When it comes to styling hair the best heat protectant should not be overlooked. Many of us enjoy the sleek end result achieved with a hair dryer or straightener or the springy curls and waves crafted with the twist of a curling iron, but the damage that heat inflicts over time from hair styling tools is often an afterthought. With heat tools having average temperatures of upwards of 300 degrees, even the most fortified strands are susceptible to dryness, weakening, and sometimes even long-term heat damage due to frequent styling.
Why use a heat protectant?
Having a heat protectant can provide a safeguard for hair by acting as a barrier between intense heat and fragile strands and shielding hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees. “If you’re heat styling, using a product is an absolute must—it creates a protective barrier between the hair and the iron,” celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein tells SELF. “I recommend using a conditioning product while hair is damp, such as a hair oil, leave-in conditioner, or cream, then using a heat protectant before using your hot tool of choice.”
Depending on your preference and specific hair needs, you can use heat protectants on either wet or dry hair since they come in a variety of formulas—from mists to serums to creams—that can coat the entire head from root to tip. Some products even provide conditioning and detangling benefits that make whipping through your hair routine a breeze while keeping it at its healthiest.
Below we highlighted the best heat protectants worth buying. We asked hairstylists about some of their favorite heat protectants, so you know they’re expert-recommended. You’ll find top-rated hair brands like Living Proof, Mizani, Sun Bum, and Moroccan Oil.
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