What Is Heat Protectant?
A heat protectant is something that adds moisture to your hair while forming a protective barrier that reduces moisture loss when heat is applied to your hair shafts. Protectants are generally made with a formula that includes the combination of two silicones – cyclomethicone and dimethicone. While cyclomethicone moisturizes your hair, dimethicone coats it, making it smooth and preventing moisture loss. Most conditioners, leave-in products, and detanglers contain dimethicone, which leaves your hair feeling smooth and looking shiny.
Benefits Of Using Heat Protectants
- Heat protectants smooth the cuticles on your hair shaft, making your hair less porous and therefore less prone to frizzing up in humidity.
- It restores moisture to your hair. Your hair is constantly thirsty for moisture. Using a protectant, especially before you heat style your hair, will keep your hair conditioned despite the heat.
- It prevents moisture loss by adding a protective layer on top of your hair shaft. This makes your hair less likely to lose moisture through the day because of factors like dehydration, heat, and a dry environment.
- It makes your hair more manageable by lubricating it, which means that your hair is easier to detangle and great to touch.
Alcohol is a base for the ingredients to stay dissolved in; once sprayed, it evaporates. While this may protect your hair from the heat to some extent, the alcohol is likely to have a drying effect once it evaporates from your hair, leaving your hair feeling sticky and crunchy, so alcohol-based products are not recommended for dry hair.
Silicones, commonly dimethicone, forms a layer on your hair and makes your cuticles lie flat, so your hair doesn’t frizz. You can find this ingredient in your everyday conditioner too! But remember, if you have oily hair, find a product with minimum silicone, as it will build up and make your hair greasy and flat. Not a good look!
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
This stuff is the bomb! This is what your hair will soak up, and it will help nourish it. It makes your hair soft. Your hair is made up of amino acids, which are broken down when heat is applied to them. This product minimizes the damage since it is the wheat protein that is broken down and not the protein present in your hair.
PVP /Dmapa Acrylates Copolymer
That’s a mouthful but don’t be intimidated by how it sounds. PVP, like silicones, helps in coating your hair and detangling it. Fewer snags and more protection!
Found in higher end products, this helps to keep hair frizz free after heat styling. This product keeps your hair smooth until you wash it again instead of wearing out as you get through your day.
Natural Heat Protectants To Prevent Hair Damage
- Grape Seed Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Sunflower Oil
Tips To Protect Hair From Heat Damage Naturally
- Invest in good tools. No matter how much you try to protect your hair, a bad tool is likely to leave irreparable damage. It is essential that you use a good heat styling tool that has ceramic or tourmaline plates and an adjustable heat setting.
- Use low temperatures for fine hair as it does not require a lot of heat to get the job done.
- Start at the lowest heat setting and work your way up to find the right temperature for your hair. Never use temperatures that go over 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Treat your hair with weekly hair mask and oiling sessions to ensure that it stays in top condition.
- Get advice from your hairdresser on what the best way to style your hair would be.
- If you barely use heat styling tools, get a professional to do it on the special occasions. Not only will it look great, but it is likely that they have a better heat protectant.