Does Heat Protectant for Hair Really Work?

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 08/27/22

Short Answer: Heat protectant for hair works!

The resounding answer is yes if you’re asking the question… does heat protectant for hair really work?

Heat styling tools like hair straighteners and curling irons heat your hair up to 170 degrees Celsius. Bear in mind your hair just entered the damage zone when it gets heated at 170 degrees Celsius. 

And that’s where heat protectants come in!

Heat protectants come in many forms, and you should be wise when choosing the right heat protectant product for your hair.

How does a heat protectant work?

Heat protectants contain ingredients like PVP/DMAPA acrylates copolymer, quarternium-70, and hydrolyzed wheat protein which are heat-protecting components. 

These ingredients create a thin film on the hair’s surface that acts as a protective barrier which slows down heat conduction and distributes heat evenly.

As a result, hair heats slowly rather than too quickly which can lessen the shock and reduce the damage caused by heat styling. 

On a side note…

Silicone, usually a component in heat protectants, works by transferring heat slowly and also sealing the hair cuticle to prevent moisture loss and heat damage due to heated tools.  

It is reckoned heat protectants can give at least 50% thermal protection depending on hair types and textures. Obviously, if you overuse heat tools, hair damage is likely to occur. Try not to style your hair too often to avoid heat damage. 

How To Use Heat Protectants

Whether you’re using cream or a heat protectant spray, it is important to spread the formula evenly on damp hair from roots to ends. Only then you can pick up your blow dryer or flat iron to style your hair. 

In addition, combining heat protectants with other hair products like dry shampoo can also help you get that carpet-ready look. If you do this, it’s best to touch up your roots with dry shampoo before applying the heat protectant and picking up the heated tool. 

What happens if you don’t use heat protectants?

Every time hair is exposed to heat when styling without protectants, heat damage is highly likely to occur. Heat can dry your hair, cause breakage, and make your hair look dull, amongst other issues. 

Thankfully, the use of heat protectants and being smart with your heat styling tools can reduce hair damage while achieving your desired hairstyle.  

Final Say 

Heat protectants definitely offer heat protection and are effective in reducing heat damage caused by hot tools. 

Still, they can’t fully insulate hair from damage. It is important to practice safe styling and look for other ways to style your hair without heat. (Styling with hair rollers is a fine idea!)

Also, it’s not a good idea to keep using heat protectants as they can cause product build-up on your scalp which can result in other serious issues. The same thing goes for heat styling – you shouldn’t use heat on your hair regularly to prevent heat damage. 

Read this article on the best heat protectant for fine hair to know our top-rated suggestions!

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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