The best volumizing hair spray of 2021

Maybe it’s because I was born in the 80s. Maybe it’s because I grew up thinking that Ariel, despite her naivety, was the perfect woman.

Whatever the reason, I can never get enough volume in my hair. I’ve dried from every angle, spent an embarrassing amount of money on products – including the best volumizing shampoos – and even broke combs trying to transform my flat mop into Shania’s famous mane. Twains.

So when I saw John Frieda Root Booster with over 2,500 reviews on Amazon, it went straight to my cart. At this price, I couldn’t afford not to try it.

It’s hard for me to walk out of Starbucks without spending at least $5 – and my caffeine high only lasts a few hours. This 6-ounce bottle of John Frieda Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion, on the other hand, seemed to last a month or more. Of course, its average rating of 3.9 stars says it all too!

Who is it for?

Katie Jackson

My hair is “normal”. No one asks me about it or compliments me on it. It’s not thick or thin. It’s also not too curly or straight. I couldn’t find anywhere that says this product is designed for specific hair types. I even came across a few male reviews. The scent – which I would describe as slightly coconut and like a candle I would like for my home – is there, but it’s subtle.

The fine print

The bottle lists 17 ingredients, including sea salt and wheat protein, on its label. I’ve read dozens of reviews and haven’t come across any complaints of weird reactions.

Instead, a lot of the complaints — and again, most of the reviews were positive — were about the bottle design. I haven’t experienced it yet, but apparently the nozzle can get clogged. However, it looks like this can be easily fixed by scraping off product buildup.

The other most common complaint is that it can make your hair crunchy. Personally, I think it has a lot to do with how much product you use.

Also, despite the name, this product is not a lotion, it is a clear spray.

So how does it work?

Katie Jackson

John Frieda offers a complete line of volume-enhancing products. I chose this one because it’s designed to specifically lift the roots, adding body to the lengths.

According to the brand, this spray is “formulated with an anti-root complex, polymer technology and panthenol” which increases volume and strengthens hair.

The first time I tried it, I wasn’t expecting much. Still, I sprayed my towel-dried hair liberally (I washed it with basic hotel shampoo and conditioner), concentrating most of the spray around the top of my head. Then, according to the instructions on the bottle, I dried it with the hair dryer in my hotel room.

The results silenced my inner skeptic.

Katie Jackson

You know that confidence you have when you leave the hair salon?

Imagine having it in your bathroom without having to take out your wallet. That’s exactly how I felt the first time I admired my new voluminous hair in the mirror.

Katie Jackson

It’s important to point out that I didn’t add any other product, blow-dry with a special diffuser, or even do a single backcomb.

However, I had noticeably more lift at my roots! I would say at least a centimeter, if not two. It was as if a puppeteer was lifting my hair with invisible strings. The only problem was that I had no intention of going out and showing it.

Katie Jackson

While no one asked me to sign their old “Come on Over” CD and Disney World didn’t recruit me to be their Ariel, I can certainly commit to subscribing to this product on Amazon.

Basically I have the puppeteer on speed dial as it is now part of my daily routine. I even ordered a bottle for my mom who is always looking for the best products for fine hair.

Part of me ordered it just so I could use it during my visit. It’s not bad, is it?

This article was originally published on January 15, 2020.

For more hair product recommendations, check out:

For more deals, shopping tips and money-saving product recommendations, download the new TODAY app and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!

Melissa R. Brumfield