Hair Products » Best Heat Protectants for Hair

Best 9 Heat Protectants for Healthy and Shiny Hair

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Your style options are endless between blow drying, curling, and straightening your hair. Unfortunately, damage from hot styling tools can take a toll on your hair’s health over time. Strands may break off or appear frizzy; they can even feel or look dry with repeated heat styling. 

That’s where heat protectants come in. They step in and save the day so you can style your hair however you want without worrying about damaging your mane. We’ve compiled a list of the nine best heat protectants, each with its own benefits, so you can get the style you want without damage.

Best heat protectants overview:

How we chose the best heat protectants

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including recommended hair types, main ingredients, and more, to create a short list of the top heat protectants for hair. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best heat protectants for each category.

Our picks for the best heat protectants

Best overall
Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray

What we love

  • UV protection
  • Strengthens damaged strands
  • Hydrates hair

What we don’t love

  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t always detangle for some

This is our pick for the best heat protectant because it helps your hair in a variety of ways. Of course, it’ll step in to shield your strands from heat damage. But it also protects your hair against UV rays while providing hydration to keep your locks smooth and supple. It even strengthens damaged hair, so you should notice fewer broken strands over time.

Some reviewers said it doesn’t detangle as well as they would’ve liked, so keep this in mind if you find that your hair tangles easily. Though this is a more expensive option, we feel it’s worth it for the multiple benefits that work for any hair type.

Hair type: Straight, wavy, curly, coily | Benefits: Detangles, softens, smooths, strengthens, hydrates, protects against heat | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Plant extracts, beet-derived heat protectants, amino acids

Best budget
PANTENE Heat Primer Thermal Heat Protection Pre-Styling Spray

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Enhances shine
  • Can use on dry hair

What we don’t love

  • Not a multitasker
  • Strong scent

Yes, you can still get excellent heat protection on a budget. Not only that, but it’s easy to find this one at local stores like Target or Walmart. The pump-style spray protects your hair from heat damage (thanks to micro polymers) while bringing in a healthy shine. While it doesn’t have as many hair-boosting benefits as other products, it’s a fantastic option if you’re trying to stay within a budget. 

Some reviewers don’t love the strong scent, so sensitive noses may want to steer clear of it. If you don’t mind scented products and would love shinier hair, this is the best heat protectant for you.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Protects against heat, protects against damage, enhances shine | Application method: Pump | Main ingredients: Micropolymers

Best splurge
KENRA Platinum Blow-Dry Spray

What we love

  • Cuts back on drying time
  • Smoothes hair
  • Reduces frizz

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Scent won’t appeal to everyone

Kenra products have a unique scent (it’s like bringing that salon feeling home!), and that’s true of this heat protectant spray. It also has plenty of benefits, like smoother hair that doesn’t tangle. If you’ve got frizzy hair, you’ll want to reach for this spray before you blow dry.

Though it’s not a budget-friendly pick, it’ll cut back on the time you spend drying your hair — by as much as 50%. That benefit alone is worth the splurge, especially on those ultra-rushed mornings when you only have two minutes to get out the door to head to work.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Reduces dry time, protects against heat, detangles, smoothes, softens, reduces frizz | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, jojoba

Best for wet or dry hair
Ghd Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray

What we love

  • Lightweight formula
  • Smoothes hair
  • Designed with stylists

What we don’t love

  • Strong scent
  • Not a multitasker

If you tend to style your hair while it’s wet some days but dry on others, try this heat protectant from Ghd (Good Hair Day). Its spray formula is lightweight and can be used on damp or dry hair, giving you plenty of versatility when getting ready for the day during your morning routine. The brand designed it with stylists and included polymers and conditioners to smooth the hair while preventing heat damage. 

Take note that this product isn’t a multitasker — its main purpose is to protect your hair from heat, not moisturize or reduce frizz. Some people may find the scent rather strong, though that tends to be a personal preference.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Heat protection | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Polymers, conditioning agents

Best for curly hair
MIELLE Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray

What we love

  • Reduces frizz
  • Includes a blend of oils
  • Can be used on all hair types

What we don’t love

  • Contains wheat protein
  • May feel greasy

Curly haired beauties will love the blend of almond, argan, sacha inchi, and mongongo oils in this heat-protectant spray that reduces frizz while making hair shine. The oils can feel a bit greasy, so you may want to start with just a small amount to see how it feels in your hair. 

The spray includes wheat protein, which you’ll want to know if you’re avoiding wheat. This is ideal for all hair types, but the brand’s formula includes Curl Pattern Protection to take extra special care of those fabulous curls.

Hair type: All, especially curly | Benefits: Reduces frizz, protects from heat | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Almond, argan, sacha inchi, mongongo oils

Best for color-treated hair
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer

What we love

  • Moisturizes hair
  • Cuts back on frizz
  • Safe for color-treated hair

What we don’t love

  • Pricey
  • Takes time to apply

Sometimes color-treated hair needs a little extra TLC. And that’s why Bumble and Bumble’s primer is the best heat protectant for that hair type. Though it’s a bit pricey, it protects from heat damage and moisturizes while reducing frizz by up to 50%. Beyond that, it smooths hair and prevents breakage. 

Using the product may take a little more time at first since you’ll need to work it in with your fingers. Once you get the hang of it, the beautiful blend of oils and plentiful benefits make it a fabulous beauty tool.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Hydrates, reduces frizz, detangles, creates shine, reduces breakage, protects from heat | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Coconut, argan, grape seed, macadamia seed, sweet almond, safflower seed oils

Best cream
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème

What we love

  • Fights frizz for up to 48 hours
  • Provides hydration
  • Certified cruelty free

What we don’t love

  • May need to use more than the recommended amount
  • May feel heavy

This creamy heat protectant option adds plenty of moisture to your tresses, thanks to ingredients like vitamin E and argan oil that fight frizz. The brand claims it can reduce frizz for up to 48 hours, perfect for anyone whose sworn enemy is high humidity. It’s certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny as an added bonus. 

Though luxurious, creams may feel a bit too heavy for some people. Others may feel they need to use more than the recommended coin-sized amount. Start small and work your way up to more product if necessary to enjoy smoother, shinier hair.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Anti-frizz, protects from heat, hydrating | Application method: Cream | Main ingredients: Rosehip, argan, coconut oils, vitamin E

Best lightweight
CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray

What we love

  • Doesn’t cause product buildup
  • Won’t weigh down hair
  • Free from parabens and sulfates

What we don’t love

  • Doesn’t help with tangles
  • May feel sticky

Product buildup is a bummer, but that won’t happen with CHI’s thermal protection spray, thanks to its lightweight formula that won’t weigh down your hair. Its main purpose is to protect your hair from heat styling, though it also moisturizes with hydrolyzed silk. 

Because it’s not a huge multitasker, it may not become your go-to if your hair needs some extra detangling, but it’s free of both parabens and sulfates — two potentially harmful chemicals. Just note that some reviewers said it has a slightly sticky feel.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Moisturizes, protects from heat | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Hydrolyzed silk

Best multitasker
PUREOLOGY Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray

What we love

  • Promotes smoother, shinier hair
  • Strengthens hair
  • Nourishes strands

What we don’t love

  • Not all 21 benefits are specified
  • Pricey

There are some multitasking heat protectants on this list, but this one is our top pick. The brand notes 21 benefits, but, unfortunately, they aren’t all spelled out on the website. However, the 10 listed are pretty enticing.

Nourished, moisturized hair? Check! Strengthened, smoother, shinier hair? Absolutely. Protection against heat even for color-treated hair? You guessed it! And, it even detangles and reduces frizz while balancing your hair’s pH level.

It’s on the pricier end of the spectrum, but with so many benefits, it makes sense. Plus, the camelina, coconut, and olive oils all combine to support healthier hair, and the rose, floral ginger, and cedarwood team up to create a pleasing scent.

Hair type: All | Benefits: Moisturizes, strengthens, protects from heat, promotes shiny, smooth hair, nourishes, balances pH, protects color, detangles, reduces frizz | Application method: Spray | Main ingredients: Camelina, olive, coconut oils

Heating things up safely with heat protectants

Yes, you can safely heat style your hair. Heat protectants offer protection from those hot styling tools, and some even bring multiple benefits like hydration or a reduction in blow dry time. Our pick for the best heat protectant is the Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray because it strengthens strands, hydrates hair, and even protects it from UV rays. Overall, it helps your hair look smoother and experience less breakage.

How to pick the right protectant for you

Like with many styling products, there are a plethora of heat protectant options out there. Consider how you prefer to apply the heat protectant, its benefits, and your hair type before buying one.

Application methods

  • Pump. Heat protectants with a pump application may come in a cream or oil formula that you’ll work into your hair with your fingers.
  • Spray. Sprays offer an easy way to coat your tresses with heat protectants. Some may be aerosolized for more even distribution, while others may have a pump-style nozzle or applicator.
  • Cream. Heat protectants may come in a creamy formula you apply with your fingers.

Main ingredients

  • Humectants. Humectants draw water into the hair or skin from thin air.
  • Strengtheners. Hair strengtheners like biotin or keratin may be added to heat protectants.
  • Oils. Some heat protectants may incorporate oils like avocado or coconut to provide hydration. 

Hair type

  • Curly. Curly haired folks may want to look for a protectant with oils to better define their curls.
  • Fine. If you have fine hair, opt for a lighter-weight spray to avoid weighing down your tresses.
  • Dry. People with dry or frizzy hair may want to reach for a cream protectant to add extra moisture.


Do heat protectants really work? 

Thermal sprays or heat protectants do protect your hair from damage from hot tools. While heat protectants may not be able to prevent heat damage entirely, they offer some protection by diffusing the heat throughout your hair.

What heat protectants do salons use?

Salons tend to use a variety of products, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. You might spot some big names like Kenra, or you might see lesser-known heat protectants that still do its job.

What’s the best heat protectant for wet or dry hair?

Our pick for the best heat protectant to use on wet or dry hair is the Ghd Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray. It allows flexibility in styling your hair and comes in a lightweight formula that provides smoothing benefits and heat protection.