17 Best Heat Protectants For Natural Hair

Flaunt your favorite hairstyle stress-free with a layer of heat protection in place.

Reviewed by Simon Constantinou, Hairstylist
Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Aditi Naskar, MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness
Fact-checked by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip  • 

While chemically-treated hair may need care and protection, people forget that natural hair deserves the same kind of love. So the next time you decide to straighten, curl, or style your hair with heat, don’t forget to use the best heat protectant for natural hair. Heat protectant acts as a barrier between the heat and your hair, ensuring that little to no damage is caused. It also seals in moisture while fending off frizz, so you achieve the look you deserve. Here is our carefully curated list of the 17 best heat protectants for natural hair that are guaranteed to protect your tresses for an extended period while doubling as a styling product.

Top Picks
CHECK PRICE
Best Cruelty-Free:HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Thermal Protector
Price on Amazon
Best Humidity-Resistant:Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray
Price on Amazon
Best Nourishing Formula:artnaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield
Price on Amazon
Best 100% Color-Safe:GIOVANNI 2chic Ultra Sleek Flat Iron Styling Mist
Price on Amazon
Best For Chemical Treated Hair:Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus
Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight:Beyond The Zone Turn Up The Heat
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Greasy:Design Essentials Silk Essentials For Relaxed & Natural Hair
Price on Amazon
Best Chemical-Free Formula:JuniorLabs Straight Silk
Price on Amazon
Best For Preventing Hair Breakage:MIZANI Thermastrength Heat Protecting Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Dry Spray:Alfaparf Milano Style Stories Thermal Protector
Price on Amazon

17 Best Heat Protectants For Natural Hair

1. Best Cruelty-Free: HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Thermal Protector

4.3
HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector |?Protect up to 450? F from Flat Irons Image: Hsi Professional

The HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Thermal Protector can be used on natural hair of any type. It contains the antioxidant-rich argan oil and shine-boosting vitamins A, B, C, and D that provide natural hair nourishment while creating a barrier between the hair strands and the styling device. This spray protects your hair from heat exposure up to 450°F.

It forms a weightless mist that is super-light and non-greasy and speeds up the drying time. The product can also be used as a leave-in serum for a smooth, glossy, frizz-free finish as it offers restorative care. This heat protectant can be used to reinvigorate, replenish, and repair damaged hair. It works on hair extensions as well. Simon Constantinou, a hairstylist, further adds, “Argon oil has such amazing properties for a natural ingredient. We always recommend a heat protectant that contains argon oil.” Watch this video to get a detailed review of the product.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 9 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phosphate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Color-safe

Cons

  • May dry out the hair

protip_icon Quick tip
Combine two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with half a cup of filtered water in a spray bottle. You can also add 6 to 8 drops of olive or almond oil. Use this solution to make your hair shiny and strong and protect it against heat exposure.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received 7,133 reviews on Amazon and is a popular choice among shoppers.

2. Best Humidity-Resistant: Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray

4.6
Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray | Time-Saving Thermal Protectant | Medium To Coarse Hair 6.8 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Kenra Professional

The Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray provides intense thermal protection up to 428°F. It protects your hair from humidity and reduces damage and breakage. This spray decreases the blow drying time by 50%. It has a lightweight feel that smoothens, detangles, and softens your hair. This heat protectant minimizes frizz and resists humidity to create long-lasting styles. Simon Constantinou, further explains, “Blow dry sprays are a must for anyone who is short of time when it comes to hairstyling. It is imperative that hair is 100% dry before applying any heat styling tools to avoid burning the natural keratin in your hair.” This video details a reviewer’s experience with the product. Watch it before making an informed decision about your purchase.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.56 x 2.38 x 8.13 inches | Weight: 8.8 Ounces

Pros

  • Mineral-oil free
  • Unscented
  • Humidity-resistant
  • Nice fragrance

Cons

  • Oily consistency

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 3,348 reviews claiming its efficacy.

3. Best Nourishing Formula: artnaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield

4.3
ArtNaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield Image: Artnaturals

The artnaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield provides heat protection up to 450°F and shields the hair from sun exposure and humidity. When sprayed on the hair, it forms a weightless mist that also works great as a leave-in conditioner. The thermal shield hydrates and nourishes your hair strands while protecting them from damage and dryness.

The argan oil in this product helps repair, restore, and grow hair, while the protein, natural herbal extracts, and vitamin E provide intense nourishment to your strands. This product also speeds up the drying time. Simon Constantinou, a hairstylist, adds, “Argon oil is a must for any heat protectant. Be careful not to use too much, to avoid creating greasy hair.” It is suitable for all hair types. Reviews on Amazon mention that the product is perfect for curling and straightening, and can be used on fine or damaged hair.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • Boosts shine
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Can be used as a leave-in conditioner

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 6,452 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Thermal Protector
Best Cruelty-Free
Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray
Best Humidity-Resistant
artnaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield
Best Nourishing Formula
Hair Type All All All
Dimensions 9 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches 1.56 x 2.38 x 8.13 inches 2 x 1 x 1 inches
Weight 8 Ounces 8.8 Ounces 8 Ounces
Rating
Reviews7,1333,3486,452
Price$14.95$33.59$14.95

4. Best 100% Color-Safe: GIOVANNI 2chic Ultra Sleek Flat Iron Styling Mist

4.1
GIOVANNI 2chic Ultra Sleek Flat Iron Styling Mist Image: Giovanni

This hairspray by GIOVANNI is an intensely moisturizing styling mist that protects your hair from the searing heat of styling tools. It smoothens your hair strands, controls frizz, and hydrates your tresses.

This heat guard contains Moroccan argan oil, an excellent source of vitamin E and omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, and Brazilian Phyto-Keratin, a type of protein derived from Brazilian cocoa. The blend of vitamins and botanical oils provide intense nutrition to your hair and makes it soft, silky, and shiny without stripping its color. Here’s a video detailing a teaser’s experience to help you know more about this product.

Hair Type: Frizzy | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 7.1 inches | Weight: 4.8 Ounces

Pros

  • 100% color-safe
  • No artificial dyes
  • Cruelty-free
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Vegan

Cons

  • May feel greasy

5. Best For Chemical Treated Hair: Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus

4.2
Arvazallia Professional Grade Thermal Heat Protectant Plus Image: Arvazallia

The Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus protects your hair from the damage caused by curling irons, hair dryers, flat irons, and other heat styling tools. It uses an advanced Two Layer Protection Technology that penetrates your hair follicles and repairs hair damage. It also prevents split ends and breakage.

This professional-grade heat styling protector contains argan oil that conditions and smoothens your hair’s texture and anti-frizz and detangling agents that help control frizz, giving you soft and manageable hair. In addition to natural hair, you can also use it to style permed hair, extensions, and wigs. It also decreases the drying time and imparts an amazing fragrance to the hair.

Hair Type: All, Curly, Chemically Treated, Damaged | Package Dimensions: ‎9.41 x 3.86 x 1.97 inches | Weight: 10.23 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nice fragrance
  • Safe for chemical treated hair
  • No residue

Cons

  • May dry out the hair

protip_icon Quick Tip
Use a hair mask to moisturize your hair before applying the heat protector.

6. Best Lightweight: Beyond The Zone Turn Up The Heat

4.6

The BTZ Turn Up The Heat protection spray protects the hair from intense heat and seals the cuticles for a silky smooth appearance. It makes styling your hair effortless as the hair gets very slick and manageable. This heat protection spray forms a lightweight mist that does not weigh the hair down and controls frizz. It is great for those who heat style their hair regularly. Multiple reviewers consider this product to be the best at providing protection to your tresses.

Product Dimensions: 8.25 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Dairy-free
  • A little goes a long way
  • Lightweight
  • Great fragrance

Cons

  • May feel greasy

7. Best Non-Greasy: Design Essentials Silk Essentials For Relaxed & Natural Hair

4.5
Design Essentials Silk Essentials Thermal Strengthening Serum Image: Design Essentials

This non-greasy, lightweight serum by Design Essentials provides intense heat protection from styling tools, especially against permanent curl elongation, often associated with thermal straightening. It locks the moisture into the hair strands, seals the cuticles, and adds a radiant shine to your hair.

This curl heat protectant is formulated with 17 amino acids that repair damaged hair and smoothen the hair strands while eliminating static, improving manageability, and imparting a highly glossy finish. It can be used on all hair types and textures without weighing down the strands. This heat protectant serum contains silk proteins and minerals that make the hair healthy and shiny. It is suitable for color-treated hair. Multiple Amazon reviews suggest that this serum is the best at making your hair appear soft and silky without weighing it down.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 4.4 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Lightweight
  • Color-safe
  • Imparts a glossy finish

Cons

  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"After years of managing dry, stubborn hair, I found this hair serum to be quite beneficial, simplifying my morning routine with its nourishing qualities. Best applied to damp hair, it straightens and adds body. Remember, a little goes a long way, especially when incorporated with heat styling."


8. Best Chemical-Free Formula: JuniorLabs Straight Silk

3.9
Straight Silk Spray Infused with Argan Oil Image: Juniorlabs

The Junior Labs Straight Silk Spray protects your hair from heat up to 450°F and gives you silky straight hair in half the time required to style it. It revitalizes the hair, imparts shine, prevents frizz, and eliminates kink. It is great for dyed hair as it offers color-safe protection. It detangles the hair easily and allows you to seamlessly blend hair extensions with your existing natural hair.

This product contains nourishing ingredients like Moroccan argan oil, which has antioxidants, beneficial fatty acids, and vitamin E – all of which are intensely conditioning for the hair. The formula is non-greasy and does not weigh the hair down or result in product buildup. It does not contain alcohol or any other chemicals known to damage hair.

Hair Type: Wavy, Keratin Treated, Permed, 4A, 3A, 4B, 3B, 4C, 3C, Coarse, Frizzy, Textured, Straight | Product Dimensions: 1.69 x 1.69 x 7.28 inches | Weight: 7.37 Ounces.

Pros

  • Minimal ingredient formula
  • Alcohol-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Phosphate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • No synthetic colors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO

Cons

None

9. Best For Preventing Hair Breakage: MIZANI Thermastrength Heat Protecting Serum

4.5
MIZANI Styling Heat Protection Thermastrength Serum Image: Mizani

This intensely nourishing, lightweight serum by MIZANI protects the hair from thermal damage. It contains nourishing ingredients like shea butter and anti-breakage ceramides that improve tensile strength, prevent breakage, and protect the hair during heat styling. This serum adds shine and body to the hair and makes it more manageable. Multiple reviewers on Amazon have noticed that the cream gel-like consistency makes it easy for you to use it under other hair products.

Product Dimensions: 1.85 x 1.85 x 6.07 inches | Weight: 5.29 Ounces

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Nice fragrance

Cons

  • Contains parabens

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 1,414 great reviews on Amazon.

10. Best Dry Spray: Alfaparf Milano Style Stories Thermal Protector

4.6
Alfaparf Milano Style Stories Thermal Protector Image: Alfaparf

This thermo-active shield serum by Alfaparf Milano aids in heat damage prevention caused by styling tools. It is a dry spray that does not need you to wet your hair before styling with irons, straighteners, tongs, or wands. This lightweight spray is suitable for all types of hair. It helps reduce the electrostatic effect, which prevents damage to a great extent, and enhances the definition of smooth or wavy hair.

Bonus – this product contains Moringa Oleifera, which protects the hair from free radicals when exposed to heat. It also has photo-protective properties that repair the damage caused by free radicals. This spray is also suitable for processed and color-treated hair.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraffin-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Great fragrance

Cons

None

11. MIZANI Thermasmooth Sleek Guard Smoothing Cream

4.3
MIZANI Thermastrength Heat Protecting Serum Image: Mizani

This leave-in thermal protectant by MIZANI protects curly hair from heat styling damage. It makes the hair manageable and sleek, so heat styling tools glide effortlessly over it. If you have brittle, fragile hair, this conditioning cream will work wonders for you. It protects against split ends and hair breakage and is designed to increase smoothness and shine. This product contains coconut oil that prevents frizz even in highly humid conditions.

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Great fragrance
  • Split end prevention
  • Makes the hair soft

Cons

  • May not work well for 4c hair

12. Fantasia Hair Polisher

4.4
Fantasia Hair Polisher Image: Fantasia

The Fantasia Heat Protector Spray protects your hair from heat damage caused due to straighteners, blow dryers, flat irons, and other hot hair styling tools. Aloe and vitamin E make the hair smooth, frizz-free, and glossy even in humid conditions. This spray maintains the moisture balance of your hair. It also contains protective sunscreen that protects your hair during sun exposure. Multiple reviewers say that this product makes heat styling your hair very easy.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Great fragrance
  • Little product required

Cons

  • May feel greasy

13. Thermafuse f450 Hot Armor Blow-Dry Defense

This heat protectant by Thermafuse protects the hair strands from thermal styling up to 450°F, such as dryers and flat irons set to high temperatures. It contains cactus and blue lotus flower extracts, olive oil, cyclopentasiloxane, aminopropyl phenyl trimethicone, certified organic essential oil, and other ingredients that nourish the hair and seal the cuticles while locking in vital moisture.

This heat protectant spray also creates a barrier between the hair and environmental conditions like humidity that creates frizz. The pH-balanced formula also blocks UVA and UVB and prevents your hair color from fading. This flat iron heat protectant makes brushing, combing, and detangling very easy as the hair gets silky and manageable. The amino acids and other nourishing ingredients in this spray repair hair damage and add reflective shine and luster to your hair. This spray also reduces your drying time.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Great fragrance

Cons

  • Expensive

14. Flawless by Gabrielle Union – Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray

4
Flawless by Gabrielle Union – Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Hair Spray Image: Flawless By Gabrielle Union

The Flawless Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray protects the hair against thermal damage up to 428°F from heat styling tools. It contains natural ingredients like rice oil complex, acai palm oil, passion fruit seed oil, lilac leaf extract, Brazilian Bacuri butter, and coconut oil that deeply nourish your hair and protect it. This product is suitable for all types of hair, including color-treated hair.

Hair Type: Wavy | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.31 x 1.85 x 1.81 inches; 9.91 Ounces

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free

Cons

  • Oily consistency

15. Afro Sheen ‘Fro Out Blow-Out Spray

4.2

The Afro Sheen Fro Out Blow-Out Spray provides heat protection to kinky hair and controls frizz. Its non-greasy formula adds shine to textured hair. This hair spray contains nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, which conditions, hydrates, and repairs your natural hair. It also contains Keratin Complex that smoothens your hair strands and tames frizz and castor oil that hydrates and moisturizes dry hair. Reviewers suggest that this product works wonders for curly hair, making it manageable while providing the best hydration.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Does not tame frizz well

16. VERNON FRANÇOIS Lightweight Styling Serum

This hydrating oil-based hair serum by VERNON FRANÇOIS is a boon for dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. It protects against thermal styling by locking in moisture and gives a flexible hold. It also defines your hair texture, whether wavy, kinky, curly, coily, or straight.

This spray contains argan oil, which hydrates and conditions hair and creates a heat protection barrier. Baobab seed oil helps the hair strands retain moisture and makes them appear thicker and fuller. Jojoba seed oil strengthens the hair and minimizes breakage, while mongongo oil protects hair during sun exposure. Several reviews on Amazon praise the product for defining your hair texture, whether wavy, kinky, curly, coily, or straight.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

17. Yavea Hair Sleek Silk Serum

The Yavea Hair Sleek Silk Serum protects the hair from thermal damage from hair styling tools. It locks in moisture in the hair strands and prevents breakage and shedding. Simon Constantinou, says, “We love a serum for quick styling, and silk proteins are wonderful for that magical shine!” This serum contains silk proteins that form a protective barrier over your hair strands to prevent damage and add luminous shine to your mane. It is suitable for all hair types, is certified organic, and works great for natural, relaxed, and color-treated hair.

You might be wondering why natural hair needs heat protectants. Scroll down for the answer. 

Why Are Heat Protectants Important For Natural Hair?

A heat protectant is essential for maintaining the hair’s vitality, health, and beauty. The heat from styling tools weakens the hair proteins, destroys the natural oils in the hair that hold it together, and can dry out the hair strands by boiling off the internal moisture. This leads to split ends and breakage. Good heat protectants prevent all these as they contain ingredients, such as oil, dimethicone, glycerin, or silicones, which form a barrier over the hair shafts and protect them from heat damage. They make your hair healthy-looking, shiny, soft, and manageable.

Type 4 curls shrink when dry and are very thirsty. It is important to seek out products with additional nourishment and leave-in conditioners work a treat. As it needs higher temperatures to change its texture, you need to apply a good heat protectant that will protect the hair strands and maintain its health and shine. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

What Kind of Heat Protectants Are Good For 4C Hair?

Look for the following factors:

  1. High Heat Protection: Make sure the heat protectant you invest in is designed to provide protection even at very high temperatures. Unlike straight hair, 4C hair needs high heat to get styled, especially if you are straightening it. To build a barrier between your hair and the high heat from heat styling tools, you should be aware of the temperature. Generally, a good heat protectant that has been tested for salon use can protect your hair from heat up to 425°F. Some products can also offer heat protection up to 450°F. Choose one according to your daily styling needs. If you use flat iron a lot, go for the ones that provide higher protection.
  2. Serum Or Spray: You can opt for serums, sprays, or even creams to use as a heat protectant. Generally, thicker textures will better condition your hair and help you to style it easily. Serums and creams perform better when it comes to styling kinky curly hair. However, sprays are lighter and easy to use.
  3. Lightweight Formula: If your hair is a tight Afro 4c hair, you need to focus on keeping your hair full and bouncy throughout the day. If the heat protectant you opt for is greasy, it will make your hair look limp. Get a product that does not weigh your hair down. In general, a watery spray is the most lightweight type.
  4. Anti-Frizz And Anti-Breakage: Ensure the heat protectant contains ingredients that nourish your tresses and add shine while eliminating the frizz. Look for ingredients like argan oil, silk proteins, and other detangling and defrizzing agents.

The best heat protectants for natural hair available in the market eliminate frizz and help properly manage your tresses. They replenish, rejuvenate, and repair the dull locks while nourishing the roots of your strands. The HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Thermal Protector provides essential nourishment and shine with a super-lightweight and non-greasy formula, while the Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray protects hair from humidity and minimizes frizz, and the Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus helps reverse hair damage and also suits chemical-treated hair. Moreover, these heat protectants are color-safe and completely free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. While choosing the best heat protectant for your natural locks, you should not test out those with a drying formula.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to use a heat protectant every time you use heat?

Yes, positively use a heat protectant every time you style your hair. It will protect your hair from any heat damage and preserve the moisture.

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

Yes, you can get heat damage even if you are using a heat protectant. Heat protectants cannot completely prevent damage, especially if you style your hair frequently. It rather slows down the process.

How can I protect my hair from heat damage without heat protectant?

You can opt for more natural alternatives, such as aloe vera or grapeseed oil if you want to prevent heat damage without using heat protectants.

Do you put heat protectants on wet or dry hair?

You can use heat protectants both on wet and dry hair. However, use your heat styling tool only when your hair is at least 80% dry.

Does heat protectant ruin your hair?

Heat protectants are essential to protect your hair from heat damage. But the formulas also contain alcohol and starch. So, if overused, they can dry out your hair and make it frizzy.

Do you let the heat protectant dry before straightening?

Yes, it is best to let your hair protectant dry completely before styling your hair. Using a hair straightener on damp hair can fry your hair.

Does heat protectant go on first or last?

You must always start styling your hair with heat protectant first so that it can protect your hair from any heat damage.

How do I know if my heat protectant is working?

You will see a noticeable difference when you use a heat protectant before heat styling because your hair will look less frizzy and have a glossy finish after styling it.


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