Our Favorite Hairspray: The 2022 List Beauty Awards

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When you think of hairspray, chances are you think of a cloud of chemicals swirling around your head, causing you to cough while making your hair stiff and sticky. Or maybe you think of the movie-turned-Broadway-musical "Hairspray!" featuring a young Zac Efron with perfectly coiffed hair. Either way, hairspray has come a long way since its inception, and it doesn't necessarily have to be the smelly, sticky, aerosol affair you might remember from your youth. 

To that end, The List tried out six different hairsprays for our 2022 Beauty Awards, ranked according to scent, price, and ideal hair type, amongst other considerations. After a thorough testing process, one product ultimately reigned victorious. But if we're being honest, each runner-up had its own set of winning attributes, which we get into as well. So without further ado, here are The List beauty Awards: hairspray edition. 

R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray: Winner

Here at The List, we've been fans of R+Co hair products for a while, so naturally, we felt it imperative to check out what the brand had in the way of hairspray.

There's a reason R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray has the name that it does -– it's simply out of this world! This product earned our favorite hairspray spot because it checked off all the boxes: It smelled great, had a strong hold, and didn't leave our hair feeling stiff. And price-wise, you'll get a decent bang for your buck with this product; a 9.5 oz. typically retails for $32 (although if you hunt around, you might be able to find it for less).

While that price point is a tad more than some of the other hairsprays on our list, we found that shelling out the few extra bucks was well worth it for all that the R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray had to offer.

Biolage Styling Freeze Fix Anti-Humidity Hairspray: Runner-up

Speaking of brand recognition, another haircare line we're fans of is Biolage. We especially love the brand's commitment to using natural ingredients in its products as well as its understanding that there's no one-size-fits-all solution for hair treatment. It's safe to say the Biolage Styling Freeze Fix Anti-Humidity Hairspray lived up to our high expectations!

This hairspray is definitely a good alternative to R+Co if you're looking to save a few bucks, as the Biolage will cost you $19 for a 10 oz. bottle. And while the formulas of both the Biolage and R+Co products are vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, the Biolage hairspray also contains blue agave, so if that intrigues you, this one is definitely the way to go.

The Biolage Styling Freeze Fix hairspray will lock your hair in place, as any good hairspray should. And while it does have a nice, fresh scent, it wasn't as intriguing or unique as R+Co's, which didn't really smell like a hairspray at all. Plus, we found that this product leaves some residual stiffness, particularly towards the top of the head.

Dove Beauty Style + Care Extra Hold Hairspray: Runner-up

When is the last time you set foot in a Bath & Body Works? If you're anything like us, it's probably been a minute — which might be something we need to rectify in 2022. That being said, even if you don't miss Bath & Body Works, perhaps you miss smelling like Bath + Body Works. And if that's the case, look no further than the Dove Beauty Style + Care Extra Hold Hairspray.

The real appeal of the Dove Beauty Style + Care Extra Hold Hairspray is that it smells like you sauntered into the famed beauty store, which is to say that it smells incredible. However, when it comes to locking your hair in place, we'd recommend this hairspray for more of a light styling as it doesn't have an extra strong hold. So if you want to grab this hairspray, reach for it when you want to keep your loose curls from falling out, and maybe not when you want to impress everyone with that updo.

Another benefit of the Dove Beauty Style + Care Extra Hold Hairspray is that it only costs $5.99, which means that if you want to supplement your hairspray oeuvre with this one, it won't break the bank.

Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Hair Spray: Runner-up

There's no denying it: Over the last five years, there's been an absolute hairdo revolution. More than ever, women are embracing their curls — and not only that, but haircare lines are finally releasing endless products devoted solely to this hair type. For those of us who have curly hair, it's like being led out of the wilderness. So naturally, we had no choice but to try out a hairspray made specifically for this group.

As all of you curly-haired girls out there know well, the biggest obstacles to a great head of curly hair are frizz and flyaways, which are two year-round occurrences that are almost impossible to avoid. No matter what your routine, it can never hurt to add a little hairspray on top to help keep things in place. We tried out the Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Hair Spray, and it helped keep our curls buoyant while reducing frizz, too. It might leave your hair feeling a little stiff, but no more than a dollop of gel would.

Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray: Runner-up

If we're going to try out a hairspray for curly hair, we had to add one for straight hair into the mix, too — it's only fair! To that end, we tried out the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Spray hoping it would deliver exactly what it promised — big sexy hair — and add volume to otherwise straight, limp locks.

First, let's address the downsides of the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Spray. It smelled like, well, hairspray. If you prefer that classic smell, this won't bother you — but given the pleasant aromas of other products on this list, the scent was a drawback for us. Additionally, our hair felt stiff to the touch after applying the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Spray.

However, there was also a huge upside to this hairspray: It did indeed add long-lasting volume to our straight hair, and it seems as though it would perform just as well with any updo or more complicated hair endeavor. So for those of you looking to liven up your straight locks, the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray is a good way to go.

Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray: Runner-up

Finally, we have the Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray. With its fun (and recyclable!) packaging, cruelty-free and vegan recipes, and commitment to giving back, Amika makes for a particularly appealing brand. For us, the keyword in "Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray" is, of course, "touchable" — and we wanted to see if this hairspray lived up to the promise made in its name.

Fortunately, we can confirm that the Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray did leave our hair feeling incredibly touchable. There weren't really any signs of your standard hairspray hardness or stiffness to be found, so if that's your biggest pet peeve when it comes to hairspray, then Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray is likely the one for you.

While this hairspray's smell does leave something to be desired (it almost reminded us of shaving cream), it wasn't actively off-putting. But if scent is your main draw when it comes to hairspray, this factor could knock the product down a peg or two for you.

If you do decide to purchase the Amika Fluxus Touchable Hairspray, you'll not only feel comfortable running your fingers through your hair after application, but the adorable bottle will make a great addition to whichever of your shelves is dedicated to haircare products.