7 heat protectants that'll help shield your hair from damage
Spray (most of) the guilt away
By Team BEAUTYcrew
January 29 2021
We all know heat styling isn’t the best for the health of your hair, but since we're still partial to the confidence boost a good blow-dry gives us, we can't hang them up completely, okay? Sue us.
However, because we want to have the best of both worlds (perfectly coiffed waves and as fewer split ends as possible), a good heat protectant is key.
What do heat protecting products do?
As the name suggests, a heat protectant for hair shields hair that’s about to be styled by a blow-dryer, straightening iron, curling tong or any other form of heat styling tool, from the damaging effects that these high heats can have on your strands. They create a protective barrier over your hair cuticle to slow down heat absorption while also distributing heat more evenly to reduce potential damage.
Of course, they don't give you 100 per cent protection, but they definitely minimise how much damage those extreme heats cause to your hair. Most heat protectants will simultaneously lock in moisture and reduce water evaporation, too, which is also greatly appreciated. You can even find some that speed up your blow-dry time; bonus.
How to choose the right one?
It can be hard to know if a heat protectant is working, so it can feel like it's a bit of a waste of effort, but we promise it's not. Basically, if you’ve never used a good one then you may think that parched, coarse feel you get every time you straighten your hair is simply normal. But it’s when you start seeing the health of your hair improve (even with daily heat styling) that you know you’ve found a keeper.
Most heat protectants will work on any hair type, but keep in mind that fine hair may find a cream or oil formula too heavy. Also, if your hair has specific needs, such as requiring extra hydration, repairing properties, protection from colour fade or frizz-fighting help, there are formulas out there that tackle these in addition to providing heat protection.
Phew, a lot to take in, huh? Well, don't worry; we've done the formula-finding work for you. So, without further ado, here are our favourite heat protectants...
Evo Head Mistress Cuticle Sealer
This creamy concoction is all about heat protection and hydration, so it's good for keeping frizz under control across the board through adding moisture and limiting damage.
TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray
If your hair's on the fine side, straightening can leave it looking limp and make you want to avoid products that could contribute to flatness. Luckily, though, this guy is incredibly lightweight.
KMS Thermashape Quick Blow Dry
Not only does this formula speed up your blow-drying time (we told you it was possible), but it also conditions, smooths and locks in your style while protecting against heat tools. Ironic but amazing.
TONI&GUY Heat Protection Mist
This moisturising mist is part protectant and part styling product, so it leaves strands as soft, smooth and sleek as it does shielded from the perils of your precious tools.
Moroccanoil Heat Styling Protection
Want to use a spray but stressed about sticky residue? This one smells like a tropical vacation (delightful), limits the whole 'split ends' thing (appreciated) and leaves dry hair feeling hydrated, but not damp.
Hair Rituel by Sisley Protective Hair Fluid
This fluid spray doesn't stop at just heat; it also shields against UVA and UVB rays, salt and chlorine. Clever, huh? Basically, if you're faking beach waves pre-beach day, this is your winner.
Sebastian Trilliant Heat Protect Spray
Damage-related dullness getting you down? Add shine back in while also limiting future lustre loss with this gloss-boosting spritz. It helps to add body, too, so it's the perfect addition to a blow-drying routine.