9 Best Heat Protectants in 2023

Stylists recommend always using a heat protectant before using heated styling tools such as curling irons, straighteners or hair dryers.

In their opinion, these products are “absolutely effective,” as celebrity stylist Michelle Cleveland explains. She recommends that anyone using a heat tool always have a heat protectant on hand.

That’s because heat protectants, also called heat sprays, coat the hair with a layer of substances such as humectants, amino acids and keratins that lock in moisture and form a shield-like armour once the heat hits, Cleveland explains. This prevents strands from becoming extremely damaged, such as hair breakage and dry, brittle ends.

What Is Heat Protectant? 

To prevent your hair from being damaged when styling with heat tools, use a heat protectant. Hair can become dry and brittle from excessive use of heat styling tools such as blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons.

To protect your hair from heat styling tools, a protective barrier must be placed between your hair and the heating tool. This barrier reduces the amount of heat that reaches the hair shaft, helping to maintain the health and moisture of the hair.

The best heat protectants come in a variety of formulations; choose the product that best suits your hair! If you are not sure which product to use, ask your hairdresser. To protect your hair from heat damage, you only need to use one heat protectant.

9 Best Heat Protectants

1. Pantene Pro-V Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protectant

Pantene Pro-V Nutrient Boost Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protection Pre-Styling Spray, 6.4 Fl oz, 5.243 Fl oz

You may not want to spend a lot of money on your hair because you frequently use heat appliances and use up protective products like water quickly. 

This ubiquitous drugstore product is an excellent choice regardless of your needs. Spray it on your hair before you style it, and the heat protection polymers in the formula will protect your hair from heat appliances up to 450 degrees.

2. Oribe Balm D’Or Heat Styling Shield

Oribe Balm D'Or Heat Styling Shield, 3.4 oz

Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, claims this product protects hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, manages frizz and restores moisture to dry hair. 

She also thinks it’s great because it can be used alone or as a base for other products (it contains valuable nutrients like biotin and passion fruit oil).

3. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer, scent with sweet, fruity hints 8.5 Fl Oz

This white foundation has everything you need: it moisturizes, detangles, reduces frizz and protects hair from heat styling tools. 

Although it’s full of valuable oils like coconut, argan, almond and safflower seeds, the product will not make your hair feel weighed down. (However, if you plan to incorporate additional products into your routine, such as leave-in conditioner or shine spray, use it sparingly.)

This product does double duty as a leave-in conditioner, softening and repairing brittle strands while moisturizing dry hair. Thanks to the formula’s UV protection, hair is protected from the sun’s drying rays. 

Due to the high content of nourishing oils, the conditioner is effective even in high humidity, when frizz usually occurs. This all-purpose product can do just about anything.

Apply this primer to damp hair before blow drying for best results. It instantly eliminates tangles and makes your mane easier to comb. If you want your hair to look its best and be protected from heat styling tools, use two or three more gentle sprays after blow drying.

4. Moroccanoil Perfect Defense Heat Protectant

Moroccanoil Perfect Defense Heat Protectant, 6 Fl Oz

This spray serves two purposes: it protects hair from heat and gives it unprecedented shine. The lightweight formula contains argan oil, which intensely nourishes the hair and gives it a shine like the sun. 

This heat protectant stands out from the crowd because it is administered in a dry aerosol form and works on both damp and dry hair. This protects each strand of hair from any type of heat exposure. It is easy to use too much because it sprays so quickly from the can.

Holden recommends this particular Moroccanoil product, “Because of the hydration [and] hold, I like to use this product on medium to thick hair types for a shiny finish with a little bounce. The spray can control frizz for a long time because it is specifically designed for coarse hair.

5. Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray

Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray, 4 Ounces

Curly heads should always use a heat protectant, whether they use a blow dryer and straightener to smooth their natural texture or a curling iron to give their curls more definition. 

This option uses a blend of natural oils to protect hair from heat styling tools, boost its shine and tame frizz.

6. Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray

Pureology Color Fanatic Leave-in Conditioner Hair Treatment Detangler Spray | Protects Hair Color From Fading | Heat Protectant | Vegan | 13.5 Fl Oz

Next to water, heat is the worst enemy of hair dyes. Hair that has been exposed to too much heat also has trouble absorbing the colour evenly. 

You can use this spray for any hair type and texture, and it gives you 21 different benefits, including protection from heat styling tools and fading of coloured strands.

7. Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, 30 ml

This repairing and heat-protecting oil is a must if your hair has already been damaged by styling tools, and a must if you want to avoid further heat damage in the future. 

All Olaplex products, including this one (which the editors at Byrdie love), repair damaged protein bonds in the hair. In short, hair becomes smoother, softer, shinier and stronger, and gets a more vibrant color.

8. Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

Aguirre also believes that this choice of Oribe is a great help, especially for untamed hair. Even if you have curly hair, it will protect you from the heat and help you achieve a great blowout, she explains.

9. Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray

Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray | Time-Saving Thermal Protectant | Medium To Coarse Hair | 3.4 fl. oz.

Although most heat protectants are designed for dry hair, this Kenra product can also be used in wet hair. It instantly eliminates frizz and tangles in the hair, making it ready for styling with a blow dryer. If you’re pressed for time but still need to look presentable, a product that cuts blow-drying time in half can make a big difference.

We love that it doesn’t damage extensions or keratin-treated hair. It also has a subtle, fruity scent with undertones of tropical mango and invigorating water lily that will keep your hair smelling great for hours. If you don’t want to use it on wet hair, you can also use it on dry hair before using a hot styling tool. 

Also, you can use this mist along with other hair products like mousse, hairspray or oil without worrying about weight. If your hair tends to get greasy easily, this may not be the ideal choice for you.

Benefits Of Heat Protectants

One of the best ways to reduce the damage of heat styling is to use a heat protectant. The protective layer they form acts like a buffer between your hair and the appliance, protecting it from damage.

This reduces the risk of hair breakage, split ends and other damage. There are various sprays, serums and lotions that can be used as heat protectors. Some leave-in conditioners and treatments can provide long-lasting protection, but most products need to be reapplied after each wash.

Anyone who uses heat styling products on a daily basis should include heat protectants in their hair care routine. It is possible to maintain the health and beauty of your hair by using a heat protectant.

Is Heat Protectant Worth It?

It’s important to find a heat protectant that suits your hair type among the numerous products available on the market. For example, if you’ve thin or fine hair, you need a spray that won’t make it look even thinner.

However, if your hair is particularly thick or curly, you need a solution that offers maximum protection without weighing it down unnecessarily.

However, there’s a heat protectant on the market that will work for your hair type. If you want to have healthy, beautiful hair for years, don’t wait until your hair is damaged to use a heat protectant, but incorporate it into your normal styling.

How To Shop For The Best Heat Protectant?

For optimal hair health and appearance, heat protectants are a must. However, with so much to choose from, it can be difficult to find the product that best suits your needs.

Here are some factors to consider when looking for a heat protectant:

  • Think about the usual heat styling you do: If you routinely use curling irons or straighteners, a product that can withstand high heat is essential. Otherwise, a product with lower heat resistance is sufficient.
  • Consider your hair texture and colour. Whether your hair is fine, thick or anything in between, there is a heat protectant for you.
  • You should always check the labels: Make sure the product does not contain any harmful chemicals or allergens that could harm your hair. If you find a heat protectant that meets these conditions, you can use it to protect your hair without hesitation.

Heat Protectants FAQs

How long should you wait after applying heat protectant?

You’ll not have to wait as long as you may think. Using a heat styling tool requires the use of a heat protectant in wet or dry hair. After using it, you can immediately start styling your hair. Don’t bother waiting until the hair is cured or dried before using a styling tool on it.

To avoid damage, spray on a high-quality heat protection spray or heat serum before using a heat styling tool on your hair. You can heat your hair as much as you like, as it’ll be protected from the heat and still look great.

Can you get heat damage if you use a heat protectant?

Applying a heat protectant to your hair before using heated styling tools can help minimize the risk of damage.

Using heat protectants can help reduce the likelihood of heat damage, but they are not a guarantee. Unfortunately, you can still cause damage to your hair if you use too much heat or do not use the product properly.

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and do a quick strand test on a small section of hair before applying the product to your entire head. It’s ideal to prevent heat damage, because fixing it after the fact can be expensive.

How We Chose The Best Heat Protectants?

To ensure we’re aware of all of the brands out there, we do extensive research online and at the industry’s leading online retailers before making a final decision. We consider many factors, including consumer feedback, star ratings, brand philosophy, production methods, raw resources, and ease of access. We take the time to think through the benefits and drawbacks so that you don’t have to.

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