Heat Protectant 101: Protect Those Locks

Key Points

  • Heat damage on your hair occurs through over-styling without the use of a heat protectant.

  • Heat protectants come in multiple different forms and understanding your hair type helps you choose the appropriate one.

  • Check the ingredients list on protectants before purchasing them to verify that it's made with safe and effective ingredients.

  • Apply heat protectant in six easy steps.

Ladies and gentlemen, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed — heat styling! From straightening irons to curling wands, everyone loves to switch up their hairstyles and experiment with new looks. Have you ever stopped to consider the potential damage you're causing to your luscious locks? That's where heat protectant comes into play.

Sure, you might love the look of silky, straight hair or beachy waves, but at what cost? Heat styling causes serious damage to your hair, making it dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Nobody wants to deal with that. Not to worry! There's a simple solution — heat protectant!

This magical product helps to shield your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling, giving you luscious, healthy-looking locks that make heads turn.

If you're someone who can't resist the lure of a hot styling tool, this article is for you. Dive into everything you need to know about heat protectants — from understanding heat damage to choosing the right product for your hair type. Who knows, you might just discover some natural heat protectant options that you can make right in your own kitchen.

Grab your hairbrush and get ready to learn how to protect your tresses and slay those hot hair looks!

Understanding Heat Protectant

Heat damage occurs when you apply excessive heat to your hair, leading to the loss of natural moisture, protein, and oils in the hair shaft. This results in a range of issues, including frizz, breakage, split ends, and dryness.

“I’d highly recommend a heat protectant to anyone who uses a blow dryer or hot tools directly on their hair, to eliminate as much heat damage as possible,” explains celebrity hairstylist Alexander Armand.

Heat styling tools are used to style hair, but they also cause damage to the hair if not used properly. There are various types of heat styling tools, including flat irons, curling irons, hot rollers, and blow dryers.

Flat irons and curling irons use high temperatures to straighten or curl hair. The heat from these tools causes hair to become brittle, leading to breakage and split ends. Hot rollers also use high temperatures, which dries and weakens hair. Blow dryers use hot air to dry hair, which also produces heat damage if used excessively.

Heat protectant products prevent heat damage by creating a barrier between the heat styling tool and the hair. These products contain ingredients that protect the hair from excessive heat, such as silicone and dimethicone. They also seal in moisture, preventing the hair from becoming dry and brittle.

The Different Types of Heat Protectants

There are different types of heat protectants available, including creams, sprays, and oils. Each has unique properties and benefits.

Applying heat protectant to hair

Heat Protectant Spray

Sprays are the most common type of heat protectants on the market. They provide an easy and convenient way to shield the hair from heat damage. Heat protectant sprays usually contain polymers, silicones, and other conditioning agents that coat the hairs and form a protective barrier around them. They are easy to apply and distribute evenly without leaving any residue on the hair.

In terms of application, celebrity hairstylist Ryan Richman explains that “a spray protectant should be used section by section as opposed to misting throughout the hair before using tools.”

Heat Protectant Cream

Heat protectant creams are much heavier and thicker than sprays. They are ideal for individuals with thicker and coarser hair textures. Heat protectant creams contain a higher concentration of conditioning agents and oils to protect hair from damage. Creams work best when applied to damp hair before blow drying or heat styling.

Heat Protectant Serums

Heat protectant serums are lightweight and ideal for those with fine or thin hair types. They typically contain a blend of natural oils, silicones, and other conditioning agents that shield hair from heat damage while providing shine and frizz control.

Ingredients To Look For

When you purchase a heat protectant, it's essential to make sure certain ingredients are present in whichever formula you decide to use. Key ingredients protect the hair and keep it looking shiny and healthy.


Silicones are one of the most common ingredients found in heat protectants. They coat the hair and form a protective barrier that reduces heat damage. Some common silicones in heat protectants include dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and phenyl trimethicone.

Natural Oils

Natural oils such as argan oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil provide additional moisture to the hair while also adding some extra protection from excessive heat. Natural oils penetrate the hair shaft and add a layer of protection around the hair to minimize damage.

Heat styling on hair


Panthenol is a form of vitamin B5 that strengthens and hydrates the hair. Panthenol also works to prevent heat damage from styling tools by forming a protective layer around the base of the hair.

Ingredients To Avoid

Just as there are ingredients that you want to see on the label, there are also ingredients that you want to avoid. Certain elements dry out the hair and counteract any heat damage protection the product provides.


Alcohol is found in many hair care products, including heat protectants. It's extremely drying to the hair, and prolonged use causes damage and breakage.


Sulfates are harsh detergents that strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture. It's not uncommon to see sulfates on the ingredients list for heat protectants, so it's important to look for sulfate-free options to avoid damaging your hair.

How To Use Heat Protectant

Proper application of heat protectant is crucial to ensure maximum protection and prevent damage to your hair. By following these steps, you're sure to keep your hair as healthy as possible while doing your do.

Choose the Right Heat Protectant

There are different types of heat protectants available in the market, such as sprays, serums, creams, and oils. Choose a product that suits your hair type and the heat styling tool you plan to use.

Start With Clean, Damp Hair

Always apply heat protectant to clean, damp hair. After washing your hair, towel-dry it and remove excess water before putting on the heat protectant.

Using hair product

Use the Right Amount

The amount of heat protectant you need depends on the length and thickness of your hair. Generally, a pea-sized amount of product is enough for short hair. Increase the amount for longer hair.

Distribute Evenly

Once you have the right amount of heat protectant, distribute it evenly throughout your hair. If you use a spray, hold the bottle six to eight inches away from your hair and spray evenly. If you use a serum or oil, apply it to your palms, rub them together, and then run it through your hair.

Avoid the Roots

Don't apply heat protectant to the roots of your hair as this makes your hair look greasy and weighs it down. Apply the product to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair.

Comb Through

After applying the heat protectant, comb your hair to distribute it evenly and start styling without the worry of heat damage.

Top-Rated Heat Protectants

Heat protectants are essential if you regularly style your hair with heat tools like flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers. These products protect your hair from damage caused by high temperatures and help maintain its health and shine.

There is a myriad of heat protectants out there and it's super challenging to find one that's meant for your hair type. Explore some of the best heat protectants available, including those made with natural ingredients and those designed for specific hair types. Whether you have straight, curly, fine, or thick hair, there's a heat protectant out there for you.

Spraying hair product onto ends of hair

Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray

Restore Perfecting Spray
Now $32.00

by Living Proof 

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Living proof Restore Perfecting Spray is a multi-tasking leave-in conditioner designed to restore and protect dry, damaged, or color-treated hair. This lightweight spray detangles hair, provides hydration and nourishment, and protects hair from heat and environmental stressors.

Formulated with Living proof's patented Healthy Hair Molecule, Restore Perfecting Spray contains a blend of moisturizing and conditioning ingredients, such as silk proteins, glycerin, and panthenol, that soften, smooth, and de-frizz hair.

Living proof Restore Perfecting Spray also works great on curly locks. It detangles wavy to coily hair types effectively and ensures your curls look and feel conditioned and silky. Celebrity hair stylists swear by this product.

Best of all, this product also acts as a heat protectant, shielding hair from heat styling tools up to 450°F (232°C). It's suitable for all hair types, including those with chemically treated hair.

Pantene Pro-V Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protectant

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If you don't want to break the bank on heat protectants, then the Pantene Pro-V Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protectant is an excellent option. Formulated with a blend of lightweight conditioning agents, this heat protectant smooths and protects hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and manageable.

It also contains a unique thermal polymer that distributes heat evenly throughout the hair, reducing the risk of hot spots and protecting hair from root to tip.

Oribe Balm D'Or Heat Styling Shield

Balm D'Or Heat Styling Shield
Now $33.00

by Oribe 

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The high-end Oribe Balm D'Or Heat Styling Shield provides superior protection and nourishment. If you're looking for a luxurious heat protectant that protects your hair from damage while maintaining its softness, shine, and frizz-free look, then check out this product.

The heat protectant is enriched with argan oil, coconut oil, and macadamia oil. These ingredients contain antioxidants and work together to condition and strengthen the hair.

Heat damage and dry hair

DIY Heat Protectant

Feeling a little hesitant to purchase a heat protectant filled with ingredients that you don't recognize? No worries! Make your own heat protectant using common household ingredients.

Aloe Vera Heat Protectant Recipe

This homemade aloe vera heat protectant spray lasts about two weeks and contains natural ingredients. It's perfect for many different hair types.


  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel

  • 1/4 cup distilled water

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil

  • 1 teaspoon argan oil

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil

In a small bowl, mix together the aloe vera gel and distilled water until it's well combined. Add the avocado oil, argan oil, and vegetable glycerin and stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the lavender essential oil and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a clean, empty spray bottle.

To use, spray the heat protectant onto damp hair before using any heat styling tools.

Combing product in damp hair

Protect Your Hair!

Give your hair the love and protection it deserves with the use of heat protectant! Don't let heat styling tools ruin your hair's natural beauty and health. With the right product and proper application, achieve fabulous and healthy-looking hair even after the frequent use of heat styling tools.

Remember, heat protectant isn't just an ordinary hair product — it's your hair's superhero. It's your shield against the damaging effects of heat, and it makes all the difference in keeping your locks looking luscious and healthy.

Make heat protectant application a fun part of your hair care routine! Put on some music, gather your tools, and have a blast while applying the product. Get creative with different types of heat protectants and experiment with new styles. Who knows, you might even discover a new favorite product or a new signature hairstyle.

With heat protectant by your side, confidently flaunt your hair in any style you want without the worry of damage. Treat your locks to some protection and care. Your hair thanks you!

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