Speaking from experience, there seems to be as much confusion surrounding dry texture sprays—not to be confused with volumizing cocktails that are applied to damp hair—as there are rave reviews. To get to the bottom of what exactly the volume-boosting bottles can do (and how), we tapped top hairstylists for intel. The result: a surprising list of uses and tips that are about to transform your tresses.
It’s the secret to nailing the perfect loose waves.
According to Kylee Heath, celebrity hairstylist to names like Nicole Kidman and Sofia Vergara, a bottle of texture spray is the secret weapon behind red carpet–ready hair, especially drool-worthy curls. “After adding texture with a curling iron, lift the hair one side at a time and spray while you drop the sections of hair.” This will give your strands lift, along with the piecey volume we love.
It also doubles as dry shampoo.
“Some people don’t know that texturizing spray can actually act as a dry shampoo,” Kathy Benghanem, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Gemini 14 Salon, explains, adding that it doesn’t only add texture and volume, but also absorbs excess oil. “It’s an under-the-radar way to give your hair an extra boost on your second or third day between washes.”
There’s a method to applying it.
Celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena—he’s responsible for Riverdale’s Cheryl Blossom’s strands—says that if the bottle is too close to your hair when you apply, the spray will liquefy and all of your effort (and money) could be for not. “Keeping the product at least six inches away from your hair will give you the best outcome,” he adds.
It could make your hair look flat.
Kristin Ess, celebrity hairstylist and founder of her namesake hair care line (she’s also responsible for Lauren Conrad’s to-die-for hair) says that if you only spray the exterior or top of your hair, it will get flatter quicker. “Lift your hair as you spray to make sure you get product underneath the surface, too,” she adds.
You should not use it sparingly.
Being frugal and expensive beauty products go hand in hand for many of us, but when it comes to texture spray, using more product could be the difference between good hair and great hair. “Follow the length of your hair with short, light spritzes—make sure to go from root to tip—to add lived-in texture and volume throughout,” Benghanem advises. Brian Zinno, education director at Antonio Prieto Salon, says he likes to spray from root to ends in horizontal motions before blasting the hair with medium air from a blow-dryer to evenly distribute the product.
It’s a braid’s best friend.
Whether rocking a braid in your hair is your signature style or you only wear them to wake up with waves, adding a texture spray into your routine will help on all angles. Heath says she likes to braid her hair then follow up with a dry spray. “This helps to ‘grunge it up’ when hair is super clean,” she adds. To style your hair while you sleep, Mena says to spray your hair with texture spray before you braid it to keep the braid from coming apart while you snooze. “This will maximize volume and texture and you’ll wake up to beautiful waves.”
It keeps bobby pins from slipping.
“I always use dry texturizing sprays for creating long-lasting updos,” Zinno explains, adding that when sprayed in the right place—apply it to the specific areas you’re planning on putting bobby pins or hair accessories—texturizing spray can create great grip for pins, braids and twists. “It helps significantly with slipping,” Ess adds.