Show us a good stylist who doesn't recommend using heat protectant before styling. There are no such! These funds are mandatory for everyone. Which product to choose, how does thermal protection work and what to do to get the maximum benefit from its use?

What is thermal protection for hair: how it works

Heat protection for hair is a category of products that are used before hot styling.

While we dry our hair with a hairdryer, wind the curls on a curling iron or straighten it with an iron, we involuntarily influence the structure of the strands, and this effect cannot be called anything other than traumatic. Of course, the best way to maintain the quality of the strands is to stop using high temperature styling tools, but for many this is not possible.

Therefore, beauty brands (thanks to them) are engaged in the prevention of hair damage by releasing special thermal protection for them.

The myth that these beauty products don't seem to work can be easily dispelled by learning how thermal hair protection products work. When washing your hair with hot water, the scales of the cuticle layer of the hair partially open, weakening their natural protection. If you then direct a stream of hot air onto the strands or walk through such hair with an iron, the likelihood that the scales will open even more is very high, because gadgets heated to a temperature of 200–230 degrees are often used for styling!

A good thermal protection for hair is simply irreplaceable! After applying the product, the scales close, the curls are smoothed, and styling becomes less traumatic for them.

The smoothing effect is achieved through various ingredients. In the composition of a cream or thermal spray for hair, silicone is often found, which has the property of straightening strands.

By the way, professional thermal hair protection can do a lot. In addition to their main function, these tools are capable of:

  • strengthen the discipline of strands;

  • care for curls - moisturize, nourish and smooth;

  • fix the desired styling;

  • partially replace styling.

How to choose the right format of thermal protection for hair?

Which thermal protection for hair is better - spray, cream or maybe oil? The question is serious, but you still want to find a tool that will best protect your strands from overheating. However, experts say that “the best heat protection for hair” is a purely subjective assessment, because what is good for fine or dyed hair may not be suitable for dense and tinted hair. Therefore, in each individual case, it is necessary to choose thermal protection taking into account specific initial data.


The spray format is one of the most convenient when it comes to thermal protection for hair. Perhaps that is why it is the most common. The product does not need to be distributed through the hair with your hands.

When choosing a thermal protection spray for hair, experts recommend studying the composition and looking for products without alcohol. For dry hair, this ingredient should definitely be excluded, otherwise there is a risk of drying the strands even more.


For smoothness, choose products in oil format. They are good for fluffy curls that pull out during styling. The heat protectant oil also softens the strands and adds a beautiful shine.


Lotion or cream with protective functions are products for "hungry" hair. Such thermal protection works almost like a leave-in care: it prevents damage and visually heals the strands. After using this product, the hair really looks well-groomed.

Top thermal protector for hair

Theoretically, it is clear that thermal protection for hair is necessary to protect curls from the traumatic effects of ironing, hair dryer and other hot tools. But what thermal protection to choose in practice? Let's talk about the favorites of our editors.

Blow Dry Thermal Protective Cream, L'Oréal Professionnel

One of our editors has been using this cream for over a year. When in a hurry she forgets to apply it, then she reproaches herself for negligence. However, she rarely finds herself in such a situation. The tool is really cool! Firstly, the fact that this is not just care, but also styling is immediately captivating - 2 in 1. It is stated that the cream has the function of preserving memory about the shape of the styling - what is needed for those who regularly play sports or often wear hats . Vegetable protein and vitamin E are responsible for the nutrition of the strands.

It seems that the product copes with all the functions of leave-in products - you don’t want to apply anything extra to your hair.

The second benefit, which could easily be called the first, is the lightweight thermal protection formula. The tool does not weigh down the strands and is suitable even for fine hair.

Iron Shape Thermal Protective Spray, Redken

This heat protectant hair spray is unusual in that it is specifically designed to be used while straightening or curling with a flat iron or curling iron.

As a rule, such products are applied to semi-moist hair, but this product should be used on dried strands according to the instructions. At the same time, the iron can work in thermal mode up to 232 degrees. Agree, you feel calmer knowing what powerful hair protection Redken provides.

Serum spray for damaged hair Fructis "SOS Keratin" , Garnier

What should be in the composition of thermal protection for hair? In 2023, we can say with confidence that nutritional components are welcome among the ingredients. Garnier, for example, included vegetable keratin and amla oil in the formula.

Judging by the name of the product, it cannot be classified as a styling product, but this serum may surprise you: those who are familiar with it are sure that it is needed not only for those who want to protect strands during styling, but also for those who use styling for extra volume of curls.

Heat protection for hair: instructions for use

How to check if the thermal protection is working? Only empirically, using it before each styling. Of course, much here depends on the effectiveness of the remedy formula. But a large part of success is the correct and timely application of thermal protection.

Blow dry

After washing your hair, lightly dry the strands with a towel and immediately after that distribute thermal protection over them. It is convenient to apply products of any format on wet hair, however, to protect the ends from splitting, for example, experts advise using thicker textures (cream or oil).

It is better to use a spray along the entire length of the hair. After applying thermal protection, you need to wait just a few seconds - and you can start the usual styling.

When using iron or curling iron

Thermal protection for hair from an iron or curling iron should be as powerful as possible, because these tools are heated to the highest temperatures.

As a rule, products are applied to semi-moist hair immediately before blow-drying and styling. Some brands produce professional products that can be applied to dry strands. It's great, because sometimes you want to curl your hair spontaneously, and it's good that you can not waste time pre-washing your hair.

Useful life hacks

To consolidate the material, we propose to discuss in more detail several important issues for laying.

How to choose a hair protection from a curling iron so that the product also performs the function of fixation?

It is important to understand that in general, thermal protection should not replace hairspray - it has other tasks. But some products in this category do have a certain degree of hold - for example, Redken's Fabricate 03 thermal protection spray.

Can thermal protection for hair be cheap and good?

Quite. In the matter of choosing thermal protection, it is better to build on the functionality of the product. We tend to look at the brand as well, knowing that reputable brands do a lot of research before launching their products into mass production. Even in supermarkets you can find suitable products. We recommend Garnier Fructis SOS Keratin Spray Serum, which provides protection up to 230 degrees.

Do I need separate thermal protection for blondes?

No, thermal protection products are mostly universal. But if you dye your hair lighter, we advise you to look at the more nourishing textures that are typical for creams and lotions.

How to choose a thermal protection for oily hair?

Avoid oily and nourishing cream formulas. Light sprays are just what you need to avoid weighting strands and loss of volume.

Is hair protection from the effects of ironing and hair dryer suitable for protecting curls from the sun?

No. To protect your hair from the sun, you need special products with SPF.