Does Hairspray Cause Hair Loss? What You Need To Know

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Most of us use hairspray every now and then to secure a sleek updo or add volume to a crown of curls. But if you begin to experience shedding or damage it can leave you wondering: does hairspray cause hair loss?

Does Hair Spray Cause Hair Loss

Written By Summer Wise

Hairspray does not cause hair loss directly but could contribute to poor scalp health and blocked hair follicles if left in hair or overused. Therefore, it is important to use hairspray in moderation, especially for those with dry or damaged hair.

What Is Hairspray?

Hairspray is a product designed to seal and hold your hair in position for hair styling.

While products such as clay or pastes have been used since ancient times to create intricate styles, the invention of a spray made it quick, easy, and better for the user experience overall.

Modern hairsprays work by coating the hair in a film of polymers. These are chemicals that form bonds.

The hairspray bonds the strands together temporarily to prevent them from slipping out of the desired style.

This can then be removed with washing after use, making it an essential tool for most extravagant or smooth hairstyles.

Hairspray is a product commonly used around the world, with the most popular US brand selling over 152.6 million dollars’ worth in 2018.

Is Hairspray Bad For Your Hair?

Hairspray is not inherently bad for your hair, although some formulas could cause damage to your hair over time.

However, this does not make hairspray the culprit for hair loss. Instead, overuse could be a contributing factor to hair damage that inhibits proper growth.

Hairspray should be used in moderation when styling hair and not as a daily product if avoidable.

If not, the product should be washed from the hair and conditioned regularly. Using a good conditioning treatment can help prevent hair damage from drying products and give your hair a new lease on life even with regular use of hairspray.

Also, try switching up your styling products and use alternatives to hairspray if you’re concerned.

Overall, hairspray is not bad for your hair with moderate use. However, it must be removed properly to avoid contributing to any damage or irritation that could coincide with hair loss.

Formulas that contain harsh chemicals can also result in breakage of hair due to drying out the hair. This can make true hair loss appear more obvious.

Chemicals In Hairspray

When creating a hairspray, the chemists create a balanced formula that will be able to hold the hair while being lightweight, effective, and not harsh on the hair and scalp.

The polymers that hold hairstyles in place need a solvent to carry them within the hairspray. Water and Ethanol are the most common for this, although water can corrode metal cans.

Additives can help give flexibility to the polymer and often consist of silicones or similar chemicals.

This is so that the hair is held in place but can still move without breaking the film put in place by the spray.

Some may also prevent corrosion of the can internally to give hairspray a longer life in the can.

Unfortunately, ethanol is very drying to the skin, including the scalp, and can cause issues if applied in excessive amounts or too often. Ethanol, strong alcohol, can often be used as an ingredient alongside silicones, polymers, and other ingredients.

This can leave some hair types extra dry, frizzy, or even damaged when used regularly or in excessive amounts.

Also Read: The Truth About Energy Drinks And Hair Loss

Does HairSpray Cause Hair Loss?

Does Hair Spray Cause Hair Loss

Hair loss occurs when the rate of hair falling out is greater than the amount of hair regrowing. You may not notice until you have a patch of thin, sparse hair or you may notice that you are losing more hair as it happens.

One of the main causes of hair loss is damage to the hair follicles. The hair follicle are the small holes in your skin from which hair grows. The root sits at the bottom and sprouts a single hair per follicle, which will eventually fall out and begin to regrow again.

The follicle cycle can become interrupted due to physical conditions, causing hair to shed prematurely or the follicle to stop producing hair entirely.

Hairspray cannot harm the hair follicle directly, and underlying issues such as hormone imbalances, physical damage to follicles, and even genetics are the most likely causes of hair loss.

Hairspray therefore cannot cause hair loss itself, but it can contribute to damage, dryness, and scalp issues which can all exacerbate shedding or pre-existing follicle issues.

Symptoms You Should Stop Using Hairspray

If your daily hair routine includes hairspray, you may find that you are suffering from symptoms such as:

  • Scalp Irritation
  • Itchy Scalp
  • Skin Flaking/Dandruff
  • Product Buildup

It is possible that hairspray could be contributing to these issues. Product build-up occurs when hair is not properly rinsed and cleansed, leaving residue on the scalp and roots.

Build-up, itching, and irritation of the scalp can all originate from products like hairspray that coats the hair.

It might be worth avoiding styling products if you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Instead, focus on only basic hair care and use natural products without harsh chemicals.

A medical professional should be consulted for serious issues and symptoms, but regardless it is best to discontinue the use of harsh chemical products in your hair until the issues can be addressed.

Hairspray Alternatives

For those who do worry about using hairspray but still want to style, there are alternatives to be discovered.

A styling gel or pomade can keep hair sleek and held in place while a natural hairspray can keep styles held without bringing along harmful ingredients.

Here are our top 3 choices:

NO GUNK Matte Lava Clay

People with short hair can substitute hairspray with a natural hair clay or wax such as NO GUNK Matte Lava Clay which consists of natural lava clay, argan oil, and cactus seed oil to keep hair cared for during styling.

Using a clay product will give volume and hold to the hair, erasing the need for a spritz of hairspray.

Those with curly hair can benefit from a gel or cream instead of hairspray to avoid extra dryness and keep the hair defined. 

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Eco Styler Styling Gel with Argan Oil 

Eco Styler Styling Gel with Argan Oil is free from alcohol, sulfates, and parabens, all of which can cause damage to the hair over extended use and are found more commonly in hairspray.

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OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Hairspray

OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Hairspray is the closest to a traditional hairspray but contains ingredients such as coconut oil, castor oil, and vanilla fruit extract to help care for hair while offering a flexible, medium hold for hair styling.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.