12 of the Best Products to Keep Your Hair Straight and Smooth

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Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

In the quest for ultra-smooth, ultra-sleek hair, there’s no denying that hot tools are a necessity. (No matter how naturally straight your hair is, you’re going to need a blow dryer, at least, to get it completely smooth. And if you’re starting with thick or curly hair, you better believe a flat iron will be involved, too.)

That being said, pairing your tools with the right products is equally important. We’re not just talking about a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, but the subsequent styling products. “A hair straightening product can be especially beneficial for those with naturally frizzy or very thick hair,” says Ayano Jinnouchi, a Mane Addicts stylist, although anyone can use them. Plus, the latest straightening formulas on the market smooth and straighten, yes, but also offer a host of other benefits—like heat protection, strengthening, and more—to help maintain the health and integrity of your hair.

Keep reading for the best hair straightening products out there.

Our Top Picks
Great for humid weather, this smoother locks out frizz and protests from heat for a straight finish.
This frizz-fighting spray leaves hair smooth and sleek thanks to anti-humidity technology.
This affordable spray leaves hair frizz-free and smooth for up to three shampoos after the first use.
This serum moisturizes, smooths, protects, and imparts plenty of shine to curly hair.
Best for Color-Treated Hair:
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 at Amazon
Protein bonds in the formula not only smooth the hair but also protect colored hair against damage.
Natural extracts in this heat activated formula help strengthen the hair, tame frizz and smooth, making it great for thick hair.
Packed with antioxidants and protein, this smoothing cream helps protect the hair against damage.
Moroccan and argan oil in this formula work with your shampoo for a sleek finish to hair without the use of a flat iron.
A trio of oils protects hair from further damage as the formula works to smooth and hydrate.
Best for thick and curly textures, this frizz-fighting, heat-protective blow-dry cream helps to straighten, smooth, and hydrate.

Best Overall: Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek Iron Smoother

Matrix
What We Like
  • Works on all hair textures

  • Protects against heat

  • Non-greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Strong smell

No matter your natural texture, a few spritzes of this formula will help smooth it out, fast. It’s especially great for humid weather since it’s ideal for locking out frizz—plus, it contains shea butter to impart plenty of moisture. It protects hair from temps up to 450 degrees and, when paired with the accompanying shampoo and conditioner, can leave hair up to five times smoother.

Type: Spray | Size: 8.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray Anti-Frizz Treatment

colorwow dream coat
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Delivers multiple benefits

  • Works well on humid or rainy days

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

While this may be positioned as more of a frizz-fighter, it truly does leave our hair impressively smooth and sleek, truly earning its place on this list. Credit a proprietary anti-humidity technology that basically acts like a raincoat (hence the name), forming a shield to block out frizz-inducing moisture and leave hair silky and with tons of shine. The smoothing effects last through three or four shampoos, and it works on all hair types and textures. Just keep in mind that that technology is heat-activated, so you do need to blow-dry after using it, but in our experience, you can usually skip the flat iron; the product is that good.

Type: Spray | Size: 6.7 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget: John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray

john frieda frizz ease 3 day straight flat iron spray
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Very lightweight

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Might make some hair greasy

Don’t feel like styling your hair every day? We don’t blame you. Enter the beauty of this straightening spray. Polymers and keratin proteins wrap around each hair strand, leaving it smooth and sleek for up to three days (or until your next shampoo). Still, it doesn’t feel heavy or stiff, so your hair will still be soft and touchable.

Type: Spray | Size: 8.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Curly Hair: SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Finishing Oil Serum

SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Finishing Oil Serum
What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Affordable

  • Gentle

What We Don't Like
  • Too heavy for non-curly textures

  • Needs to be used on dry hair

At the risk of sounding obvious, straightening naturally curly hair is much more challenging than straightening other textures. (Not to mention that curls already require more TLC in order to avoid damage.) Enter this product, which smooths, protects, and imparts plenty of shine. Thanks to a combo of coconut oil and coconut milk, it's also nice and hydrating, which is always a good thing for curls. FYI, it’s meant to be used on dry hair, so try using it post blow-drying but pre-flat ironing or as the final step in your routine.

Type: Serum | Size: 4 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Color-Treated Hair: Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3
What We Like
  • Delivers multiple benefits

  • Works on all hair textures

  • Adds volume

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

  • Shouldn’t be used daily

Technically a strengthening treatment, this beloved formula (and Byrdie fave) does double-duty as an ultra-effective smoother, too. Credit a science-backed formula that works to repair the protein bonds in your hair that are broken due to heat damage, coloring, and more. Ideal for all textures, use it a few times per week and prepare to be amazed at just how much smoother, shinier, and healthier your hair feels afterward.

Type: Cream | Size: 3.3 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Thick Hair: R+Co Mood Swing Straightening Spray

R+ Co Mood Swing Straightening Spray
What We Like
  • Lasts up to three shampoos

  • Adds softness and shine

  • Strengthens the hair

What We Don't Like
  • Best for curly/wavy/thick textures

  • Has to be heat-activated

Like curly hair, thick hair also often needs a little extra help in the smoothing department. This particular spray is our top choice, thanks to a formula packed with natural extracts to strengthen the hair, tame frizz, and add a healthy dose of both shine and softness. Also nice: It lasts up to three shampoos. Just keep in mind that it is heat-activated, so make sure to use it on damp hair before blow-drying.

Type: Spray | Size: 4.2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Splurge: Oribe Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream

Oribe Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Hair Cream
What We Like
  • Works for all hair textures

  • Delivers multiple benefits

  • Protects against heat

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

This is a top pick for Jinnouchi, who lauds it for being a foolproof pick for pretty much any and every hair texture. It’s pricey, yes, but a little bit goes a long way, it also touts a multitude of benefits besides smoothing; think antioxidants and protective protein to shield against the damages of heat styling. Plus, in true Oribe fashion, it smells ah-mazing. 

Type: Cream | Size: 5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best In-Shower: Garnier Fructis Sleek Shot In-Shower Styler

Garnier Fructis Sleek Shot In-Shower Styler
What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Affordable

  • Argan oil adds sleekness

What We Don't Like
  • Still requires blow-drying

Want to shave off some precious minutes from your hot tool styling routine? Try this innovative in-shower product. All you have to do is mix equal parts of it with your shampoo and wash your hair as normal. You’ll still have to blow-dry, but the added sleekness it imparts (credit Moroccan argan oil) means you’ll be able to skip the flat iron.

Type: Liquid | Size: 5.1 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Damaged Hair: Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème

Briogeo Farwell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Crème
What We Like
  • Protects against heat

  • Hydrating

  • Smooths damaged hair

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

You’ll want to be extra cautious when smoothing damaged hair, given that too much heat styling will only cause even more damage. If your hair needs a little extra TLC, this is a must. A trio of oils—coconut, argan, and rosehip—not only offer the smoothing benefits but also add tons of hydration and protect from heat and other environmental stressors.

Type: Cream | Size: 4 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Frizzy Hair: Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry

Bumble and Bumble
What We Like
  • Delivers multiple benefits

  • Conditions hair and smooths

  • Tackles thick, curly, and frizzy hair

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

Straightening, smoothing, frizz-fighting, and heat-protecting... there’s really not much this product can’t do. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a conditioning blend in the formula to help hydrate and add a touch of hold to hair, too. It’s non-greasy, though FYI, this pick is best for thick, curly, frizzy hair textures, not for those with fine or thin hair.

Type: Cream | Size: 5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Air-Drying: Odele Air Dry Styler

Odele Air Dry Styler
What We Like
  • Smooths the hair

  • Affordable

  • Amazing natural fragrance

What We Don't Like
  • Isn’t necessarily going to straighten hair

Okay, look: Even if your hair is naturally straight, there’s no way you’re going to get the straightest, smoothest style if you don’t at least blow-dry. That’s just basic science. But for times when you want to forgo any and every hot tool and just air dry, using this product can make a huge difference. No, it’s not a straightening product, per se, but what it does do is help smooth your hair, tamp down frizz, and generally make hair less ‘poofy.’ (You know what we’re talking about.) The clean formula and subtle yet sophisticated, 100% natural fragrance is just a bonus, as is the wallet-friendly price tag.

Type: Cream | Size: 6 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Long-Lasting: TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Long-lasting

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Needs shampoo and conditioner for best results

Apply this smoothing styler once (on damp hair, before blow-drying and flat-ironing) and reap the benefits for, wait for it, up to one week (or three washes). That’s right—the results last even after you wash your hair, making this the best alternative for times when you want a sleek look for days on end (think during a vacation) but don’t want to deal with daily styling.

Type: Cream | Size: 3 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

When your goal is a super straight, super sleek, super smooth style, prepping your hair with a straightening product is the move. The Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek Iron Smoother (view at Ulta) and Color Wow Dream Coat (view at Sephora) tie for our overall top pick, both having the added benefit of also offering heat protection. If you want a product whose effects will last for days on end, try the John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray (view at Ulta) or TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment (view at Amazon) (both of which just happen to be very affordable drugstore buys), while the Oribe is a splurge-worthy stylist fave that works on all hair textures and types.

What to Look for in a Hair Straightening Product

The Hair Type It's Meant for

While many straightening products are universal, so to speak, Jinnouchi underscores the importance of making sure that the one you choose is suited for your hair type or texture. (This is particularly important the curlier and coarser your hair is.)

Added Heat Protection

Given that you'll very likely need to use at least one type of hot tool to achieve a super straight style, choosing products with built-in heat protectants will help cut out one step from your routine and, more importantly, keep your hair healthy.

FAQ
  • How do you apply hair straightening products?

    Follow the directions of the specific product you pick, though, as a general rule of thumb, most are meant to be applied onto clean, damp hair before blow-drying, says Jinnouchi.

  • How often should you use hair straightening products?

    Again, generally speaking, you can use these daily, says Jinnouchi. The caveat? Some of the ones that are very protein-rich or strengthening should be used more sparingly.

  • Do hair straightening products work for all hair types?

    “Yes, so long as you’re choosing the right product for your hair type and texture,” says Jinnouchi.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Her hair is fine and relatively straight but prone to frizz (especially when there’s no blow-dryer involved), so she tends to reach for a straightening product anytime she wants a super sleek look. The Color Wow, Odele, Olaplex products on this list are some of her personal favorites.

Meet the Expert

Ayano Jinnouchi is a Mane Addicts stylist based in Los Angeles. She works with individual clients, does editorial and runway work, and specializes in natural hair, braiding, and extensions.

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