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How Heat Protectant Works & Why It’s Important

If you come into the salon complaining of dryness, brittle ends or breakage, chances are your stylist will ask “what are you using for heat protectant? We get that there are a lot of hair myths out there, but let’s start by clarifying: yes, hair protection does work and yes, it’s important to always use it if you're using heat styling tools.

In this article we dive into what heat protectant is, why it’s important and how to use. We’ve also pulled together a list of our favorite hair protection products for different hair types!

What is heat protectant

Think of heat protectant as a form of armor for your hair against your heat tools. Most hair protectants include three main items, though ingredients often differ by product. First, you’ll often find humectants like panthenol or propylene glycol in these sprays and creams, which are added to preserve moisture and block frizz. Amino acids like keratin are also often found in hair protectants, and they work to strengthen by providing antioxidants. Lastly, a moisturizing ingredient like aloe is often used to protect and seal each strand’s cuticle.

Why it’s important

Well there’s the obvious answer, which is that heat protectant works to prevent and reduce damage to your hair from heat styling. Without it, hair subjected to heat styling is easily damaged, resulting in higher amounts of breakage, brittle hair and split ends (that lead to even more breakage). Most heat protection products will protect hair from heat styling up to 450 degrees, so make sure to pay attention to the temperature of your heat tools to avoid overdoing it.

Keep in mind that like any product, use can cause coating and build up over time. To keep your scalp and hair clear, use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove build up and start fresh.

Our Favorite Heat Protectants

1. Creams

Kérastase Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer

Using shine enhancing ceramides, strengthening amino acids and resurrection plant sap to moisturize and seal strands, this heat protectant cream helps to reduce frizz and prepare hair for heat styling. To use, apply a quarter size amount to towel dried hair, brushing through ends before blow drying.

Kérastase Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer

Another great option with additional moisture and easy detangling elements is the Kérastase Nectar Thermique Blow Dry Primer. Using iris rhizome extract for protection and prolonged nutrition, nutrient rich royal jelly extract, and xylose for its thermo-protective properties, this primer layers great with other products. Using a quarter size amount, apply to towel dried hair before adding other products like mousse. Brush through ends before blow drying and styling.

2. Sprays

Shu Uemura Shiki Worker Multi-Benefit Hair Primer

If you prefer sprays for more intentional spreading of hair protectant, Shu Uemura’s Shiki Worker is a great option that detangles and hydrates while conditioning locks and adding moisture and shine. To use, simply comb or brush towel dried hair and spray the hair protectant from the mid-shaft through lengths. Continue with other necessary hair products like mousse, then your hair is ready for blow drying and heat styling.

Caviar Anti-Aging® Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Heat Protection Spray

While heat protection lowers your chances of hair damage, using heat styling tools over time will result in weakened hair. Fortunately, Caviar’s bond repair heat spray not only protects hair but works in tandem to reverse damage and repair lengths. In addition to Caviar’s bond repair technology and age control complex, this spray includes panthenol for hair protection and caviar extract for added moisture and elasticity. To use, spray evenly on clean, towel-dried hair and comb through ends before blow drying and styling.

3. Oils

Kérastase L'Huile Original Hair Oil

Hair oils with heat protective elements are a great alternative to sprays and creams that offer additional shine, like this elixir by Kérastase. Using antioxidant-rich marula oil combined with nourishing camellia oil and hydrating argan oil, Kérastase L'Huile Original Hair Oil strengthen and protects hair without a greasy finish. To use, apply 2-4 pumps to lengths and work through the ends before proceeding with blow drying and heat styling.

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil

Another great oil-based heat protectant is the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil is a lightweight hair oil infused with Japanese-sourced camellia oil that hydrates and smooths frizz while enhancing shine. With this oil, Shu Uemura recommends that ‘a little goes a long way’ and to start with less when it comes to styling. Start with one pump and apply mid-shaft through ends. This oil can also be used as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment for extra moisture and protection.

Bottom Line

For most, using heat to style your hair is a normal part of your weekly routine. To avoid unnecessary damage, always use a heat protectant for protection, adding moisture and additional nourishment. Tease Hair Boutique sells a variety of heat protection options, if you’re unsure what will work best for your hair type make sure to ask your Tease Hair Boutique Stylist during your next appointment.

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