12 Best Heat Protectants That Will Save Your Hair – 2021

Written by Shiboli Chakraborti
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Do you love experimenting with hairstyles? While stylish hairdos are fun, they should not come at the cost of your hair’s health. If you are a frequent user of heat styling tools, it is time to invest in a good heat protectant. Most professionals insist on including these products in your hair styling regimen to prevent hair damage. In this article, we have rounded up the 12 best heat protectants to keep your tresses shiny, soft, and happy. Scroll down to check them out.

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal ProtectorCheck Price
Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield Heat ProtectantCheck Price
Fantasia Hair Polisher Heat Protector Straightening SerumCheck Price
NatureLab Perfect Shine Oil Mist Color + Heat ProtectantCheck Price
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Anti-Breakage SprayCheck Price
Mizani Thermastrength Heat Protecting SerumCheck Price
Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protectant MistCheck Price
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant CremeCheck Price
Verb Ghost PrepCheck Price
Kevin Murphy Heated DefenseCheck Price

12 Best Heat Protection Products

1. HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal Protector

The HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal Protector is specially formulated to replenish, revive, and repair your hair and promote shine and smoothness. It protects your hair from heat styling tools up to 450° F and can also work as a leave-in conditioning serum. The weightless mist is enriched with pure argan oil, which contains antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C, and D.

The heat protection spray smoothens dry and brittle hair, hydrates it deeply, and eliminates frizz, leaving your tresses healthy. The shine-boosting vitamins from the argan oil create a nourishing protective barrier between the heat styling tool and your hair. It prevents damage, tangling, and drying out of the hair while boosting the drying time and promoting shine. You can use this product before styling your hair with flat irons, blow dryers, or curling wands.

Key Ingredients: Argan oil

Hair Type: All

Pros

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

Cons

  • Makes the hair stiff and sticky

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2. Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield Heat Protectant

The Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield Heat Protectant prevents hair damage and strengthens the hair. It protects your hair from heat styling up to 425° F and makes sure that your hair remains frizz-free without flyaways. This heat protection product is specially formulated with highly moisturizing shea butter that hydrates your hair and makes it look shinier and healthier. It moisturizes your hair each time you style it. Use it on damp hair before using any heat styling tools to straighten or curl your hair to provide a light hold.

Key Ingredients: Shea butter

Hair Type: Normal

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • No buildup
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • May leave the hair stiff and sticky

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3. Fantasia Hair Polisher Heat Protector Straightening Serum

The Fantasia Hair Polisher Heat Protector Straightening Serum has a highly concentrated formula that prevents breakage and dryness caused by excessive use of heat styling tools. The weightless formula ensures shiny and smooth hair and eliminates flyaways and frizz. It prevents static and makes your hair manageable and silky soft.

This serum creates a protective barrier between your hair and the heat styling tool to prevent hair damage. It contains aloe vera, vitamin E, and silicones. While aloe vera keeps the hair hydrated, the silicones and vitamin E seal in moisture and leave your hair smooth, shiny, and frizz-free, even in humid conditions. The formula is non-greasy and does not leave any residue, making your hair ready for quick and easy styling.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, Vitamin E, and Silicones

 Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Long-lasting
  • Value for money
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Leaves no residue

 Cons

  • Weighs the hair down

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4. NatureLab Perfect Shine Oil Mist Color + Heat Protectant

The NatureLab Perfect Shine Oil Mist Color + Heat Protectant has a lightweight formula to make your hair soft and lustrous. It is enriched with platinum fiber, pearl extract, hyaluronic acid, and grape stem cells. This potent blend improves your hair texture while protecting it from heat styling damage. This product defends your hair from heat styling tools up to 450° F.

The platinum fiber boosts your hair’s natural reflective properties without adding extra weight to your tresses, while hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and adds fullness to your hair. The antioxidant-rich grape stem cells in the formula revitalize the hair by adding shine and prevent hair damage due to environmental aggressors. The heat protectant also contains pearl extracts to improve hair texture and prevent heat damage. It has a refreshing and light scent with mild notes of violets and almonds that linger in your hair all day long.

Key Ingredients: Platinum fiber, Pearl extract, Hyaluronic acid, and Grape stem cells

Hair Type: Dry and damaged

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Refreshing fragrance
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Makes the hair limp and greasy

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5. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Anti-Breakage Spray

The oil-based SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Anti-Breakage Spray protects the hair strands and follicles. The spray creates a protective barrier around fragile strands to prevent heat damage. It is enriched with Jamaican black castor oil and organic shea butter that boost moisture, strength, shine, and manageability in your hair while reducing breakage by 70% to promote stronger and thicker hair growth. This heat protection product revitalizes your hair, smoothens split ends, and protects your tresses against environmental aggressors.

Key Ingredients: Jamaican black castor oil and Shea butter

Hair Type: Dry, Damaged, Color-treated, and Chemically processed

Pros

  • Pleasant fruity fragrance
  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains alcohol

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6. Mizani Thermastrength Heat Protecting Serum

This lightweight heat protecting serum from Mizani is enriched with shea butter and anti-breakage ceramides technology to improve the hair’s tensile strength. It has a creamy gel-like consistency and leaves your hair feeling strong, shiny, and full of body. It moisturizes every hair strand, prevents breakage and heat damage, controls frizz, and smoothens your tresses to make them easily manageable. Use it before using any heat styling tool like blow dryers, curlers, or straightening tools.

Key Ingredients: Shea butter

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nice consistency
  • Value for money
  • A little goes a long way

 Cons

  • Strong fragrance
  • Expensive

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7. Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist

The Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Mist is a lightweight spray that makes your hair satin smooth and frizz-free after heat styling. The formula protects your hair from heat styling tools for up to 450°F /232°C and can be used for straightening, blow drying, flat ironing, and curling. It is enriched with hair protective ingredients like marula oil, fire tulip extract, heat-activated rice protein, and UV protector shields.

The marula oil acts as a protective coat for each hair strand and makes sure it remains frizz-free and smooth, and the fire tulip extract prevents heat damage and leaves your hair feeling replenished, revived, and restored. The heat-activated rice proteins shield your hair from drying and the damaging effects of UVA/ UVB rays and excessive heat. This heat protectant has a mild and refreshing fragrance with notes of coconut, amber, and vanilla.

Key Ingredients: Marula oil, Fire tulip extract, and Heat-activated rice protein

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Mild fragrance
  • Gluten-free
  • Dye-free
  • Soy-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

 Cons

  • Drying

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8. Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Creme

The Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Creme conditions your hair and offers heat styling safety up to 450°F. It moisturizes your hair to boost shine and fortifies every strand to control flyaways. This creme is enriched with the patented NOVA Complex to protect your hair from humidity.

The formula contains rosehip oil to protect your hair from free radical damage, tame frizz, and balance hydration levels. The argan oil in the cream contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids that condition damaged, frizzy, and dry hair. It also has coconut oil to lock in moisture while fighting breakage, heat damage, and environmental aggressors.

Key Ingredients: Rosehip oil, Argan oil, and Coconut oil

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Smells good
  • Lightweight
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • DEA-free
  • Artificial dye-free

 Cons

  • Expensive

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9. Verb Ghost Prep

Verb Ghost Prep is a lightweight serum that moisturizes and nourishes your hair to improve its manageability. It provides heat protection from heat styling tools up to 425°F. The serum is infused with fatty acid-rich moringa seed oil that seeps into the hair shafts to provide necessary nutrients. It smoothens, moisturizes, and detangles the hair.

The serum also contains provitamin B5 to hydrate, moisturize, smoothen, and thicken the hair strands while offering body and hold to your tresses. It also has glycerin that infuses moisture and tames frizz to give you ultra-soft locks. This priming treatment has a refreshing, mild fragrance of grapefruit and oatmeal that lingers for hours.

Key Ingredients: Moringa seed oil, Provitamin B5, and Glycerin

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant scent
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Value for money

 Cons

  • May feel greasy

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10. Kevin Murphy Heated Defense

The leave-in deep conditioning formula of the Kevin Murphy Heated Defense protects your hair from heat damage and replenishes it. This weightless and invisible foam formula provides heat protection up to 450° F. It contains copolymers, hydrolyzed quinoa, organic jojoba oil, organic castor oil, and polyquaternium.

The copolymers in the formula strengthen and protect the hair shafts, while the hydrolyzed quinoa conditions and moisturizes the hair. The organic jojoba and castor oils in this formula support the hair’s natural defense by providing essential moisturizing agents. This heat protectant also has polyquaternium that smoothens the hair and coats it with a layer of deep conditioning without weighing it down. It spreads evenly and keeps your hair bouncy and soft.

Key Ingredients: Copolymers, Hydrolyzed quinoa, Jojoba oil, Castor oil, and Polyquaternium

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

 Cons

  • Expensive

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11. Aveda Heat Relief Thermal Protector & Conditioning Mist

The multi-benefit formula of the Aveda Heat Relief Thermal Protector & Conditioning Mist conditions, detangles, softens, and tames frizzy hair. It is plant-derived and safe for everyday use.

It is enriched with vitamin E, organic jojoba oil, and organic sunflower oil that add shine to your hair. The vitamin E in the mist supports and strengthens the scalp for healthy hair growth, while the organic jojoba and sunflower oils nourish, moisturize, and strengthen the hair follicles for health and vitality. This mist locks in moisture to make your hair smooth while protecting it from the heat of styling tools for up to 450° F. Its calming aroma soothes your mood.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Organic jojoba oil, and Organic sunflower oil

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Calming fragrance
  • 97% naturally-derived ingredients
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Value for money

 Cons

None

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12. Brocato Cloud 9 Blowout Blow Dry Serum

The Brocato Cloud 9 Blowout Blow Dry Serum provides UV protection while strengthening your hair. The lightweight formula makes the hair so silky that the hairbrush glides down smoothly. It contains sunflower seed extract and hydrolyzed keratin to improve the hair’s tensile strength.

The sunflower seed extract in the formula protects your hair from UVA/ UVB rays, while the hydrolyzed keratin enhances the overall health of your hair. The keratin protein makes your hair glossy and strong and enhances your hair texture. This heat-activated serum tames frizz and detangles the hair to give a healthy finish.

Key Ingredients: Sunflower seed extract and Hydrolyzed keratin

Hair Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Color-safe

 Cons

  • Expensive

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While it may seem that heat protectors are rudimentary, here are some benefits that will change your mind.

Benefits Of Heat Protectants

  • Heat damages the quality of the hair and affects its texture. Heat protection hair products protect your hair from unrepairable damages.
  • They protect the molecular level and structure of keratin of your hair, which is usually damaged by heat, thus preventing frizz and brittle split ends.
  • Heat protectants help in smoothening the cuticles of your hair shafts to avoid porous and coarse hair that usually happens in humid weather.
  • They infuse and lock in moisture to deeply condition your hair and replenish the moisture loss, making your hair stronger and healthier.
  • They protect your hair from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, environmental aggressors, and over-exposure to dangerous chemicals.
  • Heat protectors add a protective barrier around your hair to protect the hair shafts from losing moisture or weakening, which may lead to hair breakage.
  • They lubricate your hair and make it manageable, tangle-free, smooth, and easy to style.

For those planning to buy a hair product for heat protection, here are a few things to look for.

What To Look For In a Heat Protectant

  • Humectants

Most heat protection hair products are a blend of humectants, plant-based proteins, and botanical extracts or are silicone-based that help locks the moisture in your hair. Some heat protection hair products are also oil-based to ensure that they infuse hydration into your hair and make it more manageable.

The most common humectants are organic oils, keratin, glycerin, panthenol, propylene glycol, and heat-activated proteins and vitamins. Make sure you pick the best heat protection product that helps attract moisture from the air and lock it in your hair.

  • Level Of Heat Protection​

If you are looking for the best protectant that will safeguard your hair at higher temperatures, while using flat irons, curlers, or straighteners, it is best to choose a heat protectant that offers a higher level of protection. The ideal heat protectant will offer hair protection up to 450°F or higher. Anything below 425°F will not serve the purpose, as it may not protect your hair thoroughly from various heat styling tools except blow dryers.

  • Strengthening Ingredients

Apart from humectants, there are various other strengthening ingredients that one should look for in a good heat protection hair product. Hydrolyzed wheat protein is a natural hair protein that helps prevent hair breakage. Quaternary 70 tames frizz and maintains smooth and soft hair until the next hair wash. PVP/ DMAPA acrylates copolymer acts like a silicone component to protect your hair from thermal damage and maintains tangle-free smooth hair.

  • Other Ingredients

Most heat protection products for the hair contain cyclomethicone and dimethicone. They are types of silicones that condition your locks. Cyclomethicone is a clear, lightweight silicone that evaporates instantly. It is mostly used in leave-in hair products and helps keeping your hair silky and smooth for long. It infuses the necessary moisturizing nutrients and oils into your hair shafts to make your hair stronger and resistant to damage.

Dimethicone is a silicone popularly used in conditioners and leave-in detanglers. Apart from boosting shine, it forms a protective coat around each hair strand and prevents moisture loss. It is slightly heavier than cyclomethicone and may seem a little difficult to rinse off, but that is how it prevents hair breakage and knots.

Note: While silicones are considered harmful for hair, both these silicone compounds are safe for your hair and skin and are FDA-approved.​

Here are some tips to remember while using a heat protectant.

Tips For Using Hair Protectants

  • As damp hair promotes better absorption, make sure you always apply a heat protectant on damp hair before you style.
  • Begin styling your hair with heat styling tools only after your hair is dry. Wet hair can make your hair brittle and more prone to breakage.
  • If you are using a blow dryer, make sure you do not skip the heat protectant.
  • If you have dry hair, apply the heat protectant while your hair is wet and top it off with a good leave-in conditioning serum before you start styling.
  • Multi-heat protectors add shine, tame frizz, and help smoothen the hair instantly for better styling results.
  • It is equally important that you use the right kind of heat styling tools. Opt for tools that have ceramic or tourmaline plates, as they minimize hair damage.

Heat protection products save your hair from the harsh damages of styling tools. They lock in moisture and minimize direct exposure of your strands to heat styling tools. Regular heat styling can damage your hair and cause frizz, thinning, and dullness. To stop putting your hair through these issues, make any of the heat protection hair products listed above a part of your styling routine.

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Shiboli has a Master’s degree in English Literature and is proficient in French. She believes that words have a healing power and considers poetry her lifeline. Her writing background and editorial dexterity help her guide her team members to create crisp and authentic content. Shiboli is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and has a fascination for traveling. She is passionate about cooking and dreams of opening a restaurant of her own.