How to Make a Blowout Last with Hairspray

I've learned to keep a blowout for at least five days without making my hair look remotely greasy.
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Courtney Brunson
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I've learned to keep a blowout for at least five days without making my hair look remotely greasy.
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My hair goals are basically to not look like Katt Williams or be bald. Washing and blowing my hair out every day would accomplish at least one of those things — hint, baldness. As I’ve mentioned before, my hair has been processed with a chemical relaxer and is therefore the texture of a dust bunny that could easily be burnt to a crisp if heat-styled every day. When I’m not air-drying my leave-in-conditioner-drenched frizzy waves and sweeping them into a bun (which has been most of the time in recent months), I’m torturing them in a ceramic and tourmaline chamber. Blow-dryers and flat irons eliminate any moisture that hadn’t already disappeared in the dry, artificially heated winter air, making the straightening process much riskier now than during other seasons.

Styling my fluffy, chemically processed, kind of curly hair into sleek submission is an event similar to the Battle of the Five Armies, requiring an arsenal of conditioners, serums, oils, and hairsprays. With practice I’ve learned to make a blowout last for at least five days without looking remotely greasy. (I’m a hair-product mixologist, and have tried about every product that’s ever existed). Most beauty bloggers preach the gospel of dry shampoos, but I’m only partially on board. I use dry shampoo at the roots of freshly washed hair before exercising to trap sweat at the source, and that’s it. When my hair is anything less than sparkling clean, dry shampoo kills shine and give the illusion of a dull and stringy old wig. Product buildup is a bitch, so I have to stick to the most lightweight formulas possible throughout the week. Hairsprays are my saving grace because the fine mist can be applied daily to maintain and improve my style, but can also be easily brushed out.

Grease is the enemy as far as preserving a blowout is concerned. If you have recently spent two hours using technology to change your natural texture, want the style to last as long as possible, and therefore do not plan on washing your hair for a while, you’ll need to empty that piggy bank and grab at least one of these un-detectable hairsprays.

My favorite hairsprays in order from left to right: L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold, $10; John Frieda Luxurious Volume All-Day Hold Hairspray, $7; Bumble and bumble. Dryspun Finish, $30; and Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray, $24. 

My favorite hairsprays in order from left to right: L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold, $10; John Frieda Luxurious Volume All-Day Hold Hairspray, $7; Bumble and bumble. Dryspun Finish, $30; and Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray, $24

To Hold Curls: L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold

Flat, pin-straight hair is not sexy on me because my head is the size of a planet. Typically after blow-drying and straightening, I’ll add a slight bend to select sections of hair with a 1.5-inch curling iron. Now that my bob has grown into a lob, the curls will fall without using this hairspray. I’m especially addicted to this aerosol spray’s fine mist, the consistency similar to a puff of an atomizer perfume. This formula also works perfectly for updos by supplying incredibly strong hold without the stickiness of a heavy spray — the product can actually be brushed out, no matter how stiff or prom-like your style is. A 55-year-old formula can only survive in the beauty industry’s fickle rotation if it performs. Gold cans of Elnett are frequently spotted in the kits of hair-stylists like Guido Palau (who I completely worship), and on the vanity of Rachel Zoe (who I also unapologetically adore).

To Lift Your Roots: John Frieda Luxurious Volume All-Day Hold Hairspray

My roots lie extremely flat after a fresh blowout, especially because I wrap my hair in a satin scarf at night. Spraying this throughout the crown of my scalp creates a subtle amount of volume that will last about seven hours. I like adding three sprays throughout the length of my hair as well, because it still glistens after the volume falls.

To Save Your Blowout: Bumble and bumble. Dryspun Finish

We’ve all been there — you spend a full episode of Scandal heat-styling your hair, envisioning sexy Kelly Kapowski volume, and it’s just . . . not there. Flat hair isn’t always the source of “bad hair days” — movement is. When I’m not necessarily looking for heaps of volume but want my hair to swing (for hotter hair-flips, duh), I grab this. Cityswept Finish has a fairly forceful spray, mimicking the airy, tousled effect of running a blow-dryer through your hair on a low-heat setting. Just be careful not to go overboard (which is easy to do because this product is fun) unless you want your hair to feel dry.

To Fight Humidity: Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray

My fine hair is like a sponge, and poofs into a cloud-like mess with any exposure to moisture, putting my two hours of hair-straightening to waste. I stumbled upon this hairspray by accident (a broken cap resulted in a sale price of three dollars at Ulta), or by an act of God. In order to battle the freezing temperatures outside, indoor locales blast heat this time of year — especially bars and restaurants. This beloved black can is the perfect solution for any indoor situation where you anticipate sticky, high temperatures, and it actually makes hair look BETTER after being in a humid situation. Did you hear me? Better! It’s shinier, smoother, softer, and hotter.

Bitch face selfie of a particularly memorable blowout.

Bitch face selfie of a particularly memorable blowout.

None of the hairsprays I’ve listed will result in product build-up (unless you go crazy and spray the whole bottle, but I’m assuming you know better) and can be applied daily in small doses. Of course, not all hairsprays need to be applied at the same time, you can pick and choose based on your hair needs. All I ask is that you do not fall into the trap of thinking serums are the only solution to smoothing your hair three days into a blowout, unless you enjoy looking really greasy and weird.

How long can you guys make a blowout last and how do you accomplish the feat? Are you grossed out by the idea of not washing your hair?

Follow Courtney on Twitter and Instagram @courtneypizza