Can You Use Heat on Hair with Hair Spray? 

When hair styling is the topic, you probably think of heat-styling tools and hair sprays right away. Though before you actually get to the styling part, a question comes up, “Can you use heat on hair with hair spray?” 

Most online sites do not give you a straightforward answer. But don’t worry; we will answer it for you in today’s article. Read on!

So, Can You Use Heat on Hair with Hair Spray?

Technically, you can. However, we advise against it. 

Hair sprays mainly serve as a sealer, and so, should be used after your hair is styled. If you use it before your heat-styling equipment, the interaction between the heat and hair spray can cause your hair to dry out. 

Instead of hair spray, you should use heat protectant sprays before you style your hair. 

If you NEED to use hair spray to set your curls or hold your to be straightened strands, you should go for thermal hair sprays.

They are the only type of hair spray that can be used on heat-styled hair, as they contain little alcohol, and thus, have low chances of catching fire. They are also designed to retain and add moisture, so they can protect the hair as well as minimize heat damage.

Shampoos Hub x
Shampoos Hub

See also: Top 5 Ways to Style Your Hair After Washing

About Heat & Hair Spray


This refers to styling equipment that functions using heat, such as flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, hot air brushes, crimpers, and heat rollers. 

  • Flat Irons (Straighteners) – These smooth our hair strands and straighten them with heat.
  • Curling Irons (Curling wands) – These curl your hair into loose or tight waves with heat. 
  • Blow Dryers – These dry hair with heat and can style the hair to add volume. 
  • Hot Air Brushes – Multipurpose to straighten, smooth, dry, and volumize hair. 
  • Crimpers (Crimping irons) – These give hair small, tight waves with S-shaped repeating grooves. 
  • Heat Rollers – Come in sets of hot rollers that can make tight or big curls/waves. 

These hot tools get your hair to the desired shape and look, but in order for it to stay this way, you need a hair spray. Hairspray can’t be used as a Heat Protectant and vice versa.

Common heat-styling tools
Common heat-styling tools

Hair Sprays

Hair sprays are products that you spritz onto your hair to hold it in place. This is thanks to their makeup, which includes chain-like molecules: polymers. The polymers add structural support to the hair.  

Apart from that, hair sprays can be used for:

  • Sculpting and styling hair into a specific shape or position 
  • Taming flyaways, frizz, and generally, unruly, wild hair
  • Hiding oily and greasy fringes 
  • Lifting, and giving hair more volume

Based on the purpose of hair sprays, we can categorize them into:

  • Basic Daily Hair Spray: Light sprays that hold your hair in place. Described as “basic,” these do not have any extra features. 
  • Working Hair Spray: Offers a light hold and is rather flexible so that users can work (tease and/or texturize) the hairstyle to your liking after the application. 
  • Volumizing Hair Spray: Dubbed thickening sprays, this type makes your hair appear thicker and fuller. 
  • Shaping Hair Spray: Lock your hairstyle in place after you have shaped it. They have slow-drying formulas, so you can still work through the hair after applying it. 
  • Texture Hair Spray: Aids in texturizing your hair. This type of spray can offer an airy volume while still holding your hair in place.
  • Thermal Hair Spray: Adds and retains moisture and slows down the evaporation rate to keep your hair hydrated. This type of spray tends to contain less alcohol, so it can be used for hair that is or has been heat-styled. 
  • Freezing Hair Spray: Designed to “freeze” your hair in place. This may be chosen by stuntmen and athletes, who need their hair out of their face and stay solidly at one spot. 
  • Finishing Hair Spray: Finish your hairstyle. Most finishing hair sprays add gloss and shine or conversely, a matte effect. 

Things To Keep In Mind While Using Hair Spray On Heat-Styled Hair

Hair sprays usually come in either aerosol spray bottles or pump bottles with nozzles. They can be used by all genders and are quite easy to use. You just need to follow the instruction on the product packaging, and keep these five tips in mind: 

  • Make sure you always have a layer of heat protectant first.
  • Always check that the nozzle is cleaned before spritzing or pumping. To avoid clumps, do not hold the spray too close while spritzing. 12 inches is the best distance that is highly recommended.
  • To make sure the hair spray’s product reaches all areas of your hair, run your fingers through the as you spray. 
  • Do not brush your hair aggressively after applying hair spray. This can cause damage by breaking off each of the strands.

See also: Can Dry Shampoo Take Out Hairspray?

What Can You Use Instead Of Hair Sprays?

You can substitute hair sprays with commercial products, including pastes, pomades, clays, creams, mousses, gels, and texture and volumizing powder. 


This is a thick consistency product that you can apply to your hair using your hands.

When styling hair, it gives you more control. You can easily tease and texturize hair with this. It provides a firm hold and matte effect. Some pastes, though, have a hint of shine and gloss. 

You can apply them to your hair before you blowdry it, but do not set the heat too high. 


This is another thick consistency product that you can use to style your hair utilizing your hands. It is, however, not as thick as pastes. It is very versatile but mostly adored by men. 

They are water-based, so you do not have to worry about them not washing off. Compared to pastes, they will offer results that are a bit more flexible.  

For pastes and pomades, you will have to “prep” them beforehand by warming them up. You simply rub them between your fingers or on your palm so they will soften. 

You can blowdry pomade-styled hair. However, do not use high heat settings. Also, note that curling irons and straighteners should be avoided. 


This refers to thick to creamy consistency products applied to the hair by hand. As said in the name, this alternative to hair spray contains a clay ingredient.

The standard example is bentonite clay. Clays feel velvety and a bit powdery, but they will swell in size when they come into contact with water. Most people use clays to volumize their hair. 

You should only use clays with a blow dryer. Avoid higher heat from curling irons and flat irons. 


This is a product with lotion-type consistency, great for taming flyaways and frizz. It offers a lighter hold than other styling products but can still add substance and shine to the hair. 

You should creams after heat-styling unless you have a product that specifies it can be used before heat is applied, such as the Joico Dream Blowout Thermal Protection Crème.  


This is a foam product that can offer excellent volume if paired correctly with a blow dryer.

It can work for every and all hair types without leaving flakes and residue. Some mousses are even formulated to thicken hair. These mousses are recommended for fine hair.

You should also use mousses after heat-styling your hair

Mousses are foamy products for hair-styling
Mousses are foamy products for hair-styling


Gels are the solution for rigid, non-movable hair and are very versatile, working for all hair lengths and thicknesses. You can use them to sculpt and mold your hair. 

They are affordable and easy to find. Hence, they are typically chosen as the starter styling product for both male and female users. 

You should apply gels after heat-styling unless your product states that it can be used before heat is applied. 

Texture Powder & Voluminizing Powder

This is the go-to styling product if you want a light hold but crazy volume at the same time.

Most powders consist of a silica silylate base that increases the friction between hair fibers and thereby creates volume. Some powder formulas have chemicals that get rid of excess oil and provide an extra boost to the hair.

Usually, heat-styling tools are not needed but you can pair them with a blowdryer. It is best to apply powder after you curl or straighten your hair

What Are Some Good Thermal Hair Sprays To Use Before Heat-Styling?

B. THE PRODUCT Camera Ready Shine Thermal Protection Spray

  • Size: 4 fl oz
  • Key Ingredients: Pro-Vitamin B, Rice Protein, Ivy & Root Extract
  • Main Function: Volumize
  • Extra Functions: Strengthen, Promote Hair Growth & Reduce Hair Fall

Ovation Hair Thermal Protection Styling Spray

  • Size: 8 fl oz
  • Key Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Peach, Pomegranate, Ginkgo Biloba Extract
  • Main Function: Lift & Hold
  • Extra Functions: Smoothen, Shine & Protect Color(s)


  • Size: 8 fl oz
  • Key Ingredients: Argan Oil
  • Main Function: Tame
  • Extra Functions: Hydrates, Detangles, Boosts Shine

Like choosing other hair products, make sure you check that the product suits your hair, and be attentive to the ingredients, scents, and accompanying directions. 


So, to recap: Some hair sprays can be used before and after heat is applied, but not all.

Only thermal hairspray can be used on hair before heating. The others should be used after using heat on hair due to their high volumes of alcohol. You also could decide what hair spray your hair required based on the specific use purpose we mentioned.

I hope you found this article useful! Wish you would have beautiful hair!

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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