What To Look For When Buying A Heat Protectant For Hair
Hair protectants come in different styles. Some moisturize and create shine in an oil form, and are worked through damp hair. Others offer a spray that works with irons and help to hold the style. Whether you opt for a cream, spray, or oil is a personal choice, buTo get maximum protection, Priano advises using a protectant rated to 450 degrees, the maximum temperature for most hair tools.
Tang adds that its important to use a protectant that works with the way you style your hair. If you blow dry your hair I suggest a heat protectant that you spray into damp hair before you dry. If you let your hair air dry and then heat style, or like to heat style second day hair, then I suggest a protectant specifically made for dry hair.
Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray
A featherweight conditioning detangler that delivers all the benefits dry, damaged hair needs to look and feel healthier with heat protection up to 400 degrees is how celebrity hairstylist Ryan Richman describes this product. He also notes that its great for curly or tangled hair that needs a leave-in and heat protectant.
Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Ultra Rich Hyaluronic Treatment Lotion $45
Britney Williams, Bumble and Bumbles live educator and stylist loves to use the brands Invisible Oil Ultra Rich Hyaluronic Treatment lotion as a heat protectant. It provides heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/232 degrees Celsius and gives your locks a boost of moisture all at the same time.
I love that this oil doesnt sit on top of the hair, Williams told the New York Post. It really gets into the hair shaft to protect it from the inside-out.
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Ogx Protecting + Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray
While a heat protectant can set you back up to $40, you should know that there are some reliable products that are far more affordable. This heat protectant from OGX is one of them. Not only does this spray leave your hair feeling soft and silky, but it also helps reduce drying time and, like many of the brands shampoos and conditioners, smells amazing. Once your hair is dry, style away with your favorite tools. This spray will protect your hair up to 450 degrees.
What we like about OGX thermal spray
Mydentity Mydefender Light Control Heat Protecting Spray
Tang stresses the importance of using a good heat protectant on color-treated hair. Its so important, in fact, that he formulated his own heat protecting spray. This spray creates a protective barrier around the hair while providing thermal protection up to 450 degrees. It also does double duty by controlling flyaways.
What we like about Mydentity heat protecting spray
- Provides light control when styling so you can tame flyaways
- Very light scent
What to consider before purchasing Mydentity heat protecting spray
- The aerosol can makes it hard to tell how much product youre using
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Best Drugstore Heat Protectant
IGKs blowout balm has a thick texture upon application but rest assured it will not weigh down locks. The creamy heat-activated formula coats hair and protects it against temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. We love the strengthening protein and moisturizing shea butter in this heat protectant. Pro tip: Start with a pea-sized amount on wet air and add more as needed.
Is Heat Protection Good For Hair
Directly using a heat-styling tool like a hair dryer, curler or straightener can literally fry your hair since hair is not made to withstand extreme heat. A heat protectant puts up a shield between your hair and the heat by sealing in as much moisture as it can. It also stops your hair from turning frizzy and smoothens your hair. So, to get a safe and soft finish, use heat protectants before styling your hair.
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How Do Hair Heat Protectants Work
Hair heat protectant spray works by coating hair strands, forming a film over hair that acts as a protective layer. This layer works to prevent the hair cuticle the outermost part of the hair shaft from being damaged by excessive heat. Heat protectants also often feature ingredients that will smooth hair and keep it soft and shiny after being heat styled.
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It may be obvious, but the more you put heat on your hair, the more likely you are to damage it. So, in an effort to help you keep your mane as healthy as possible, we consulted hair experts to get the lowdown on the best possible heat protectant products for your hair which is pretty crucial to incorporate into your routine.
I cant stress enough how important it is to use heat protectant, celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland told The Post. Think of it like tanning without a sunscreen! When you add a heat protectant product to your hair prior to using a heated appliance, you are adding a layer of protection against damage, burning and hair color fading.
Its important to understand our hair needs proper maintenance. Much like high-end leather goods require proper cleaning, leather protectant, etc maintaining and improving the quality of our hair is no different, said A-list hairstylist Cory Aaron Scott.
Elements such as sun, heat, pollutants, chemicals in water, etc. cause our hair to lose bounce and shine over time, Scott added. In particular, the heat from blow-drying and curling our hair presents unique challenges. Thats why its important to use heat protectant products so your hair maintains a healthy natural shine and bounce.
Ahead find eight expert-approved hair heat protectant products that will change your hair game.
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Best For Colored Hair: Pureology Color Fanatic Multi
Water is hair colors worst enemy, but heat is a close second. This spritz packs a whopping 21 benefits, including, of course, color preservation and heat protection, and works great for all hair types and textures.
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, camelina oil, olive oil | Hair Type: All | Size: 13.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | No
Price at time of publish: $30
Sexy Hair Healthy Love Oil
Another go-to product for Priano is this heat protectant oil. Priano says, the oil is silicone-free and so lightweight. You also get UV protection benefits, something thats becoming increasingly important to factor into your day-to-day. It protects up to 450 degrees and reduces breakage by up to 55 percent, leaving hair healthier and shinier. If thicker hair has always been on your wish list, try one of these hair-thickening shampoos for gorgeous body and volume.
What we like about Sexy Hair oil
- Formulated for all hair types
- Can also be used as a hair treatment to add moisture and define curl pattern
What to consider before purchasing Sexy Hair oil
- Oils can leave hair feeling greasy if you use too much
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Diy Argan Oil Heat Protectant
If you have Moroccos liquid gold in your hands, why not use it to defend your hair against heat? Using argan oil on your mane before you use hot tools can be an absolute game-changer. Since the oil contains antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E, it will manage to nourish your mane inside-out and act as a barrier between your mane and the heat. Bonus? Argan oil has a higher burning point than other oils and can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees, making it a great pick for heat protection. Here’s how you can make an argan oil heat protectant at home.
Step 1 – In an oil mister spray bottle, take half a cup of argan oil as-is. Don’t use a regular spray bottle since the oil could clog it up.
Step 2 – Cap it, and that’s all you need! Use it as a leave-in oil or a heat protectant, and store it in a cool, dry place to ensure it lasts you a long time.
Pro-tip: You can also use the spray before or after a hair wash as argan oil helps recover your hairs natural shine. It also gives you all the benefits of a natural oil minus the stickiness.
Tips To Protect Your Hair Before Applying Heat
Not sure what to apply before using hair straightener? Well, weve got you with some easy DIY heat protectants and how you can keep your hair safe and stylish.
You must have heard of heat damaging hair. So what to apply before using hair straightener? From using natural oils to specially formulated heat protection serums, there are tons of ways that you can protect your hair. But whatever your go-to method is, never skip on heat protection as your hair can turn dry and brittle if you are not careful.
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Davines Love Smoothing Protector
If you have coarse or frizzy hair, then you know how dull, damaged, and broken it can look if not cared for properly. This smoothing thermal serum is formulated with Minuta Olive Extract from a farm in Messina Italy. The extract is rich in both fatty acids and vitamins which nourish the hair and help reduce breakage. This lightweight, anti-frizz serum protects against humidity and heat up to 446 degrees, and has a fresh, clean scent that we absolutely love.
What we like about Davines smoothing protector
- Made with 87 percent naturally derived ingredients
- All Davines products are made with zero impact and recyclable packaging
What to consider before purchasing Davines smoothing protector
- A bit on the pricier side
What Should You Look For In A Heat Protectant
Following is the list of ingredients you can check for in your heat protectant.
Silicones: Heat protectants are generally made with a combination of two silicones Cyclomethicone and dimethicone. While Cyclomethicone moisturizes your hair, dimethicone coats it and prevents moisture loss. Dimethicone forms a layer on your hair and makes your cuticles lie flat. This keeps your hair from turning frizzy. You can find this ingredient in your everyday conditioner too. However, those with oily hair must go for a product with minimum silicone .
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: Hydrolyzed wheat protein conditions hair . It also takes the place of the natural hair proteins in the hair, which otherwise can get broken due to heat. PVP/DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer: This copolymer, like silicones, helps protect hair and detangles it. Some research shows this copolymer may protect hair from thermal damage .
Quaternary 70: This is found in high-end products that may protect hair from heat damage . It keeps hair frizz-free after heat styling. It also keeps your hair smooth until the next wash.
Note: Always consider sulfate- and paraben-free formulas. Go for a color-safe hair protectant if you have color-treated hair. You can also look for propylene glycol and keratin that retain hair moisture and strengthen your hair.
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Davines Oi All In One Milk
If you dont use hot tools to style to your hair, consider treating yourself to this Italian made hydrating hair milk. Its a lightweight leave-in spray thats good for all hair types. It acts as a detangler, reduces frizz, adds shine, and leaves your hair silky soft and protected from the heat. However, its worth noting that this product doesnt protect from high temperatures, so you wont want to use it with anything more than a blow dryer or one of these hair straightener brushes.
What we like about Davines hydrating hair milk
- Leaves hair soft and shiny
- The recommended 10 to 15 sprays did not weigh our hair down
- All Davines products are made with zero impact and recyclable packaging
What to consider before purchasing Davines hydrating hair milk
- Not recommended for use with hot styling tools
How We Researched & Tested
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key featureslike ingredients, shade range, or designin addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five to certain products on the list.
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Sexy Hair Style Protect Me Hot Tool Protection Spray
When it comes to products that reduce breakage and maintain healthy hair, this protection hair spray is one that Priano says she cant live without. While many heat protectants should be applied to damp hair, youll apply this light hold hair spray onto dry hair before going in with your curling iron or flat iron. Its formulated for all hair types and protects hair up to 450 degrees. Speaking of hair spray, here are 20 unbelievable uses you never knew about.
What we like about Sexy Hair protection spray
- Provides up to 78 percent reduction in breakage
What Can I Use As A Natural Heat Protectant
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your hot tools? We get where youre coming from! Sometimes you want a voluminous blowout, supermodel waves, or a sleek, straight style but without the right preparation heat tools can leave your hair feeling dry, frizzy, and damaged.
Thats why were huge fans of natural heat protectants! Whether you use heat tools regularly or simply spend a lot of time in the sun, a natural heat protectant is essential for maintaining the overall health and color of your hair.
Not only do natural heat protectants coat and protect the hair during heat styling, but they also add shine, softness, hydration, and improve manageability. Theyre an essential part of any natural heat styling routine.
So, what can you use as a natural heat protectant? Were giving you 10 options to try.
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A Protective Mist That Helps You Kiss Split Ends Good
A blowout can do a number on your hair, thanks to the combo of heat being applied close to your strands while a hairbrush is simultaneously tugging on the roots. This mist is ultra lightweight, and helps to smooth split ends using a proprietary strengthening complex. At the same time it targets weak areas of the hair, smoothing the appearance of damaged cuticles and helping to protect from environmental stressors.
Why Use A Heat Protectant
Having a heat protectant can provide a safeguard for hair by acting as a barrier between intense heat and fragile strands and shielding hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees. If youre heat styling, using a product is an absolute mustit creates a protective barrier between the hair and the iron, celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein tells SELF. I recommend using a conditioning product while hair is damp, such as a hair oil, leave-in conditioner, or cream, then using a heat protectant before using your hot tool of choice.
Depending on your preference and specific hair needs, you can use heat protectants on either wet or dry hair since they come in a variety of formulasfrom mists to serums to creamsthat can coat the entire head from root to tip. Some products even provide conditioning and detangling benefits that make whipping through your hair routine a breeze while keeping it at its healthiest.
Below we highlighted the best heat protectants worth buying. We asked hairstylists about some of their favorite heat protectants, so you know theyre expert-recommended. Youll find top-rated hair brands like Living Proof, Mizani, Sun Bum, and Moroccan Oil.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Our Best Overall Pick Is Living Proof Restore Instant Protection
We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproductslearn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Color and heat styling contribute to hair damage, leaving hair shafts dull and frizzy. Applying a heat protectant can repair this damage, even on color-treated hair.
Our best overall pick is Living Proof Restore Instant Protection a multi-tasking styling product that can go on wet or dry hair, making it ideal for second-day heat styling. For a more affordable pick, consider Pantene Pro-V Nutrient Boost Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protection, a powerful formula that contains a blend of humectants and works on heat up to 450 degrees.
Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown says that heat protectants can improve the texture by glossing hair. Heat protectants act as a protective barrier between your hair and a hot tool, protecting it from burning, drying out, and becoming dull. A heat protectant will help smooth the cuticle and leave hair looking shiny and healthy.
We tried out some of the top-rated and best-reviewed options. Our testers used them for weeks at a time, rating how well each protected their hair from heat styling as well as the texture, feel, and finish. Our team then combined these results with our own research and stylist-recommended products to compile this list.
Ahead, find the best heat protectants for all types of hair.