Can You Use Hairspray as a Heat Protectant? 

If you regularly heat-style your hair, then your hair kit probably includes hairspray and heat protectants? But can the former double as the latter to save you space and money?

Today’s article will answer, “Can you use hairspray as a heat protectant?” for your reference. Join us in exploring what they are and if one can be a substitute for the other! 

Can You Use Hairspray as a Heat Protectant? 

No, while hairspray coats your hair with a light film, it is not enough to give your hair the protection it needs. Therefore, do not switch your heat protectant for a hairspray!

For strong and healthy hair, you’re better off investing in quality hair protectants and only using hairspray after you’ve styled it.

See also: Can You Use Heat on Hair with Hair Spray?

What Are Heat Protectants, Hairsprays & What Do They Do?

To start, you should know what heat protectants are and what they do. But don’t worry, you won’t have to go looking for other articles to read. We have compiled a section here to help you.

What are heat protectants? 

Heat protectants are shields that minimize the heat your hair endures when encountering styling equipment, such as straighteners, curlers, and blow dryers. They can come as spray, oil, cream, or serum formulas and are often leave-in products. 

Shampoos Hub x
Shampoos Hub

Generally, you apply heat protectants to your hair before you style it with heat. Most items can be used on both wet and dry hair. If you do not use heat protectants, your hair cuticles can open up and frizz, which are two things you definitely want to avoid.

Hair protectants provide an “armor" against heat for your hair 
Hair protectants provide an “armor” against heat for your hair

Most protectants contain humectant ingredients like panthenol and propylene glycol, along with amino acids, natural oils, and extracts.

Other common ingredients are cyclomethicone and dimethicone, both of which are moisturizing agents. 

Now, what’s hairspray? 

Hairspray holds your hair in place and gives your hair a spruce
Hairspray holds your hair in place and gives your hair a spruce

Hairspray is a product that is sprayed onto hair to keep it in place. In addition, it can add a bit of spruce and volume to hair. It is made of polymers that coat hair strands and connect them with a light film, creating something like an invisible hairnet. 

This “hairnet” makes a good glue to keep your hair together, but it’s not nearly as useful as protectants in safeguarding your hair. 

Hairsprays contain decent ingredients. However, they are not suitable as a substitute for heat protectants because their chemical makeup cannot fulfill the same purpose of protecting the hair from heat. Thus, hairsprays are not recommended for daily use as a heat protectant. 

Moreover, most hairsprays have alcohol, which doesn’t mix well with heat. It can also coat your styling equipment. Hairsprays are made of components with flammable properties; hence, when they are exposed to heat from a hair curler or blow dryer, they might even lightly burn or roughen your hair. 

All in all, we do not recommend replacing your heat protectant with hairspray. Each has a separate responsibility so they are not interchangeable.

A Guide for Heat Protectants 

How to choose a heat protectant? 

Prioritize Protection: Always Go for the Maximum 

It goes without saying that the product’s protection capability is the priority.

When you’re shopping for heat protectants and trying to narrow down your choices, always look at the formula’s capacity to provide protection first.

It is also a good idea to check out products’ reviews and listen to what people have to say regarding the protection abilities. 

Kill Many Birds With One Stone: Get the Product That Fights Frizz, Too

Many heat protectants are formulated to fight frizz, humidity, and UV rays as well as add shine and softness in addition to protecting your hair from heat and other harmful agents. 

These are the gems! Your hair will be pretty, healthy, and smooth all the time with these multi-formulated products. 

Double the Protection: Conditioning Mist is a Sought-After Bonus 

Conditioning mist is a must to revive your dried-out hair after encountering heat.

Choose protectants that contain conditioning ingredients, such as shea butter and aloe vera. These will aid in repairing your hair and keep it from becoming brittle or falling limp. 

Be Picky: Pay Attention to the Type of Applicator (Yes, They Matter)  

The applicator plays an essential role in your ease of use and how well the product can seep into your hair and work its magic.

The most convenient and simple-to-use applicator is the spray nozzle. You can dispense the product with a light press and coat your hair evenly! It will save you both time and effort. 

How to use heat protectants properly? 

Always follow the instructions that come with your chosen product. You cannot expect it to be effective if you do not use it the way it is designed to.

The most important thing for you to remember (for all protectants) is NEVER exceed the protectant’s given max temperature.  

Usually, you should let the protectant dry before you apply any heat. It is also not a bad idea to detangle and comb your hair before using a heat protectant. This ensures the application will be even. 

Comb your hair to ensure the heat protectant is applied evenly 
Comb your hair to ensure the heat protectant is applied evenly

What are other ways to prevent heat damage? 

Here are a few tips you can keep up your sleeves to minimize the damage heat inflicts on your hair: 

  • Let your hair air-dry partially before blow-drying 
  • Do not use heat-styling equipment unless you really, really need to 
  • Try to use the lowest heat setting on your styling equipment 
  • Do heat the same section of hair over and over

What are alternatives to commercial hair protectants? 

If you do not want to use the protectant products in the market, you can also opt for these natural hair protectants: 

  • Argan Oil – Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E
  • Coconut Oil – Has anti-dandruff, anti-microbial properties and is moisturizing 
  • Grape Seed Oil – Has a high smoke point (Suitable for irons reaching 420°F)
  • Avocado Oil – Has a high smoke point (Suitable for irons reaching 520°F)
  • Almond Oil – Rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, and E

See also: How do I style my hair after wash and go?

A Guide for Hairspray 

How to choose a hairspray?

There are so, so many hair sprays in the market. Finding the right one for your hair can be rather complicated.

Here are some of the factors to look at while searching for a product that makes your hair happy: 

Consider Your Hair Type Compatibility 

What is your hair type? How do you usually style your hair? What do you expect to do with your hairspray?

Updos for fine hair and thick curly hair require different hairsprays. Asking and answering these questions can help you land the product that meets your needs. 

Assess The Ingredients & Scents 

As with any other hair product, it is essential to consider the ingredients of every hairspray you pick up.

You want the least amount of harmful components as possible and, conversely, the greatest amount of beneficial ingredients, like those that smoothen and moisturize.

The key question to ask here is, “Will your hair be better or worse with these ingredients?”  

You may be allergic to certain ingredients and not be able to stand the specific scents of a few distinct ingredients. For example, we find lavender too flowery for our liking. 

How to use hairspray properly? 

Just like using a heat protectant, you should use it as it is guided in the instructions on the label.

It is generally best to hold it at least 12 inches away from your hair when dispending to prevent the hair from sticking and clumping. 

Do not hold the hairspray to close when you are dispensing
Do not hold the hairspray to close when you are dispensing

Plus, before you spray, always check that the nozzle is clean so that your mist can be a fine application.

Try to reach all parts of your hair when spraying instead of just the surface to get maximum effectiveness. 

What are alternatives to hairsprays?

There are plenty of products out there formulated to keep your hair in place or add volume. Here are a few of the most common ones: 

Commercial Products 

  • Clay
  • Gel
  • Mousse 
  • Paste 
  • Pomade 

DIY Products 

  • Gelatin or Shea Butter Mousse 
  • Aloe Gel
  • Egg Whites 
  • Beeswax Pomade  


Why does my hair sizzle when I use heat protectants? 

If your hair sizzles when you use heat protectants before styling your hair with heat, it is because there is still water trapped in your hair.

If you do not want this to happen, after putting on the heat protectant, leave your hair to dry for about 5 minutes before you apply any heat. 

Your hair sizzle when the heat from styling equipment meets still-damp hair
Your hair sizzle when the heat from styling equipment meets still-damp hair

What is a con of using heat protectants? 

Heat protectants can build up over time. However, this is only likely to happen if you apply a primer for consecutive days without washing or showering.

If your hair feels heavy and anchored down, you can use a clarifying shampoo every two weeks to clear the build-up. 

What happens if I do not use a heat protectant? 

It is important that you use a heat protectant every time you style your hair with heat.

If you skip the heat protectant and go straight for the heat-styling tools, you will surely hurt it. Your hair will soon be dry, brittle, and dull.

If you do not want lifeless hair and have to spend more money on recovering it or treating it, do not NOT use a heat protectant. 

Although your hair will not deteriorate and become irrevocably damaged if you do not use a heat protectant once before heat-styling it, it will if you do it many times, especially within a short period of time. 

Is it necessary to use hairspray every time you heat-style? 

No. You do not need to use hairspray every time you use heat on your hair. However, you do need to use a heat protectant.

If you heat style your hair a lot, it is typically alright to use hairspray just as regularly. But do note that depending on the product you choose, there may be chemicals, which can hurt your hair if the hairspray is used excessively. 

How much hairspray is too much? 

Depending on the hairstyle you are going for, you may need more or less hairspray.

Usually, one to two layers are sufficient. You may want to go lighter with traditional hairspray and a bit stronger with the newer, flexible ones. 

Just remember that spraying too much can actually backfire and cause your hair to go limp. Furthermore, your hair can be damaged if you brush through lots of hairspray layers.

Specifically, the individual hair shafts can be broken and be difficult to control when they assume new lengths. 

Should you sleep with hairspray on your hair? 

We do not recommend leaving hairspray on when you sleep.

The stickiness and ingredients of the hairspray, which more than often has oils, can transfer to your bedding or pillow and thereby stain.

As a result, you will be sleeping on accumulated residue that will not do your hair any good. 


Hairstyling is no easy feat. But we hope that our article made it easier for you by answering a few of your essential questions, including, “Can you use hairspray as a heat protectant?”.

If you have other questions regarding this matter, please comment down below. If you found this helpful, feel free to bookmark it for future reference and share it with other readers!

See also: Can Dry Shampoo Take Out Hairspray?

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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