We put our locks through a lot. They’ve been blasted with a hair dryer, curled with a hot iron, clamped down and flattened … and sometimes all three in one styling sesh. Heat styling is just a fact of life (unless you have naturally amazing hair that air dries to perfection – in which case, consider us very jealous), but that doesn’t mean you should just allow your strands to be poked, prodded and fried without some form of protection. Today, we’re sharing our ultimate guide to heat protectant products. Most of these prep products coat your hair with a layer of silicone and silicone-based ingredients to provide a shield between your strands and the burning-hot temps of whatever styling tool you choose to use. Other than just protecting, many of them also double as styling products and will leave your hair feeling sleek, soft and shiny; consider them your mane's knight in shining (pun intended) armor. Below, our tips on finding the right heat protectant product for your hair type:
Protect with: Sprays, serums
Using lotions and creams before heat styling will weigh your hair down. Instead, give your hair a spritz of heat protectant spray or run a light serum through it before styling; they’ll guard your strands without the heaviness of thicker products.
Product Picks: Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Thermo-Active Spray; Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist; TRESemme Heat Tamer Spray
Protect with: Lotions, crèmes, serums
The best way to prep thick, unruly hair for heat styling? Sleek-ifying lotions, creams and serums. These products will give your locks a dose of moisture while taming unruliness and helping fight frizz.
Product Picks: Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique; John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula
Protect with: Sprays, serums, mousse
To bring out your hair’s natural wave, skip the heavy heat protecting products – they’ll leave you with limp strands. Instead, reach for sprays, serums and mousses to protect your hair without sacrificing body and curl.
Product Picks: L’Oréal Paris Elnett Heat Protectant Spray; Matrix Total Results Heat Resist Iron Tamer Smoothing Lotion; Ojon Rare Blend Protecting Treatment
Protect with: Lotions, crèmes, gels
Prep your strands for your favorite diffuser with a heat protectant lotion, cream or gel – they’ll help smooth flyaways and add definition to your curly q’s.
Product Picks: Matrix Total Results Heat Resist Blowout Tamer Shape Enhancing Gel; Dove Style+Care Frizz-Free Shine Cream-Serum
How do you protect your hair against damage from heat styling? Sound off in the comments!