12 Styling Products I Swear By For Smooth, Sleek Hair — Even in Peak Summer Heat
Ahhh, humidity. It's like the minute temperatures rise above 80, my hair gets a mind of its own . . . and it's running the show. Straight styles get puffy, and my curls fall flat pretty much the minute I leave my air-conditioned apartment. And because my hair is treated with both a relaxer and color, those chemicals also make my hair drier and more prone to breakage in warmer months.
Since I prefer my hair sleek (especially when I've spent all that time blow-drying it), I've gathered quite the arsenal of products I rely on when dealing with my fickle summer hair. There's a mix of creams, oils, and sprays to smooth it out, whether I'm wearing it straight or air-drying into well-defined waves, and some even add sun protection, too.
Ahead, find my favorite humidity-proof styling products — they're all sold right at Sephora.
Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Style) Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil
While I do use this Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Style) Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil ($30) year-round, it's essential in my summer routine. It's got a blend of babassu, brazil nut, and pracaxi oils along with cupuacu butter that all deeply hydrate my hair (and lock in that moisture), but its gel-like texture also defines and holds curls even in the hottest weather.
Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment
Leave-in products are especially helpful as I don't wash my hair several times a week (and definitely don't blow-dry or flat-iron it multiple times). Instead, I lean on creams like this Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In Nourishing Treatment ($42) for added conditioning between shampoos. This one gets its power from essential oils and plants like coconuts, olives, and almonds, and it helps detangle straight out of the shower plus reduces frizz when I'm dry-styling, too.
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner
A good leave-in conditioner is also key to helping hair not become brittle and break easily. This top-rated Mizani 25 Miracle Milk Leave-In Conditioner ($22-$34) can work as a primer before blowouts but also can help repair sun-damaged, dry hair with a few sprays as it makes my hair smoother before I even step outside.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat and UV Protective Primer
I love that this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat and UV Protective Primer ($13-$28) has UV filters to protect against the sun's rays. It also makes my hair feel super smooth — thanks to the six hydrating oils — but it doesn't feel greasy when it's spritzed on. (I also bring the bottle with me on beach days for that sun protection and its detangling magic if I take a dip.)
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector
The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector ($29) works while I'm fast asleep, so what could be easier than that?! I just put it on before bed and pull back my hair, and the amino acids, antioxidants, and time-release conditioners hydrate and revitalize, with no need to rinse it out in the morning, either. This product also helps seal cuticles, protects color, and makes my hair less frizzy, plus, it doesn't get all over my sheets and pillowcase (with results lasting up to several days after application).
Kérastase Discipline Blow-Dry Smoothing Primer
This Kérastase Discipline Blow-Dry Smoothing Primer ($22-$37) protects hair against a full range of environmental aggressions like heat and pollution, no matter the season. I like that it revitalizes my often-frizzy hair with keratin and ceramide in summer, so it's healthy on the inside and smooth on the outside, too.
Moroccanoil Moroccanoil Treatment
I regularly use the iconic Moroccanoil Moroccanoil Treatment ($15-$44) when I want to add a boost of shine and softness. The nutrient-rich argan oil hydrates, and I've seen a decline in my hair's tendency to frizz as time goes on, especially on the ends.
Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hairspray
I find that many hairsprays dry out my hair, but this Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hairspray ($21-$30) is packed with nutrients that moisturize and strengthen my hair, while also locking in a sleek style. There's omega-3-rich caviar extract, hydrating seasilk, and a special age-control complex to protect against hair's natural aging (and to help undo negative side effects caused by chemical and environmental aging as well).
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Taming Overnight Serum
The top-rated Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Taming Overnight Serum ($69) is a rich oil that provides a ton of moisture to dry hair. Its magical ingredient is red camelia oil, which nurtures hair overnight so it's smooth and protected once the sun rises. I don't rinse out this product, and I find it leaves my hair shiny (not greasy) and well-hydrated even after a long period in the sun.
Moroccanoil Smoothing Lotion Mini
This Moroccanoil Smoothing Lotion Mini ($14) works wonders when I'm blow-drying my hair. Not only does it get my hair sleeker when the dryer's on, but its vitamins and argan oil also protect against humidity once I step outside (which is very important in the NYC heat).
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum
The Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum ($24-$50) protects my hair from the breakage that happens when it dries out in humid air. This product instantly makes my hair super shiny after styling (with maize and procaxi oils), but I also like to use it as preshampoo to help remove impurities and buildup before cleansing.
Mizani 25 Miracle Cream
The rich Mizani 25 Miracle Cream ($22) defines my style so I can actually see each individual curl when I air-dry . . . and not just a tangled mess. It also adds moisture with coconut oil to my color-treated hair and extra UV protection.
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