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Updated May 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Paul Mitchell Soft Sculpting Spray Gel
Paul Mitchell
Soft Sculpting Spray Gel
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Bottom Line

A good, general spray gel that works for a variety of hairstyles and types. Good for general use.

Pros

Works particularly well for those with short and thin hair. Makes a good alternative to heavier, thicker spray gels that tend to be difficult to wash out at the end of the day. Good for styling and sculpting the hair for long-lasting daily results. The spray is gentle on the hair and minimizes overspray.

Cons

Can be too thin for people who need a thicker spray formula.

Best Bang for the Buck
Aquage Thickening Spray Gel
Aquage
Thickening Spray Gel
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Bottom Line

A good budget spray gel option for those who want a quality hold without the higher price tag.

Pros

Formula uses natural ingredients for extra healing properties. Has a high degree of volume and manageability. Makes styling easier. Good for a broad range of hair types.

Cons

Does not thicken as much as other high-quality hair products.

Garnier Fructis Curl Spray Gel
Garnier
Fructis Curl Spray Gel
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Bottom Line

The best spray gel to purchase for shaping, defining, and styling curls.

Pros

Uses a heavy-duty formula designed for the unique needs of curly hair whether it is damp or dry. Moisturizes hair while giving it more flexibility to style. Will also slightly curl straight hair for a natural curly look without extensive product or extra equipment.

Cons

The spray pump can start to stick after a few uses.

American Crew Medium Hold Spray Gel
American Crew
Medium Hold Spray Gel
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Bottom Line

This spray gel has earned praise and a dedicated following for its versatility, flexible holding power, and signature masculine scent.

Pros

Extremely easy to apply for a medium hold. Does a good job of keeping the hairstyle firm throughout the day without much preparation in the morning. Comes with an alcohol-free formula and small amount of sunscreen to protect the scalp from sun burning on hot summer days.

Cons

Spray pattern is too direct and narrow to cover a large portion of hair in one spray.

Sebastian Volupt Spray Gel
Sebastian
Volupt Spray Gel
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Bottom Line

A good budget alternative spray gel for more neutral results. Good for both women and men.

Pros

Uses a formula that is gentler on damaged and aging hair. Good for splitting and fraying hair strands. Has a good deal of volume after it sets and dries in just a couple minutes. Dries without leaving any noticeable buildup.

Cons

The hair loses some natural shine and manageability after use.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

57
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
16
Hours
Researched
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Love gel to style your hair, but hate getting the sticky stuff on your hands? Spray hair gel is a perfect medium. Spray gel also results in more natural looking styles, versus the very sculpted, stiff look of traditional gel application. In fact, a fine mist can work like a flexible hold hairspray, setting the style with no crunchy, stringy effect. Pay attention to the specific formula to get the result you want. Words like “soft”, “flexible” and “natural” mean little to no stiffness or noticeable product in the hair (unless applied heavily). “Curl”, “volumizing”, or “thickening” will tend to produce results with less movement and more body. Luxury or salon brands can cost around $20, while drugstore brands only cost a few dollars.

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