Product Spotlight: Oribe Free Styler Flexible Hold Working Hairspray

I don’t love cowlicks, but cowlicks love me. [Insert crying-face emojis right here 😭😭😭.] My cowlick situation was almost mildly tolerable before I started growing out my grays, but now it’s next level orange alert!!!

It’s the texture of the gray hairs, man. They’re wirier than my non-gray hairs, and the short, stubby pieces stick out, especially the hairs right smack dab in the middle of my hairline and in the center of my part.

If I leave them be, I look like I’m being mildly electrocuted… Hence Oribe Free Styler Working Hairspray.

Expensive as it is [$42 for a 9-oz. bottle, OMG!], I love this stuff. I’ve been into it ever since I sprayed about half a can on my bangs for the victory rolls I did for Halloween. The rolls stayed put and weren’t crunchy, and you know me when it comes to crunchy hair (not a fan). When I took my hair down that night before bed, even after ALL that hairspray, I was able to run a brush through it without any flakes or tugging.

Which is rad.

What takes this stuff from “nice” to “must-have” for me is how well it handles crazy cowlicks and those stubs of wayward gray hair. It tames them easily, and I use it daily now as part of my routine. I like that my hair can still move around with it and doesn’t look lacquered into place like a helmet.

It freezes your hair in place but doesn’t make it stiff. Your hair also won’t look too shiny and “done,” thanks to the satin finish, which I also like.

Here’s how I work it: When I’m done curling or braiding or whatever I’m doing on any given day, I almost always have a crown or crazy cowlicks sticking out along my hairline and in my part, so I spray a fine layer of Free Styler directly on top, then finesse them down with a fine-toothed comb from Sally Beauty.

If there are any wayward bits left standing, I’ll repeat the process until I’ve coaxed everything into place.

At $42, Oribe Free Styler is a borderline redonk splurge, but it might be worth it if you’re plagued by cowlicks… For something more reasonably priced, I also like $15 L’Oréal Elnett, which has a similar flexible hold and finish.


Oribe Signature Complex (Watermelon, Lychee and Edelweiss Flower Extracts) defends hair from oxidative stress, photoaging and the deterioration of natural keratin all while protecting from the drying, damaging and color-depleting effects of the elements.

Flexible Polymer Blend gives light styling hold with a brushable, satin finish.

Ginseng Root Extract prevents breakage by promoting healthy hair.

Kukui Seed Oil moisturizes and provides a protective barrier against environmental stressors and free radical damage.

Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil strengthens and promotes elasticity while adding softness to each strand.

There are so many different versions of Elnett, but I like the Extra Strong Hold Unscented Hairspray best because the scented version reminds me of the perms my grandma gave me as a kid.

That isn’t an exact dupe, and I like Oribe Free Styler’s flexible hold better, but it’s still pretty good, and you can find it at most drugstores.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Hope you had a happy Tuesday. 😄


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