A heat protectant spray is the kind of thing you just trust to help your hair. But how do such products work? A heat protectant spray is the kind of thing you just trust to work. Every stylist insists you need one, and they should know—they’re stylists, right? They wouldn’t lie to you!
But how can you tell if heat protectant sprays are really working? The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding, in this case, is the ingredients.
Common Ingredients in Heat Protectant Sprays
Numerous ingredients are meant to protect the hair from heat, but how do they work? Let’s go through a few common ones.
PVP/DMAPA acrylates copolymer: This ingredient both coats the hair shaft and binds to the damaged areas of the hair, creating a protective shield against further damage. Because it doesn’t simply coat the hair, this ingredient is considered more effective at maintaining the health of the hair.
Hydrolysed wheat protein: Hair is about 91% protein. Using hot tools on the hair breaks down the chemical makeup of the hair and destroys those proteins, causing breakage, split ends, and flyaways. Hydrolysed wheat protein helps the hair maintain and rebuild its protein makeup during heat styling.
Sodium bisulphate: This ingredient acts as an antioxidant, meaning it limits oxidation, which prevents the hair from burning. Sodium bisulphate has been shown to be less effective than the above two items in preventing damage but is still a great ingredient to have in a heat protective formula.
Silicones: Silicones coat the hair shaft to prevent heat damage. While effective, silicone-based products can build up, which makes them somewhat less desirable as heat protectants. However, silicones are great for smoothing and locking in moisture, so they’re still super-beneficial in their own right.
As with many beauty products, heat protectant formulas often contain more than one key ingredient. This doesn’t mean that single-ingredient products are any more or less effective.
The overall function of most of these ingredients is to coat the hair to some degree. Most, if not all, have been proven to protect the hair effectively from heat styling damage. Some hair responds to different combinations. You just need to find the perfect one for you!
MoroccanOil Heat Styling Protection and Evo Icon Welder Hot Tool Shaper are great examples of effective, smoothing, and nourishing heat styling sprays. Both provide hydration, health, and most importantly, protection to the hair. So next time before you turn on your hot tools ready to straighten or curl remember to comb through a heat protectant.