Hair priming: what is this wonder product and does it work?

We've all heard of primer for your skin, but what about your hair...

best hair primers

by Marina Avraam |
Updated on

Nowadays, it's hard to keep up with the number of beauty products that are available to us. Between the hair oils, mousses or balms constantly being recommended, it's hard to know what we actually need - our latest holy grail? Hair primer.

What is hair primer?

Just like primer for your face, lashes or eyeshadow, hair primer acts as a base for your hair (duh), protecting it against heat damage, as well as environmental pollutants and humidity. If you're styling your hair, applying hair primer beforehand will also help it last longer.

How does hair primer work?

Hair primer is usually a cream or balm that creates an even surface and shield around your hair strands. The right formula should also have the effect of a leave-in conditioner, softening your hair and reducing frizz.

How to use a hair primer

Start by washing and conditioning your hair, and then apply a penny-sized amount of primer to your hair before drying or styling. Easy as pie, right?

So, if you're interested in conditioned, protected and luscious hair, we've found the best hair primer sprays and creams on the market. Start shopping below.


SHOP: The best hair primers

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer1 of 8

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

Bumble and Bumble is the bomb for anything hair related, and this primer is no exception. Infused with a blend of six light oils, the formula will protect your hair from heat and UV damage. It also detangles, eliminates frizz and prevents breakage - oh, and it has a gorgeous fruity scent, which is always a plus in our books. **Review: "**Couldn't be without this product now! Best heat protector and leaves your hair so shiny and soft!"

Living Proof Prime Style Extender2 of 8

Living Proof Prime Style Extender

Want to keep your gorgeous curls going all night? Living Proof has got your back with the first-of-its-kind hair primer. Not only does the formula hold your style for two times longer, but it'll also help repel dirt and oil, keeping your hair squeaky clean.Review: "It helps the styling last longer very well. Second time ordering. Recommended by hair stylist."

Redken Extreme Play Safe Treatment3 of 8

Redken Extreme Play Safe Treatment

If you frequently use heat-styling tools on your hair, allow us to introduce you to this wonder product by Redken. Applied to damp hair, this primer will shield your hair from the damaging effects of heat via a fortifying 3-in-1 hair treatment. It minimises breakage, enriching your tresses with a powerful blend of proteins. Review: "Best heat protector I've ever used, and I've used a few! Makes your hair feel so nice & gives extra protection when using straighteners. Won't use anything else now."

Percy & Reed I Need a Hero! Wonder Balm Hair Primer4 of 8

Percy & Reed I Need a Hero! Wonder Balm Hair Primer

A moisture-locking formula that all but ensures long-lasting softness, Percy & Reed has cracked the code on hair primers. It'll add a shine to your hair within seconds, and the leave-in formula will protect you against heat-related breakage, and lessen the look of split ends. Also fab for those prone to frizz. Review: "Best hairstyling and taming product!! Use the tiniest bit when my hair is wet and blow dry and my hair stays straight and silky for days."

Drunk Elephant Wild Marulau2122 Tangle Spray5 of 8

Drunk Elephant Wild Marula™ Tangle Spray

Drunk Elephant is an all-around 10/10 brand, which is why we were hardly surprised at how great this primer is. It's a mist, rather than a cream that effectively detangles your hair, while simultaneously strengthening it against high temperatures of straighteners and driers. It's also free of sulfates, silicones and any other nasties, which we love. Review: "I have used this for a couple of weeks and the results have been amazing, it really makes your hair more manageable and shiny, it doesn't weigh your hair down and is totally non greasy. I highly recommend it, especially for longer hair like mine!!"

Gisou Propolis Infused Polishing Primer6 of 8

Gisou Propolis Infused Polishing Primer

If you're not yet obsessed with influencer Negin Mirshalehi's bee brand Gisou, then you're about to be. Utilising the power of propolis, a substance used by bees to build strong beehives, this primer will diminish frizz, reduce drying time and basically completely transform your styling process. You can thank us later.

Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime HeatCTRL Blowout Primer7 of 8

Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime HeatCTRL Blowout Primer

Love a blow-dry? Prepare your maine for the heat with this Paul Mitchell thermal protection primer. Apply to damp hair and reduce the rate of heat transfer from roots to ends, up to 86 per cent. Review: "Great product... and I have colour treated short hair which I straighten every day... my hair stays smooth and in great condition... also smells lovely and you only need a small amount."

Nutritive Nectar Thermique Heat Protector8 of 8

Nutritive Nectar Thermique Heat Protector

This heat-protecting milk by Kerastase coats your hair with a light layer, and promises to leave it feeling silky smooth. Review: "Love this great for heat protection before using my straighteners really cares for my hair as it is very thick and wavy!"

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