This stuff is LOVE. Now, I'd like to mention that I use this for the stage, not in daily life.
The hold is incredible, my hair really doesn't budge. It becomes a bit hard, but that doesn't matter. I also use it to set my makeup and on the tips, inside heels and soles of my pointe shoes to keep them from slipping, all of which it is wonderful at. Highly recommended!
I wanted to try this bc of how well I held peoples hair in the 70's. I was intrigued. Then when I actually bought it and used it... Disappointed. I used this on side swept bangs that fall into my eyes & somewhat teased hair, it did NOTHING. I spray this on, then maybe an hour later my hair is all floppy and flat. Not good. Obviously they changed the ingredients in the last 30 years. They shouldn't have.
I also wanted to try this hairspray based on the glowing reviews and since it's been around for years and was supposedly a staple during the big hair eras. I couldn't find Aqua Net here in Canada and you can't ship aerosol sprays across the border, so I picked up some of the Extra Super Hold formula while I was down in the U.S. I don't understand the rage over this spray! It's called AQUA Net but I never would have thought the first ingredient would be water! And you can tell it's mostly water because it just completely wets down your hair and takes forever to dry (might as well blowdry your hair again!). So, definitely not useful for me with my backcombed volumized style since all the water flattens everything out. And then when it finally does dry, you're left with almost no hold, and your hair still looks wet! So, then what exactly is the point of this spray supposed to be? It's terrible! This spray may be one of the cheapest out there (about $2 for something like 12oz), but it still wasn't worth it!
In the goth community, this stuff is issued to you right along with your black eyeliner and your fishnets. Big crimpy hair? Aquanet will do that. Ratted out deathhawk on my boyfriend.? Aquanet. I'm not sure how good it is for your hair, but it will hold all night (and cause half your hair to fall out when you try to brush it the next morning because you were too drunk/tired do it the night before).
I don't think this is recommended, but in my younger days I used to spray it on my face to help my makeup stay before going to the goth club.
I normally buy the unscented one in the purple can because my boyfriend likes to use it too, and he doesn't like the scented one, but I have a secret soft spot for the old lady smell of the white can.
This review is for the unscented aerosol formula. In a word, this stuff is horrible. HORRIBLE! It left my hair a wet nasty mess. I used it twice (because I thought I must have somehow done something wrong the first time for it to come out so bad) and after the second try I had really bad build-up which I never get from products. How does anyone use this stuff? Yes it's cheap (I think I paid $3) but it's a mess. I'll stick with my TIGI Hardhead thank you very much.
I generally loathe having any product in my hair other than leave-in conditioner. however, I also ride horse competatively, and something you may not notice about those lovely women jumping horses on ESPN is that we have our own version of "helmet head". if you look in any ladies show tack trunk you will find at least 2 huge bottles of aquanet. why? because after we pull our hair back into a low pony tail and placed it into a snood we aquanet the s^^t out of of our hair before bobby pinning it. if it's not dripping off, you simply have not applied enough. I like to think of it like concrete (aquanet) and rebar (bobby pins); it's a system to make sure every strand will stay in place for *at least* 12 hours, and withstand sun, heat, wind, and sweat. by the end of the day my mascara may have sweated off down to my waist; my B.O. may be so bad I have to drive home with all the windows in the car down; but my hair will look just as perfect as it did at the begining of the day. and there is simply no other hair spray that will acheive this kind of hold. trust me, I've looked; I've tested; it simply does not exist. it's aquanet or nothing.
It's taken a lot of therapy for me to be able to say this - but I failed the 80's. Oh, I tried - but I never learned to walk like an Egyptian (or at least not like an Egyptian that didn't have a handicapped tag on the chariot,) big shoulders made me look like a junior high linebacker, my attempts at the seriously smokey eye looked like signs of domestic abuse, and for a while I thought Sting was Bob Marley's illegitimate son.( The Jamaican singing accent threw me.) Worst of all, my hair would NOT do big no matter how many hours and tears I spent in front of the bathroom mirror. Until I found my grandmother's Aquanet. Now I should have known that any product that held "the Baptist bouffant" in place through hours of Texas summer outdoor revival meetings would certainly be able to handle any minor height issue I might have. This was my miracle product. A blow dryer, curling iron, three hours, and half a can of Aquanet later - my big hair stood proud ( and I mean stood, there was no moving it.) If during a slow dance, my boyfriend leaned his head against mine, my whole hairdo pushed to one side as a unit. And left tiny grill marks against his cheek. There was no wearing black with this product - it left a blizzard of flakes whenever I moved. Attempting to brush it out was a complete waste of time - and a good brush. Lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat.... I last used this in 1987 and washed the last vestiges of it out of my hair in 2001, I think.
This product will hold your hair wherever you put for as long as you leave it in there. God knows what damage it does while it's there, so I'd only use it short term or in a big hair emergency. ( Dolly Parton contest, say.) It's cheap, it's reliable, and it's incredibly bad all at the same time. And it will last longer than some relationships.
Be very, very careful of this product. Years ago when I was going to cosmetology school, we were told by our instructors that this was one of the worst things in the world for building up on the hair, and it was almost impossible to remove with shampoo. One day I had a customer who had been using this spray, and when I wet her hair down, I could actually see the spray on the individual hair strands, and no, it did not wash out. This was before all the clarifying shampoos that are now available, and the only way to remove it was to mix baking soda with water, pour it on the hair, and let it set for at least 20 minutes. Even after that, sometimes a second treatment had to be done to get it all out. Unless they have changed the formula over the years, I would never recommend this to anyone. There are a lot of other hairsprays out there that won't cement themselves to your hair and can actually be removed with regular shampoo.
This review is for the unscented, metallic purple "extra super hold" aerosol formula. I like this hairspray and have used it on and off for many, many years. Great, inexpensive (under $5) product for those of us who have structured hairstyles and need/like it really not to move, all day. Just a giant can of good hairspray is what this is. Can you believe in highschool I used to go through TWO cans of this stuff a week! I'm 32 now and pretty sure ONE can will last quite a while...well, longer than a week anyway!:-) There is a scented white can of this available too (what I used in highschool) and it's pretty much the same. Any hairspray will pretty much build up and flake if a lot is used, so that is not an issue. Good stuff that's been around forever and will continue to be so.