Best Hairspray for 3D Printing
A common issue that many print enthusiasts face with their designs is a lackluster outcome in their first layer due to poor adhesion.
While there are plenty of high-end sticky products out there that are designed for 3D printing specifically, you may be surprised to find out that the best hairspray for 3D printing has actually been proven to be one of the best things that you can utilize to remedy this situation.
When many beginner print enthusiasts have issues with getting their surface to glue sticks, they often end up buying products that are specifically designed for 3D printing. These products are certainly excellent, and they are intended for 3D printing adhesion, but ultimately, they are considerably expensive, and they are also much harder to find in stores.
With that being said, the most affordable and convenient solution to this dilemma is to simply use hairspray as an alternative to high-end 3D sticky products. At the end of the day, hairspray works just as well, and it is very affordable, as you can buy yourself a bottle for your printer no matter what your budget is.
One concern that many individuals have when considering trying out hairspray for their 3D printer is whether it is going to be compatible with their specific filament. You will be delighted to know that you can use hairspray in your 3D printing with PETG, PLA, and virtually every major type of filament on the market.
However, you want to make sure that you are implementing hairspray correctly into your 3D prints if you want to achieve optimal results.
To start, never spray hairspray directly into your 3D printer. Many people tend to do this, and although it does not appear to be causing adhesion problems at first, the truth is that the product does end up making contact with a lot of the components of your printer.
This results in these components that will feel sticky and susceptible to dirt over time. The good news is that hairspray will not cause any irreversible damage to your printer, as you can always disassemble the components and clean them thoroughly once they have become greasy and even use a paper towel to wipe excess hairspray.
You can easily avoid this by simply removing your printing surface to apply a nice even coat - without getting any hairspray into the printer itself.
Next, before you begin your next design, it is crucial that you start off your print beds with a clean slate. If you have used a different sticky product on your print surface in the past, you can expect it to leave a considerable amount of residue, which can potentially sabotage the outcome of your next design.
Be sure to thoroughly wipe away any residue from the previous print with a surface cleaner or soapy water, which should then be followed with an alcohol rub. Once clean, heat up the surface print bed and then apply the hairspray.
The heat will improve adhesion from the product. With that being said, prepping your printer only gets you halfway there, as choosing the right kind of hairspray can be just as important in achieving the best possible results out of your designs. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the best hairspray for 3D printing in more detail.
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a faulty design come out of your 3D printer. This can be especially problematic when you are having trouble identifying the exact cause, as it is often the case that you can buy the best filament on the market, set up your printer to the ideal settings, and still get a sloppy outcome.
One of the most common reasons that this happens is due to a lack of adhesion on the platform of 3D printers. This can result in warped prints that fail to even slightly resemble the image of the original design.
Luckily, there is an extremely easy solution to this issue that can be easily implemented with any 3D printer out there - hairspray! This affordable and accessible product just so happens to provide a first layer of adhesion to 3D printing platforms so that your designs are able to stick perfectly to the surface.
However, you will find that some hairspray products will get the job done a bit better than others. Keep reading to learn more about the best hairspray for 3D printing.
1. Paul Mitchell Finishing Spray
There are a lot of fantastic hairspray products out there for 3D printing, but there are few that can compete with the quality of Paul Mithcell’s Finishing Spray. This tends to be the crowd favorite among 3D print enthusiasts as it is capable of delivering excellent results that are extremely accurate to the original design.
Paul Mitchell is a name that stands out in the world of hairspray, as this is a company that has been around for a long time and is highly regarded in the industry. This reputation for delivering quality hair products to people around the globe translates very well into a hairspray that 3D print enthusiasts can utilize for their designs.
What we really like about Paul Mitchell’s Finishing Spray is that it is incredibly dynamic for a wide variety of different printing surfaces. Most hairsprays out there can be used on just about every common surface, but you will find that some will work better for certain types than others.
However, when we tested Paul Mitchell’s Finishing Spray, we found that this hairspray product gave very consistent results on every surface that we used. This is great for people out there who operate printers with different surfaces, and it is also an excellent choice if you are on the fence about whether a hairspray product will give you ideal results on your specific print bed.
This is also a great hairspray product for cleaning the surface of your 3D printer. Some low-end hairsprays out there can leave a residue that can be quite tricky to get off. Whereas Paul Mitchel’s Finishing Spray was very easy to wipe off, which results in efficient cleaning in between your prints.
In addition, although most hairspray products do not smell too bad, they can sometimes leave an unpleasant odor in your workspace. If you have used invasive hairsprays like this in the past, then you will enjoy how much more pleasant the scent of Paul Mitchell's Finishing Spray is by comparison.
The only real drawback that we found with this particular hairspray is that the nozzle tends to get a bit blocked after a while. This can result in poor and uneven coats on your printing surface, which is something that you definitely want to avoid.
If you find this happening with your Paul Mitchell hairspray, you can easily fix the issue by removing the nozzle and running it under hot water. If the adhesion problems persist, then you can repeat the process and also try utilizing a toothpick to unclog any debris that may be jammed inside the nozzle.
2. L'Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle
If you have ever used a hairspray product before, then you have certainly heard of L’Oreal. This is a hairspray manufacturer that is considered to be one of the best in the business, which is why it is so popular among average consumers - and 3D print designers.
If you are in a pinch and need to buy a hairspray for your 3D printer on the fly, then going with a brand like L’Oreal is going to be a no-brainer, as they make quality products all around. Although there are a handful of different types of hairsprays from L’Oreal that are great for 3D printing, the one that we liked the most from them was their L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle.
This particular kind of hairspray from L’Oreal has a Lock It Bold Control slogan, which implies that it was designed to prevent frizz. This feature enables the hairspray to be applied in different external conditions based on the level of humidity in your local area. L’Oreal was able to achieve this by keeping water completely out of the ingredients of their product.
In addition, the L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle hairspray is considered to be one of the best for delivering an optimum level of adhesion. The frizz prevention that this good hairspray is capable of enables an extremely strong extra hold on the surface, which allows for a sense of quality assurance when pursuing your prints.
Although you can use the L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle in a number of different materials with the best results, we have found that it is particularly good at sticking to PLA. So, if PLA is what you utilize as a standard for printing with your designs, there is no better option than this L’Oreal Paris hairspray.
Unfortunately, unlike Paul Mitchell’s Finishing Spray, we found that the L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle had a rather unpleasant smell that tended to linger in our workstations after we used it. If you do not mind a bit of a foul odor, then this should really not be a major issue for you. In addition, we found the spray nozzle of this hairspray from L’Oriel to be rather faulty.
The initial use is great, but after a while, the nozzle tends to start spraying rather unevenly, which eventually results in repeated issues with blockages that need to be cleaned out. Aside from that, this is a great hairspray for your 3D printing.
3. Suave Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Professional Hair Spray
Another huge name within the hairspray industry is Suave. This company has a great reputation, and they have been around for ages, which offers a sense of reassurance when considering brands for 3D printing.
We tested out just about all of the different hairspray products that Suave has available on the market, and, to be honest, the majority of them hold up very well with all of our prints. However, the hairspray that scored the best with us was the Suave Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Professional Hair Spray.
Much like the Extra Super Hold name that this product implies, it was designed to have a very good hold for hair. This works out well for 3D printing, as we found that this specific hairspray from Suave had one of the best levels of adhesion of any other product that we tested.
The Suave Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Professional Hair Spray had such a strong adhesion first layer on our print surface that it could have easily been mistaken for glue sticks, as most hairsprays do not create this strong of a bond.
This hairspray was also great when we tested it on prints with high temperatures. We often find that low-end hairsprays begin to diminish in adhesive quality when we print designs that need to be created at above-standard levels of heat.
If you are not printing with high temperatures, then this should not really be an issue for you, but if you happen to rely on increased levels of heat for your designs, then going with the Suave Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Professional Hair Spray is going to be the ultimate product to guarantee the results that you want to see.
Another great feature of this hairspray from Suave is that it works so well with just about every material that is commonly used within 3D printing. With that being said, we found that this product particularly excelled with PLA. Lastly, this product is unscented!
For so many 3D print designers out there, hairspray is just a useful product for their craft and not something that needs to be used to add fragrance to their workspace. If you are tired of fancy and unnecessary odors in your 3D printing space, then the Suave Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Professional Hair Spray has got you covered.
4. Garnier Fructis Style Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray
Garner Fructis hairspray products are highly regarded for offering great holds at a great price. This is an excellent budget hairspray of the market for 3D print designers who want to keep their costs to a minimum.
With that being said, although this is the more affordable option that we mentioned, that by no means implies that it is not a quality product.
We tested a number of Garnier Fructis hairspray products on our 3D prints and found that some did better than others - with the best being their Style Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray. This hairspray from Garnier Fructis passed just about all of our tests with flying colors.
It features an anti-humidity quality, which is great if you want to prevent any moisture from making contact with your 3D printing surface. However, what we liked the most about the Garnier Fructis Style Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray was how good its adhesion was.
We found that Garnier Fructics’ hairspray had one of the strongest holds of any hairspray that tested, which worked great on every surface that we used it on. Aside from the above-mentioned Suave hairspray, this was one of the best at delivering very strong adhesion.
However, we did find that this hairspray did have some issues with its nozzle. The biggest problem was that the nozzle was quite delicate and was highly susceptible to getting damaged or even broken with moderate amounts of pressure.
So much so that we actually had the nozzle head snap off on us on one of our tests. In addition, to the fragility of the nozzle, we also had a number of issues with it becoming blocked.
After only a few uses with our designs, we had issues with the nozzle spraying unevenly on our printing surfaces and an instance where the nozzle was blocked beyond use. We were able to remedy this by dismantling the nozzle and cleaning it with hot water and a toothpick.
However, this can become a bit of an annoyance when needing to repeat this process after every few printing sessions. Aside from the nozzle issues, the Garnier Fructis Style Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray is a great product for 3D printing - and it is also a bargain.
5. Suave Unscented Hairspray Extreme Hold
With Suave being one of the leaders in the hairspray industry, it is no surprise that they have more than one excellent product for 3D printing. The Suave Unscented Hairspray Extreme Hold had excellent results when we tested it with our designs.
We really enjoyed how powerful the adhesion was with this Suave hairspray, as it provided a very solid hold on all of our prints. This is also a great product to use with virtually every common 3D printing material that is being used today.
So, you know that this is a versatile hairspray that you can use for practically every design imaginable.
In addition, just like with the previous Suave hairspray product, this one is also unscented. Suave does not try to add perfume fragrances to its products that often, which is just fine for those of us who only rely on hairspray for 3D printing adhesion.
As far as quality hold and scent go, this is one of the best hairsprays on the list, but we did find that there were a couple of drawbacks with this Suave product that made it rank lower on our list.
Much like with many hairsprays, we did not like that the nozzle was rather susceptible to becoming clogged. The clogging with this Suave hairspray was not as bad as most low-end options on the market, but we did need to dismantle the nozzle head for a thorough cleaning from time to time, which can become a bit of a nuisance.
However, what we particularly did not enjoy with this product was that it could be quite challenging to remove from our printing surface.
Unlike all of the other hairsprays that we mentioned so far, this one took a bit more effort to fully remove. There were several trials required with surface cleaner and alcohol rub to get rid of all of the adhesive residues from our previous printing session.
If you are okay with putting in a little extra elbow grease to clean your printing surface, this is still a great hairspray for 3D printing.
Alternatives to Hairspray for 3D Printing
So, you're curious about what other options are out there besides hairspray for getting your prints to stick, huh? Well, you're in luck because there are quite a few alternatives, each with its own pros and cons. Let’s dive in!
1. Glue Stick
Pros: Super easy to use and very cost-effective. Just swipe it on, and you're good to go.
Cons: It can be a bit messy, and sometimes it's tough to get an even layer on the heated bed.
2. Blue Painter's Tape
Pros: It provides a nice, even surface for your prints to adhere to. Plus, it's easy to remove once your print is done.
Cons: The tape can sometimes lift up during printing, which can mess up your heated bed.
3. Kapton Tape
Pros: A high-temperature-resistant tape that's perfect for prints that require a heated glass bed temp.
Cons: A bit on the pricey side, and can be difficult to apply without getting bubbles on the glass bed.
4. Print Bed Coating Solutions
Pros: Specifically designed for 3D printing, these solutions provide excellent adhesion issues and are easy to clean up.
Cons: It can be expensive and might not be available at your local store.