Hair primer doesn’t get as much love as it should. Because it’s the first product in your styling routine to touch your dark brown hair, it’s easy to forget about it once you layer the rest of your hair products on top of it. However, primer is an essential product in your hair care arsenal precisely because it’s the first product to touch your precious locks.
If you’re not sure what hair primer is, you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about hair primer including who should use it and our 25 favorites.
Shop The Best Hair Primers
What is hair primer?
The right hair primer will address some of your major hair concerns while prepping your strands to achieve your desired style. However, not all hair primers are created equal which is why you should know exactly what hair primer is before you incorporate it into your hair care routine.
Hair primer is a lot like a makeup primer. It prepares your hair to be the perfect canvas for your hairstyling desires. Much like makeup primers that make your face look and feel smooth to help make your makeup application a breeze, many hair primers are formulated to make sure your hair feels manageable and styles easily.
What is hair primer used for?
Stylists use hair primer to prep your hair before you begin styling, which means you should pick your primer based on how you plan to style your hair. If you plan on heat styling your hair, you’ll want to use a hair primer formulated with heat protection. If you’re hoping to create a sleek and smooth style on a particularly humid day, choose a hair primer that is formulated to protect against frizz.
Who should use hair primer?
Everyone can benefit from a hair primer. The key is to find the right hair primer for your mane. Whether your hair is thick, thin, curly, straight, damaged, or colored, there’s a primer on the market perfect for you and your hair needs.
What are hair primer benefits?
The benefits of a hair primer depend on the product’s formula, but most hair primers try to help your hair look and feel smooth, shiny, soft, manageable, and frizz-free.
Which hair primer should you use?
If it sounds like hair primer is the hair care item missing from your arsenal, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the 25 best hair primers.
The 25 Best Hair Primers To Try Now
L’Oréal Professionnel Volumetry Volume Spray
Pump up your limp, fine hair with a volumizing priming spray. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Volumetry Volume Spray is formulated with a combination of Intra-Cylane and HydraLight for a voluminous effect. The results: Body and fullness from the root and a voluminous hold.
L’Oréal Professionnel Volumetry Volume Spray, $27.00 MSRP
L’Oréal Professionnel Inforcer Smoothing Cream
If you have fragile locks that are prone to breakage, add a strengthening primer to your styling routine. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Inforcer Smoothing Cream is infused with vitamin B6 and biotin for a reduction in breakage. The formula provides instant detangling for stronger hair that is easier to brush.
L’Oréal Professionnel Inforcer Smoothing Cream, $28.00 MSRP
Biolage R.A.W. Heat Styling Primer
We love a good blowout, but damaging heat can take your style from fresh to fried in no time. Protect your strands from high heat with Biolage’s Heat Styling Primer. Formulated with coconut milk and meadowfoam, the primer provides heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for an easy blow dry with touchable, soft, shapely results.
Biolage R.A.W. Heat Styling Primer, $19.50 MSRP
Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray
We all know the feeling of styling our hair only to have our precious strands fall victim to frizz. Help minimize the appearance of frizz with the Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray, which is formulated with lavender to help smooth down flyaways with a natural sheen and controlled finish.
Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray, $19.50 MSRP
Mizani Thermasmooth Sleek Guard Smoothing Serum
The most critical step when it comes to straightening curly hair safely is properly prepping your hair with a heat protecting serum. Mizani’s Thermasmooth Sleek Guard Smoothing Serum is the perfect heat styling primer for curl types six through nine.
Mizani Thermasmooth Sleek Guard Smoothing Serum, $18.00 MSRP
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk
If you’re searching for a multi-use primer, you’ve come to the right place. Mizani‘s 25 Miracle Milk boasts 25 benefits including priming hair for styling, detangling, and controlling flyaways.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk, $20.00 MSRP
Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier
If you’ve recently colored your hair, you need a primer that will prep your hair for styling and protect your new hue. Formulated with Pureology’s exclusive Anti-Fade Complex, Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier is a lightweight mist that primes, protects, and perfects while delivering 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.
Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier, $42.00 MSRP
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Blow Dry Beautifier
Women with thick hair need hair products heavy duty enough to handle their full manes. If you love a good blowout, pick up a blow dry primers formulated for thick hair. Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Blow Dry Beautifier helps protect thick hair from heat, smoothes, tames frizz, and memorizes shaped looks.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Blow Dry Beautifier, $39.00 MSRP
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Satin Design Blow Dry Lotion
If a shiny blowout is what you’re after, look no further than Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Satin Design Blow Dry Lotion. The anti-frizz, moisture-rich blowdry lotion restores luster, provides humidity resistance and is the perfect foundation for any blow dry. Formulated with heat protection, it promotes a polished, silky and weightless finish that still has that desired bounce.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Satin Design Blow Dry Lotion, $39.00 MSRP
Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique
Heat styling your hair is often the quickest and easiest way to achieve your desired look, but it can sometimes make it look and feel drier than ever. Ensure you get a nourished and polished-looking blowout every time with Kérastase’ Nutritive Nectar Thermique. The thermo-seal glaze is formulated for dry hair to smooth, add shine, and make hair easier to style.
Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique, $37.00 MSRP
Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray
Many people use anti-frizz hair primers to prep their hair for sleek, smooth blowouts, but frizz doesn’t just wreak havoc on straight strands—it can also create hair styling nightmares for ladies with curly locks! If you constantly battle frizz, pick up Kérastase’s Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray. The hair-smoothing thermal anti-frizz protection spray is formulated especially for curly hair.
Kérastase Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray, $37.00 MSRP
Redken Extreme Length Primer Rinse Out Treatment
You apply most primers to your strands after you’ve washed, conditioned, and rinsed your hair, but this primer from Redken is a little bit different. Instead of applying the product right before you begin to style your hair, use this primer on damp hair while you’re still in the shower. Leave the treatment on for two to five minutes before rinsing it out and it’ll build strength from root to tip and target split ends.
Redken Extreme Length Primer Rinse Out Treatment, $22.00 MSRP
Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Treatment Primer Cream
If trying to create a flawless blowout is a constant battle between you and your thick, coarse strands, this primer is perfect for you. Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Treatment Primer Cream is a nourishing treatment and blow-dry hair primer cream ideal for all hair types, especially dry, thick or coarse strands. It helps to reduce blow-dry time, protects from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, helps reduce breakage, and provides 24-hour lasting volume without weighing hair down.
After using the blow-dry primer cream, hair is left three times stronger and healthier and perfectly primed for any styling. It’s the first step for every blowout that needs extra care and nourishment!
Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Treatment Primer Cream, $24.00 MSRP
Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk
Whether you’re planning to heat style your hair or slay your natural texture, Biolage Styling Smoothing Shine Milk is the product you need for salon-perfect results. The lightweight mist repairs hair damage and increases shine and smooths flyaways for glossy, sleek locks. Whether your hair is short, curly, or long, this styling milk is the perfect color-safe leave-in conditioner.
Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk, $17.00 MSRP
Biolage Blowdry Glotion
We all know how important using a heat protectant is, but even we forget to apply it to our strands every time we heat style our hair. Biolage Blowdry Glotion is a longwear heat primer that lets you shape and reshape hair with 450-degree Fahrenheit thermal protection for fast, healthy-looking, and frizz-controlled blowouts. Blowdry Glotion is the first reshapable thermal active blowdry lotion that lets you transform your hair continuously while deeply caring for it.
Biolage Blowdry Glotion, $17.00 MSRP
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler
If your recent bleach session has your strands feeling fragile and brittle to the touch, pick up Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler. The spray-on primer fills in gaps in fragile, porous hair, leaving high-lifted or highlighted blonde soft and shiny.
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler, $27.00 MSRP
Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer
If your frizzy, fragile strands suffer from breakage after you blow dry your strands, you need Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer in your arsenal. The hair-smoothing leave-in treatment for frizzy or curly hair prevents breakage after blow drying.
Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer, $37.00 MSRP
Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer
Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer instantly unifies damaged areas of the fiber, provides smoothness and lightness for flawless blonde hair (no matter your hair type). The primer is infused with antioxidants and protects from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer, $37.00 MSRP
Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer
If you’re dealing with weak, over-processed, damaged hair, your strands need this strengthening primer. Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer is a styling milk with a creamy, gel-like texture that smooths away cracks and split ends while adding shine and strengthening and fortifying the hair fiber to achieve 85 percent less breakage from blow drying.
Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer, $37.00 MSRP
Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Heat-Protective Leave-In Cream
Banish frizz before it strikes with the Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Leave-In Cream. This multi-benefit smoothing cream is formulated with sustainably-sourced babassu oil to provide frizz control while hydrating, detangling, and protecting hair from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Heat-Protective Leave-In Cream, $24.00 MSRP
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Wonder Worker Blow Dry Primer
Whether you’re planning to blow dry your strands or walk out the door and let nature do its thing, Shu Uemura Art of Hair Wonder Worker Blow Dry Primer is the key to salon-worthy locks. The air dry and blowdry primer preps the hair for any style while instantly hydrating, detangling, smoothing, conditioning, boosting radiance, taming frizz, and adding silkiness to all hair types.
When sprayed before a blow dry, the primer locks in moisture and tames strands for a smooth finish. When used to air dry strands, the formula enhances the hair's natural texture.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Wonder Worker Blow Dry Primer, $33.00 MSRP
Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasker Treatment
If we could only bring one hair product to a deserted island, it would be Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasker Treatment. The essential hair must-have is an incredibly versatile professional styling product, able to tackle many hair concerns at once.
Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasker Treatment, $17.00 MSRP
L’Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-Ox Leave-In Color 10-in-1
Pamper your color-treated strands with this multi-benefit leave-in. Prolong radiance with this primer spray that treats all color-treated hair types.
L’Oréal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-Ox Leave-In Color 10-in-1, $27.00 MSRP
Redken One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment
We could write endless pages about how much we love Redken One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment, but don’t just take our word for it! Pick up a bottle for yourself and find out why one is sold every 30 seconds!
Redken One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment, $24.00 MSRP
Interested in personalized advice about the best hair primer for your strands? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.