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What kind of hairspray doesn’t make your hair hard?


Hairspray is an essential styling product for many people. It can help hold hairstyles in place and provide long-lasting hold. However, some hairsprays contain ingredients that can make hair feel stiff, crunchy, and hard. The good news is that not all hairsprays have this effect. There are options available that provide flexible hold without making hair feel crispy or rigid.

What causes hairspray to make hair hard?

Traditional hairsprays contain polymers and resins that coat each strand of hair. As the hairspray dries, these materials bind the hair strands together. This is what creates the holding power. However, it also leaves hair feeling stiff and inflexible. Some of the most common polymers that lead to hard hair are:

  • Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) – a vinyl polymer that provides dramatic hold
  • Vinyl acetate – another strong synthetic polymer
  • VA/crotonates copolymer – a vinyl/acrylate copolymer
  • Shellac – a natural resin from lac beetles

The higher the amount of these polymers, the crisper and more rigid the hair will feel after spraying.

What ingredients make hairspray soft and flexible?

Luckily, today’s formulas contain advanced silicone and polymer technologies that allow for flexible hold. Here are some of the ingredients to look for:


  • Amodimethicone – provides a light, soft feel
  • Cyclopentasiloxane – makes hair smooth and silky
  • Dimethicone – reduces frizz and flyaways

These silicone oils coat the hair shaft without building up or feeling stiff. They add shine while allowing hair to move.

Flexible Polymers

  • VP/VA copolymer – creates hold without rigidity
  • Acrylates copolymer – provides lasting yet touchable hold
  • Polyurethane-14 – adds lightweight support and body

These advanced polymers don’t require as high of a concentration to work. The result is natural movement without crunchy texture.

Other ingredients that keep hair soft

Some other ingredients to look for that promote soft, natural hair include:

  • Panthenol – vitamin B5 that hydrates and nourishes hair
  • Aloe vera – contains moisturizing properties
  • Jojoba oil – lightweight oil that doesn’t build up
  • Keratin – proteins that strengthen and protect hair

These conditioning ingredients offset the drying effects of hairspray polymers. They keep hair from feeling parched and brittle.

Hairspray formulas that don’t make hair hard

Now that you know what to look for, here are some top-rated hairspray options that provide hold without hardness:

Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray

  • Contains polyfluoroEster, a lightweight polymer that doesn’t coat hair
  • Blend of conditioning ingredients like jojoba oil and wheat protein
  • Provides 24-hour hold with natural movement
  • Can be reapplied without buildup

Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong

  • Argan oil nourishes hair and enhances shine
  • Vitamin B5 and panthenol boost moisture
  • Uses cationic technology for touchable, brushable hold
  • Fights humidity and frizz

Kenra Platinum Invisible Hairspray #25

  • Uniquely high content of cyclopentasiloxane for smoothness
  • Pro-vitamin B5 conditions and thickens hair over time
  • Provides “memory” hold that lasts yet feels natural
  • Resists humidity for up to 24 hours

Alterna Caviar Anti-Humidity Invisible Hairspray

  • Contains caviar extract, vitamin C, and seaberry oil
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein adds softness and sheen
  • Uses moisture-controlling microcapsules
  • Gives flexible, brushable hold for up to 24 hours

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer

  • Uses Super-Absorbent Polymers instead of traditional polymers
  • Absorbs oils to keep hair cleaner longer
  • Leaves hair soft while providing heat protection
  • Cuts blow dry time and boosts volume

How to apply hairspray for touchable hold

It’s not just about choosing the right hairspray. Proper application is also key for soft, flexible styles:

  • Spray 5-8 inches away from clean, dry hair to avoid saturating it
  • Mist all over or just at the roots for targeted volume
  • Apply light coats instead of one heavy layer
  • Let hair dry fully before touching or styling
  • Finish with a shine spray to offset dulling

Going easy with the amount of product will prevent hair from becoming stiff or crunchy.

Other tips for keeping hair touchable

In addition to finding a flexible hold hairspray, here are some extra tips:

  • Use a boar bristle brush when styling to distribute natural oils
  • Apply a deep conditioner 1-2 times per week
  • Avoid over-washing, which can dry hair out
  • Use lower heat settings when blow drying or styling
  • Try a hair oil or serum for extra conditioning
  • Get occasional trims to remove dry, damaged ends

Taking steps to keep hair moisturized and minimize damage will help any hairspray go on better.


You don’t have to settle for sticky, crunchy hair from hairspray. There are options that provide just as much hold without compromising touchable texture. Look for lightweight silicones, nourishing ingredients, and advanced flexible polymers. Apply minimally and properly for best results. With the right formula and technique, you can enjoy lasting styles that still feel soft and natural.

Hairspray Brand Key Ingredients Benefits
Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray PolyfluoroEster, jojoba oil, wheat protein Touchable 24-hour hold, resists buildup
Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Argan oil, vitamin B5, panthenol Nourished hair, fights frizz
Kenra Platinum Invisible Hairspray Cyclopentasiloxane, pro-vitamin B5 Smooth, natural hold in humidity
Alterna Caviar Anti-Humidity Hairspray Caviar extract, vitamin C, seaberry oil Touchable hold, resists frizz
Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Primer Super-Absorbent Polymers Lightweight, cuts blow dry time

In summary, hairspray hold doesn’t have to mean hard, crunchy hair. Advancements in ingredients and technologies allow for touchable, brushable styles. Silicones, conditioning agents, and flexible polymers are revolutionizing hairspray. With the right formulas and proper application, you can achieve soft, natural movement with lasting hold.