The generous Marta was kind enough to send a jumbo sized canister of the Jonathon Product Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hairspray my way a few weeks ago for a test and I am quite glad she did. I am not cheap, but being the smart consumer that I am, I do go through a very crude "cost/benefit" analysis when selecting disposable personal care items. I have been known to spend $100 on a small pot of skin cream, but only after I am fairly certain that I am getting a good value for my money. The reality is that I don't think I would ever have forked out $30 for a "simple" hair spray, and as a result, I would have missed out on a rather interesting experience. Maybe not as interesting as a Star Trek convention or being abducted by aliens, but still rather interesting.

The Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hold hairspray bears little resemblance to my $6 drugstore super-dooper-hold hair spray.  In fact, the first time I used the Finish Control High Shine Flexible product, I wasn't wild about it. At first the product struck me as, well, wimpy, even after reapplying it a few times that first morning. So wimpy in fact that I distinctly remember re-reading the label to make sure it was indeed hair spray, and muttering something about the price.  But that incorrect initial reaction, dear readers, is why I try to use each product for a full 30 days before passing judgement, and it turns out that I didn't understand how this particular product would be working.

The Jonathon brand Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hairspray ( let's just nickname it Control Spray for short from this point on, shall we?) doesn't glue your hair into place like my old hairspray does, so be sure you understand that this is NOT Aqua Net by a new name. I really shouldn't have kept reapplying it that first morning.  Instead, Control Spray seems to add some sort of invisible "memory" to the hair strands so that they keep reverting BACK to their intended style, even after brushing or tussling or gale-force wind blowing. No matter what I did... including wearing a hat for six straight hours one Saturday.... my hair remained flexible and full of movement, and yet always reverted back into place. The minimal flip that I added to the ends of my hair stayed flipped in the very same minimal way all day. High humidity, zero humidity, static, hot, cold....it didn't seem to matter..... my hair just kept falling back into place as if some invisible stylist were quietly stalking me.  A weird experience, but in a good weird experience kind of way.

I wear my very long hair in a modern chignon during the work week, and then up in a simple ponytail on the weekends. The Jonathon spray gives freshly shampooed hair enough body such that I can even get some lift on top and at the roots, yet my 'do  remains smooth on the sides and full of life on the ends.   I must say that despite the name, I don't think Control Spray actually ADDS any shine to the hair, but it does KEEP already-shiny hair looking that way longer because it doesn't gum up or build up...even after 3-4 days of use between shampoos.   I can also spray it throughout my dry hair to gain control before or after heat styling touch ups.... and it seems to take the resistance out of the few errant gray hairs whose courser texture make for a less than polished  look. Certainly no flaking or other unwanted side effects, and my hair really does look "livelier" and fresher than before. It also brushed out easily at the end of the day, and my variety of sulfate-free shampoos all removed any remnants of Control Spray without a trace.

The list of ingredients is surprisingly long for a hair spray, and I suspect some of the items might just be included simply to "sound" good to consumers like me who are now starting to actually read labels..... so you will find ingredients included which are unusual for a hair spray like white tea, rose and cucumber waters, etc.... but hey, why not? At worst, these particular additions certainly can't hurt.  Oh sure, know what you are really getting, but for $30, wouldn't you rather imagine that you are also spraying  a soothing "rose and cucumber water" onto your hair instead of chemicals whose names are 14 syllables long? Also, while I may not fully understand the ramifications of a "vegan" hairspray, again, why not? The one thing I am not wild about is the four parabens that are added, but nothing else on the ingredients list frightened me off.

One word about the packaging.....The huge canister might be a little large for those of us who don't have the manual dexterity of a professional stylist, but Jonathon makes a smaller "travel size" which would be perfect for both my skill level and the diminutive size of  hands and my travel bags. And don't plan on taking this full size canister discreetly with you anywhere....unless you carry a roller-sized wheelie bag..... and you are not going to be tucking this whopper into your purse for a night out on the town.  I also experienced a bit of clogging with the aerosol mechanism, and while that was fairly easily remedied by inverting the canister and spraying the Control Spray for just a second or two, at $30 per bottle I don't feel like wasting the product just to keep it from clogging.

The scent was quite mild and there was nothing OVERLY female about it, so if  I were a man who wanted to discretely add a little body, polish and control to my hair style, this would be the first product I would try.

All in all, if you have the extra money to spend, Jonathon Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hairspray was a delightful surprise and a product that I think most people will really like.  It is an indulgence but there really IS a difference.

Ingredients:

SD Alcohol 40-B, Hydrofluorocarbon 152A, Water (Aqua), Ethyl Ester of PVM/MA Copolymer, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protein, Phytantriol, Panthenol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Gardenia Tahitensis (Tahitian Gardenia) Flower Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Extract, Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Laurylglucosides Chloride, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Aminomethyl Propanol, Benzophenone-4, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.