Getting the perfect modern hairstyle often requires the use of different styling tools such as blow dryers and hair straighteners. But, regular exposure to heat can be quite damaging to our hair. High heat strips off moisture and leaves our hair looking dry and frizzy.
As such, heat protectants can be real life savers. This hair care product coats hair strands with a moisturizing protective barrier in order to prevent loss of moisture due to heat, and as a result, keeps hair damage and breakage at bay.
Take a look at the best heat protectants for fine hair that we’ve found, and use the buying guide at the end to help you make the right decision on which brand is perfect for you.
- The Best Heat Protectants for Fine Hair Ranked
- 1. Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Resurfacing Strengthening Milk Blow-Dry Care – Leave In
- 2. Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Creme
- 3. L’Oreal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream Leave in Conditioner
- 4. Living proof Restore Perfecting Spray
- 5. John Frieda Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protecting Spray
- 6. Oribe Run-Through Detangling Primer
- 7. Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Hair Care
- 8. AGADIR Hair Shield 450 Intense Creme Treatment
- 9. ghd Heat Protect Spray
- Heat protectant for fine hair FAQs and buying guide
- Final Thoughts
The Best Heat Protectants for Fine Hair Ranked
Heat protectants come in many forms, such as lotions, creams, and serums. They are easy to apply and work great in nourishing and protecting your hair. To help you find which one is best for your hair care needs, we’ve reviewed dozens of different hair protectants on the market and came up with this list of our most favorite finds:
Our top pick is the Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique, which is beyond wonderful when it comes to protecting and rebuilding hair that has been exposed to severe damage due to heat styling, bleaching, and coloring.
It’s a must-have pre-styling treatment that offers thermal protection of up to 180°C, so you’re sure that your hair will stay protected from damage and breakage. It packs a lot of amazing added benefits, and is the perfect option if you want to say goodbye to flyaways and split ends.
This heat protectant boasts of its Vita-Ciment formulation that features ceramide and pro-keratin in order to strengthen and rebuild each hair fiber from within. You simply have to apply it to dry hair before using your preferred styling tool and be amazed at how your hair transforms from brittle and lifeless strands to a totally fabulous style.
- Thermal activated leave-in treatment with 180°C heat protection
- Features Vita-Ciment for internal strengthening and Vita-Topseal for external protection
- Reduces breakage and damage while smoothing away cracks and split ends
- Easy to apply pre-styling and no need for rinsing
Another amazing heat protectant from the same brand is the Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Creme, which is made especially for fine, thin, and dry hair. It’s guaranteed to leave your hair feeling soft and supple even after styling.
It’s a royal cream that is made with a superior formulation of jelly extract, linseed oil, xylose, and antioxidant-rich Iris rhizome extract. All these ingredients work hand in hand to nourish your hair cuticles, make it soft and shiny, protect them from chemical and oxidative damage, and give your hair that polished surface.
The formulation is also rich in other nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids that work great in locking in hair cuticles and preventing frizz. And of course, you get to enjoy the excellent thermo-protective properties, so all in all, it’s a total win.
- Reliable thermo-protective and anti-roughness properties
- Protects hair from heat, chemical, and oxidative damage
- Eases styling while adding and maintaining shine
- With nourishment, softening, moisturizing, and polishing properties
- The consistency is a bit greasy
Taking the third spot is the L’Oreal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream Leave-In Conditioner, which is perfect for revitalizing and reviving thin, long, and fine hair from roots to tips in order to give it a new leash on life without any split ends or breakage.
Thanks to its special formulation that includes fine castor oil, along with vitamins B3 and B5, this heat protectant effectively strengthens your hair fibers while acting as a humectant and forming a thin shield on your hair’s surface so as to lock in moisture.
It also protects your hair from chemical and environmental damage, as well as stimulates oxygen supply to each hair cuticle in order to facilitate healthy hair growth. The best part? It offers heat protection of up to 450°F.
- Detangles and protects thin, long, and damaged hair
- Paraben and sulfate free formulation
- Makes hair soft and smooth while reducing breakage
- Eliminates split ends and hair breakage
- May feel a little sticky and heavy on the hair
In fourth place is the Living Proof Restore Perfecting spray, which is exceptionally great not just for fine, frizzy, and damaged hair, but for pretty much all hair types out there. It offers superior restorative properties to revive dry and dull hair, too.
It comes as a conditioning detangler that is feather-light on your hair and boasts of a great formulation that is free of silicone. Instead, it uses hydrogenated castor oil, carob seed extract, and beetroot extract to strengthen your hair fibers.
What these ingredients do is that they improve each hair strand’s structural integrity while enhancing your hair’s protective barrier against damage. This formulation is also effective in sealing in moisture and adding shine to your hair even after styling.
- PETA certified lightweight leave-in conditioning mist
- Paraben, silicone, phthalate, and cruelty free formulation
- Thermal protection up to 205° C plus added UV protection
- Color safe formula that minimizes wet detangling
- Greasy feel with an off-putting smell
Ranking fifth is the John Frieda Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protecting Spray, a lightweight and moisturizing humectant spray that prevents hair breakage while taming frizz and flyaways, thanks to its excellent list of ingredients and an overall amazing formulation.
This heat protectant contains aloe leaf extract and jojoba seed oil that seal in moisture in your hair shaft and prevent hair loss from heat styling and hydrolyzed vegetable protein that also seals in moisture while replenishing and rehabilitating lifeless strands.
There are also tea leaf extracts that have lots of antioxidant properties to protect your hair against environmental damage. Finally, you get to enjoy the thermal guard complex technology that guarantees shiny and frizz-free locks for a long time.
- Humectant spray with long-lasting 24-hour protection
- Lightweight formulation with styling and conditioning agents
- Seals in moisture and fights frizz while protecting hair
- Suitable for use on color treated hair
- Contains parabens, comes with a slightly unusual scent
You might also want to check out the Oribe Run-Through Primer, which is not only a highly effective and well recommended thermal protectant spray, but also features great detangling properties that work in seconds.
It’s a dermatologically tested formula that is free of sulfates and parabens, and is made of Oribe’s signature complex, which includes Edelweiss and hibiscus flower extracts, lychee, watermelon, and the oils of coconut, apricot, and pomegranate.
All these ingredients are what make it possible for this anti-static spray to seal in your hair cuticles, protect each strand against heat damage, and make your hair more manageable. It also protects your hair from photoaging, environmental damage, and oxidative stress.
- Paraben, sulfate, and gluten-free formulation
- PETA approved 100% vegan formulation free from harsh chemicals
- Protects the hair’s natural keratin while conditioning and nourishing hair
- Color safe spray with excellent quick detangling properties
- Unpleasant smell
We also highly recommend the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Hair Care, a vitamin-rich and lightweight heat protecting spray that repairs, rehabilitates, and revives all types of hair that have suffered from environmental and heat damage.
With a new and exclusive formulation that features the Caviar bond enforcing technology, this heat protectant reduces 99% of hair breakage, protects hair strands from heat damage at up to 450°F, and rebonds and rebuilds hair cuticles to seal them in for up to ten washes.
Plus, it’s also made with caviar extract that contains lots of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and D, so it prevents hair fall, breakage, dryness, and color damage, all while delivering hydration to each strand and adding shine.
- Color safe formulation free of parabens and sulfates
- Strengthens, fortifies, and revitalizes damaged hair
- Rebonds hair strands while protecting them from oxidative damage
- With Caviar Bond technology and age-control complex
- Contains silicone
Another excellent option is the AGADIR Hair Shield 450 Intense Creme Treatment, which boasts of a lot of amazing features and benefits that will do wonders for your hair, such as antioxidants and heat absorbing proteins that protect your hair from heat styling while also controlling frizz.
This is actually a pretty intense treatment cream that’s made with all the best ingredients, such as vitamin E, argan oil, and omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, so you can trust it to nourish, hydrate, and protect your hair.
What’s more, is that it’s great in shielding your hair cuticles against damage caused by constant exposure to heat styling tools. It also contains pea extract and hydrolyzed wheat protein to penetrate your hair shaft and protect your hair from chemical and environmental damage.
- Paraben, sulfate, and salt-free formulation
- Intense repair leave-in cream rich in antioxidants
- Eliminates frizz and moisturizes hair strands
- Healing and restorative properties
- Sticky and greasy consistency
Last but not the least is the ghd Heat Protect Spray, a heat protectant that forms an invisible protective barrier on your hair strands, comes with a nice, fresh botanical scent, and leaves zero product residue- perfect for fine and damaged hair.
This heat protectant spray is sure to enhance your hair’s natural appeal while letting you go wild and free with styling without worrying about heat damage, making it an easy favorite among professional and home stylists alike. In fact, it’s formulated with all the best ingredients you could ever ask for when it comes to protecting and nourishing your hair.
This includes hydrolyzed wheat protein, which acts in protecting your hair cuticles against breakage. Furthermore, this spray wraps moisture in each hair cuticle, and helps in maintaining your hair’s natural strength. It’s also easy to use, and a little goes a long way since you just need a few spritzes to cover your hair length from roots to tips.
- Lightweight and fresh smelling formulation
- Paraben-free ingredients
- Long-lasting heat and UV protection
- Makes hair smooth and silky
- May leave your hair stiff
Heat protectant for fine hair FAQs and buying guide
It’s common knowledge that heat styling tools such as hair straighteners, heated brushes, curling wands, and hair dryers can cause severe damage to any hair, and most especially thin and fine hair.
But, we just can’t shy away from these tools especially if we want to achieve the perfect hairstyle. So, it’s only important that we take precautions to keep our hair protected from damage and breakage. One of the easiest solutions? A heat protectant.
What is a heat protectant?
First of all, what exactly is a heat protectant?
Well, it’s a hair care product that comes in the form of a spray or cream, and acts in safeguarding our hair from heat damage which can be caused by regular styling using heated styling tools, since these tools can strip off our hair’s natural oils.
This means that the hair can easily become frizzy, dry, and brittle. To prevent this from happening, a heat protectant acts like a polymer and wraps around our hair shaft to seal in moisture and strengthen our hair fibers.
This protective layer also prevents moisture from evaporating, so the hair stays hydrated, shiny, and lustrous. It also offers thermal protection up to varying degrees of temperature.
How does heat protectant work?
Essentially, a heat protectant works by forming a protective barrier or coating around each hair cuticle after application, which can be via spraying the hair or rubbing on some cream. This way, the heat from any styling tool is distributed more evenly, and its harsh effects are also reduced. This is really important if you constantly expose your hair to temperatures above 250°F.
A lot of heat protectants also offer lots of other benefits such as aiding in hair regrowth, preventing hair loss, adding extra nourishment, intense hair repair and revitalization, and so on.
What you need to understand, however, is that at most, even the best heat protectants can only reduce heat damage by 50%, so if you really want to maintain your hair health, the best way to go is to still limit exposure to heat styling tools.
What are the benefits of using a heat protectant?
Even without complete shielding against heat damage, the level of thermal protection that heat protectants offer still goes a long way. After all, the regular usage of heat styling tools can really weaken your hair and make it more vulnerable to damage as the heat depletes your hair’s natural oils, essential proteins, and vitamins.
More than that, heat protectants also keep your hair nourished, hydrated, and moisturized. And since heat protectants shield your hair from breakage and other hair issues such as frizz, flyaways, and split ends, they also typically come with strengthening properties.
Heat protectants are also great in straightening and smoothing your hair, not to mention making it shinier. Plus, you also get to enjoy protection from environmental aggressors and UV radiation, so it’s a win-win all around.
Things to consider before buying a heat protectant
When buying a heat protectant for fine hair, there are certain things you need to consider. First, you need to make sure it can actually protect your hair against heat damage. This means checking the heat level that the product can handle, and see if that works for the usual heat settings you use for your thermal styling tools. At the very least, it should be at 200°C.
You should also take time to read the ingredients and make sure that these ingredients can effectively address whatever hair issues you’re dealing with. Now, when it comes to fine hair, the best heat protectants are the ones made with natural and gentler ingredients such as argan oil, shea butter, and olive oil.
How to use a heat protectant
The best way to use a heat protectant is to apply it on your towel-dried hair before you begin combing or styling. Make sure to apply it evenly, starting from the roots, and right down to the tips, so your hair can stay strong, moisturized, and damage-free.
For a simple blow dry or a fight with your heated brush, a lightweight, zero residue heat protectant would do just fine, but for more complicated styling with your straighteners and curling irons, try to opt for a heat protectant that offers a bit more hold.
If you’re a fan of heat styling tools, a good heat protectant is always a good investment, so you’ll have less worries of your hair experiencing extensive heat damage. Heat protectants are also great in nourishing, moisturizing, and hydrating your hair. And, they make styling easier, all while eliminating frizz.
The best heat protectant for fine hair that we recommend is the Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Resurfacing Strengthening Milk Blow-Dry Care – Leave In. It’s a leave-in pre-styling conditioning treatment that is easy to use, makes your hair look wonderful, and keeps it safe from heat, chemical, and environmental damage.