Should You Add a Heat Protectant to Your Routine?
Wondering if you really need to add a heat protectant into your routine?
The truth is, hair is not really meant to be heated. But heating is the best way to style. If you are blow drying, curling or straightening with heat, a heat protectant is very necessary if you want to avoid the breakage, dryness and brittleness that come from heat styling.
What should a heat protectant do?
In order to protect hair as much as possible, we need to build a barrier between the heat and your hair.
When you apply a heat protectant, it immediately forms a layer over the hair shaft, locking in hydration and closing the cuticle.
A closed cuticle lets hair dry faster so you spend less time drying and styling. Notice how the very ends of your hair dry more quickly than the heavier middle of your hair? When you apply a protective layer, all of your hair should dry at a more even pace.
Heat and ultraviolet light also cause oxidation to occur-adding both yellowing and brassiness to blonde and grey hair and orangey tones to darker colors. Protecting your hair from this heat overexposure helps avoid these unwanted color changes.
Which ingredients should I look for?
We’re looking for humectants that will hold the moisture in, amino acids or proteins that will strengthen and support your hair and extracts that will protect and seal the cuticle and also give good slip so that heat tools will not snag and drag in your hair. Anti-oxidants are a bonus since they protect against oxidation in hair.
Is a leave-in conditioner the same as a heat protectant?
A leave-in conditioner can do the same job as a heat protectant, so if you’re using one that has the humectant and protein combination you can definitely use it prior to heat styling. We love multi-taskers! It’s best to choose a product that works best for your hair type. Something too heavy will weigh your hair down. Too light and it won’t give enough protection.
For fine hair, our number one choice is this. For thicker, coarse hair choose this one. If you prefer a serum or creme to coat your hair even more, these are both great options also. If your hair is damaged already, adding a leave in conditioner to your daily routine will definitely help with repair.
How should I use it?
Use your heat protectant before blow drying to reduce dry time. Prior to heat styling, apply heat protectant and allow to dry completely before using a straightening iron or curling iron.
Once finished styling, you can apply a finishing oil to reduce frizz and add weight, or a holding spray to keep your style in place.
*Never, ever use heat tools on wet or damp hair. Steam created can burn your scalp and burn, break or coarsen your hair’s texture.
Now that you know how important it is to keep your hair protected during heat styling, you can start incorporating it into your routine.