Hair Straightening Products You Need to Know About

Get sleeker, smoother-looking hair with the help of these clever styling products.

Whether you straighten your hair religiously, or you just like to smooth your tresses every once in a while, you should be using some sort of hair straightening products, not only to help boost smoothness and shine, but also to help make those ultra sleek results last longer. Unlike a serum, oil or cream that you may use post-straightening, hair straightening products are designed to be used before the straightening process to help you achieve better results, and, in several instances, in less time, too.

Of course, with so many multi-functional formulations out there, it can be hard to differentiate between products that you can use with any heated styling tool and ones that have been formulated specifically for use with a flat iron to achieve optimum results. Which is why we thought we’d lend a helping hand by compiling a handy list of the best hair straightening products, as well as give you a break down of which to use depending on the results you’re after. All you have to do is keep on reading and get ready to reap the benefits of the smoothest, sleekest-looking locks you’ve ever had in your life.

Best Hair Straightening Products to Use

1. To Protect Your Hair

Whenever you use heated styling tools on your delicate tresses, it goes without saying that a heat protectant is an absolute must (it’s our number one hair rule!). These don’t necessarily have to be in spray form (although most are): they can be creams and oils, too. Of course, you’ll find that most heat protectants can be used with all manner of heated tools, be it flat irons, curling wands or heated rollers. But if you’re after ultra sleek results, opt for a heat protectant like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Spray that’s been made specifically for use in conjunction with straightening irons.

2. To help reduce frizz.

Is there anything worse than frizz ruining your super sleek hairstyle? Probably not. So what if we told you that by using a hair straightening treatment product like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth: 7 Day Smooth Heat Activated Treatment could help tame frizzy hair for more than just one wash? Pretty awesome, right?

To use this treatment, follow the below steps:

  • Divide your wet hair into several equal sections.
  • Dispense two pumps of the product into your palm and rub your hands together before applying the treatment evenly to each section.
  • Use a comb to evenly distribute the treatment through your hair, from root to tip.
  • Blow-dry your hair.
  • To activate the thermal technology, use your irons to go over your hair in small sections. Straighten over each section between one and three times.

3. To help add shine.

Fact: straight hair looks sleeker and silkier when it’s shiny. But if you haven’t been blessed with naturally shiny hair, don’t fret: you can fake it! All you need is a shine-boosting hair straightening product like the Bead Head by TIGI Blow-Out Golden Illuminating Shine Cream to help boost that healthy-looking sheen.

4. To achieve smooth and sleek hair.

If ultra polished results are what you’re after, it may be worth investing in a smoothing cream like the Bed Head by TIGI After Party Smoothing Cream to help smooth your hair and transform it into luxuriously sleek-looking locks. Most of these products work like an inexpensive, at-home hair treat, by helping to keep frizz and flyaways at bay.

So now that you’re all clued up about hair straightening products, why not get acquainted with some tips on straightening hair?

Before the dawn of at-home straightening products, we were slaves to the water spritz. Yes, we’ve all heard that cautionary tale of strands sizzling after a minute too long between tongs. We’re also sure everyone remembers the telltale (and very traumatic) smell of burning hair after we’d resourcefully spray it with water right before ironing. Oy vey.

Our strands have gone through more than their fair share of damage in the name of D.I.Y. straightening, and we’ve tenderly got the battle scars to prove it. Thankfully though, we’ve come a long, long way together, and now look to hair straightening products to help get us to our goal of flawlessly straight hair. Read on to learn more about how straightening products can be your styling tool’s best friend:

What Goes into Straightening Products?

hair straightening products for a flat iron
Protect hair when heat styling with the proper products. Photo credit:

Hair straightening products, such as some popular serums and creams out in the market, make use of silicones, polymers, ceramides and glycerin to coat the hair shaft. These products also help get out the kinks during heat styling. Other products also use keratin proteins to reinforce the keratin naturally found in hair to help smoothen out frizzy, frayed strands. Some straightening products can even use botanically derived oils for a more natural take on hair straightening.

One of the greatest common denominators with most, if not all, hair straightening products is that they coat the strand and protect it against frizz-causing humidity. The silicones seal down the cuticle, encapsulating the moisture within the strand. At the same time, these ingredients also help shield hair from the damaging and dulling effects of applied heat, making them effective thermal protectants as well.

Common Straightening Formulations

1. Flat iron sprays

Before you break out in panic hives, this does not entail spritzing plain tap water, à la the Damaging Dark Ages. Modern heat protectants and styling primers, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Smoothing Spray, come with water-light but potent ingredients that shield hair from the sizzle while giving shine and light styling control.

2. Blow-dry lotions

Somewhere midway between a modern mousse and a full-on straightening cream, blowdry lotions and sprays are a more lightweight formulation and give a more natural finish. They offer some traction and structure, such as Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray, but without sacrificing bounce and a sleek finish.

3. Straightening serum

Perhaps the most straightforward and well-known among the roster of straightening products is the serum. When evenly distributed through hair, these slightly thicker formulations coat the cuticle and, with the added boost from a flat iron, seal it down, helping reflect shine as with some serum. They also give hair some slip and control, for a more long-lasting straightness.

4. Straightening cream

Straightening creams are the heavy-hitters of the hot-tool helpers. Their formulations usually include heat-activated polymers that work to seal in and hold a style in place. Those with unusually frizzy, curly or generally more unmanageable hair can benefit from these more serious formulations such as in Bed Head by TIGI Straighten Out, which, with the help of a flat iron, helps lock in straight styles for up to 48 hours.

5. Smoothing cream

These creams usually credit moisturization as a top-billing benefit. Conditioning ingredients help smooth down and style errant strands and flyaways, like in Bed Head by TIGI After Party. Some use these creams as a post-iron product, while some use them during heat styling for a more natural-looking swing to their tresses.

Which hair straightening products have you tried out?