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Hair Primers Are the One Step You Need to Prep, Protect, and Perfect Your Mane

Hair primers are the must-have addition to your arsenal. Shop 25 of our best formulas now to kick off your everyday styling routine.

Hair primer doesn’t get as much love as it should. Because it’s the first product in your styling routine to touch your gorgeous hair, it’s easy to forget about it once you layer other hair products on top of it. However, primer is an essential styling step in your hair care regimen since it creates a clean slate to help you slay all of your hairstyling goals.

If you’re unsure 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 25 of our hard-working formulas to test out right now.


What is a primer for hair?

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, so you should know exactly what hair primer is before incorporating it into your hair care routine.

A hair primer is a lot like a makeup primer. It prepares your hair to be the perfect canvas for your hairstyling desires. Similar to how makeup primers make your face look and feel smooth for a breezy makeup application, many hair primers are formulated to ensure your hair feels manageable and styles quickly and easily.

What is hair primer used for?

Stylists use hair primer to prep your hair before styling, which means you should pick your primer based on how you plan to style your hair. If you intend to heat style 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 suitable to protect against frizz.

Good hair day by @vitahealthyandfit.

Do I need a hair primer?

Everyone can benefit from a hair primer, but the key is to find the best hair primer for your mane. Whether your hair is thick, thin, curly, straight, damaged, or painted a fantasy color, there’s a primer on the market perfect for you and your hair needs.

What does a primer do for your hair?

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. In some cases, they can also help speed up your drying and styling time—who doesn’t want to save a few precious minutes?

Good hair day by @shara.thought.

How do you prime your hair for styling?

Hair primers are most often applied to freshly-washed, damp hair before styling. However, some primers can be applied in the shower, while others can be used on dry hair, so be sure to read your product’s label to ensure your application method is the most effective.

What is the difference between hair primer and leave-in conditioner?

These two styling products might seem similar, but a leave-in conditioner’s primary goal is to rehydrate dry strands between shampoos. While a hair primer can certainly have conditioning benefits, a leave-in conditioner tends to have one goal, which is targeted moisturization.

If it sounds like hair primer is the hair care item missing from your arsenal, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up our 25 best hair primers.

Our Best Hair Primers for Dry Hair


All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment with Hyaluronic Acid
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Redken

All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment with Hyaluronic Acid

Intensely moisturizing leave-in treatment that adds immediate shine, conditioning, and hydration benefits to dry, dull hair.

Old price New price $29.00

Redken All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment

Are you battling dryness? Your mane will greatly benefit from an ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid primer, the star ingredient of Redken’s highly-anticipated All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment. The latest addition to the All Soft family, the formula drastically improves hair’s ability to regain and retain moisture content due to chemical processes, porosity imbalances, and heat styling while visually sleeking split ends, taming frizz, detangling hair, and protecting hair from heat up to 450 degrees.


Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer
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Stylist Pick

Kérastase

Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer

A leave-in thermal protectant for dry hair that supports up to 85 percent less breakage from styling tools.

Old price New price $42.00
One size available
5 fl oz

Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer

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’s Nutritive Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer. The thermo-seal glaze is formulated for dry hair to smooth, add shine, and make hair easier to style.


25 Miracle Leave-In Cream
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Best Seller

Mizani

25 Miracle Leave-In Cream

A Multi-Benefit Leave-In Conditioner For All Texture Types

Old price New price $24.00
One size available
8.5 fl oz

Mizani 25 Miracle Leave-In Cream

Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Cream penetrates deep down to the follicle to prep, protect and moisturize hair for superior detangling and hydration. The unique formula undoes damage and treats dryness to control frizz and create soft, lustrous hair.

Our Best Hair Primers for All Hair Types


One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment
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Redken

One United All-In-One Multi-Benefit Treatment

A mult-tasking treatment spray that helps you manage, protect and enhance hair.

Old price New price $27.00

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.


All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray
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Best Seller Sulfate Free

Biolage Professional

All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray

A multi-benefit, leave-in hair treatment spray with coconut oil.

Old price New price $22.00

Biolage Professional All-In-One Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray

Biolage Professional’s All-In-One Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray is a lightweight spray that helps to shield against external aggressors and gives hair a silky touch. Spray on wet or dry hair to instantly give your hair mega-watt shine, fight frizz, static, and flyaways, offer heat protection before styling, prevent split ends, and so much more.


Smooth Proof Smoothing Shine Milk
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Biolage Professional

Smooth Proof Smoothing Shine Milk

An anti-frizz, smoothing hair shine spray.

Old price New price $21.00
One size available
8.5 fl oz

Biolage Professional Smooth Proof Smoothing Shine Milk

Whether you’re planning to heat style your hair or rock your natural texture, Biolage Professional Smooth Proof Smoothing Shine Milk is the product you need for salon-perfect results. The lightweight mist repairs hair damage, 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.


Total Results Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner
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Matrix

Total Results Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-in Conditioner

A multi-tasking leave-in conditioner that repairs, protects and nourishes hair.

Old price New price $24.00

Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner

If we could only bring one hair product to a deserted island, it would be Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Repairing Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner. The essential hair must-have is an incredibly versatile professional styling product, able to tackle many hair concerns at once.


25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
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Best Seller Stylist Pick

Mizani

25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

A lightweight leave-in conditioner with heat protection that detangles, calms frizz, and treats damage and dryness.

Old price New price $25.00

Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner

You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for a multi-use primer that works on all hair types. Mizani‘s 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner boasts 25 benefits, including priming hair for styling, detangling, and controlling flyaways.

Our Best Hair Primers for Damaged or Weakened Hair


Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave In Conditioner for Damaged Hair
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Best Seller Vegan

Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave In Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Intense leave-in conditioner that provides strength repair to damaged hair

Old price New price $30.00

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Healthy hair is in reach thanks to Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair, which is formulated with citric acid and 5 percent Bonding Care Complex to intensely condition and repair hair while recreating weakened bonds. But the benefits don’t stop there: the primer also provides heat protection up to 450 degrees, adds shine and softness to strands, reduces the appearance of breakage and split ends, tames frizz, and adds smoothness.


Extreme Length Triple Action Treatment Mask
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Redken

Extreme Length Triple Action Treatment Mask

A 5-minute treatment hair mask with biotin, niacinamide, and castor oil, that promotes a nourished scalp & strengthens lengths

Old price New price $29.00
One size available
8.5 fl oz

Redken Extreme Length Triple Action Treatment Mask

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 style your hair, use Extreme Length Triple Action Treatment Mask 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.


Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure Conditioner
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Kérastase

Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure Conditioner

A strengthening daily conditioner for weak, brittle or damaged hair.

Old price New price $40.00
One size available
5 fl oz

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.

Our Best Hair Primers for Heat Styling


Thermasmooth Smoothguard Serum
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Stylist Pick

Mizani

Thermasmooth Smoothguard Serum

An anti-frizz, hair smoothing serum.

Old price New price $20.00
One size available
3.1 fl oz

Mizani Thermasmooth Smoothguard Serum

The most critical step in safely straightening curly hair is properly prepping your hair with a heat-protecting serum. Mizani’s Thermasmooth Smoothguard Serum Smoothing Serum is the perfect heat styling primer for curl types six through nine.


Quick Blowout Heat Protecting Blowdry Spray
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Redken

Quick Blowout Heat Protecting Blowdry Spray

A lightweight spray that helps reduce blow drying time

Old price New price $12.00

Redken Quick Blowout Heat Protecting Blowdry Spray

If trying to create a flawless blowout is a constant battle between you and the clock, this primer is perfect for you. Redken’s Quick Blowout Heat Protecting Blowdry Spray is a nourishing treatment and blow-dry primer 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, cuts down on breakage, and provides 24-hour lasting volume without weighing hair down.


Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Leave-In Hair Treatment
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Sulfate Free

Redken

Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Leave-In Hair Treatment

A multi-benefit smoothing cream for controlling frizz.

Old price New price $27.00
One size available
8.45 fl oz

Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Heat-Protective Leave-In Cream

Banish frizz before it strikes with Redken’s Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Leave-In Cream. This multi-benefit smoothing cream is formulated with sustainably-sourced babassu oil to control frizz while hydrating, detangling, and protecting hair from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.


Tsuki Shape Blow Dry Spray 
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Shu Uemura

Tsuki Shape Blow Dry Spray 

A heat-activated blow dry spray and styling primer

Old price New price $42.00
One size available
6.4 fl oz

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Tsuki Shape Blow Dry Spray

This one’s for you if you can’t go a day without heat-styling your hair. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Tsuki Shape Blow Dry Spray is a heat-activated blow dry perfector and styling primer used to discipline hair before styling for added manageability with a soft and supple feel.


Shiki Worker Air Dry Blow Dry Primer
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Shu Uemura

Shiki Worker Air Dry Blow Dry Primer

An airdry and blow dry cream for all hair types

Old price New price $42.00
One size available
5 fl oz

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shiki Worker Air Dry Blow Dry Primer

If you’re a naturalista by day but a bombshell curly gal by night, we recommend keeping the versatile Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shiki Worker Air Dry Blow Dry Primer on hand. When used before a blow-dry, this primer provides a smooth finish. When used to let hair air dry, the formula enhances the hair's natural definition.


Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray
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Kérastase

Discipline Fluidissime Anti Frizz Spray

An anti-frizz protection spray that offers frizz control up to 72 hours, heat protection up to 450°F, and adds shine.

Old price New price $42.00
One size available
5 fl oz

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.


Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer
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Stylist Pick

Kérastase

Discipline Keratine Thermique Blow Dry Primer

A leave-in treatment that protects against external aggressors, revitalizes frizzy hair, and prevents further damage.

Old price New price $42.00
One size available
5 fl oz

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 line-up. The hair-smoothing leave-in treatment for frizzy or curly hair prevents breakage after blow drying.


BlowDry Glotion
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Biolage Professional

BlowDry Glotion

A blow-out hair lotion for frizz-controlled blowouts.

Old price New price $19.00
One size available
5.1 fl oz

Biolage Professional Blowdry Glotion

We all know how important using a heat protectant is, but even we forget to apply it to our strands whenever we heat style our hair. Biolage Professional Blowdry Glotion is a long-wear heat primer that lets you shape and reshape hair with 450 degrees 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.

Our Best Hair Primers for Color-Treated Hair


Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
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Matrix

Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

All-in-one conditioning leave-in spray with a buildable toning formula that neutralizes unwanted yellow tones on blonde, silver, and grey hair.

Old price New price $24.00
One size available
6.8 fl oz

Matrix Total Results So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

Fight brass while prepping hair for the styling process? Sign us up! Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray is an all-in-one conditioning leave-in spray with a buildable toning formula that neutralizes unwanted yellow tones on blonde, silver, and grey hair until your next shampoo.


Matrix Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
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Matrix

Matrix Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

All-in-one conditioning leave-in spray with a buildable toning formula that neutralizes unwanted brassy orange tones on lightened brunette and dark blonde hair.

Old price New price $24.00
One size available
6.8 fl oz

Matrix Total Results Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

Blondes aren’t the only ones who could use a bit of toning action. Lightened brunettes will love Matrix’s Total Results Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray to counteract any orange tones that pop through. Like its So Silver counterpart, the formula also packs in ten benefits: toning, smoothing, shine-boosting, frizz reduction, detangling, moisturizing, visible split end improvement, breakage prevention, hair manageability, and style prep.


Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer for Blonde Hair   
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Kérastase

Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer for Blonde Hair   

A lightweight, heat-protecting primer for a flawless blonde results.

Old price New price $42.00

Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer

Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer instantly unifies damaged areas of the fiber and 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.


Serie Expert Color 10 in 1 Multi-Purpose Spray
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Best Seller

L'Oréal Professionnel

Serie Expert Color 10 in 1 Multi-Purpose Spray

This multi-purpose primer spray for color-treated hair boasts 10 benefits

Old price New price $32.00
One size available
6.4 fl oz

L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Color 10-In-1 Multi-Purpose Spray

It’s no secret that it requires some effort to make new hair color last. The good news is that you don’t actually need a whole glam squad of products to do it if you use L’Oréal Professionnel’s Serie Expert Color 10 In 1 Multi-Purpose Spray. This primer spray is specially formulated for color-treated hair. It boasts ten benefits, including heat protection, boosting shine, and smoothing frizz to make your hair care routine easier.


Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray for Color-Treated Hair
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Best Seller Stylist Pick

Pureology

Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray for Color-Treated Hair

A multi-tasking leave-in treatment with 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.

Old price New price $32.00

Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray

Recently colored your hair? You need a primer to prep your hair for styling and to protect your new hue. Formulated with Pureology’s exclusive Anti-Fade Complex, Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray is a lightweight mist that primes, protects, and perfects while delivering 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.


Strength Cure Miracle Filler for Damaged, Color-Treated Hair
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Pureology

Strength Cure Miracle Filler for Damaged, Color-Treated Hair

A blow-dry reparative lotion that strengthens, repairs and protects the hair's cuticle.

Old price New price $29.50
One size available
5 fl oz

Pureology Strength Cure Miracle Filler

If a bleach session has your strands feeling fragile and brittle to the touch, pick up Pureology Strength Cure Miracle Filler. The spray-on primer fills in gaps in fragile, porous hair, leaving high-lifted or highlighted blonde soft and shiny.

Find more salon-level products to prime and style your mane on Hair.com.