The Best Heat Protectant for Natural Hair

Dec 4, 2021

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Heat protectants for natural hair are a non-negotiable if you heat style your hair. Whether you use a flat iron or blow dry, heat protectants will protect your hair from the harshness of your heat tool.

an image of a black girl getting her hair pressed showing the best heat protectant for natural hair

To be clear, heat tools do not cause heat damage, when used safely and correctly. But not using a heat protectant can definitely contribute to heat damage.

Let’s get into the best heat protectants for natural hair!

What’s The Point of A Heat Protectant

As mentioned, heat protectants offer protection from direct heat.

Direct heat is heat that is applied directly to the hair through heat tools such as flat irons or blow dryers. In contrast, ambient heat, such as hooded hair dryers, do not need heat protectants because the heat is not directly applied to the hair.

In other words: if you blow dry or use flat iron your hair, you should always use a heat protectant prior to using them. You do not need heat protectant when using hooded dryers.

There are many types of heat protectant. The type of heat protectant will depend on whether you are blow drying or flat ironing.

What To Look For In A Heat Protectant for Natural Hair

  • No water – you want to stay clear from water-based products when looking for a heat protectant for natural hair. Water will cause your hair to revert back to your coils, so avoid any water-based products when heat styling.
  • Silicone-based – silicone-based heat protectants will give your hair the sleek, flat look without looking greasy. It will also help with cuticle smoothing, giving that final shiny, sleek look. As naturals we have demonized silicones in our products, but as long as you are smoothing your cuticles
  • No oil – using oil as a heat protectant will fry your coils, and will fast track way your way to getting heat damage. Do not use raw oils on your hair before applying direct heat.

A general rule of thumb is when flat ironing, opt for a silicone-based heat protectant spray that won’t weigh your hair down.

an image of chi silk infusion for natural hair

Chi Silk Infusion Heat Protectant

Best for TYPE 4

This is a great heat protectant for blow drying natural hair. This will not only protect your hair from the harmful effects of direct heat but will optimize your style and encourage a sleeker finish. Apply a dime-sized amount in sections, focusing on your ends before blowdrying.

an image of Chi iron spray for natural hair

CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray

Best for TYPE 3 – 4

This is a great heat protectant for silk presses. This will not only protect your hair from the harmful effects of direct heat but this light-weight spray will optimize your style and encourage a sleeker finish. 

Important Considerations

The quality of your heat tools will impact the integrity of your style. To be clear: faulty tools can and will cause heat damage! Be sure you’re using a quality blow dryer and flat iron.

an image of revlon hair dryer and styler for natural hair

Revlon Hair Dryer and Styler

Best for TYPE 3-4

This paddle brush hair dryer is a game changer for coily textures. The 1000-watt will thoroughly detangle your coils and the brush will keep your hair tangle-free as you blow dry. A great option if you have thick, dense coils. Remember to always use a heat protectant when blow drying!

an image of HSI Cermanic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener for natural hair

HSI Cermanic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener

Best for TYPE 3 – 4

This flat iron plays well with curly and coily textures – the ceramic iron is highly durable, with the ions from the tourmaline plates creating a smoother, frizz-less finish. Comes with adjustable heat settings to fit your needs and heats up relatively quickly. Overall a great hair straightener!

Always start your heat styles on clean hair, otherwise you risk frying your hair.

image of redken all soft shampoo for natural hair

Redken All Soft Shampoo

Best for TYPE 3-4

This shampoo is a go-to for many licenced cosmetologists and stylists. It’s salon quality and highly moisturizing, yet it will clarify your hair thoroughly to give a silky press. Double cleanse your hair and scalp, smoothing your strands down as you go, for best results.

an image of redken all soft conditioner for natural hair

Redken All Soft Conditioner

Best for TYPE 3 – 4

A little goes a long way with this salon-quality conditioner. It has a thick consistency that’s perfect to detangle dense, tangly curls and coils. It’s also pH balancing to help your cuticles lay flat. Natural hair professionals rave about this conditioner for good reason!

If you use heat tools often, keep a protein treatment handy and use it every 6-8 weeks to support your protein stores.

an image of olaplex no 3 hair perfector

Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

Best for naturals

Olaplex’s Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment has a patented agent that is chemically similar to the disulfide protein bonds in our hair. Using it monthly prior to your wash day as a pre-poo will replace broken bonds in your cuticles caused by sun damage, dyes/bleach, heat tools and manipulation.

Final Thoughts on the Best Heat Protectant for Natural Hair

Heat protectants for natural hair are critical to ensure healthy hair when using heat tools.

Use silicone-based heat protectants with no water or oil to keep your hair from reverting or getting damaged. Sprays work best for flat irons!

The Curl Market is a natural hair blog catered to helping black naturals grow their curls into a long, luscious manes.

We use the latest evidence-based scientific research to provide you with the top tips on growing your curls, regardless of hair type.

We also provide lifestyle tips, both self care and mental care, to ensure you are optimizing your body’s natural hair growth cycle – because you can’t grow natural hair if you’re stressed out!

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WRITTEN BY

Ayana Aden

Ayana is The Curl Market’s brand founder. When she’s not deep in natural hair research or creating content, she’s hanging on the couch with her husband and her cat, reading a book or scrolling through TikTok. Follow her on Instagram at @tothecurlmarket.

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