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So You Think You Don’t Like…Hairspray

We all have our beauty product prejudices. Some people say that mascara gives them headaches; others claim they could never pull off bright lipstick. Until recently, I was a staunch opponent of hairspray. The mere mention of the stuff recalled regrettable ‘80s-style prom hair and man-repelling crispiness. Plus, isn’t aerosol bad for the environment?

And then suddenly, ahead of my friend Heather’s 27th birthday party, everything changed. First, a bit of background: Heather is the kind of girl whose birthday fete prompts people to book plane tickets in advance. In other words, the girl has star power—and I needed a cool hairstyle to mark the momentousness of the occasion. After doing some Birchbox research, I learned how to create an updo so simple even I could do it, and I raided our product closet for a formula that could help me seal the deal. That’s when I landed on Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray. Reading the label, I had no ethical qualms to contend with—the aerosol-free spray is environmentally friendly and totally vegan. So I decided to throw it in my bag and take it for a test run.

After creating the updo, I took the plunge and gave my hair a thorough spritzing before the party. The stuff smelled good—like perfume, not the mildew-remover type of fragrance I’d associated with hairspray—and it immediately sealed my hair in place. The coolest part, though, was that it didn’t feel crispy. My hair wasn’t as soft as before spraying, obviously, but it was still touchable.

All throughout Heather’s birthday shenanigans, from D.C. bar crawl to awkward dance moves, my hair stayed in place. It even survived sleeping on Heather’s couch. And the next morning, when I released my hair from its bobby-pin coils, it wasn’t stiff or sticky at all. In fact, it resolved into a perfectly normal style, much as it looked when I blew it out the day before. I went two full days without washing my hair after Heather’s party. How’s that for sustainability?

Consider this writer a hairspray convert.

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