The heat protectants that saved our hair from damage
If you heat style your hair, your kit needs one of these
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / March 18 2019
Heat styling your hair isn’t the best for the health of your hair. But since we are partial to that confidence boost a good blow-dry gives us, and its ability to tame our fluffy, frizzy hair with the slide of a straightener, we’re not even going to pretend that we’re going to give up our hot tools. So using a heat protectant EVERY time we heat style is the next best thing.
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, 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. They don't give you 100 per cent protection from heat damage, but they definitely minimise how much damage those extreme heats cause to your locks. Most heat protectants will simultaneously lock in moisture and reduce water evaporation. You can even find some that speed up your blow-dry time! (We’ve found a couple of winners for you below.)
Heat protectants used to predominantly come in a lightweight spray form, but nowadays you’ll find heat protecting benefits have been added to many styling creams and hair oils. You can use heat protectants on both dry and damp hair.
How to choose the right one?
It can be hard to know if a heat protectant is working. 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.
To help you on your search to find a goodie, our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members have shared their reviews for the best heat protectant they’ve found.
#11 / TONI&GUY Heat Protection Mist
The review: “I like Toni & Guy Heat Protection Mist due to the fact that I can travel with it as I can lock the pump. I blow-dry and straighten my hair after every wash so I need a good protectant to stop breakage and heat damage to my hair. This product actually conditions the hair as I straighten and the finish look is smoother and softer. It doesn't weigh the hair down either. Just a fine mist.” Amanda C, SUPERcrew member
#10 / Evo Head Mistress Cuticle Sealer
The review: “I have dry and colour-treated hair and this really keeps my hair from becoming a frizzled mess. It is nice and creamy but doesn't add a huge amount of weight, and it actually adds a shine!” Milan, SUPERcrew member
#9 / TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray
The review: “It protects my hair from the heat of the straightener; it smells amazing; it doesn't make my hair greasy or oily. It stops the awful frizz and keeps hair looking beautiful and natural!” Amanda G, SUPERcrew member
#8 / KMS Thermashape Quick Blow Dry
The review: “I straighten and blow dry my hair ALL the time, so having a solid heat protectant in my kit is a serious must. I’ve been using KMS Thermashape Quick Blow Dry for a few months now, and I’m a big fan. Not only does it stop me from burning the life out of my hair, but it speeds up drying time and helps reduce frizz at the same time. A big plus for me since I’m always running late!” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
#7 / ghd unplugged® Heat Protection Spray
The review: “This heat protect spray does just that - protects hair from any damage that is caused by heat styling. I spray onto damp hair, then comb through to distribute product evenly. The spray is very lightweight so it feels like there's nothing in your hair and it leaves a lingering, subtle, sweet scent. You'll also notice hair is smoothed and fly-aways are kept at bay.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
#6 / Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk
The review: “The best heat protectant for me is Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk. I love it because it keeps the moisture in my hair after I blow-dry, instead of it being dried to a crisp, and it feels like I’m not destroying my brittle hair when I heat style it.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
#5 / Moroccanoil Heat Styling Protection
The review: “My favourite heat protectant is the Moroccanoil Heat Style Protectant. It comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle, smells great, and protects my hair from split ends or damage when using my straightener every day, without leaving behind a wet or sticky residue.” Alex, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Vitafive CPR Fortify CC Crème
The review: “I have a big issue with spraying something wet onto my hair just before I straighten it. That sizzle sound sends chills down my spine. What I love about this one is it goes on straight after washing my hair (it’s also a leave-in treatment with a total of 13 benefits - gotta love a multitasker!) then I can either blow-dry or air-dry my hair. By the time it comes to straightening, I can just get on with it. No extra step and no sizzle.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
#3 / Hair Rituel by Sisley Protective Hair Fluid
The review: “This new fluid from Sisley is amazing. The spray protects hair from heat, UVA and UVB rays, and also adds a protective shield from salt and chlorine. It also smells amazing…it will definitely be coming with me on my upcoming beach holiday to Noosa.” Toni Hynes, Who and New Idea’s Beauty Editor
#2 / Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment
The review: “I started using the Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment during/after summer more for the added hydration it provides than the heat protection it offers, but I’ve noticed since using it that adding it into my routine pre-drying has definitely left my hair softer and so much easier to manage. I love that it also gives added UV protection and helps detangle my hair. An all-around winner for me.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#1 / Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Treatment Primer Cream
The review: “Call it high-maintenance, but I’m someone that likes to blow-dry my hair every time after I wash it. This product is ace as it can nourish and soften my hair, as well as prevent breakage and protect it from the direct heat it receives from a hair dryer. Oh, and did I mention that it can also cut down on time, eliminating the dreaded arm ache that tends to happen about five minutes into an at-home blow-dry?!” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
If you’re looking for a great hair treatment to repair any heat damage you’ve already done, these are the best hair masks for the job.
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What’s your favourite hair heat protectant? Share your reviews with us below - we’d love to hear from you!
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.