I typically have a travel-sized bottle of Elnett Satin Hairspray by by L’Oréal Paris lying around. It is to hairspray what Maybelline Great Lash is to lashes: a drugstore staple that’s praised by professional hair artists, found on almost every shoot, and also used faithfully by the everyday lass.
I thought I’d challenge the beloved Elnett to a newcomer, at least to me: Freeze It Mega Freeze Hairspray. While there are about 5 million hairsprays out there, Elnett Satin and Freeze It Mega Freeze are both hairsprays available in travel sizes at drugstores, so they occupy the same “totable glamour” category. In other words, if my travel-size Elnett can be beat, I want to know.
Both are extra hold formulas that promise to leave hair free and unfettered. In other words, they are supposed to be sprays that keep your coiffure in place while still allowing you to pull a brush through it, and otherwise not feel like your wearing a helmet. This is the main reason I, and probably legions of other women, avoid hairspray or wear it only when necessary. Like to keep a serpentine updo in place for a friend’s wedding or something.
I wanted these hairspray reviews to be a real-world one, so I styled my hair as usual, which is to say, I did very little beyond wash it, dry it and for this occasion, created a few curls. I sprayed Elnett on one side of my hair, Freeze It on the other, and went out for a spell of vigorous salsa dancing. I didn’t use a comb or otherwise fuss with my hair the whole night.
Here’s before and after…
Keep in mind the After is after a couple of hours of this, which is pretty much the best hairspray testing environment on the planet…
Hairspray Reviews Are In: Results
Both formulas held the hair in place really well. Neither formula ever looked nor felt tacky nor crunchy nor otherwise gross in the hair. There was no feeling of dryness or visual dulling to the hair. In other words, both perform really well and manage to cancel out the main reasons why one would want to avoid hairspray.
There are 3 discernible differences between Elnett Satin Hairspray and Freeze It Mega Freeze Hairspray, and here are 2:
Fragrance: Elnett Satin Hairspray has a medium to strong, classic “hairspray” smell. One of the ingredients is limonene, which carries a lemon-ish scent, so that makes sense. Freeze It Mega Freeze Hairspray has a much lighter aroma, with a scent that reminiscent of coconuts. I happen to prefer the latter, but whatever floats your boat.
Hydration: Both formulas mention shine. Elnett Satin Hairspray lists “a brilliant shine” on its can as one of its virtues, and Freeze It Mega Freeze Hairspray lists that it has “optical brighteners for enhanced shine.”
Both do a great job of keeping the surface of your hair looking fresh and natural. They do it by different sets of ingredients though. Read below if you’re interested in this type of thing.
Nerd Sidebar on Ingredients
In the case of Elnett Satin Hairspray it’s Glycerin and Dimethicone, which is a polymer and acts as a protective barrier too.
In the case of Freeze It Mega Freeze it’s these two ingredients:
AMP-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. This functions as a hair conditioning agent and a humectant (a substance that helps retain moisture).
Panthenol (B5). This is also a humectant, one that I favor in hair products because it spreads evenly on the surface of the hair, creating an invisible layer of sorts that enhances the reflection of light on the hair, making it look shinier and glossier.
I am a super-novice hobbyist when it comes to cosmetic chemistry, but I prefer Freeze It Mega Freeze’s shine-enhancing ingredients due to my familiarity with them in natural and health-food store formulations.
There’s a Price Difference, Too
Bottom Line: Both of these are effective hairspray formulations offering a strong hold that feels like nothing at all. But Freeze It costs much less than industry favorite Elnett. Even after adjusting for size, Freeze It Mega Freeze is much less in terms of price.
- Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold (Travel Size) 2.2 oz $6.99
- Freeze It Mega Freeze Hair Spray Aerosol (Travel Size) 1.5 oz $2.25