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How to choose heat protectant for your hair?

Why do you need a heat protectant for your hair?

how to protect your hair from heat

Heat protectant is needed if you style your hair with high-heat devices such as:

  • straightening your hair with irons,

  • using curling irons, including the Dyson styler,

  • using a ceramic hairbrush,

  • blow-drying your hair.

Heat protection prevents the hair from damage caused by heat.

Hair is damaged even at a low temperature of 50°C during the blow drying (1). The higher the temperature, the more the hair is damaged.

When hair is heated above 120°C, several types of damage occur (2):

  • Keratin is destroyed.

  • Hair pigment is destroyed.

  • Cracks appear in the cuticle.

  • The hair loses moisture.

As a result, hair becomes dull, brittle, dry, loses elasticity, thins, splits, and breaks.

How do I choose heat protectant?

What to look for in a good heat protectant


Cosmetic chemists suggest choosing a heat protectant with different heat-protective components. The more of them, the better.

The main components of heat protection are ingredients with low heat conductivity. They form a film on the surface of the hair, which slows the spread of heat and distributes it more evenly. These are silicones, hydrolyzed proteins, and acrylate polymers.

Ingredients with proven heat-protective properties (3):

VP/acrylates/lauryl methacrylate copolymer

Polyquaternium-55, 28, etc.

PVM/MA copolymer

PVP/DMAPA acrylates copolymer, etc.

Quaternium 70

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Dimethicone and other silicones.


Choose a product with at least 3 heat-protective ingredients.

Good heat protectants should also help to minimize moisture loss. This is especially important when blow-drying hair.

What happens to your hair when you blow dry it?

When hair is blow-dried, it literally loses water and becomes dry, causing cracks in the cuticle. The higher the temperature of blow drying, the more damage will occur.

To minimize hair dryness, you should look for moisture-retaining ingredients (glycerin, propylene glycol) in the product's composition.

The Beauty Brains (4) notes that a combination of glycerin or other moisturizers and a low molecular weight polymer capable of penetrating the cuticle and preventing it from cracking (e.g. hydrolyzed wheat protein polysiloxane copolymer) is ideal.


Will heat protection products actually protect your hair?

It will, but not 100%.


Heat protection does not provide 100 percent protection for your hair from damage.

Heat protectant minimizes damage to the hair. That's all.


It is important to take care of your hair:

  • do not use irons at a maximum temperature of 200 °C.

  • do not use irons on the same strand 100500 times: each movement is accompanied by damage.

  • use leave-in conditioners to smooth the surface of the hair.

  • use styling products to help the hair take the desired shape.


How do I check if the heat protection is working?


The only thing you can test the heat protectant on is hair, not on checks, toasts, pasta or anything else.


If you want to test the effectiveness of a heat protectant at home, you can experiment on natural hair and draw conclusions based on visual observations:

  • order two strands of natural hair

  • wash both strands with shampoo

  • let them dry

  • apply a heat protectant to one of them

  • run irons on both strands the same number of times (10, 100...).

  • make conclusions based on visual observations of how the hair quality of both strands changes.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments!


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