Your hair can be the most easily adapted accessory in your fashion and beauty arsenal – some people even change theirs daily! But, all that colouring and styling and blow drying can really take its toll, leaving hair dull, damaged and lifeless.
That’s where a heat protectant spray, serum or balm can be your next best friend and a total lifesaver.
If you’re styling your hair with any kind of heat and not using a protectant, stop right now. Seriously, stop! In order to keep your hair in tip-top condition and minimise any breakages or splitting, you need to be using a heat protecting spray or product.
Have you ever seen a hairdresser take to your strands with a blow dryer or flat iron without first applying some kind of spray or serum to protect your hair? No? Well don’t you do it either!
Every single time you pull out your hair straightener, blow dryer, curling wand, hot rollers, crimper or any other hair styling tool which uses any form of heat, you should also be pulling some kind of product to protect your precious locks out of the cupboard at the same time.
If you haven’t used one before or have seen them but wonder if they actually work, this article is for you!
- What do heat protectants actually do?
- Best Heat Protectant for Natural Hair
- 1. TRESemmé Expert Selection Pre-Styling Spray
- 2. amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
- 3. ArtNaturals Thermal Hair Protector Spray
- 4. HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector
- 5. Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus with Argan Oil
- 6. Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Blow Out Balm
- 7. Peter Coppola Just Blow Blowout Spray
- 8. Silk Elements Strength ‘n Silk Coconut Heat Protection Spray
- When and how to use a heat protectant
What do heat protectants actually do?
Yes, some may think they’re just another product created to get you to buy and spend more, a clever add-on or up-sell with a hair straightener or curling iron, but heat protectors are the real deal and work in a number of ways.
They add moisture and protect
All those special oils and vitamins mentioned in the ads and on the labels are likely providing a good hit of moisture for your parched locks. The formulas are like a lightweight conditioner to smooth and nourish hair before you turn the temperature up. The layer of heat protectant also locks moisture into each strand and stops it escaping.
They form a barrier
The silicones (good, water-soluble ones, anyway) in thermal protecting sprays help form a barrier over hair which protects it from heat. It also helps to deflect damaging UV rays – kind of like sunscreen.
They speed up styling time
Those ingredients locking in moisture and forming a protective barrier actually help to dry hair faster, getting you out the door and into your day quickly and easily.
So, now you know what heat protectant formulas actually do, are you thinking you might need one? Yes? Great – excellent choice!
Best Heat Protectant for Natural Hair
Now there’s no need to stress or get overwhelmed but there are a lot of options so we’ve taken a look at quite a few available on the market and have pulled together a list of our top ten heat protectants.
Trust us, your hair will thank you later when you start using these – they’ll help you keep it in great condition and it’ll be softer and shinier than ever.
1. TRESemmé Expert Selection Pre-Styling Spray
With TRESemmé, you know you’re getting a professional quality formula. The Expert Selection Pre-Styling Spray, Repair & Protect 7 works to visibly repair hair from a range of styling damage – 7 types to be precise – brushing, blow-drying, bleaching, coloring, curling, flat-ironing and braiding.
The formula includes Biotin which not only protects hair from heat, but also works to prevent pesky breakage and split ends – exactly what you need in a heat protectant.
Use this product before styling as you can also layer other styling products on top due to the light-weight conditioning formula. You can even use it on colour-treated hair with no problems.
For maximum impact, you can use this heat protectant with other products from the TRESemmé Repair & Protect 7 Collection to help further protect and repair your hair.
2. amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
If you’re looking to double up on heat protection and a little help with styling all in one single product, this one’s for you. The amika Bombshell Blowout Spray not only gives weightless heat protection, but also adds a fairly good amount of volume, body and, of course, texture to your style.
This formula contains Panthenol, also known as Provitamin B5, which helps protect your hair against breakage and reduce your already split ends, as well as smooth and strengthen.
Spray it on each section of hair as you blow dry from roots to the ends, or a day or two later use it as a re-styling spray on dry hair. It’s safe to use on colour-treated hair and is perfect for all hair types.
3. ArtNaturals Thermal Hair Protector Spray
This product is perfect for those who prefer natural ingredients – the ArtNaturals brand is 100 percent natural, using a lot of aromatherapy and essential oils in their products, as well as being paraben free, sulfate free and cruelty free!
The Thermal Shield Leave-In Conditioner helps to protect and recondition hair by hydrating and moisturising, then protecting against heat. It also helps your hair escape damage from sun and humidity before you head outdoors.
Ingredients include natural extracts of rosemary, peach, thyme, sage, and ginseng. The formula is enriched with argan oil to stimulate new hair growth.
Enjoy shinier, healthier locks with more bounce and lustre, and protect against hair loss with the ArtNaturals Thermal Hair Protector Spray.
4. HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector
If you’re looking for the same heat protection you’d get in a professional salon, look no further than the HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector. It protects your hair from temperatures up to whopping 450º F.
The argan oil enriched formula is a light, almost weightless mist you can use before styling with your favourite tools to hydrate, boost shine and dry hair faster. It performs double duty as it can also be used as a leave in conditioning serum to give you smooth, hydrated locks any day.
Use it on any hair type including coloured hair and human hair extensions. It’s completely free of sulfates, phosphates and parabens.
5. Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus with Argan Oil
This professional quality formula uses with an advanced lightweight two layer protection technology which help to repair hair while guarding against further damage from heat. It also helps to detangle strands and eliminate pesky frizz on natural hair as well as extensions, wigs and permed hair.
Argan oil is a key ingredient and conditions and moisturises to leave hair shiny, soft and silky – much easier to manage than ever before. The formula even smells fantastic as it used the Arvazallia signature fragrance – no nasty chemical smells here!
There are many treatments in the Arvazallia Professional Series which the heat protectant works well with including the Argan Oil Hair Treatment , Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask, Ultra Curl Defining Cream and the Advanced Color Care System.
6. Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Blow Out Balm
Take your blow drying routine out of the everyday with the Beyond the Zone Smooth Criminal Blow Out Balm. This lightweight balm formula helps to smooth and seal the hair cuticle which will deliver shine and smoothness for a great end result.
It includes thermal protectors to shield hair from heat styling damage and the balm will also ensure your blow drying time is minimised. Rest assured you’re getting a high quality formula as it does not contain sulfate, paraben or gluten.
7. Peter Coppola Just Blow Blowout Spray
A professional level thermal protectant, the Peter Coppola Just Blow Blowout Spray is a non-aerosol spray. It can help to reduce blow drying time by up to 50% – you could afford a sleep in with a product that’ll help you get your hair dry this fast. Spray it onto damp hair and comb through before blow drying.
The formula will help to relax and smooth hair for a silkier, straighter finish. It also helps hair to shine and appear fresh and vibrant.
Just Blow is great for those with thick, coarse or curly hair as the natural conditioning formula adds a good dose of moisture and bounce while working to reduce overall size and frizz.
8. Silk Elements Strength ‘n Silk Coconut Heat Protection Spray
This formula is perfect for those with relaxed or natural hair to use to protect against heat damage. It uses silk to both seal and strengthen the cuticle.
The Silk Elements Strength ‘n Silk Coconut Heat Protection Spray will help achieve the soft, silky hair of your dreams with amazing shine too.
Before blow drying, spray the formula on damp hair. It can also be used on dry hair before styling with a flat iron or curling wand. Avoid using your spray on the roots, concentrate on the mid sections and ends instead.
When and how to use a heat protectant
You’ve picked the product for you but when and how do you actually use it? Before you use a blow dryer or any heat styling tool, you should be using a heat protectant whether hair is wet or dry.
To ensure the product gets evenly distributed through your hair and is therefore more effective, be sure to section it off then spray each and comb through.
Other ways to help prevent heat damage
Using a heat protectant serum or spray certainly isn’t the only way to protect your locks from heat damage, though it is a fantastic place to start!
Let hair at least partially air dry
If you can get as much moisture out as possible before you go near the blow dryer, it’ll be quicker and there’ll be less time to cause any damage. Gently squeeze hair in a towel to remove excess moisture. You can also buy special towel turbans in many stores which are designed to quickly and gently draw out moisture, you can even make your own with an old cotton t-shirt.
Step away from the heat stylers
While it’s nice to have silky smooth straight hair, it’s not worth causing damage. Try taking a break from blow drying or your straightening iron at least a few times per week.
You can get an extra day out of your stye with dry shampoo or even just leave hair to air dry and add a syling product to give you undone, beachy waves or put it into a braid or ponytail. There’s plenty of styles you can try without heat styling tools, you might even see savings on your electricity bill!
Take it down a notch
There’s no reason you need the highest heat setting when using your blow dryer or styling tools. The highest settings are meant for salon treatments and thick, coarse hair. Be sure to adjust the temperature to your hair type.
Don’t give away all the attention at once
Take care to properly section hair and try to go over each sections as few times as possible. When using a straightening iron or curling wand, it should only take one pass to style, otherwise try using small sections of hair.
Use technology to your advantage
Ionic blow dryers create millions of negative ions, helping to break down water which means faster drying time. Choose a dryer with this technology and you’ll be styled and out the door in no time, and with less damage too!
When it comes to a flat iron, choose a tool with ceramic plates so it evenly distributes heat.
Using hair masks or treatments on regular basis will help to nourish and moisturise hair, keep it stronger and more resilient while minimising damage.
If it’s dry, brittle split ends that are causing problems, head to your hairdresser and cut them off. You can get rid of the damage and concentrate your efforts on healthier, shinier hair.
We hope you’ve found some useful tips and recommendations for choosing a heat protectant and styling your hair. Now you can look forward to stronger, healthier and shinier hair every single day!