This $5 drugstore hair styler shaved—no joke—12 minutes off of my morning routine


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Photo: Getty Images/Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury

If a genie magically appeared and granted me 3 wishes, the first would be for more time to get ready in the morning (the others would have something to do with a boyfriend named Ryan Gosling and a beach house in Bora Bora, ICYWW). While I’d love to be one of those people who spends the hours between 6 and 9 a.m. every day meditating, writing in my journal, and sipping on lemon water, my mornings tend to fall more into mad-dash territory.

Because I’m still searching for a magic lamp (and am not willing to sacrifice a single minute of sleep in the meantime), I’ve settled for the next best thing: products that shave time off getting ready. I swapped my regular conditioner for a no-rinse option, and I started using a 4-in-1 serum-moisturizer-facial oil-primer hybrid that has replaced half of my skin-care routine.

But…I’ve never figured out how to hack my hair. Without fail, it has always taken me 10 to 15 minutes under the blowdryer to get the water out, followed by another 10 with a straightening iron to take my thick waves to the sleek-and-straight style I prefer them in. After a decade with the same routine, I’d resigned myself to the fact that a 20-minute hair routine just wasn’t possible for me.

That is, until I found something (almost) as good as a genie: A hair product that—no joke—cuts my styling session down to 8 minutes.

Garnier Sleek Shot ($5) is unlike any sleekness-promising product I’ve ever used before—and trust me, I’ve tried ‘em all. Instead of applying it to wet strands after a shower, you mix it in a 1:1 ratio with your shampoo and rinse the way you regularly would. “It’s designed to be used in the shower to coat each strand of your strands.Once you blow dry your hair dry, your hair is straight so you can skip the flat iron,” says Ashley Streicher, Garnier’s consulting celebrity hairstylist. The formula is packed with argan oil, amino acids, and proteins that diminish frizz and strengthen hair so that it’s more malleable to do what you want when heat styling. Take note: If you’re the air-dry type skip this product because it needs heat to activate it and really do its job.

Post-shower, I still coat my strands in a layer of Living Proof Restore Instant Protection ($27) to keep them safe from heat damage, but since I’ve started using Sleek Shot all of my other styling products have gone by the wayside. While I still can’t totally skip out on the flat-iron, I now only need to do a quick pass instead of a full multi-minute styling session. And somehow, despite the deadly combo of static electricity and humidity that’s been in the NYC air these last few weeks, the word “frizz” has not once popped into my brain.

Now that I have 12 extra minutes added to my morning, who knows—maybe I’ll become one of those lemon water drinking, meditating-and-journaling people, after all.

No time for a full wash? Try this 1-minute dry shampoo hack to make your blowout last one more day.  And check out this list for some of our other favorite drugstore products worth adding to your routine in 2019. 

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