Yahoo October 31, 2022



Damaged Hair Got You Down? These Heat Protectants Will Transform Your Dry Strands, ASAP


Call it an occupational hazard, but as Best Products' beauty editor, my hair is constantly exposed to heat from testing new beauty products, like hairdryers, flat irons, and rotating curling irons. To help guard my strands from styling damage and split ends, heat protectants have become an integral part of my haircare routine.

The best heat protectants work by creating an invisible barrier between your hair and the sizzling-hot temperatures that come from hot tools, letting your strands warm up gently with minimal damage. They're available in various formulations and are compatible with all hair textures, lengths, and thicknesses.


Some might think heat protectants are optional, but hairstylist Jenna Spino of Maxine Salon in Chicago says that couldn't be further from the truth. Spino says, “Skipping heat protectants can be very damaging. Without a heat protector, heat burns the outer layer of the hair, leaving the inner cuticle exposed — and over time, this will cause dry, frizzy, damaged, and thinning hair.”

And get this: If you skip heat protectant, your hair may suffer breakage or a loss of curl pattern after drying or heat styling, adds hairstylist and curly hair expert Quia Querisma.

Yikes! I'd never want that to happen to you, so I asked both stylists how to shop for the best heat protectants. They also share product recommendations, and the other heat protectants on this list were carefully vetted by me to ensure they align with their expert guidance.



Spino says the best heat protectants provide maximum heat protection of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature most blow dryers and styling tools can get up to. Thankfully, all of the best heat protectants on this list were tested to work up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so don't be afraid to crank up the heat on your hairdryer brush.


Querisma says there are two factors to consider before selecting one of the best heat protectants on the market:

  1. Your hair density, aka if you have thin, medium, or thick hair.
  2. The way your hair feels to the touch, meaning are your strands soft/fine, medium, or thick/coarse?

As for the formulation types, here's the tea, according to Querisma and Spino:

  • Creams, such as Kérastase Curl Manifesto Curl Enhancing Leave-In Cream, are the thickest and most moisturizing option, they are also easier to evenly distribute throughout your hair. They're best for medium to coarse textures and medium to dense hair. They can be applied while your hair is damp before drying.
  • Serums, like the Seen Magic Serum, work best on coarse hair that is medium to thick in density.
  • Sprays, including Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer and MIZANI Style Shifter Society Heat Screen Heat Protectant Spray, are the lightest of the bunch and super easy to apply. However, it can be hard to tell if you missed any spots. They also work for all textures and density levels.

At the end of the day, Spino argues using any kind of heat protectant is always better than forgoing products because they protect hair from heat damage. So, if you have thin hair, but think you'd really enjoy the Seen serum since it's great for sensitive scalps, give it a try. You can always use less heat protectant to avoid unnecessary product buildup.


Here Querisma and Spino share their favorite ingredients to look out for in the best heat protectants.

  • Quaternary 70 conditions and gives the hair a little slip so hot tools run through smoothly.
  • PVP and DMAPA acrylates copolymer binds well to damaged hair and is detangling.
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein strengthens the hair fiber leaving hair soft.
  • Silicones and polymers also coat the hair and shield it from heat.
  • Humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, attract water and are excellent for preventing frizz.
  • Amino and fatty acids and natural oils and extracts strengthen the hair.

With the help of these best heat protectants, your hair will remain healthy and strong despite styling with hot tools. The best part? Most of these products cost $25 or less on Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora.


Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer


  • Detangles, softens, and nourishes hair
  • Safe for keratin- and color-treated hair
  • Reduces UV-related breakage
  • Sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free
  • Leaping Bunny-certified


  • Low stock at Target

You simply can't go wrong using our best overall heat protectant! For starters, it's clinically proven to strengthen and revitalize all hair types. And as you might infer from its name, this heat protectant provides a total of 10 hair benefits, including nourishing dry hair, boosting shine, and cutting down on drying time.

This spray combines two of our favorite ingredients: argan oil and sunflower seed oil. Argan oil contains high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids to help quench thirsty hair and protect against UV damage. While sunflower seed oil is lightweight and rich in vitamins A and E to promote shine and smoothness for frizz-free, healthy-looking hair.

It also earned thousands of rave reviews across retailers, including Amazon, Ulta, and Target, to name a few. To quote one 5-star Amazon review: “I have never used anything on my hair that has made my hair feel as good as this stuff does! It smells amazing and leaves your hair feeling fresh, smooth, and shiny. It also is a great detangler and seems to cut drying time nearly in half. Such a great addition to my hair care routine!”

Key Specs

Rating 4.6-star average from 4,235 Amazon reviews
Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Size 5.4 fl. oz.
Best Ingredients Argan and sunflower seed oil


Magic Serum


  • Fragrance-free, so it's great for anyone with sensitive noses
  • Non-comedogenic and non-irritating formula
  • Created by a derm
  • Clean, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients


  • No scented version available

Sensitive scalps rejoice! Created by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin, M.D., this fragrance-free heat protectant earned the right to be named Magic Serum. Not only is it safe for all hair types, but it's made with clean and effective ingredients that tackle frizz, add shine, and strengthen weak hair, all while protecting your strands from hot tools and breakage.

Need further proof its formula is genuinely gentle? It's the only heat protectant on this list boasting the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance, indicating it's safe for sensitive or eczema-prone skin.

Ulta reviewers are enamored with this heat protectant, with multiple shoppers saying they receive tons of compliments since using Seen products. One reviewer says this is a 10/10 product.

"I put a few drops on the ends of my hair before bed, and I wake up with the most gorgeous shiny, healthy-looking hair. I also love that it helps with breakage," says their 5-star review.

Key Specs

Rating 4.9-star average from 13 Ulta reviewers
Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Size 1 fl. oz.
Best Ingredient Squalane


Argan Oil Heat Protector


  • Prevents damage without feeling greasy
  • Sulfate-, phosphate-, and paraben-free
  • Made in the USA


  • Some reviewers don't like the packaging

We love a great Amazon beauty find, and this heat protectant is one of the best on the market, at least according to more than 36,600 positive Amazon reviews. In addition to preventing heat damage, reviewers say it has a non-greasy feel on fine hair and leaves behind a soft, warm argan oil scent.

“First of all, I have never smelled anything so delicious in my life. I would wear it as perfume. Second, my hair is SO silky and shiny. It’s actually unbelievable. It looks like I just came from a salon appointment,” says one 5-star review. “I used to use Tresemme heat protectant and Olaplex oil, and it doesn’t even compare. Do yourself the biggest favor of all time and buy this.”

Key Specs

Rating 4.4-star average rating from 44,153 Amazon reviews
Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Size 8 fl. oz.
Best Ingredient Argan oil


Infra Treatment


  • Improves strength and elasticity
  • Adds incredible shine and softness


  • Some reviewers prefer a watery, spray-like consistency

You can achieve healthier hair with the help of this CHI heat protectant. It's made with 91% natural ingredients and contains amino acids and silk to leave your hair soft, shiny, and manageable without pesky product buildup. It also helps strengthen your hair from the inside out and boosts elasticity.

Amazon reviewers say it protects their color-treated and non-color-treated hair from heat damage, like breakage and frizz. One reviewer gave this heat protectant a 5-star rating because their hairstylist recommended it many years ago, and they've had great success using it. "I have fine dry hair, and it [the heat protectant] helps me comb through it [hair] and adds just the right amount of moisture and helps keep it a bit healthier," says their review.

Key Specs

Size 12 fl. oz.
Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.7-star average from 3,068 Amazon reviews
Best Ingredient Silk


Style Shifter Society Heat Screen Heat Protectant Spray


  • Weightless feel
  • Reduces frizz, promotes shine, and softens hair


  • Consistency is a bit watery

Querisma says this lightweight heat protectant is ideal for wavy, curly, and coily hair to use before blowdrying, diffusing, or using a hooded dryer. She appreciates that it provides heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, smooths hair, and has a light fragrance of rose, jasmine, and citrus.

Amazon reviewers note it adds a beautiful luster to their hair and notes that you only need a little spray to see results. One reviewer with curly hair says this heat protectant is a must-have because their curl pattern always bounces back after flat ironing.

Key Specs

Size 8.5 fl. oz.
Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.5-star average from 276 Amazon reviews
Best Ingredient Glycerin


Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray


  • Detangles, softens, and anti-frizz
  • Available in 3 sizes


  • Fragrance can be too strong for some

Querisma loves this multipurpose haircare product — not only does it provide maximum heat protection, but it also detangles, repairs, and moisturizes your hair. "It also has Pureology's Antifade Complex to support the longevity of hair color. It is lightweight with a smooth, milky texture and has a beautiful fragrance of rose, ginger, and cedar," she says.

She's not the only fan — online reviewers seriously can't stop saying great things about this heat protectant. "I've been using Colour Fanatic for over three months now, and I won't go without it again," says one 5-star Ulta review. "This product has helped my hair stay stronger and has made it easier to grow. My curls are bouncing back to normal!"

Key Specs

Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.6-star average from 1,900 Sephora reviews
Size 6.7 fl. oz.
Best ingredient Camelina oil


Curl Manifesto Curl Enhancing Leave-In Cream



  • Combats frizz and humidity
  • Intensely moisturizes hair


  • Pricey

This ultra-lightweight cream heat protectant tackles frizz, enhances your natural curl pattern and protects your hair against humidity, so your style will remain on point even when the weather's acting up. Its secret is a blend of New Zealand manuka honey that's rich in minerals, nutrients, and natural sugars, while ceramides soften, smooth, and strengthen weak hair.

One Sephora reviewer on her second bottle of this heat protectant boldly declares Curl Manifesto saved her hair. "My hair got healthier the more I used it and continued to use a curling iron. My hair grows long in the front now where it didn't before," says her 5-star review.

Key Specs

Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.3-star average from 220 Sephora reviews
Size 8.5 fl. oz.
Best Ingredients Manuka honey and ceramids


Frizz Block Smoothing Spray



  • Color-safe
  • 72-hour protection


  • Some reviewers say it leaves their fine hair tacky

Mist your hair with a veil of one of the best heat protectants on the market. Beyond the incredible scent profile of fruits, herbs, and essential oils, it is made with alpha keratin 60ku, a supercharged ingredient that binds directly to damaged parts of the hair and helps repair it.

This spray also relies on lipopeptide to eliminate frizz and block humidity, while a potent combination of rice protein, tara tree fruit extract, and sunflower sprout prevents dryness and color fading for up to 72 hours.

Best of all, hundreds of Sephora reviewers swear by this heat protectant. One reviewer with fine wavy hair lives in an area with plenty of fog and humidity, so she deals with regular frizziness as soon as she goes outside. Thankfully, that all changed once she incorporated this heat protectant into her routine.

"This stuff is truly amazing at banishing the frizz and keeping my hair sleek and straight," says their 5-star review. "It's now 8 hours later, and my hair looks as good as it did when I left the house. I will never be without this spray — it's a total game changer!"

Key Specs

Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.8-star average from 38 Sephora reviews
Size 5 fl. oz.
Best Ingredient Alpha Keratin 60ku


Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray


  • Repairs split ends
  • Hairstylist-approved
  • Smells like a trip to the French Riviera


  • Pricey AF

Royal Blowout walks the tight balance between being an ultra-lightweight mist that doesn't feel heavy on fine hair while also being compatible with thicker hair types. It also utilizes nourishing ingredients to repair split ends, soften brittle hair, and add body and shine to otherwise dull hair.

Spino says this spray heat protectant is worth the higher cost because it's excellent for creating a salon-worthy blowout. "It's moisturizing and can even cut down on drying time. You can also spray it into your palm and work it through that way," she says.

Plus, the Spino and reviewers can't resist the signature Côte d'Azur Oribe scent of citrus, black currant, bergamot, jasmine, and crisp apple.

Key Specs

Protects up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Rating 4.5-star average from 276 Amazon reviews
Size 8.5 fl. oz.
Best Ingredient Oribe Signature Complex (Watermelon, Lychee and Edelweiss Flower)