OK, so I finally got around to updating this guide on choosing the right heat protectant to resolve problems for our hair that might arise from hair straightening.
This is what I did:
I asked 20 of my esteemed fellow hairstylist to give their recommendations and rate products
I found the best and presented them here with their respective ratings
In the rest of the article, I explained the basics of choosing the right heat protectant
So, before we get to make fun decisions like going darker for this season or choosing a hat that’s going to suit our day-old hair best, we need to make sure that our precious hair is protected and it remains or becomes rich and luscious.
So, ladies, here are the latest results of the experts poll about best heat protectants on the market today:
Overall Quality Rating
HSI Professional Thermal Protector 450 With Argan Oil
4.8 / 5
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal
4.5 / 5
TRESemme Thermal CreationsHeat
4.1 / 5
Let’s move on to explain general facts you need to know about heat protectants.
What are heat protectants anyway?
I know we all talk about them a lot like we know what they are, but most of us really doesn’t understand the products. Let me just tell you a word or two about them really quickly, and then we can move on.
They are basically products that minimally contain dimethicone and cyclomethicone in any shame mean or form. Most of our well-known treatment sprays, leave-in conditioners, straightening serums, setting lotions and blow-out foams combine some essential ingredients with these two silicones in order to create what is widely known as a heat protectant.
Let’s hear for these two bad boys:
Cyclomethicone – It’s a clear silicone that, once deposited in your hair adds a silky-smooth feel to it. It’s quick to evaporate, and it helps in transferring other ingredients of the product into the shaft of the hair (we’re talking oils and other nutrients)
Dimethicone – It’s used in detangling products and conditioners. It makes the hair much smoother and easier to comb-through. It also makes your hair look shinier after styling since it coats the strands
They are both FDA approved, and can be safely used on you hair or skin. That’s why the hair products that interest us here are abundant with these materials. Silicones are compounds that are man-made, and work by covering your hair with a coating that’s waterproof, very thin, and heat-resistant.
Silicones have three main purposes:
They reduce the porosity of our hair, which in turn makes it less susceptible to outside humidity after the styling is done
It reduces the loss of moisture your hair undergoes after the styling process. We’re talking about harmful dehydrating influences such as bleaching agents usage during the process of coloring, dehydration, over-exposure to elements that can be more than harmful such as chlorine treated water or the sun
It serves as a lubricant for your hair’s surface. Meaning your hair will detangle easier and feel much smoother to the touch
Some basic info on heat styling
In order for products that I’m about to list in this article to reach their full potential, let me give you some quick info about heat styling in general.
If the budget is somewhat a concern and let’s face it, it almost always is to some degree, pick an affordable hair straightener with ceramic coating over the plates. Be sure to consult the manual about what temperature is recommended for your particular hair type. Use very small amounts of silk oil or any other finishing/straightening product. Use them too much, and you’ll literally cook your hair in all those oils and overheat your strands.
Even with all of the precautions nothing in life is 100% certain, so heat damage is always a possibility. Getting to know your hair inside and out certainly helps a lot. If you see that you have hair that’s prone to chemical or heat damage, exercise extreme caution while using them. Curly hair is very prone to damage since every curl is a soft spot where your hair can break after being flattened by force, using a flat or curling iron.
Getting to the list of the best of the best
And here we are. I made a list of some 10 heat protectants that have proven well in the past. 10 is a good, round number, so I decided to roll with it.
Let’s see what I have in store for you:
Paul Mitchell’s Heat Seal – It’s an excellent product that actually cooperates with your styling tool to keep your hair looking/feeling healthy and to help your style last longer. It’s a great picture of teamwork right there
Kiehl’s cream – This cream will just do wonders for your unruly hair. It will get you to those straight, sleek looking strands, no matter how frizzy, unruly or curly the starting point was
Tresseme’s Thermal Heat Tamer Spray – It won’t get your hair all brittle and dry, but will keep every strand in a perfect line
Chi Heat Protectant – Whether you’re a fan or user of Chi straightening tools, this product will blow you out of your socks. It will battle those brittle ends for you like they were nothing
Nexxus Heat Protectant – Here’s a true poster boy for double duty. It creates a protective barrier for your hair and repairs those split ends
Wella Heat Protectant – It protects your hair and hydrates it simultaneously
Pantene’s Heat Protector – This one goes out for all fine-haired ladies out there. This protector is formulated specially for fine hair protection. It will keep your fine hair looking healthy and smooth
Kerastraight Protectant – If you’re aiming for straight hair then this is the product for you. Straight styling is what this protectant is all about
Oscar Blandi heat protect spray – Excellent product! It has a very non-greasy feel to it, and it will make your hair look beautiful due to the keratin addition
Frizz-ease heat defeat – Oldie but goodie. Frizzy hair beware!
Just a quick word of caution. I didn’t put the products in any particular order, so don’t think that the last one is the worst or something like that. They’re all brilliant at what they do.
I was a hair styling competition judge for more than 7 years. I now have my own hair styling salon. I consider it art and it's just my life-long passion. I blog about these things and from time to time I also write reviews on hair straighteners and hair styling products.