Are you looking for the best heat protectant for flat ironing hair? If the answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place!
✅If you’re in a hurry, my top pick is the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil.
It’s no surprise that daily flat ironing (or use of any other hot tools) can wreak havoc on your hair. Flat irons tend to run between 300 and 400 degrees, which can strip the hair’s moisture and cause breakage.
Fortunately, some fabulous products exist to protect your hair from the high temperatures, seal in moisture and prevent long-term damage.
Below, you will find a comparison of the 5 best thermal sprays/heat protectants on the market, fully equipped with the pros/cons of each one.
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The 5 Best Heat Protectants for Flat Ironing Hair
Now that you know the general overview of each heat protectant for flat ironing hair, let’s get into some more detail along with the pros/cons of using each product.
When choosing the best heat protectant for straightening hair, you should choose what factors are most important to you.
If you have curly, frizzy hair, you will want a product that kills frizz (spoiler alert: every product on this list is good for frizz). If you’re looking for a product that also holds the curl when curling your hair, you should choose something with added hold.
Again, this is up to you and your needs. Let’s go through the list…
In 2017, Paul Mitchell launched their new Neuro Liquid line, which was specifically designed to protect hair from heat damage. “Neuro Protect” HeatCTRL Iron Spray is the product designed to protect hair from hot tools.
This heat protectant (along with all products in the Neuro Liquid line) uses exclusive HeatCTRL technology. This technology is formulated with proteins and silicones to form a protective barrier on the hair while repairing the cuticle.
HeatCTRL is a scientifically proven technology, that activates with heat to protect the hair against heat damage. Additionally, it prevents the cuticle from cracking, while sealing in moisture and shine.
Read more about HeatCTRL from PaulMitchellPro.com
- Uses HeatCTRL Technology to reduce the rate of heat transfer from the flat iron to the hair
- Protects hair up to 450 degrees
- Safe for color-treated hair
- Blocks humidity for up to 8 hours
- Adds extra shine and hold
- Lightweight formula
- Paul Mitchell is a cruelty-free company
- Many people describe the smell as being too strong/unpleasant
- Nozzle clogs easily
- Can be greasy if sprayed too close to the scalp
The Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil line by Bumble and Bumble was designed to protect hair from UV rays and heat styling. Every product in this line detangles, fights frizz and enhances shine while adding heat and sun protection.
This line is formulated with six different lightweight oils to condition your hair without weighing it down. You can even use it to freshen up your hair on days you don’t wash it.
Read more about the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil line from BumbleAndBumble.com
While the “Heat/UV Protective Primer” was not specifically designed for hot tool styling, it is often used as a heat protectant for flat ironing. It can be applied to damp hair before blow-drying, or directly to dry hair right before styling with hot tools.
Last, but not least, you can apply it to hair before air drying to cut frizz, add shine and soften.
- Versatile – can be used as a detangler, blow-dry primer, UV protector or smoothing air-dried hair, as well as a heat protectant for flat ironing
- Made from a blend of six featherweight oils
- Protects hair from breakage
- Makes hair silky and adds shine
- Lightweight – can be used in between shampooing
- Great for dry and damaged hair
- Safe for color-treated hair
- Cruelty-free and free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, and formaldehyde
- Pleasant smell
- Not specifically designed for hot tool styling
- May be too heavy for finer hair
When I was in high school, I once modeled for CHI in a hair show in South Lake Tahoe, CA. At that time, I purchased my first flat iron, which also happened to be a CHI.
As far as I remember, they were one of the first big companies to produce and use flat irons on a regular basis. This leads me to believe that they are one of the best companies to trust when purchasing heat protectants.
The “44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray” was specifically formulated to protect hair from the harsh effects of heat styling. However, CHI suggests using additional products if you are looking for additional benefits like added shine, humidity control, UV protection, etc.
This heat protectant is formulated with vitamins and protein to add essential moisture while protecting your hair from the inside out. It also uses positively-charged silk molecules that interlock into hair’s natural structure to build strength, improve moisture and seal the cuticle to help prevent future damage.
This product is typically applied to dry hair before the use of hot tools, but can also be applied to damp hair before blow-drying.
Read more from CHI.com
- Offers top-of-the-line protection against heat damage
- Leaves hair silky
- Lightweight formula with no build up
- Safe for color-treated hair
- Beneficial for all hair types
- Pleasant smell
- Doesn’t offer hold, shine or protection against humidity
- Many feel like it makes their hair feel sticky
- Only protects hair up to 350 degrees
- While CHI does not directly test their products on animals, they sell products in China, which requires animal testing… meaning they are not cruelty-free.
Joico is one of my favorite mid-range professional hair product brands on the market. I’ve previously talked about how much I love
The “Ironclad 01 Thermal Protectant Spray” uses an antioxidant/polymer blend called AquaLastik, which is activated by heat and light to offer flexible hold and static protection while protecting hair from heat. It also uses the Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex to strengthen the hair and add shine.
It can be used on any type of
To use this product, hold 8-10 inches away from a section of dry hair and spray before straightening (can also be used before curling or blow-drying).
- Protects hair from heat up to 450 degrees
- Uses AquaLastik for flexible hold and heat protection, and Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex to add strength and shine.
- Adds flexible hold that does not weigh down hair or dry it out
- Keeps frizz under control for up to 72 hours
- Contains alcohol that may dry out your hair
- Joic uses animal tests to confirm the safety of their product when required by law. They also sell to China which requires animal testing.
All products in the “Bamboo” line by Alterna are formulated with bamboo extract, which is good for the hair’s strength and flexibility. Alterna points out that bamboo is one of the “fastest growing, most resilient, botanical resources” in the world.
They also contain kendi oil, maca root, gooseberry, and
The Anti-Breakage Thermal Protection spray has been clinically proven to reduce breakage up to 87% and help repair damaged hair. It protects hair from heat up to 428 degrees.
To use, apply directly to towel-dried hair before blow-drying.
Alterna states that they never test on animals. However, according to CrueltyFreeKitty.com, their policy is unclear, as they do not disclose their suppliers.
- Clinically proven to reduce breakage up to 87%
- Protects hair up to 428 degrees
- Forms a protective barrier around the outside of the hair shaft to protect the hair from damage
- Softens hair and locks in moisture
- Safe for colored hair and hair that has been chemically treated
- Effective for all hair types
- Detangles hair and protects hair from blow-dryer heat
- Shouldn’t be used on dry hair unless you allow it to dry again before flat ironing
May betoo heavy for fine hair
- Pump tends to fail on occasion
Each of these thermal heat protectant sprays are good for different things. In other words, you should decide what factors are most important to you when choosing the best heat protectant for straightening your hair.
After I first wrote this article, I purchased the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil and let me tell you… I am in love. It’s the perfect product for my fine hair.
It adds heat protection while smoothing my hair but it doesn’t weight it down a bit. Additionally, I love to use it on my daughter’s super curly hair to smooth down the frizz and define the curls.
I highly recommend it.
Your Turn: What do you think is the best heat protectant for flat ironing hair? Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below…