what do barbers spray on your hair after a haircut

When at a barber’s shop, do you ever wonder what do barbers spray on your hair after a haircut? You are not alone! 

Barbers apply a watery liquid to your hair, and you know that the liquid is not totally water since it has a mild odor to it.

What is in that bottle? It is a question you have probably asked at least once in your life.

Is it scented water, or water with conditioner added to it? Does that hair spray barbers use do anything besides wetting the hair?

Well, different barber shops may have their own secret “formula”, like some use a hair tonic but others use plain water after a haircut.

Tip: Arrive earlier than your appointment for the barber to decide what products to use before, during, and after a haircut. 

What Do Barbers Spray On Your Hair After A Haircut?

what barbers spray

The answer may vary greatly.

The reason is that some barbers still stick to the traditional water and vinegar combo. But, others invest in a hair tonic to leave your hair soft and shiny after a haircut.

And then there are a lot of them who still use plain tap water after a haircut. 

Interestingly, some may even use essential oils, water, and other stuff. These oils work better than simple water because they are concentrated and add shine to your hair.

Why Do Barbers Spray Your Hair After A Haircut?

They do it for many reasons.

Obviously, they want to make your hair look all slick after a haircut, so some liquid will help.

They may also use a spray bottle filled with water to prevent any nicks or scrapes on the skin from showing.

After all, barbers have to be careful not to leave their clients with scars.

Does The Spray Benefit Your Hair?

hair spray benefit

It may or may not!

You can decide when you know the answer to, “What is the spray barbers use after a haircut?”

If the liquid concoction contains a hair tonic or leave-in conditioner, you may expect your hair to be simple to style after application.

If it is regular tap water, it probably will not do your hair any good.

Tip: Be sure to wash your hair before you go for a haircut and ensure there is no leave-in conditioner, oil, or grease.

Why Do Barbers Spray Hair Tonic After A Haircut?

Hair tonic has been used for centuries as a common hair care treatment.

When traditional barbering made a comeback in the 2000s, barbers began using it again for the first time since the 1950s.

Today, barbers use hair tonic to soften your hair.

use hair tonic

Cutting resistance is greatly diminished when using this product, which makes cutting a tad easier.

But, why do barbers stick to hair tonic before, during, and after a haircut? Let’s find out.

They Use It As A Pre-Conditioner

It is common for people to ignore pre-conditioning when going for a haircut.

This step is essential if you want your hair to stay smooth and manageable.

A good pre-conditioner will form a shield around your hair, protecting it and making it simpler to manipulate.

 If you want clean hair and soft ends, do not use a shampoo that doubles as a conditioner. Instead, using a hair tonic can do the job.

And that is why many barbers reach for a hair tonic just before they begin cutting your hair.

They Use It As A Wetting Agent

Many barbers swear by hair tonics for their ability to tame and condition hair.

use as wetting agent

It reduces puffiness after washing and moisturizes and nourishes the scalp to make for a manageable texture.

A subtle shine is imparted to the hair thanks to the essential oils added to the mix.


You can use a hair tonic on dry hair just as effectively as you would with conditioner.

They Use It To Facilitate Cutting

Mostly, barbers use a hair tonic to rewet the hair.

But, it also helps to make the clippers move more easily through the hair.

So, it definitely facilitates better cutting and makes it easier to get good results.

They Use It To Add A Touch Of Fragrance

Many hair tonics have a subtle scent that helps maintain a pleasant hair aroma and a polished look after a haircut.

add fragrance

In addition to these benefits, they facilitate hair management and facilitate haircutting. They help the final cut look smooth and polished.  

They Use It To Maintain A Hairstyle

Because of its medium-to-light hold, many barbers use a hair tonic in water on unbrushed or sloppy styles.

In addition to repairing damaged hair, preventing split ends, and fighting dandruff, hair tonic can do much more.

They Use It To Leave Your Hair With Shine

You are obviously going to feel better when you leave with shine after getting a haircut.

It cleans your scalp and leaves you with a tidy feel. 

Mineral oil and petroleum are common ingredients in liquid hair moisturizers and are responsible for a shinier result.

The astringents in some of them also keep the oil from making the hair too heavy while giving it a glossier finish.

Do Barbers Spray Alcohol On Your Hair After A Haircut?

spraying alcohol after haircut

In the 1990s, barbers sprayed clients’ hair with a solution of hair tonic and water designed to add shine.

It is widely believed that using that hair tonic spray helps keep hair in place while also leaving it feeling natural.

But, it is also true that some barbers spray alcohol on your hair after they have finished cutting it.

Tip: Use a cold wet towel to soothe your skin if you get a scrape while cutting or react to rubbing alcohol.

Why Do Barbers Use Alcohol After A Haircut?

No matter how careful they are, they sometimes end up nicking your skin.

Barbers typically use alcohol to disinfect the areas where they make cuts. This saves you from infection and prevents the transfer of germs to other customers.

Getting a haircut using clippers, a straight razor, or a liner might result in minor cuts and scrapes.

So, it is essential to disinfect the area, which is when alcohol comes into play.

disinfecting the area

Is It Necessary To Use Rubbing Alcohol After A Haircut?

It may be and usually depends on whether or not you have suffered a cut.

Sores and other unsightly blemishes can form in the affected areas if they are not cleaned regularly. Infections typically manifest as sores and bumps on the head.

What To Do If Your Barber Does Not Use Alcohol After A Haircut?

In most cases, it does not matter.

But, it is a good idea to take precautions.

So, if they do not do it already, you should ask them to. They should at least use an alternative disinfectant after a haircut.


It may be a good idea to change your barber if they regularly skip this sanitary step. It often indicates they may not be that careful when disinfecting their tools.

Are There Downsides To Using Alcohol After A Haircut?

downsides using alcohol

It should be fine unless you are allergic to rubbing alcohol.

Still, some things can go wrong when using rubbing alcohol after a haircut.

It Can Leave You With Dry Skin

Most people are aware that rubbing alcohol can be drying to the skin.

But, why does it happen?

This happens because it removes natural oils from your skin, along with sebum. It lowers the risk of infection but obviously leaves your skin dry.

It May Cause Some Discomfort

Do not expect pain, but a stinging sensation is normal, especially if your head has a minor scrape.

You experience this sensation because rubbing alcohol activates nerve signals.

It stimulates the same nerve that warns you when you contact with something hot, such as a flat iron or a lighted cigarette.

cause discomfort

You cannot live without the messages that reach your brain and set off your emotions.

Similarly, you would not know you were harmed if your brain did not get signals from the nerves that end in your skin.

Tip: Be sure to see your doctor if you develop a red rash after your barber spray rubbing alcohol after a haircut. 


Knowing what do barbers spray on your hair after a haircut can help to determine if it is beneficial or not. If it is plain water, it is okay if you skip this step. 

But, if they use hair tonic or even rubbing alcohol, there are benefits to adding this step to their routine. 

So, next time you go for cutting, why not ask your barber to crack the code and share what they have added to their spray bottles?

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