What Is Finishing Spray?

Overuse of hair finishing spray may cause dandruff.
A makeup finishing spray helps keep makeup from smearing in humid and hot weather.
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  • Written By: Allison Richard
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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There are two main types of finishing sprays in terms of beauty products. Both are liquid spray beauty products, but one is applied to the hair, and the other is applied to the face. Hair finishing sprays are the most common of these two types. Packaged in either a pump or aerosol bottle, they help hold the hair in place. Hair finishing sprays are fast drying and come in a variety of formulas from lightweight to super hold, though all versions typically have a lighter hold than gels, pomades and waxes.

There are numerous hair finishing sprays on the market. While their main purpose is to set a style and help keep it in place, finishing sprays often have added ingredients that provide other benefits to the hair. Most sprays are tailored to certain hair types or conditions. They may be used to help create shine and gloss for dull hair. Some finishing sprays do double duty by both setting the hair and adding volume and lift to the roots to combat flat-looking hair. For those with unruly or curly hair, they can also be used to decrease the amount of flyaway hairs and control frizz.

Finishing sprays generally have a stronger holding than traditional hairsprays. This extra strength means that the spray can often leave the hair feeling sticky or crunchy. Running a brush through the hair after the spray has dried can help alleviate this.


Those that use a finishing spray frequently, may damage hair or get dandruff. This happens because the main ingredients are alcohol and other harsh chemical compounds. To help maintain hair health it is best to wash the hair regularly to remove the residue left behind by the spray. Many finishing sprays have started adding natural ingredients and herbal infusions into their recipes to promote nourishment to the hair.

While hair finishing sprays are the most common type of finishing spray, there's also a make-up finishing spray. Similar to hair finishing sprays, make-up finishing sprays are applied by a spritzer but in this case it's applied over make-up, generally on the face. The spray is meant to resist the heat and humidity which causes smearing, melting and loss of makeup color. It is often used by make-up artists on models and actors for photo shoots and filming.


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