After putting in so much work and effort into keeping your hair healthy and lustrous, it would be a shame to throw it all away due to heat damage. Heat styling can cause our hair cuticle to open up. This destroys the keratin in our hair that provides strength and elasticity to our hair strands.
Excessive heat isn’t good for hair, but that doesn’t stop us from using flat irons, blow dryers, and curling wands to achieve that perfect look. Since styling has become routine in many women’s beauty regimens, we’re giving you ideas on how you can protect your hair from heat damage.
One of the key ways to prevent heat damage is by using the best heat protectants.
6 Best Heat Protectants for Natural Hair
#1. HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector – Best Two In One Product: Heat Protectant and Conditioner
HSI Professional Argan Protector is a light and weightless mist that protects your hair from heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It is infused with an argan oil thermal shield which creates a protective and nourishing barrier between your mane and styling tools.
This heat protectant spray also doubles as a leave-in conditioner and detangler to make your hair smoother and shinier. You can use it daily to protect your hair before working on a style or on its own to condition and detangle your hair.
All of HSI’s hair care products are manufactured in the US. Its antioxidant-rich ingredient argan oil has vitamins A, B, C, and D. Together these nutrients protect your hair from heat damage while keeping your hair shiny and healthy.
HSI’s heat protectants work on all types of hair. It is also color-safe. HSI’s protector is cruelty-free and devoid of sulfates, phosphates, and parabens.
- Can be used as a leave-in conditioner
- Chemical-free formula is cruelty-free and contains no sulfates, phosphates, and parabens
- Provides heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lightweight and leaves no oily or sticky residue
- Some people might find the smell overpowering
- Pricier than other heat protectants in this review
#2. Design Essentials Natural Agave & Lavender – Best Heat Protectant Serum
Design Essentials Natural Agave & Lavender is a thermal protectant serum for fine to normal hair types and is safe for colored and chemically treated hair. It provides hair with a silky finish while protecting it from styling.
It is part of a collection of agave and lavender products from Design Essentials which includes a moisturizing hair bath, moisturizing and detangling conditioner, blow-dry and styling primer, thermal protection cream, and weightless protection serum. The entire line is aimed at helping you maintain healthy-looking hair (even if it’s heat-styled) without damaging your curls or silky tresses. You can buy the entire set for a lower price or individually.
The protectant serum contains agave extract to soften, condition, and strengthen hair, lavender extract to nourish and strengthen, and mango butter to provide intense moisture making natural hair look even more beautiful.
It protects your hair from heat by adding a layer of protection against heat styling tools. It also claims to increase the strength and density of your strands while promoting hair growth by preventing hair loss and breakage.
Unlike the HSI Heat Protectant, this product is meant to be used after hair is blow-dried but before styling. Apply a small amount to dry hair then style with your preferred heat styling tool.
Design Essentials’ Agave and Lavender Serum does not contain any gluten, parabens, paraffin, mineral oil, and petrolatum. It is also cruelty-free and made in the US.
- Can be used individually or as part of the entire set for best results
- Lightweight formula doesn’t weigh hair down
- Promotes hair growth and minimizes hair loss
- Has a nice light scent
- Can only be used on dry hair
#3. Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Cream – Best Heat Protectant for Men and Women
Briogeo’s heat protectant product is a heat protectant creme for people with frizzy, dry, or heat-styled hair. It can also be used on hair that has been relaxed or has undergone a color, keratin, or chemical treatment. Briogeo provides heat protection or thermal protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
This heat protector cream is infused with nourishing ingredients to help maintain the beauty of your natural hair, curl pattern, and protect it against heat styling:
- Rosehip oil hydrates, prevents frizz and split ends
- Argan oil conditions hair and combats dryness
- Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and seals in moisture to protect against breakage and excessive heat. This product claims to reduce breakage by up to 85%.
- Vitamin E softens hair and promotes hair health
Ideally, this product should be applied before using heat tools like a blow dryer or flat irons. It contains no harsh sulfates, silicone, phthalates, DEA, parabens, and artificial dyes. It is also cruelty-free.
- Reduces breakage by up to 85%
- Non-irritating and can be used by people with sensitive scalps
- Suitable for frizzy, dry, colored, chemically treated, and heat-styled hair
- Scent and packaging work for both men and women
- Frizz-fighting ingredients may not work on extremely frizzy hair
#4. L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray – Best Protector for Straight Hair
As the name implies, L’Oréal’s Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray was made for women who love their hair straight and silky. This lightweight formula provides you with up to 450 degrees heat protection and frizz-free, shiny hair for up to three days.
Sleek It Iron Straight relies on a silicone coat that helps to lock in moisture and protect your hair from heat damage caused by heat styling tools. It also fights against frizz caused by humidity while maintaining the natural integrity and volume of your hair.
To get sleek silky hair, apply this thermal spray treatment in sections as you use heat tools like a flat iron for the straightening process.
If you prefer to have your hair in waves or tighter curls, L’Oréal also offers a treatment that is tailored for these hairstyles from its Advanced Hairstyle line.
- Lightweight formula designed for straight hair
- Suitable for all hair types
- Fights frizz and humidity, keeps hair straight for up to three days
- Ideally used for straight hair only
- Does not directly state if it is cruelty-free, vegan, and/or free of harmful chemicals
#5. Hair Food Coconut & Argan Oil Heat Protectant Spray Blend – Best-Smelling Heat Protectant Spray
Interestingly, Hair Food Coconut & Argan Oil Spray is the only product in this review that isn’t made by a major cosmetic brand. It is instead manufactured by fast-moving consumer goods company P&G.
Nonetheless, Hair Food’s heat protectants provide the same level of heat protection as the other products in our review: up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hair Food’s spray blend is infused with coconut which lends the product an irresistible scent along with heat protection.
It is also fairly easy to use. All you need to do is shake the spray bottle well and spray the product on damp or dry hair strands section by section before using a heat styling tool such as a blow dryer or a flat iron.
Coconut & Argan Oil Protectant Spray is free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, and mineral oil making it a healthy option to use on your hair. It is suitable for all hair types and textures allowing you to heat style as much as you want without having to worry about heat damage.
- Doesn’t leave a heavy residue
- Effectively fights frizz
- Keeps curls shiny and soft
- Coconut-infused scent that lasts all day
- Contains methacrylamide which can be toxic
#6. Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil – Best Protectant for Repairing Damaged Locks
Olaplex No. 7 is an oil-based solution that helps protect hair from chemical and heat damage up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also works to rectify and repair damage that may already be present. Despite being oil-based, it promises to be lightweight and leaves no oily residue on hair. It is suitable for all hair types.
The key element in their hair oil is a patented ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, the component responsible for rebuilding and restoring the broken bonds in damaged hair.
This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no sulfates, parabens, gluten, nuts, phthalates, and phosphates.
Olaplex No. 7 is also economical to use. A little goes a long way and one bottle is good for several uses.
- Unique lightweight oil-based formula protects hair and repairs damage
- Economical, one bottle is good for several uses
- Makes hair look soft and manageable
- More expensive than the others
We hope that you found our reviews useful. If you would like to consider more products, we recommend you look at Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield, ArtNaturals Thermal Hair Protector Spray, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer, and CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray.
Things to Consider when Buying Heat Protectant
Regardless of whether you choose to style hair with low or high heat temperatures, it is always better to have heat protectants that can protect against heat of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some products have ingredients that help keep your hair’s moisture. Heat styling tools by nature can be very drying. Heat protectants are hair products that can help counter the drying effects of these tools. Without them, there is a higher chance of drying and even damaging your hair.
Consider heat protectants with moisturizing ingredients like sunflower seed oil and sunflower seed extract, shea butter, and silk amino acids. You may also want to look at leave-in conditioners like It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Spray.
The use of natural ingredients in hair products ensures the integrity of your hair is not compromised. It also helps to protect your hair from any chemical damage. Keep an eye out for products with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, proteins, argan oil, olive oil, fennel seed oil, wheat protein, etc.
What Is The Best Heat Protectant for Natural Black Hair?
We think that the best protectant for natural hair that has not received chemical treatments is L’Oréal’s Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray. We like the fact that their heat protectants save your hair from heat damage while keeping your look intact for up to three days.
Do Hair Heat Protectant Sprays Really Work?
Yes, they do. As you might have noticed from our reviews, a hair spray can do more than just protect from heat damage. It can also be formulated to address related issues that heat styling can cause such as dry, frizzy hair, and split ends. You will protect your hair from a lot of damage by simply adding a heat protection spray to your daily styling routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is It Important to Use Heat Protectant?
Heat Protectant products have one main function: to protect your hair from heat. Heat styling can damage your otherwise shiny and natural hair. Using hair protectants minimizes the risk of hair damage and allows you to style your hair to your heart’s content. Just be sure to pick a product that is suitable for your hair type and addresses your biggest hair concerns.
Is there a Natural Way to Protect against Heat Styling?
Using a heat protectant or heat protection spray is the best and most effective way to protect hair from heat damage, but there are some natural remedies you could try. The first is to use lower temperatures that are no higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Another thing to keep in mind is to use styling tools that are of good quality as these will cause less damage to your hair.
What is the Best Heat Protectant for African American Hair?
African American hair typically has a rougher texture and tight curls. If your hair is damaged, we recommend Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil. This heat protectant provides hair strands with protection from heat styling while repairing damaged hair.
If you’re looking to straighten your hair, you may also want to consider L’Oréal’s Advanced Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray since it was specifically designed for straight hairstyles.
What are the Best Heat Protectants for Natural Hair?
Out of the five heat protectants mentioned in our review, our beauty editors chose Olaplex No. 7 as the best protectant for natural hair. We like the idea that it protects your hair from heat while also strengthening and repairing it. It also boosts the shine in your hair and can be used on different hair types.
If your daily beauty regimen involves styling, consider one of the hair protectants on our list. By using one of these products you can style your hair with zero to minimal heat damage, split ends, and breakage.
The Olaplex No. 7 is our personal favorite, but we encourage you to choose hair protectants that are uniquely suited to your natural hair’s needs and concerns.