The 12 Best Heat Protectants to Shield and Nourish Your Hair

Damaged strands, who?

The 12 Best Heat Protectants to Shield and Nourish Your Hair
(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

Look, I'm not here to judge you for your hot tools. I own plenty, from flat irons to curling wands to dryers whose heat settings could probably cook an egg. Use all the tools you want to achieve the style you're looking for. Just...don't use them without heat protectors. I learned this lesson early, having had to cut a staggering six inches off my hair when the ends were fried, quite literally, from daily styling. That kind of damage is traumatic, both for your hair and for you. So take a cue from hairstylists and those who, like me, have seen firsthand what unprotected styling can do.

If you're thinking, "But I don't have enough time!" or, "They don't work!" or even, "They make my hair look worse!", let me address some of those concerns. First, taking an extra thirty seconds to protect your hair will pay off when the alternative is scheduling hours-long salon appointments to try to reverse the damage. Second, they do work. Are they miracle workers that will let you use 450 degrees on your hair daily with no damage at all? Nope. All heat will cause damage. But they do make it so that the damage is far less than what it would be without any protection.

Finally, while the heat protectants of your youth often left greasy residue or made styling harder, the technology has come a long way. With so many great options, there really isn't an excuse for not having one of these sprays in your repertoire. So go forth and style, peaceful in the knowledge that your hair isn't being fried in the process.

Tatjana Freund
Tatjana Freund

Tatjana Freund is a Beauty Commerce Writer, covering makeup, skincare, and haircare products and trends. She's a fan of vodka tonics and creepy Wikipedia pages.