13 Best Heat Protectants For Natural Hair In 2024, Hairstylist-Approved

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Regular use of hairdryers, curling irons, and straighteners can damage your hair severely, often becoming irreversible. So, here’s our list of the best heat protectants for natural hair that can come in handy in such cases. These protectants can minimize the damage considerably, even if not completely. Natural oils like coconut oil, castor oil, or argan oil are essential ingredients of these protectants. These oils behave similarly to silicones at high temperatures and help protect your hair from damage from excessive heat. These protectants, known for their proven efficacy, work by creating a protective barrier around the hair cuticle, which helps strengthen and protect the hair simultaneously.

Bill Schrlau, a professional hairstylist with over 30 years of experience, says, “Heat protectants can also be used to fight static electricity. As the hair lifts or frizzes during the day, a little mist or run over with the product on the hands can help tame the flyaways back into smooth locks.

Therefore, apply these heat protectants before using a heating product like a blow dryer, curling iron, or hair straighteners.

Top Picks

In This Article

13 Best Heat Protectants For Natural Hair In 2024

1. Best Overall: Hair Food Coconut & Argan Oil Heat Protection Blend

4.3
Hair Food Coconut & Argan Oil Heat Protection Blend Image: Hair Food

You don’t need to worry about using blow-dryers or styling irons anymore. This product infused with coconut and argan oil helps to seal and protect your hair from heat damage caused by thermal styling, up to temperatures of 450°F, making it one of the favorite heat protectants of reviewers. Made with healthy ingredients, this heat protection spray is free of sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, and dyes. It has a refreshing, delicious scent, and can be used on its own or with your shampoo, conditioner, or other styling products. Here’s a video showcasing a tester’s experience to help you know more about this heat shield oil for natural hair.

Hair Type: All, Straight, Wavy, Curly, Fine, Thick | Product Dimensions: 1.88 x 1.88 x 6.93 inches | Weight: 7.2 Ounces.

Pros

  • Not tested on animals
  • Alcohol-free
  • Suitable for all hair types, including thick hair
  • Makes the hair soft and shiny
  • Lightweight formula

Cons

  • May turn the hair oily afterward
  • Might be drying on some scalps

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Having used this heat protectant spray regularly, I've noticed it does wonders for managing frizz while keeping my hair looking silky and smooth, even after a full day. I only wish the fragrance were a little less overpowering."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Over 11,270 satisfied customers have left positive reviews about the product on Amazon.

2. Best For Color-Treated Hair: Artnaturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield

Before styling your hair with flat irons, hair dryers, or curling wands, you should apply this mist that protects your hair from heat up to 450 ℉. The thermal shield hydrates your hair while protecting it from becoming dry and heat-damaged. Argan oil is known to restore, enhance, and stimulate hair growth. It also repairs dry, brittle, and damaged hair from sun exposure, blow drying, and flat ironing because it’s a natural moisturizer. Shea butter gives you beautifully sleek and silky tresses. It has the added advantage of being vegan and sulfate, and paraben and cruelty-free. The hydrating and protective properties of this product allow you to blow-dry without any worries so that you always look like you just walked out of the salon. This product testing video takes you through this product’s unique features, making it easier for you to make a buying decision.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • 100% natural
  • Acts as a leave-in conditioner
  • Speeds up drying time
  • Adds shine to the hair
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons

  • Some may find the scent overpowering
  • Might weigh down fine hair

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This product has become an essential part of my haircare routine, delivering noticeable results like added softness and a reduction in frizz. The scent is pleasant, and though the application could be smoother, it has made my hair more manageable and shiny."


protip_icon Did you know?
Studies have shown that pre-treating hair with argan oil protects the hair strands from oxidative damage (1).

3. Best For Hair Breakage: Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus With Argan Oil

4.2
Arvazallia Heat Protectant Plus With Argan Oil Image: Arvazallia

This is a professional-grade heat protectant that shields your hair from damage caused by heat styling tools. It offers strong two-layer protection that first penetrates your hair follicles to repair hair damage, and then prevents breakage and split ends. Argan oil moisturizes, conditions, and improves the hair texture, leaving it with a soft and silky finish. It also contains agents that are highly effective in controlling frizz and tangling to improve the flexibility and manageability of your hair. It’s suitable for all hair types and boasts an incredible fragrance.

Hair Type: All, Curly, Chemically Treated, Damaged

Pros

  • Lightweight formula
  • Makes the hair shiny
  • Safe to use on wigs and color-treated hair
  • Speeds up drying time
  • Controls split ends

Cons

  • Sprayer might be difficult to use
  • May feel oily on thin hair

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I'm always looking for efficient hair protectants, and this spray impressed me. Its argan oil content adds a smooth and silky finish without any greasiness. Its lightweight formula also softens my hair and handles humidity like a champ."


4. Best Anti-Frizz Heat Protectant: Sun Bum Heat Protector Spray

4.5
Sun Bum Heat Protector Spray Image: Sun Bum

This product not only protects your hair against heat damage but is also great for making your hair dry faster. Infused with nourishing key ingredients such as noni and sea kelp extract, the two-phase formula delivers a lightweight blend to eliminate frizz and protect hair from humidity. It is also enriched with vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy hair. The cruelty-free spray is further enriched with coconut oil, banana pulp, banana peel, banana leaf, banana flower extract, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, olive fruit oil, and avocado oil, which add to the luster and health of your hair.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 7.8 inches | Weight: 0.02 Ounces.

Pros

  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Free of parabens and sulfates
  • Gluten-free
  • Makes your hair soft and shiny
  • Light fragrance

Cons

  • May feel oily on some hair types
  • Might leave residue

Our Reviewer's Experience

"It has helped make my hair shiny and smooth, and I like that the scent is delightful. I also adore how lightweight and non-greasy it feels, and the fact that it is vegan-friendly is a bonus."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The whopping 3,558 positive reviews on Amazon reflect the superior quality of this product.

5. Best Non-Greasy: Design Essentials Silk Essentials Strengthening Serum

4.5
Design Essentials Silk Essentials Strengthening Serum Image: Design Essentials

The lightweight heat shield serum for natural hair offers ultimate protection against permanent curl elongation, which often occurs because of thermal damage or straightening. It seals the hair cuticles, locks moisture into the hair, and gives a radiant shine when using hot styling tools. Its formula contains 17 amino acids, which strengthen damaged hair thus improving hair manageability and reducing static. It’s also infused with professional-grade silk proteins and minerals and just a few drops of this serum go a long way. This lightweight formula is suitable for all hair types and textures.

Hair Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 4.4 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros

  • Not tested on animals
  • Sulfate- and gluten-free
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Imparts a glossy finish
  • Safe to use on color-treated hair
  • Provides long-lasting smoothness

Cons

  • Some may find the smell overpowering
  • May quickly dry out on curly hair

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This strengthening serum gives my hair a silky, straight look without weighing it down. The dispenser is a bit tricky, but since it delivers on its promise of shiny hair, I'm happy to make it work with some extra effort."


6. Best Non-Toxic:Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

4.6
Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil Image: Ola Plex
Now 15% Off

The Olaplex bonding oil is a uniquely formulated product that helps prevent heat damage to your hair caused by styling tools and external elements like sun exposure. This highly concentrated, weightless styling oil repairs hair damage and provides heat protection for up to 450℉, making it the favorite heat protectant among professionals. It enhances hair manageability, shine, softness, and vibrancy. This heat-protectant bonding oil is suitable for all hair types and is free of DEA, parabens, nuts, phthalates, phosphate, and formaldehyde.

Hair Type: All, Damaged | Product Dimensions: 2.93 x 1.63 x 1.63 inches | Weight: 1.06 Ounces

Pros

  • Reduces frizz
  • Gluten- and paraben-free
  • pH-balanced and sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free and vegan

Cons

  • Effects may not last all day
  • Bottle may not feature a leak-proof design

Our Reviewer's Experience

"After incorporating this oil into my routine, I've noticed a marked improvement in my hair's texture and appearance. Its lightweight formula enhances shine without feeling heavy. Also, the scent is subtle, which is a plus!"


7. Best For Preventing Split Ends: Keratin Research Thermal Heat Protector Hair Spray

Known to offer superior thermal protection, the Keratin Research Thermal Heat Protector Hair Spray is made to withstand heat up to 450℉. Infused with shine-boosting ingredients, such as Moroccan argan oil, keratin amino acids, and collagen amino acids, this hair spray formula can eliminate frizz, add shine, and soften your hair. To use this, simply spritz some hair spray into towel-dried hair, followed by combing and leaving it to dry. The hair spray is gentle enough for daily use and can make the hair less prone to any sort of damage.

Number of Items: 1 | Hair Type: All, Frizz, Color treated, Damaged, Dry

Pros

  • Vegan formula
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Helps in detangling wet hair
  • Prevents split ends
  • Helps in rebuilding the hair structure
  • Weightless formula

Cons

  • Some may find it difficult to use the sprayer

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This product stood out to me for its lightweight formula. It tamed my thick, wavy locks without the greasy feel and made them shiny. I only wish the size of the bottle was more generous. Still, it has been a lovely addition to my hair care routine."


protip_icon Did you know?
Studies have proven that keratin-based cosmetics can effectively smoothen overbleached hair (2).

8. Best For Damaged Hair: Redken Extreme Play Safe Heat Protectant Spray

4.5
Redken Extreme Play Safe Heat Protectant Spray Image: Redken

The heat protectant spray for hair not only provides protection from heat up to 450℉, but also strengthens your hair at the same time. This product is ideal for anyone who uses heat styling equipment like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons frequently to style their hair. This versatile treatment protects your hair from heat treatment and repairs damaged hair. Infused with plant proteins and tourmaline, it prevents split ends and drastically reduces the appearance of split ends by 70%. This results-driven heat protectant also fortifies the hair shaft and reduces hair breakage by 28%, leaving you with strong hair.

Hair Type: Damaged | Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.77 x 7.44 inches | Weight: 6.8 Ounces

Pros

  • Acts as a leave-in conditioner
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Promotes overall hair health
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May turn thin hair greasy
  • Might be difficult to use the sprayer

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This heat protectant doubles nicely as a moisturizer. It keeps my hair soft and nourished even though I use heat tools frequently. This formula also detangles knots effectively, and the creaminess doesn't weigh hair down, which is a bonus."


protip_icon Do remember
Keep the heat protectant from coming in contact with the scalp, as the residue or buildup of the product can cause acne (3).

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

About 2,696 reviewers on Amazon have given their seal of approval to the product.

9. Best Dairy-Free:Bumble And Bumble Invisible Oil Primer

4.6
Bumble And Bumble Invisible Oil Primer Image: Bumble And Bumble

The multitasking primer by Bumble and Bumble protects as well as deeply conditions the hair. Infused with the goodness of six lightweight oils, including coconut, argan, and macadamia nut oil, this primer can keep your hair frizz-free even in humid areas. Its hydrating formula makes it easy to style dry and brittle hair. In addition, this hair primer offers UV protection that reduces frizz and makes the hair look soft and shiny. Apply this primer before using heat-based tools and accessories to protect your hair from long-term damage.

Hair Type: Dry, Brittle, Coarse | Product Dimensions: 0.87 x 0.87 x 2.6 inches | Weight: 8.8 Ounces

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Prevents breakage

Cons

  • Some may find the smell intense
  • May have a watery consistency

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I've found that this hair product works very well for my fine hair. It tames frizz and adds shine without heaviness or grease, and the fragrance is not overpowering."


10. Best For All Hair Types: Foxybae Cool AF Heat Protectant Spray

4.4
Foxybae Cool AF Heat Protectant Spray Image: Foxybae

This heat protection spray contains a host of active ingredients such as biotin, keratin, glycerin, sunflower seed oil, cetearyl alcohol, and citric acid. This all-natural hair spray is specially-formulated to protect your hair from heat damage caused by any heat styling tool, and also reduces frizziness, increases shine, and keeps your hair sleek and lustrous. This leave in spray conditions your hair and provides long lasting protection. It penetrates the follicles of your hair to repair existing damage while also preventing breakage and split ends, and is effective on all hair types including natural, permed and curly hair. Formulated with a signature fragrance, the leave-in treatment will leave your hair both beautiful and fragrant.

Hair Type: Wavy, Curly | Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 7 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • Vegan formula
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates
  • Safe to use on color-treated hair
  • Helps in hair growth
  • Acts as a natural sunscreen

Cons

  • Might leave a sticky residue
  • May weigh down fine hair

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This has been a good find for my parched strands, as it moisturizes my hair while giving it a silky finish. It tends to weigh my hair down when I use too much of it, but it is great at managing frizz and flyaways."


11. Best For Glossy Hair: Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray

4.3
Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray Image: Mielle Organics

The all-natural heat styling thermal protectant for curly hair delivers spectacular heat defense and curl protection. From blow drying to flat ironing, this thermal protector formula is the ultimate solution for helping your hair handle heat treatments while eliminating frizz and adding luster. Infused with organic and natural ingredients like argan, almond, sacha inchi, and mongongo oil, it contains no chemicals or preservatives. This heat protection spray for curly hair improves your hair’s health and texture, keeping it smooth and glossy.

Hair Type: All, Curly, Damaged, Coily | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 6.4 inches | Weight: 4.8 Ounces

Pros

  • Ideal for curly hair
  • Paraben-free
  • Hydrates the hair
  • Helps in repairing damaged hair
  • Nice fragrance

Cons

  • Might make the hair feel stiff
  • May not be suitable for all hair types

Our Reviewer's Experience

"It leaves my hair soft while adding a pleasant and lasting scent. I like that it doesn't feel greasy and has kept my locks safe from the heat of my styling tools. It's particularly effective on wet hair as it keeps the moisture sealed in."


12. Best For Adding Shine: Shea Moisture Jamaican Strengthen & Restore Anti-Breakage Spray

4.3
Shea Moisture Jamaican Strengthen & Restore Anti-Breakage Spray Image: Shea Moisture

The heat protection spray contains fair-trade organic shea butter to moisturize and detangle your hair, besides serving as a heat protectant. Jamaican black castor oil protects your hair strands and follicles while adding a lustrous shine to damaged hair. This heat styling guard for natural hair instantly strengthens hair strands from within and reduces breakage by up to 70% by providing nourishing hydration. It also contains peppermint oil, which protects your hair against the damaging effects of high heat styling, while increasing your hair’s resistance to breakage. This results-driven anti-breakage spray is the best and favorite heat protection spray among many users for both natural curls or color-treated hair.

Hair Type: Curly,Damaged,Color Treated | Product Dimensions: 1.85 x 1.85 x 7.25 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros

  • Restores moisture in hair
  • Smoothens the split ends
  • Makes hair look glossy
  • Suitable for chemically treated hair
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free of harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Spray pump may be hard to use
  • Might feel greasy on some hair types

My Personal Experience

"I've been using this hair product for a while and love that it doubles as a heat protectant and leave-in conditioner. It noticeably smooths out frizziness, and the lasting, nourishing effects on my hair have made it worthwhile. It also doesn't weigh my hair down."


13. Best For Relaxed Hair: Flawless By Gabrielle Union Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray

4
Flawless By Gabrielle Union Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray Image: Flawless

The heat protection spray provides a heat shield for hair against damage from heat tools and allows you to style your hair as you please. Infused with coconut oil, Brazilian bacuri butter, rice oil complex, passion fruit seed oil, acai palm oil, and lilac leaf extract, it offers great protection against heat damage. Apart from preventing damage by heat to your hair, this heat protectant mist for natural hair also enhances the shine, leaving your hair glossy and lustrous.

Hair Type: Wavy

Pros

  • Works on color-treated and relaxed hair
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, and silicones
  • Makes the hair soft and smooth
  • Prevents hair breakage
  • Prevents split ends
  • Vegan formula

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for dry hair
  • May turn fine hair greasy

Our Reviewer's Experience

"It provides a noticeable shine to my hair, and even with regular heat use, it seems to effectively shield against any damage. I wish there were an unscented option, but the fact that it gives me more defined curls and healthier-looking hair makes it a winner in my books."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Heat Protectants For Natural Hair?

  1. Lightweight: It’s best to avoid a heat protectant that weighs your hair down. A water-based product, spray/mist, or a serum are good options, especially if you have curly hair. They offer better protection to your hair and also nourish it while keeping your hair bouncy and voluminous. A greasy heat protectant tends to cause hair shrinkage and makes your hair look limp. Usually creams and serums work better when it comes to hair styling and hair care. Sprays, on the other hand, are more comfortable and lightweight to use.
  1. Protection from high heat: Usually a good heat protectant can protect your hair from temperatures between 425 ℉ to 450℉. You need to know this detail to build a barrier between your hair and the high heat it’s exposed to by flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. Depending on your daily styling needs, choose the right heat protectant. If you like to use a flat iron on a regular basis, look for one that provides higher heat protection.
  1. Anti-frizz and anti-breakage technology: The ideal heat protectant should be able to nourish your hair and add shine without causing it to become frizzy. It should not take away all the moisture from your hair and cause it to break. It is not enough for a heat protector to be lightweight and fragrant, it should also make your hair silky and strong. Look for key ingredients such as argan oil, silk proteins, and other agents that detangle and defrizz your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do heat protectants work on natural hair?

Heat protectants work best when applied to slightly damp hair. If you are using a liquid or gel protectant, use only a pea or coin-sized amount based on the length of the hair. Keep a distance of five to six inches when spraying aerosol protectants.

2. Should I oil my hair before straightening it?

Heat protectants are generally infused with the goodness of oil. Using a straightener after oiling your hair can be risky and could even burn the hair. Instead, you may apply a heat protectant before using a heat-emitting hair appliance.

3. How should I apply heat protectant before flat ironing?

To prepare your hair for ironing, start with detangling your hair. The next step involves applying a heat protectant to slightly damp hair for better absorption. The hair can be flat ironed after the entire hair length is protected.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Poulami Nag is a hair and beauty enthusiast who recommends choosing products that protect hair follicles from getting damaged. She has compiled this list of the best heat protectants for natural hair after researching user feedback and expert reviews on online forums. These heat protectants form a protective barrier around the hair so that straighteners and other styling tools don’t fry your strands. The list includes a buying guide with several tips and information to help you out.

Frequent use of rollers and straighteners may damage your hair in the long run, but did you know that you can reduce the damage in such cases by using the best heat protectants for natural hair? If you are planning to buy one, look for those with natural ingredients like coconut oil and castor oil because they can act as a layer of protection between your hair and the heat. Also, choose one that is lightweight and does not cause frizziness. The products listed above will prevent breakage and help nourish your hair.

Infographic: What Are The Advantages Of Using Heat Protectants For Hair?

Heat protectants are essential haircare products that shield your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling tools, ensuring healthy and vibrant locks. In addition, these products offer numerous other benefits to your hair, as depicted in the infographic below. Check it out to understand the importance of incorporating heat protectants into your haircare routine.

Benefits Of Using A Heat Protectant For Hair (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Negin Sharifi et al.; (2022); Argan oil as a pretreatment of human hair before exposure to oxidative damage
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35226791/
  2. A Tinoco et al.;(2018); Keratin-based particles for protection and restoration of hair properties
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30047992/
  3. Are your hair care products causing breakouts?
    https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/hair-products

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