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  /  HairCare   /  The Difference Between Hair Spray and Finishing Spray
The Difference Between Hair Spray and Finishing Spray

The Difference Between Hair Spray and Finishing Spray

Do you often get confused between the usage of hair sprays and finishing sprays? They are two essential items in modern hair styling and can be ineffective if you don’t use them correctly.

While hair spray is mainly used to hold your hair in place, finishing spray helps provide extra shine and glow to your hair. Read on to know the similarities, dissimilarities, benefits and more about these two products.

What Is Hair Spray?

Hair spray helps to hold your styled hair in place for a longer time. This spray works by providing support to your hair and holding them in place. It sticks the strands to prevent hair from moving, so you’ll often observe your hair becoming stiff after its application. Moreover, hair spray protects your hair from wind as well.

A variety of hair sprays are available these days, depending on the hair-holding capacity. You can find:

  • Extra hold hairspray: This hairspray offers better hair control. It works great for curls and waves.
  • Light hold hairspray: This hair spray is a milder variety of hair spray. It gives a natural look to your hair.
  • Gel hair spray: This hair spray combines a hair spray and a gel and is excellent for styling small hair or forming updos.
  • Medium hold hairspray: This is not-so-mild and has more hair holding capacity.

What Is Finishing Spray?

Finishing spray, also known as setting spray, is a kind of aerosol that provides shine and luster to the hair. It dries up fast and is humidity-resistant, so it helps to reduce the frizziness of the hair. Finishing sprays give a good glimmer to the hair without too much residue. Applied after styling, this spray makes your hair look fuller and more voluminous. Its main purpose is to hold your hairstyle and give it a final polished look.

Hair Spray Vs. Finishing Spray

When comparing hair sprays with finishing sprays, you can find some differences and similarities among them. Let’s see how hair sprays differ from finishing sprays.


Hair spray forms a coat on hair strands to hold the hair together and keep it in place. People must choose their hair spray depending on their hair type and quality. A person with curly hair may need extra hold hair spray to keep the hair strands in place. On the other hand, people with thin and fine hair can avoid using hair spray, as it can make the hair look greasy.

Finishing spray, on the other hand, does not coat the hair. It just adds a layer to protect the hair from humidity and wind. These sprays are mainly designed to add shine to the hair and reduce frizziness. It’s important to note that finishing sprays are perfect for finishing touches on any hair type.

How To Use

When styling your hair, you need to apply hair spray first, spread it evenly with a comb, and immediately shape your hair parting as you want. This way, hair spray can help you to keep your curls in place or manage your silky and super flexible hair. To use, shake the spray bottle well, place it about 20 – 30 cm away from your hair and spray.

Finishing spray locks in the final hairstyle and provides that additional support. Don’t forget to use your finishing spray six to eight inches away from your hair surface. Make sure to spray from different angles and wait for the product to dry before touching it.

Ingredients Used

Usually, hair sprays contain alcohol, water, and chemicals like carboxymethylcellulose, hydrofluorocarbon, polyvinylpyrrolidone, etc., that help to hold the hair strands in place.

Finishing sprays often contain ingredients like silicone. It helps to provide a smooth texture to the hair and adds shine.


You can apply your hair spray to wet or dry hair and then comb it through to distribute it evenly. But don’t forget, if you use hairspray on wet hair, you will not have the same level of shine as dry hair.

On the other hand, finishing sprays need to be used after styling to hold your hair’s final look or provide a shiny or matte finish.


Finishing sprays are typically more costly than other hair sprays. Depending on the brand and the purpose of the spray (such as spray for thick, thin, dry, frizzy hair or spray for lasting hold and shine, perfect curls, or extra volume), hair spray can vary in cost.

Process Time

The processing time of hairspray and finishing spray depends on their type, amount of applied solution, and hair volume. Usually, both are fast-acting. For hair spray, you just need to apply, spread with a comb, and let the solution dry on the hair. For finishing spray, apply it once your styling is done to hold them in place.

Best Time to Use

Hair spray can be used on both dry and wet hair to set your hair as you want. You just need to choose the right hair spray as per your need.

  • Light-hold hair sprays are best for minimum hold and lots of movement. This spray is good to use for daily hair styling needs.
  • Medium-hold sprays are suitable for simple up-dos like buns and textured styling like braids. This is ideal for a party or occasional hair styling needs.
  • Strong-hold or extra-hold sprays are ideal for special occasions like bridal and festive hairstyles when one needs to hold the hairstyle for a long time.
  • Finishing spray can be used any time when you need to provide extra support to your hair. It must be used on dry hair.


Similarities between hairspray and finishing spray include,

  • Both are hair styling products in an aerosol form.
  • Both contain chemicals that help to keep your hair in place.

Effects On Hair

Both the solutions help in hair styling and hair management. Besides that, regular use of hair spray and finishing spray can leave some chemical residues on the scalp and hair and can even form some build-ups on hair strands.

Is It Ok to Use Hair Spray & Finishing Spray Every Day?

You must look for the right spray that is not harsh to hair and appropriate as per your hair type. Ethanol is a type of alcohol used in hair sprays. It can cause dryness, irritate the scalp, and damage hair. Instead of purchasing ethanol-based hair sprays, opt for Cetearyl, stearyl, or cetyl alcohol as they help to moisturize the hair.

Excessive use of sprays can make your hair dry and damaged. So, it is advisable to use these only when necessary. Also, remember to follow it up with a proper cleaning and nourishing routine to keep your hair healthy from the roots.

Should You Use Hairspray Before or After Styling?

Use hair spray before styling to hold your curls in place before applying heat. It helps to keep your styled hair in place for a longer period.

Call Matin Beauty Salon today and request a professional hair CARING in Thornhill.

Hair spray and finishing spray are two hair styling solutions that help to hold your hair in place and add shine (or matte finish) to it. Different types of hair sprays and finishing sprays are available in the market.

Besides some similarities, both the sprays are different from each other chemically and in function as well. While hair sprays hold your hairstyle, a finishing spray gives extra support and shine. However, use these products carefully and according to your hair type, for the best results.

Give it a try at Matin Beauty and see what everyone’s fussing about.