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Can You Wash Out Hairspray with Water?

Hairspray works well to style and maintain your hair. However, if you use hairspray too much, it can cause scalp buildup and irritation. So, how do you remove it from your hair? You might think to yourself, “Can I wash out the hairspray using water?”. Let’s find out.

Does Hairspray Wash Out With Water?

In most cases, yes, hairspray does wash out with water. If you do not have excessive hairspray in your hair, water and a brush should be enough to remove it completely from your hair.

However, if you use hairspray frequently or have a lot of buildup on your scalp, water alone may not be enough. Other methods likely work better.

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Out Hairspray?

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Out Hairspray?

After a long day at work or hanging out with friends, we don’t always want to come home and spend time washing the hairspray out of our hair. Sometimes, we would rather give in to our exhaustion and curl up in bed.

Skipping out on cleansing your hair every once in a while is okay, but if this becomes a habit, you might experience some unwanted consequences.

For instance, hairspray can dry out your hair and scalp if left unwashed. The ingredients in hairspray may also leave side effects, such as:

  • Irritation
  • Buildup
  • Dull hair
  • Flakey scalp
  • Redness and inflammation

Alternative Ways to Remove Hairspray from Hair

Ways to Remove Hairspray from Your Hair

If you experience excessive hairspray buildup or find that water is not doing the trick, here are a few alternative methods to remove hairspray from your hair.

#1. Brush with Detangler Spray

One simple way to remove hairspray from your hair is to remove it with a brush or comb. Brushing works best if you use a loose-hold hairspray.

Adding detangler spray while you brush or comb will help dissolve some hairspray. You do not have to rinse it out either. Just scrunch the spray into your hair and brush.

#2. Clarifying Shampoo

While regular shampoos work well at cleansing hair, a clarifying shampoo removes product buildup. Clarifying shampoos have a greater percentage of detergents compared to traditional shampoos.

Some detergents include Sodium pareth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). While sulfates are too harsh for everyday usage, they expertly remove the occasional product buildup.

#3. Apple Cider Vinegar

You might have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen cabinet, but did you know you could use it to remove product residue from your hair?

Dilute one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Add this mixture to a spray bottle, and apply it liberally to your scalp. Leave it to sit for twenty to thirty minutes before rinsing out in the shower.

So, Can You Wash Out Hairspray with Water?

Yes, you can wash out hairspray with water in most circumstances.

Hairspray generally washes out with water, but for frequent users or those with buildup, water alone may be insufficient, necessitating alternative methods.

Consider investing in a clarifying shampoo for a deeper clean for scalps with lots of buildup from hairspray and other products. You may also find success using household items like apple cider vinegar to wash out the residue.

  • Hairspray usually washes out with water unless there’s significant buildup.
  • Not washing out hairspray can lead to dryness, irritation, buildup, dull hair, flaky scalp, and inflammation.
  • For excessive buildup, alternatives include:
    • Brushing with detangler spray, which doesn’t need rinsing.
    • Clarifying shampoo, containing high detergents like SLES and SLS, for occasional use to remove excessive buildup.
    • Diluted apple cider vinegar, left on the scalp for 20-30 minutes before rinsing, can remove product residue.

You can also go for these hairspray alternatives.


How long does hairspray last in hair?

The duration of time hairspray lasts in your hair depends on the product. Loose-hold hairsprays may only last a few hours, while firm-hold hairsprays can last all day.

Should I sleep in hairspray?

If you do not wash out your hairspray before bed, you risk excessive product buildup. Some hairspray will also transfer to your pillows and sheets overnight, increasing your risk for acne and clogged pores.