It may seem unnecessary to prime your hair for styling, but it's actually quite crucial. Like its close cousin, makeup primer, hair primer preserves your style and boosts the efficacy of your everyday products. Useful for all hair types, these are the foundation to any styling session whether you're using heat tools or not. In fact, the best formulas go beyond heat protectants, providing the nourishing benefits of a leave-in conditioner, plus additions like humidity shielding.
Thanks to ingredients like sunflower seed oil, amino acids, and vegan silk, hair primers also help shorten blow-drying time and make detangling a breeze. To top it all off, they hydrate your scalp, protect your tresses from UV exposure, and smooth out frizz. In other words, you need a hair primer. Lucky for you, we've rounded up a list of the best hair primers on the shelves. From curl-defining creams to blowout sprays, the list ahead has a formula for every hair type and texture.
Our Method For Finding The Best Hair Primers
Whether you're rehabilitating damaged strands or attempting to tame frizz, the hair primers below can make it happen. As always, every shopping recommendation on this list boasts the approval of our data-driven algorithm. This proprietary tool finds and ranks the best products on the web by factoring in rave reviews, best-seller lists, editor recommendations, and more. From drugstore finds to salon-approved formulas, scroll on to shop the Top 10 hair primers for every hair type, concern, and budget.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Leave-In Conditioners.
August 9, 2022
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Hair Primer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: You'll thank us later after trying this Elizabeth Mott hair primer. The multitasking five-in-one formula provides a heat protectant that repairs, smooths, polishes, and shines, all in a single bottle. Plus, it works as a leave-in conditioner for an extra hydrating boost.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This hair primer is also cruelty-free and vegan.
Ouidad Curl Recovery Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer
WHO IT'S FOR: This formula was designed for hair that's desperately in need of some moisture. If you're dealing with frizz or breakage, it's the one for you thanks to olive oil, shea butter, glycerin, and green tea extract for strength and softness.
HELPFUL TIP: This hair primer is meant to be used daily, so even if you're not styling your strands, feel free to add it to your shower routine.
Gisou Propolis Infused Polishing Primer
WHAT IT DOES: Fighting frizz can be challenging, but your strands don't have to fall victim to the struggle. With its lightweight formula suited for all hair textures and types, this primer banishes frizz, enhances texture and volume, and reduces drying time.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Hello, second-day hair. This creamy formula adds polish and shine to your mane and lengthens the life of your style thanks to a fortified blend of oils, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids.
Amika The Wizard Multi-Benefit Primer
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This multi-benefit primer can do it all. It touts detangling, heat-protecting, healthy-for-your-hair ingredients that add shine and provide protection from environmental stressors. Even better, the formula works well on all hair types.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Amika's key ingredient, sea buckthorn, is the star of this lightweight formula. This ingredient alone protects delicate strands from environmental stressors, contains over 190 biologically active compounds, has high concentrations of omega-7, keeps free radicals at bay, and builds healthy hair over time by promoting collagen production.
Kérastase Nutritive Heat Protecting Leave-In Treatment For Dry Hair
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Heat styling on the regular can lead to unsavory side effects like dry hair, damage, and increased breakage. This formula protects your strands from heat damage up to 450 degrees, resulting in up to 85% less breakage.
WHAT IT DOES: Formulated with Iris Royal Complex, this formula can transform the driest of hair by diffusing nutrients along the hair fibers.
L'Oreal Paris BLOW DRY IT Quick Dry Primer Spray
WHO IT'S FOR: This spray is highly effective as a heat protectant, so if you're picking up a straightener, try this as well. In addition, it reduces drying time, so you'll spend less time in danger of damage.
USER REVIEW: "Wow, this is great stuff. I am so glad I tried it. I have shoulder-length, fine, straight, color-treated hair that tends to get frizzy, poufy, and dry in summer humidity. [...] This spray, when used on my towel-dried hair prior to drying, leaves my hair smooth and shiny with much less frizz and poufiness as the day wears on, yet no oily or flat look. Very happy and will definitely reorder!"
IGK Good Behavior 4-In-1 Prep Spray
WHAT IT DOES: As a powerful multitasker, this four-in-one spray goes above and beyond. Not only does it work as a heat protectant for up to 450 degrees, but it also detangles, controls frizz for up to 24 hours, and adds shine.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This spray is vegan and cruelty-free.
Oribe Run-Through Detangling Hair Primer
WHAT IT DOES: This detangling hair primer makes combing effortless by repairing the hair's inner cortex. Thanks to Oribe's Signature Complex, the formula also shields hair from environmental elements and photoaging and prevents the deterioration of natural keratin.
WHO IT'S FOR: If you're dealing with chronically dry hair that lacks luster and shine, this lightweight, deeply hydrating primer touts everything you need to combat unruly knots and seal in hydration.
Bumble And Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer
WHAT IT DOES: Whether your mane is thick or thin, this versatile product will help you keep static at bay. The frizz-fighting formula ensures quick detangling and heat protection, and it can soften and smooth even the driest, brittlest hair textures.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Just like skin, our hair needs sun protection too. This color-safe hair primer is made with UV flters that protect against dryness and damage caused by the sun.
Eva Nyc Mane Magic 10-In-1 Primer
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Whether your hair is over-processed or naturally prone to breakage, this primer delivers 10 hair-improving benefits in just one spritz. It does everything from strengthening to reducing frizz, shortening drying time, and shielding your scalp and hair from harmful UV rays.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Safe for color, keratin, and Brazilian-treated hair, Eva NYC's packaging is now made from 100% recyclable aluminum. Just add it to your curbside bin, and it can continue to be recycled forever.
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