How to keep colored hair spray from rubbing off

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The allure of colored hair spray is undeniable. With just a few spritzes, you can instantly transform your look, channeling your inner rock star or unicorn. However, there’s one pesky problem that often comes with this magical hair product: the dreaded rub-off. Colored hair spray can leave an unwanted trail of color on your clothes, hands, and pillows. But fear not, as we’re about to unveil a set of tried-and-true methods to keep that vibrant hue where it belongs – on your hair.

Start with Clean Hair

Before diving into the rainbow, start with a clean canvas. Wash your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residual product, oils, or dirt. Clean hair provides a better foundation for the colored spray to adhere to, ensuring a more even and lasting result.

Use a Hair Primer or Setting Spray

Much like a painter primes their canvas, you can prime your hair with specific products designed to help colored hair spray adhere better. Hair primers or setting sprays can create a barrier that locks in the color, making it less likely to rub off.

Apply in Thin Layers

The key to a vibrant, long-lasting color that stays put is to apply the colored hair spray in thin, even layers. Avoid saturating your hair with too much product in one go. Instead, build up the color gradually. This method not only prevents rub-off but also allows you to control the intensity of the color.

Allow Proper Drying Time

Impatience can lead to colored hair spray mishaps. Give your hair ample time to dry after application. Rushing can cause the color to transfer onto your hands, clothing, or pillows. Follow the instructions on the spray’s label for recommended drying times.

Avoid Overloading

Just as overloading your plate at a buffet can lead to an uncomfortable experience, overloading your hair with colored spray can result in unwanted rub-off. Be mindful of how much product you’re applying and resist the urge to go overboard.

Seal with Hairspray or Hair Wax

To lock in the color and minimize the risk of rub-off, consider using a clear hairspray or hair wax as a protective sealant. These products create a shield over the colored spray, keeping it in place throughout the day or night.

Minimize Touching and Friction

As tempting as it may be to run your fingers through your vibrant locks, avoid excessive touching and friction. These actions can cause the color to transfer onto your hands or clothing. Be mindful of your movements to maintain your flawless look.

Use a Silk Pillowcase

Protect your colorful investment even while you sleep by using a silk pillowcase. Unlike rougher fabrics, silk minimizes friction and reduces the chances of color transfer onto your bedding.

Touch-Ups and Maintenance

To keep your colored hair looking its best, be prepared for touch-ups and maintenance. Carry your colored hair spray with you for quick fixes throughout the day, and periodically reapply as needed to maintain that fresh, vibrant look.


Colored hair spray has the power to transform your appearance and boost your confidence, but it’s essential to take steps to prevent the dreaded rub-off. By choosing the right product, preparing your hair properly, and following these tips, you can enjoy your colorful locks without the worry of unwanted transfer. Embrace the vibrancy, express your creativity, and remember that with the right techniques, your colored hair spray can stay put and shine brilliantly.

Q1: What causes colored hair spray to rub off onto clothes and hands? A1: Colored hair spray can rub off due to several factors, including excessive product application, insufficient drying time, friction, and the formulation of the spray. It’s essential to follow proper application techniques and use the right products to minimize rub-off.

Q2: Can I prevent colored hair spray from rubbing off completely? A2: While it’s challenging to prevent rub-off entirely, you can take steps to minimize it significantly. Choosing a high-quality, long-lasting colored hair spray, applying it in thin layers, allowing proper drying time, and avoiding excessive touching can help reduce rub-off.

Q3: Are there specific colored hair sprays designed to resist rub-off? A3: Yes, some colored hair sprays are formulated to be more resistant to rub-off. Look for products that claim to be long-lasting, color-fast, or smudge-proof. Reading product descriptions and user reviews can help you identify such sprays.

Q4: How do I choose the right colored hair spray to prevent rub-off? A4: Consider factors such as brand reputation, user reviews, longevity claims, ingredients, color selection, and your hair type when choosing a spray. Water-based sprays are generally less prone to rub-off. Conducting a patch test can also help assess how a specific product interacts with your hair.

Q5: Can I sleep with colored hair spray in my hair, or will it rub off on my pillowcase? A5: It’s advisable to avoid sleeping with colored hair spray in your hair, as it can rub off onto your pillowcase. If you must, consider using a silk pillowcase to minimize friction and rub-off.

Q6: How can I remove colored hair spray from my skin and clothes if it does rub off? A6: If colored hair spray rubs off onto your skin or clothes, you can typically remove it with soap, water, and gentle scrubbing. Stains on clothing may require additional stain-removal techniques.

Q7: Can I use a hairspray or hair wax to seal in the color and prevent rub-off? A7: Yes, you can use a clear hairspray or hair wax as a protective sealant over colored hair spray to help minimize rub-off. Apply it after the colored spray has dried.

Q8: How often should I touch up my colored hair to maintain the look? A8: The frequency of touch-ups depends on several factors, including the product’s longevity, your hair type, and your daily activities. You may need to touch up your colored hair as often as daily or as infrequently as weekly.

Q9: Are there any specific techniques for preventing rub-off with brightly colored or neon hair sprays? A9: Bright or neon-colored hair sprays can be more prone to rub-off due to their intensity. To minimize transfer, apply them in thin layers, allow ample drying time, and avoid friction and excessive touching.

Q10: Can I combine different colored hair sprays for a unique look without increasing rub-off risk? A10: Yes, you can combine different colored hair sprays to create a custom look. Just be mindful of the total product applied, as excessive layers can increase the risk of rub-off. Apply thin layers and allow drying time between colors for best results.

Remember that individual experiences with colored hair spray may vary, so it’s essential to experiment and find the techniques and products that work best for you while enjoying your vibrant hair transformation.

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