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Dani Caldeira
Updated on August 22, 2023

Throughout our modern lifestyle and busy days, maintaining a healthy and uncomplicated hair care routine can be quite a challenge. Among all the steps we try to follow in our daily hair care, do we really remember or understand the importance of applying a heat protector before using a hot styling tool?

I bet you have skipped or forgotten this step before, we all did, and I am here today to explain why you shouldn’t jump this essential step ahead of using your styling hot tools.

How Do Heat Protectants Work?

I like to compare heat protection to sunglasses, an essential accessory on a sunny day!

Like our sunnies are designed to protect our eyes, heat protectants are formulated to minimize the damage caused by the heat. They do so by creating a layer of protection between the hot tool and the hair, lowering and evening out the heat exposure and reducing the amount of water/moisture that evaporates from the hair during the process.

Shiny Hair Styled with Heat Protectant


How to Use Heat Protectants the Right Way

Given the variety of heat protectants’ forms and formulations, there is no one correct way to apply them, and a safe bet would be to follow the product’s use instructions.

Heat protectants are commonly found in different forms like spray, cream or serum. The formulas can combine heat protection to other benefits like conditioning, strengthening and styling. It can be used on damp or dry hair and may be applied section by section, uniformly distributing the product throughout each section.

Before choosing your heat protector, first test the porosity of your hair that tells a lot about its condition and define the purpose you are using it for (daily care use or styling and hold, for example). Thus, shop for products that are the best match you’re your hair needs. Below are some great products I use and recommend.

Best Heat Protectant to Try

1. UniqOne by Revlon

Featuring 10 benefits in one hair care product, UniqOne is a great cream formula for daily purposes, like home blow or rough dry. It is ideal for those who are adept of a low maintenance routine – no excuses not to use heat protection when it’s all combined in one single product! It can be used on all types of hair, and for heat protection’s use, it has to be applied on damp hair.

Revlon Heat Protection Spray


2. Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray by Pureology

Another day-to-day and all-types-of-hair option, this leave-in treatment primes, protects and is a perfect multi-tasking spray that uses 21 benefits to take care of all your hair’s needs. Moisturizing, strengthening, repairing and so much more, this formula gives you silky, shiny, enviable hair. Is a great choice for color treated hair!

Pureology Multi Purpose Treatment for Hair


3. Thermal Blond by Braé

Thermal Blond is a product designed for blonde and bleached hair. It has a unique anti-frizz and anti-yellowing formula that gradually regenerates discolored fibers and protects the strands from heat. It can be used on wet or dry hair for blow-dry purposes.

Thermal Protection for Blonde Hair


4. Quick Blowout by Redken

This blow dry primer and heat protection spray is a great option for those who have chemically treated hair and are a heavy user of hot tools. It cuts the blow dry time, protects from heat up to 450 degrees, helps reduce breakage and provides 24-hour lasting volume without weighing hair down, a good option for thin hair. It can be used on damp and dry hair. Found also in a cream version.

Redken Blowout Spray with Heat Protection


5. Smoothing Cream by Oway

A plant-based and biodynamic product, perfect for dry, thick and hard to manage hair. Speeds up the styling process and strengthens the hair structure while protecting it from heat sources, giving it flexibility and improving definition! Can also be found in the fluid (serum) version that smooths without weighing down the hair. Used on damp hair.

Oway Strengthening and Heat Protection Cream


6. Tecni.Art PLI Thermo-Modelling Spray by L’Oréal

PLI is a heat-activated spray that gives shape and memory to the hair. It is a great option for up-styles and long-lasting purposes. Can also be used as a styling primer to add body and discipline to the look, while keeping a soft texture and natural feel. Used on towel-dried hair.

L'Oreal Spray for Hair Styling Using Heat


Heat Protectant Alternatives

As with most of the hair products, you can easily find heat protectant alternatives. Popular are DIY recipes with ingredients that you have at home like shea butter, aloe vera, avocado or coconut oil and essential oils. All these natural ingredients are well known for their softening, strengthening and repairing benefits, but they can also be used as a natural option for thermal protection.

While I do recommend all these natural ingredients for your hair care routine, I do not recommend using them as homemade thermal protectants. Formulating your own heat protectant should be a well-informed decision as incorrect use can cause serious damage to your hair.

Protect It – Style It – Repeat!

Whenever you are blow drying, straightening or curling your hair, remember to protect it using a heat protector that suits your hair needs and final result goals. For more tips and uncomplicated hair care follow me on Instagram @dani.caldeira!

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