Hair spray is a common aqueous solution that is employed to keep
hair stiff or in a certain style. It is administered using a pump
or aerosol spray nozzle. Hair sprays as styling products are weaker
than hair gel, hair wax or glue.
Hair spray's active component is a polymer, that is, a kind of
liquid elastic that maintains the hair stiff and firm without
breaking it, or polyvinyl pyrrolidone.
Hair gel as styling products are employed to stiffen hair into
a particular hairstyle. Although they produce similar results,
hair gels are stronger than hair sprays and weaker than hair glue
on hair wax.
Many people use hair sprays or gels as styling products and in
order to produce temporary changes in hair volume and hair shaft
characteristic of a particular style.
Stylists most frequently make use of a great number of styling
products in order to produce optimum effect and usually recommend
their continued use. The popularity of mousses, gels, and sprays
has had ups and downs, but these products remain reliable, effective
and safe, especially for those people who have no time to spend
on setting and styling with rollers.
As fixatives, settings, mousses, gels, and styling sprays are
basically preparations based on oils and used during or after
shampooing, and usually before hair drying to hold the hair and
increase gloss. They also improve volume, one of the major worries
of those who have fine on low-density hair.
Traditionally, gels as styling products were based on oils, fats,
or grums. They were replaced by emulsions of water and mineral
oil. Recently introduced, synthetic polymers and dimethicones
have enhanced quality, reliability and aesthetics substantially.
A wide range of hair sprays and gels as styling products are
nowadays available providing the consumers countless, but sometimes
confusing options. Although mousses help styling, they are soft
to the touch and easily removed. Conditioning mousses include
cationic water soluble polymers. They are used on wet or dry hair
to facilitate styling with either hair dryer or rollers, or even
tongs. Moreover, many mousses provide short time colors.
Originally devised as aqueous solutions, gels as styling products
left an awful gum on the hair. Currently preferred by younger
age groups, styling gels and waxes are widely used, and for firmer
styles, mousses are the right option.
At the beginning, hair fixatives made use of aqueous or hydro-alcoholic
dispersions of vegetable based polymers. Combs were dipped in
these solutions and administered onto the wet hair. Afterwards,
protecting and hardening shellac solutions were available in atomizers
or squeeze bottles. Finally, aerosols, which delivered soap-removable
resins, were introduced, revolutionizing the hairstyle market.
It was sought that hair sprays as styling products could withstand
gravitational force, be resilient, clear, easy to manage and plasticize,
and have low absorption of water. However, shellac was not easy
to remove, was likely to break off in flakes, and could be extremely
At lost, all these components were superseded by long-chain synthetic
polymers, which increased the number of hair shafts bonds when
delivered as droplets. Hair sprays as styling products made a
huge progress in that they could be dissolved in organic solvents,
provided good hold, could be removed with ease, and were safe.
They are still widely used as fixing products.
A second generation of polymers devised with enhanced features
is known as copolymers. These contained film-modifying agents
that softened or plasticized the resin film, and so reducing brittleness
A later introduction provided a strong, three-dimensional resin
matrix that had a good holding power and was easy to remove. A
further innovation was the application of silicones, providing
shine, lubricating, and improving resins resistance to dampness.
In the 1990s, the introduction of polymer hair gels and sprays
as styling products included organic acrylate cross polymers with
joint side chains which tend to create spot bonds, maintaining
a more pliable hold and reducing cleaning and brushing effects