The holiday season brings the good: food, wine, and friends. But it can also bring the bad (and the ugly): hair, that is! Whether it’s frizzy, snow-soaked, flat or brittle and split, winter hair woes effect even the most lustrous locks. And, with a full calendar of holiday parties, I, like most of our female readers, am in need of a serious solution for my horrible winter hair.

In search of answers, I spoke to Ted Gibson of Ted Gibson Beauty in Manhattan. Having styled celebs like Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and members of the Twilight cast to name but a few, I knew he would have the answers to achieving an obedient mane. But his opening declaration scared me a bit, as it may those who, like me, last used hairspray at prom. “I think that hairspray is really a necessity for women to have in their arsenal of tools, in their cabinet as well as in their purse,” Gibson told me from his New York salon. Secretly, I was glad we were chatting over the phone and not in person like originally planned, or he would have been privy to the less than satisfied smirk on my face. Maybe he could hear it in the silence that followed, because he quickly added, “Especially now, women have been a little weary of using hairspray. I think it’s coming into a resurgence because I think that there are so many hairsprays on the market that don’t give you that crunchy 80s feel anymore.”

I was relieved and encouraged to give hairspray another go. I made it my mission to sample some of the brands Gibson suggested, as well as some of my own choices, with results packaged and delivered to FILLER’s loyal followers in time for the holiday season — there’s New Year’s Eve to think of, after all.

I began with Ted Gibson’s own Beautiful Hold Hairspray. “I call it the light control for the perfect hold,” he says. “Because it gives a really nice texture to the hair, and you can still run your fingers through it.” It turns out there is more beauty in this adorable pink and white bottle than meets the eye, and I was able to wear this spray both day and night without feeling like my hair was sticky, crunchy or flaky.

Now that I had faced (and conquered!) my hairspray fear, it was time to try the L’Oreal Professional Infinium 3. After all, Gibson had sent it alongside his own spray, which had worked so well. Although the extremely firm hold turned me off this spray at first, it was perfect when an unexpected drizzle hit, and to my amazement my hair stayed pretty much frizz-free.

Next was Fekkai’s Sheer Hold Hairspray, as recommended by my friends at Shoppers Drug Mart (my personal guilty pleasure when it comes to cosmetics). I was first enticed by the name, and later sold by the fact that my soft hair stayed straight and frizz free as I hurried from my home, to the office, and into the night. But my ‘do did not fair so well in the midnight rain. The wet weather quickly ended my evening, along with the rest of the ladies I was with. Truthfully, I don’t think any amount of hairspray could have saved us from that downpour!

Then was Glamour Queen Volumizing Spray from OSIS+, perfect for a high-energy Saturday night, and the Four Seasons wedding I was scheduled to attend. This spray, recommended by my friends at Tony Chaar Salon in Yorkville, allowed my hair to bounce along with me as I danced all night. Even at 3 a.m., when my feet were dying for a break, my hair was still going strong.

Now, it was time to shine. After all, Gibson says, “Party hair is definitely shiny hair.” Rene Furterer’s Vegetal Finishing Spray (available at Sephoroa) promised to hold my hair in place, while providing a glossy, satin finish. Although the hold didn’t seem to do much, my hair did indeed stay shiny and frizz-free.

My final test drive was Kerastase Chroma Sensitive Fixing Hairspray, which promised to give my not-so-natural-blond a break. Although the hold was a bit strong for my liking, my best friend, who also happens to have the best ‘fro, has been raving about it all week!

The verdict: my experiment has proved there is a hairspray out there for everyone; just remember it is critical to pay attention to how you apply your product. As Gibson warns, this is almost as important as the product itself. “Its all about layering,” the expert says. “Staying 12 inches away from the spot that you are actually going to spray is important.”

Winter just got a little easier to handle.