.

  • Dilute apple cider vinegar with water.
  • Apply it to your hair after shampooing.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing out.

The acetic acid in vinegar helps dissolve product buildup.

You can also use baking soda mixed with water as a clarifying treatment before conditioning.

  • This gentle approach lifts residue without drying hair.

How do I wash hairspray out of African American hair?

To wash hairspray out of African American hair, start by using a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup.

Follow with a deep conditioner to restore moisture.

Consider using natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar or baking soda for extra cleansing power.


Well butter my biscuits, with all these hot tips on lockin’ in definition while fending off frizzies, y’all should have your ‘dos on point rain or shine!

Just spritz smartly, work with the hair Heaven gave ya, and try some all-natural fixes first before going hard with store sprays.

Should frizz remain a thorn in your side, we laid out the best cans for braidin’, twistin’ and freeformin’ to keep that flyaway hairspray under control so you can rock that African American hair with pride!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.