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Best Heat Protectant

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Do you ever apply heat to your hair by way of a straightener, a curler, or a hair dryer? If you do, you don’t want to skimp out on a heat protectant.

The best heat protectant will act as a barrier to your hair to protect the strands and keep them from getting damaged by the heat.

Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Of course, as you research the best heat protectants, you’re going to come up with a lot of conflicting information about what’s good and not-so-good for your hair.

We are here to help you sift through the information and give you the lowdown on what you really need to know.

As one pro puts it, “A heat protectant is the hair equivalent of sunscreen for the skin.” So the short answer is yes, heat protectants work to protect your hair from the heat that could otherwise damage it.

The key is knowing which ones to use with which heated tool. Serums are best when you’re using a blow dryer. But if you’re going to be using a straightener, you’re better off going with a spray.

To make sure you get the desired result, you’ll also need to pay attention as to whether or not they should be applied to wet hair or dry hair. Using them correctly will make a difference as to what they do to and for your hair.

Silicone-based heat protectants are especially useful because they can take high temperatures and still stay strong as a heat-resistant barrier.

When you use a silicone-based heat protectant, you’re creating a barrier that keeps the moisture in your hair and also coats your hair with a shield that keeps direct exposure to heat to a minimum. That’s a good thing because direct heat is what ultimately damages the hair cuticle and makes your hair weak and brittle.

What Not to Use as a Heat Protectant

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By now, you’ve no doubt seen the suggestion to use various oils as heat protectants, but how do you know whether or not it’s really a good idea?

It depends on which carrier oil you choose to use because each of them will react differently to a range of temperatures.

Carrier oils include oils like grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil among many others. You’ve probably seen plenty of products that carry these very components, but the question remains as to how well they work on their own when heat is applied.

They are all somewhat beneficial to your hair because they contain the oleic acids that your hair loves, but what you really need to think about is the smoking point.

Have you ever noticed that when you leave oil in your pan at too high a heat, the oil starts to smoke? The reason the oil is smoking is because the heat is causing a natural decomposition of the chemical structure of the oil.

The same thing happens to oils that you use in your hair if you apply heat that is too high. As the oils decompose, the acids that would otherwise help your head are decomposing and not working as well as they could without losing their integrity.

On Naturally Curly, there is a nifty chart that displays the smoking points of many different oils so you can see just how high you can go with the heat before they start to decompose.

Simply put, you don’t want to heat oils all the way to their smoking point, because aside from losing the good stuff that would offer protection to your hair, oil is flammable, and the hotter it gets, the more likely it is to catch on fire.

Having a fiery personality would take on a whole new meaning if you used too much heat with oil that couldn’t handle the temperature.

How to Protect Your Hair from Heat Damage

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Too much heat is not good for your hair, and if you apply too much heat, you’re going to end up with brittle hair that is frizzy and unmanageable at times.

To prevent that kind of damage to your hair, you need to know how to protect your hair from heat damage. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your hair stays as healthy as possible despite using your hot tools.

First of all, don’t use your hot tool every single day. Give your hair some time to recuperate between stylings and maybe wear it in a bun or a ponytail. By taking breaks, your hair will be able to bounce back between applications.

You also want to make sure you hydrate your hair properly because anyone that uses a flat iron knows that your hair can sometimes be left feeling dry. Some suggestions to combat the dry and brittle feel of your hair strands include adding a few drops of oil to your hair or doing deep conditioning treatments periodically.

We talked a little bit about heat settings before when we discussed the smoking point of oil, but there is more to knowing how to gauge the proper amount of heat you should apply to your hair.

The thickness of your hair is going to determine how much heat you should use on your hair. Fine hair needs lower temperature settings while thicker, coarse hair needs a higher setting. At the same time, that does not mean you should go for the highest setting possible because it all goes back to too much heat will damage your hair.

Finally, you want to invest in a quality tool that will aid moisturizing your hair like ceramic tools. Having the proper tools for the job will make a world of difference in how your hair reacts to the heat, too.

The Best Heat Protectant for Your Hair

Heat protectants cover the gambit when it comes to price tags. You can find quality heat protectants for under $ and other protectants that are closer to $100, so there is something for everyone and every wallet.

1. Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray

TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Protectant Spray for Hair 8 oz
  • TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray stands up to flat irons and curling irons by guarding against heat and...
  • This thermal hair protector is a heat protectant spray that enhances hair's flexibility to re-form
  • Thermal Creations heat protection spray for hair is heat-activated to help guard against harsh styling damage and hold...

Tresemme’s Thermal Creations is less than $ and can be found in stores everywhere and online at Amazon. It’s also a product that works well and can hold its own among the more expensive brands.

The spray makes your hair feel much softer and gives it a nice shine. It will also protect your hair regardless of the hot tool that you’re using.

Remember how you need to know whether or not the product should be applied to wet or dry hair? You’ll be happy to know that this product is entirely versatile and can be used on either one. For the price and versatility, it can’t be beaten.

Reviewers all over Amazon sing praises about it, too. “I recently bought a curling wand and after Googling videos on how to use it, in just about every video the use of heat protectant was advised to protect your hair which makes much sense. In addition, many of these tutorials used this same exact one. I love this product. It smells fantastic! And the scent is long lasting. It is lightweight and it is certainly not sticky. My hair is soft and fine and this product did not weigh my hair down in any way whatsoever. I love the lock/unlock feature on the handle of the nozzle. That is a great selling point for moms that have little ones with them while getting ready,” says Sagi 1216.

2. HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector

HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector | Protect up to 450º F...
  • EXTREME HAIR PROTECTANT: Protect hair from heat exposure up to 450º F. HSI’s argan oil hair heat protectant is a...
  • LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER: This light thermal protection spray can be also used as a leave in conditioning serum. Get smooth,...
  • PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA: Ensuring you get a premium quality high grade hair oil Infused with highly concentrated...

If you love your flat iron and you love your hair, then this is the choice for you. As its name indicates, this heat protectant is infused with argan oil that will keep your hair healthy and protect it, too.

Additionally, the heat protectant can handle up to 450 degrees. And as discussed earlier, there’s no reason to have to go that high, so this protectant should be able to take whatever you throw at it.

With over 3,000 reviews and the vast majority of them are incredibly positive. The top customer review says, “My daughter is biracial with very curly, course (sic), dry hair. She loves to straighten her hair which makes the dryness worse. It's usually very frizzy and it usually only lasts a couple of hours before the unruly frizzes come back. We have tried the hair mask and the flat iron that HSI sells and they work great so I decided that we would try this. I’m so glad I did, it's amazing. It leaves her hair shiny, and smooth and it's so much more healthy looking. The protector smells nice and does not make the hair greasy or weigh it down. I highly recommend this product!”

If you go further through the reviews, you’ll see that there are plenty of comments about the scent being strong, too. So if you’re sensitive to smells, then this may be problematic for you.

3. Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Protectant

ORIBE Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray, 5.9 Fl oz
  • Lightweight blowout spray with heat protection
  • Adds incredible softness
  • Repairs split ends, nourishes, softens and strengthens the hair

If you’re looking for a more professional product, then this is the way to go. It is on the pricier side, but worth the cost.

It is infused with both argan and Moroccan oils that will soften your hair and add a healthy shine, too. Many happy customers are saying that this product leaves their hair feeling as though they just left the salon.

Belle770 says, “I have purchased so many salon products over the years only to try to use them at home without getting the same results as the salon. This is the first product I have used that I can get the same look as when my hairdresser does it. I have frizzy hair and have to use a flat iron to keep it tame. With this Blow Out Spray, I can dry my hair and feel comfortable NOT using the flat iron. It does take some time to dry your hair right, but it is so soft when you do. I separate my hair in layers starting with the bottom and pin the rest on top of my head. I spray it then use a round brush to try. Take the next layer down, spray, and dry. You don’t need to use much and it smells wonderful.”

Trying and Buying Heat Protectants

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The best heat protectant for your hair is going to depend on the hair you have, how much you can afford to spend, and what your expectations will be for the product.

You might be able to try various products at your local salon, too. Your stylist can also offer advice and suggestions as to what is going to be best for your hair.

Compare reviews, and specifically look for ones that reflect the kind of hair you have. If you’re not sure, don’t forget you can ask questions on Amazon to get real feedback from real people.

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