Stylists Say This Is the One Product You Always Need, No Matter Your Hair Type


(Image credit: @thenxcstyle)

If there's one mistake hairstylists don't want you to make, it's using a hot tool without a heat protectant. While you might occasionally be able to get away with blow-drying sans protectant, you'll regret it in the long run, no matter what your hair type is. As someone who used to heat style religiously, I speak from experience. Once I found the right heat protectant spray for my dry, thick, curly hair, it changed the game for me. My hair became stronger, less brittle, and easier to manage. Although I don't heat style as much as I used to, a heat protectant is still the one thing I never use my flat iron without. Whether your hair is curly, straight, fine, wavy, or thick, the best heat protectant for your hair is out there. Keep scrolling for stylist recommendations and a few of our favorites.

What is a heat protectant and why do you need one?


(Image credit: @glennellishair)

Heat protectants protect your hair from damage caused by hot tools like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. They can act as a barrier between your strands and heat by sealing in moisture. Most are also designed to prevent hair breakage and smooth out frizz or flyaways. Although you don't have to use a heat protectant that comes in a spray form, those are often great at covering larger amounts of hair. 

Picking the right heat protectant for you depends on your hair type. If you have straight and fine hair, you'll want to select one that's hydrating but light so it doesn't leave hair limp. Someone with extremely fine hair might even want a volumizing heat protectant to add body. Curly and coily hair types will want to go for a heat protectant that's extra hydrating since textured hair can be drier. Dry hair and hot tools don't mix, so look for a heat protectant with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and Abyssinian oil.

Celebrity hairstylist Derek Williams also says there are a few things you should avoid when shopping for heat protectant spray. "When it comes to shopping for heat protectants, make sure to avoid those that have silicone or alcohol as the primary ingredients," he says. "Alcohol is used to get hair to dry quicker, but it can dry your hair out. Silicone is used to coat the hair to give it a silky finish, but over time, it can actually dry hair out and cause breakage."

Keep scrolling for the heat protectant stylists recommend and our picks for each hair type.

Best Overall: Oribe Balm d'Or Heat Styling Shield

Best Drugstore Option: Aussie Total Miracle Heat Protecting Spray

Best for Curly Hair

Best for Coily Hair

Best for Wavy Hair

Best for Straight Hair

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Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.