It’s a product that protects your hair from heat damage which is associated with blow drying and straightening. Since natural African-American hair is especially delicate and fragile, it’s important to use a protectant to keep your hair healthy and to act as a barrier to heat, because of the necessary ingredients these products include, they are essential if you’re ready for a change from your everyday afro or twist out.
Heat protectants are not just for women with natural hair. There are heat protectants available for relaxed hair as well.
Quick warning: using a heat protectant does not completely mean that your hair will not fall victim to heat damage; it is wise to limit your direct heat use to no more than twice a year.
What are the essential ingredients of a great heat protectant?
Heat protectant products contain Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone. Dimethicone is a silicone that coats your hair, making it easy to comb through due to its slip and will add a coating to your hair.
It is a silicone typically found in products that promise to detangle and condition natural hair. This is a product you need to be very light handed with this product because too will cause your natural hair not to absorb any natural oils you may place on your hair to moisturized it.
Cyclomethicone is also part of the silicone family. Once it has been applied to your curls, your hair will feel smooth and moisturized because various oils and nutrients are able to move quickly into your hair shaft.
These two ingredients can be found in products such as serums, sprays used to protect your natural hair from heat, leave-in conditioners and setting lotions, which are all commonly used as heat protectants.
Advantages of Using a Heat Protectant
There are many benefits to using heat protectants on natural hair. For starters, heat protectants contain silicone which can resist heat and even make your hair temporarily waterproof.
Now imagine that: heat resistant, waterproof natural hair! That’s unbelievable!
Hair protectant can assist in lessening your hair’s porosity. Why is this so important?
Making your hair have a lower porosity makes it harder to revert from straight to coily because you got caught without an umbrella on a rainy day. Did you know that a good heat protect will also help your hair retain moisture?
If you expose your hair to humidity or if you live in a hot region of the country, your hair will definitely become dry or start to revert. However, using a heat protectant can add a barrier to your hair even when it’s exposed to all of the things mentioned above.
Finally, a heat protectant will make your hair appear and feel much smoother. As a result, it will be easier to detangle.
How to Use Heat Protectant on Natural Hair
Ready to go from curls or coils to sleek and straight? Here’s the best way to use a heat protectant on natural hair.
- Wash your hair with your favorite moisturizing shampoo. Your hair must be thoroughly clean from the product before a heat protectant can work efficiently.
- Deep condition your hair. Applying a deep conditioning treatment to your hair will allow the heat protectant to go into your hair cuticle quickly, become immersed in your hair shaft and then, protect your hair when it’s time for you to the blowout and flat iron your natural hair.
- Section your hair and comb through gently. This goes without saying! Black hair textures always need to be sectioned before any styling can begin. Sectioning and a gentle comb through will allow hair to be easily detangled and ready for the next step. Remember to always comb from ends to the root.
- Apply heat protectant of your choice to each section. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully. This will ensure that your hair will be protected by using heat. Also, if you use any oils, such as grapeseed oil, Moroccan argan oil, or olive oil be sure to use in small amounts, so you do not “overcook” your hair.
- Blow dry your hair and then follow-up with flat ironing your tresses. When straightening natural hair, make sure that any heating appliance–whether a flat iron or curling iron–has a ceramic coating.
Homemade Heat Protectants for Natural Hair
For some women, using a heat protectant that is made by a hair product company is just not an option. If you are looking for a chemical and silicone free hair protectant for natural hair, why not make your own?
Some women swear by shea butter as a heat protectant. Not only does Shea Butter provide UV protection, it also contains vitamins A, D, E, and F which are all helpful in strengthening your hair; and that’s not all, Shea butter is also known for its ability to act as a barrier between heat and your hair, much like a silicone or other heat protectants.
Since shea butter in its natural state is rather hard and gritty, some women like to turn their shea butter into a whipped butter. By adding the oil of your choices such as avocado oil, olive oil or even Moroccan Argan oil with shea butter and mixing it up, you can have a ready-made heat protectant for your natural hair at all times.
The Best Heat Protectant Products for Natural Hair
Ready to find out the best heat protectants to use on natural hair? Remember that the absolute best products will contain silicone and will be alcohol-free.
One of the ways that heat damage occurs over time for curly hair queens is because we use extreme temperatures on regular bases. Heat protection spray is known for its ability to leave hair soft, manageable and straight while protecting against the heat associated with flat irons.
If you frequently straighten your hair, you might want to consider this your go-to product. Not to mention, this is an entirely affordable spray that controls frizz and keeps hair straight like the more expensive products.
Ready for your hair to be safe from heat associated with curling irons and flat irons? Then give HSI Thermal Protector a shot.
This product is great to use if your hair has suffered from damage or is color-treated. You can use this product on your weave, your natural hair or even if you want a heat protectant for relaxed hair for a straight, sleek look that is well moisturized.
Sometimes, despite being the victim of heat damage, you still want to wear your hair straight. I would highly not recommend it and would suggest a wig.
Art Naturals Thermal Hair Protector provides lots of moisture to hair that has been overly exposed to heat, humidity, or the sun. Then, the ingredients in this spray act to protect your coils against any damage that can be done in the future.
Finally, this is a great product to use if you’ve got hair texture in the 4b and 4c families as it works to detangle coils and curls with ease. As you move forward with sparing using heat on your hair, remember that the best protectants for natural hair will lock in moisture, help detangle your hair and resist humidity all while fighting heat damage.