Should You Use Hairspray Before Or After Curling?

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Hairspray, known for its holding and styling capabilities, is a staple for those of us that like to style our hair. Whether you’re doing an updo or curling your hair, it can come in handy. However, should you be applying hairspray before or after you curl? Well, if you’re wondering, you’ve come to the right spot. We’ve researched the best way to apply hairspray when you’re curling your hair and have an answer for you.

You can use hairspray either before or after curling, or you can apply it both times. However, whether you should use hairspray before curling is up for debate. Some stylists recommend it as a way to set your curls, while others say it should be avoided. If you are using a curling iron, the heat combined with the hairspray can dry out your hair more, so keep this in mind. 

So, we’ve told you that it is up to you whether you use hairspray before or after curling, but we also let you know whether you should is up for debate. So, keep reading as elaborate further on both sides of the debate and why sometimes it is recommended, and other times it is not. We will also answer some other questions you might have.

A cropped shot of a young woman spraying hairspray on her curly hair, Should You Use Hairspray Before Or After Curling?

Applying Hairspray Before You Curl

Sometimes getting curls to stay in your hair may be difficult. This is a common problem, especially for those with thin hair. Even if you spray your curled hair with hairspray, you might still notice your curls won’t stay put. Well, the solution to getting curls to stay put is to prep your hair.

There are so many hair products to choose from when you head to the store that you might be tempted to try and apply hairspray before you curl your hair. That way, you don’t have to worry about trying to buy the correct product. However, before you do, let’s discuss why it might or might not be a good idea.

Is The Extra Hold Worth The Risk?

While it may help hold your curls better, applying hairspray to your hair before you curl might also damage your hair. Some beauty blogs might recommend applying hairspray for the extra hold, while others will encourage you to avoid risking the damage. As we mentioned above, the curling iron’s heat combined with the hairspray can fry and dry out your hair. However, if you choose to use hot rollers instead of a curling iron to curl your hair, applying hairspray before you remove the rollers will help them keep their shape.

If you choose to apply hairspray before using a curling iron, use a tiny amount and pair it with another hold or heat-protecting product. This youtube video does a great job of explaining what to do before curling your hair!

What should I use before curling my hair?

So, as we mentioned earlier, the key to getting curls to stay is to prep your hair. You can prep your hair by applying products designed to hold the style and protect your hair from the heat of a curling iron.  There are several products available that you can use. If you watched the video above, you might have an idea of a few of them. Products such as mousse, heat protection sprays, and gels are a few options.

Click here to see Paul Mitchell Thermal Protection Spray on Amazon.

Don’t go overboard and start applying a ton of product to your hair, though. Too much product can make your hair look crunchy and stiff. Some products can be applied to damp hair, while others are designed for dry hair. Look to the product’s bottle for directions, but begin by using only a small amount. Experiment to see what amount works best for you to get the look you want.

If mousse is high on your list of considerations, be sure to check out our other article on the topic here: Does Hair Mousse Hold Curls? It might help you decide whether hair mousse is a good option for you!

How do you set hairspray to curl your hair?

If you do choose to apply hairspray to your hair before you curl, don’t overdo it. Lightly spray a thin layer of hairspray to your hair. Putting too much hairspray on your hair can make it crunchy and more prone to heat damage.  For best results, try to choose a hairspray designed to be used with curling irons or flat irons and state that it is good to use both before and after curling.

Click here to see Flexible Hold Thermal Protectant Hairspray on Amazon.

While other holding products can be applied to wet hair, do not do this with hairspray. Hairspray should only be applied to dry hair to achieve the desired and best effect.

Applying Hairspray After You Curl

Applying hairspray after you curl your hair can be the final touch you need to keep them in place. This is especially true if you prepped your hair with other products before you began curling. (If you skipped to this part of the article, we mentioned some prep products earlier.) In combination with other style holding products, hairspray may be the final finish you need.

When applying hairspray after you curl, make sure to hold the can at least six inches away from your head so that it can be evenly dispersed. You should also consider lightly spraying each curl to avoid them clumping together.

Do you hairspray after curling?

You can use hairspray before, during, or after curling. It is safer to add more hairspray after curling rather than before to avoid it drying your hair out even more with the heat of the curling iron. However, you should still be cautious about adding too much hairspray. Though it won’t damage your hair after curling, it can leave your hair stiff and crunchy if too much is applied.

What hairspray is best to hold curls?

As we mentioned above, adding hairspray after curling can help keep your curls in place. However, you should be aware that there are different kinds of hairspray available. There’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to hairspray. The main difference is the type of hold the hairspray offers, but you should also check to see if it will meet the needs of your hair type.

Firm Hold Hairspray

If you have thin, naturally straight hair, or your hair doesn’t hold curls well, you may want to use a firm hold hairspray such as SexyHair’s Spray & Play Harder Firm Volumizing Hairspray. If you already have curly hair or your hair doesn’t struggle to hold onto curls as much, you can opt for a lighter hold. 

Click here to see SexyHair Big Spray & Play Harder Firm Volumizing Hairspray on Amazon.

Finishing Spray

There are also less traditional types of hairspray that are great for holding curls. Finishing sprays or texturizing sprays can also help set curls in place as well. They are often lightweight and won’t leave your hair feeling crunchy. A plus side to these kinds of sprays is that they often have multiple uses.

Click here to see Garnier Hair Care Fructis Finishing Spray on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Whether you spray your hair spray before or after you curl is ultimately up to you. However, keep in mind there might be some trade-offs for that extra hold if you apply hairspray before you curl. Hopefully, our article has given you some things to consider and offered you some additional products to help keep your curls in place.

Since we’re on the subject of hairspray, check out this other article about whether hairspray might be damaging for hair. Does Hairspray Dry Out Your Hair Or Otherwise Damage It?

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