2021 Best Heat Protectants for All Hair Types

Put an end to damage & breakage with these heat protectants, which shield your hair while you style.

Heat protectants are an essential step in shielding your hair from damage and locking in moisture. If you’re addicted to straightening and styling, it’s important to consider how a heat protectant can benefit the health of your hair. Heat protection can even improve the performance of your styling tools and hair products!

Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique - one hand pours product from bottle into palm of other hand - 670 x 447Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique - one hand pours product from bottle into palm of other hand - 670 x 447

You’re likely asking, How does heat actually damage the hair? Basically, the intense heat of blow-dryers and hot tools weakens and breaks down the natural proteins in your hair. High heat also diminishes hair’s natural oils and moisture levels. This is why consistent heat-styling can leave your hair dry, damaged, and very brittle.

Heat damage can be particularly problematic for those with bleached and colour-damaged hair. Chemical processing weakens the hair structure and can cause split ends, frizz, and breakage. Continual heat-styling of treated hair can cause increased dullness, roughness, and inconsistent colouration in unprotected hair due to the deterioration it causes to the hair cuticle.

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But before you ditch your straightener, check out our great solutions to these hot problems, including 4 impressive hair hacks. Hair protectant creams, sprays, and serums all have different benefits for your hair, depending on their formulations. For any heat protectant to work effectively, it must create a substantial barrier between your hair and the heat you’re applying AND restore lost moisture to the hair strand. Hair protectants can also detangle the hair, reduce snagging, and give you glossy results.

Understanding how different ingredients in hair protectants work can help you choose your approach to protecting your tresses. We’ve broken down a few for your benefit:

  • PVP/DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer: Many heat protectants employ Copolymers, which effectively form a continuous film around each hair strand to protect it from damage. Not only do these products provide flexible hold, but they also help distribute heat evenly, reducing the chance of damage and breakage.

  • Silicones: One of the most prominent ingredients in heat protectants is Silicone, often in the form of Dimethicone. Silicones create an effective barrier around the hair strands, help conduct heat effectively, and boost smoothness and shine. While hair protectants with Silicone may reduce frizz, they can also cause oily hair to look greasy and cause build-up over time. However, if you have dry hair products with Silicone can help boost your hair’s moisture and softness.

  • Sodium Bisulphate: This antioxidant ingredient is often included in heat protectants to minimise burning when you’re styling. Sodium Bisulphate works excellently in combination with other hair protectant ingredients and is a good heat protectant for straightening hair at high temperatures.

  • Hydrolysed Wheat Protein: If you’re after a more natural heat protectant without Silicone, this could be a great option for you. Hydrolysed Wheat Protein is attracted to the Keratin in your hair, working to rebuild and strengthen the fibres. While building an effective barrier around the hair, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein also boosts moisture and volume.

Along with an array of nourishing oils and natural proteins, these key ingredients work to protect both natural and colour-treated hair. So, If you’re obsessed with straightening your strands or creating beautiful volume and curls, explore our best heat protectants to support your hair, no matter its texture or type.

Smoothing and Protecting

With its invisible barrier and lightweight texture, this major staple is our favourite heat protectant for a reason.

Smoothing and Protecting

ghd Unplugged Heat Protect Spray is a necessary product if you’re after heat protection that leaves your hair smooth instead of sticky. Using the ghd Heat Protection System, this product creates an invisible barrier against everyday heat damage. Spritz this beautifully scented spray onto damp or dry hair for a soft and smooth finish. You’ll gladly forget that heavy, crunchy feeling that often comes with using heat protectant sprays.

Versatile ghd Unplugged Heat Protect Spray not only protects but also layers well with other products. Pair the spray with ghd straighteners and stylers for optimal results.

A nourishing heat protectant cream, perfect for dull, dry hair that’s lost its shine.

Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique 150ml is a thermo-protecting cream that’s perfect for dry, damaged hair. This hydrating leave-in treatment is designed to ease styling, defend hair against heat damage, and polish the hair’s surface. Rich in nutrients, this product contains Royal Jelly Extract, Iris Rhizome Extract, and Xylose to soften and protect.

By nourishing the hair fibre with Kérastase's Thermo-Seal Glazing Technology, this heat protectant reduces roughness and dullness, leaving the hair smooth and shiny. Massage a small amount of this leave-in treatment into towel-dried hair before drying or styling for perfected, long-lasting results. Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique 150ml works best on extra dry hair, damage, breakage, or any mane in need of some extra nurturing.

Don’t let damage from colour, bleaching, or styling get you down. This heat protectant cream is designed to restructure and revive struggling strands.

Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique 150ml protects and rebuilds hair that’s been severely damaged by colouring, bleaching, or heat-styling. This pre-styling treatment provides thermo-protection at up to 180°C to help prevent further damage and breakage. Weakened hair will benefit from the Vita-Ciment formula in this hair protectant cream, which contains Pro-Keratin and Ceramid, and works to rebuild and strengthen the hair fibre from the inside.

Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique 150ml is a perfect choice if you’re seeking to smooth split ends and flyaways. For beautiful results, apply a small amount to towel-dried hair to accelerate blow-dry time. Before your eyes, this amazing reconstructing formula will resurrect damaged, brittle, or lifeless strands and give you hair hope again!

Frizzy, tangled, or unruly hair? This heat protectant cream will defend your hair against damage and tame your tresses.

Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Creme 150ml is the perfect pre-styling treatment for fighting frizz. This heat protectant cream is designed to protect, smooth, and detangle even the unruliest hair. Kérastase's Thermo-Seal Technology protects from heat up to 180°C. At the same time, this product smooths the hair with a Morpho-Kératine Complex containing Polymers, Ceramides, and Xylose. These ingredients prevent further damage and breakage by strengthening the hair. They also work to tame frizz and protect against humidity.

This leave in treatment should be applied to both lengths and ends for the best results. If you have heat- or colour-damaged hair that you want to restore to its former glory, look no further than Kérastase Discipline Keratine Thermique Creme 150ml for gorgeous results.

An affordable heat protectant with a huge list of benefits. This miracle treatment will leave your hair silky, smooth, and soft.

ELEVEN Miracle Hair Treatment is a lightweight heat protectant that adds moisture, strength, and shine to hair that’s lost its vitality. Great for all hair types, this leave in treatment contains Australian Desert Lime, Wattle Seed, and Desert Peach to boost hydration and nourish the hair, allowing you to lock in that shine. Ingredients such as Silk Amino Acids and Glycerine work to reinforce the barrier of the hair cuticle for tresses that are soft and smooth.

Use a pea-sized amount along the lengths and ends of your hair for maximum protection, and enhanced volume and body. ELEVEN Miracle Hair Treatment is an easy-to-use, all-in-one product if you’re looking for affordable and effective heat protection.

A beautiful, organic heat protectant that repairs and soothes the hair naturally.

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair 100ml is the perfect option if you’re looking for a natural, cruelty-free heat protectant that will still give your hair amazing results. Wheat Protein protects hair from heat-styling. Organic Quinoa and Soy-Derived Oils repair the hair from the inside out. Using this heat protectant is a luxurious and aromatic experience, as it’s scented with organic essential oils such as Bergamot, Mandarin, and Ylang-Ylang.

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair 100ml can instantly repair damaged hair up to 26%, so imagine what it does with consistent use! Look no further for a natural product that gives you gorgeous, lasting heat protection without harming the planet.

Do you love hot tools but want to learn more about them, what they do or thinking about upgrading to the latest straightener or curler?

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Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

This article has been updated on 15/02 to replace discontinued products with our recent product recommendations. Brooklyn from our Customer Service team has helped to bring you our most recommended products and up-to-date information.

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