Do you have a love-hate relationship with your hot tools? We get where you’re coming from! Sometimes you want a voluminous blowout, supermodel waves, or a sleek, straight style… but without the right preparation heat tools can leave your hair feeling dry, frizzy, and damaged.
That’s why we’re huge fans of natural heat protectants! Whether you use heat tools regularly or simply spend a lot of time in the sun, a natural heat protectant is essential for maintaining the overall health and color of your hair.
Not only do natural heat protectants coat and protect the hair during heat styling, but they also add shine, softness, hydration, and improve manageability. They’re an essential part of any natural heat styling routine.
So, what can you use as a natural heat protectant? We’re giving you 10 options to try.
Why You Need a Heat Protectant
Heat protectants protect the hair against damage caused by heat tools. They provide a barrier between your hair and your heat tool and seal in moisture to help prevent breakage and frizz and protect your color against fading. Natural heat protectants also smooth the cuticle of the hair and provide additional moisture, leaving the hair softer and shinier.
How to Find the Best Natural Heat Protectant for Hair
While it’s tempting to grab whatever oil you have on hand, it’s important to realize that only certain oils will serve as a natural heat protectant for hair before straightening, curling, or blow-drying. Choosing an oil that has a high smoke point of at least 350 degrees or higher is crucial. Here’s why.
The smoke point of any oil is the maximum temperature it will protect the hair to. If you exceed the smoke point of the oil you choose, the oil will begin to burn, and you will end up causing extreme damage to your hair.
On the other hand, natural heat protectants lock in moisture and improve the health of your hair. They’re a more natural option for preventing damage and providing multiple benefits for the health and appearance of your hair.
And oils aren’t the only options to consider when it comes to natural heat protection. Ingredients like propolis and honey also make fantastic natural heat protectants because they have properties that strengthen the hair follicle to prevent breakage while adding softness and shine.
Let’s dive into the best natural heat protectants for heat styling and UV protection.
What can I use as a natural heat protectant?
Propolis is a natural resin-like compound produced by bees and used to build strong beehives. It is one of the most potent antibacterial and protective shields in the plant world. Each batch of propolis is different, depending on which trees and flowers the bees have access to.
Propolis contains more than one hundred compounds, including the sap and resins from young trees, essential oils, plant pollen, enzymes, and waxes. Our Propolis Infused Heat Protectant Spray contains propolis sustainably sourced from the Mirsalehi Bee Garden, where the bees have access to a variety of native trees and wildflowers.
Propolis not only protects the hair from heat damage caused by blow-drying and styling tools, but also from the sun. Its unique composition also enhances the hair’s texture, strengthens the follicle, and prevents breakage and split ends. It provides softness and shine without weighing down the hair.
Honey may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about natural heat protectants for the hair, but it offers some amazing benefits everyone should know about. Our Mirsalehi honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that not only protect the hair but also repair existing damage.
Honey is also a natural humectant that helps maintain the hair’s natural moisture balance, strength, and elasticity. Try to incorporate a honey-infused haircare product into your styling routine, such as our Propolis Infused Heat Protect Spray or Honey Infused Hair Oil.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a natural heat protectant. It’s one of the key ingredients of our natural heat protectant spray because it is extremely nourishing, hydrating, and reparative for the hair. It protects damaged hair from breakage by alleviating dryness.
Castor oil is great for protecting the hair against high heat appliances, but it also keeps the frizz away by smoothing the cuticle and reducing split ends. Castor oil also contains ricinoleic acid, which helps to balance the pH of the scalp and restore damage caused by heat, sun, and harsh chemicals.
4. Shea Butter
Shea butter has amazing benefits for the skin, but it's also a wonderful ingredient for the hair too. Shea butter has natural thermal conductivity properties, so it’s a natural replacement for the silicones used in some heat protectants. Silicones coat the hair and protect it from the heat of your styling tools. Shea butter has similar properties, so it’s ideal as a natural heat protectant.
5. Coconut Oil
You probably aren’t surprised to find coconut oil on this list. It has long been praised for its high smoke point and its nourishing benefits as a conditioning hair treatment. Hot tool lovers will be happy to hear that those same properties also make coconut oil an excellent natural heat protectant to use before styling.
Coconut oil not only conditions but also seals the hair. It can also penetrate the hair shaft to repair existing damage. It results in smoother hair that resists frizz over the long term, especially with heat styling. It leaves hair noticeably softer, too.
Keep in mind that coconut oil heat protectant has a relatively low smoke point compared to some of the other options on our list. It shouldn’t be used at temperatures over 325 degrees. It’s a great choice for those with fine hair who don’t require extremely high heat to get effective results.
6. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is readily available, and in a pinch, it makes a highly-effective natural heat protectant. It has a high smoke point of 420 degrees, making it an ideal natural heat protectant for curly hair and those with thicker, coarser hair that requires higher temperatures for heat styling.
This oil has conditioning properties and naturally seals the cuticle to leave the hair shinier and softer. It’s also great for the scalp since it contains vitamin E. Grapeseed oil’s antioxidant properties make it a great choice for protecting the hair against damage and breakage during heat styling.
7. Argan Oil
You may be surprised to hear that the argan oil that has become a staple for smoothing frizz and adding shine can also be used as a natural heat protectant. This nutrient-rich oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, so it’s extremely nourishing as well as protective.
Argan oil is a key ingredient in our Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner because it contains powerful antioxidants that strengthen the hair and protect it against sun and heat damage.
8. Almond Oil
Almond oil is another nourishing oil with a high smoke point that can be used as a natural heat protectant for hair before straightening or curling. Almond oil has a smoke point of 430 degrees, and it absorbs quickly without weighing the hair down.
We include almond oil in our Honey Infused Hair Oil because it contains nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, and D which help to promote healthy strong hair and prevent breakage. These nutrients also give almond oil the ability to fill in gaps in the hair’s structure, making it more resilient and resistant to breakage.
9. Avocado Oil
If you’re looking for a natural heat protectant that also protects the hair against UV damage, consider avocado oil. It nourishes and repairs the hair with healthy fats that promote softness and shine. It also has a high smoke point of 520 degrees, making it a great choice for damaged hair, as well as thick hair that requires higher temperatures for styling.
10. Sunflower Oil
Since sunflower oil has a smoke point of 440 degrees, it’s another great option for those with coarser, thicker hair. It has thermal conductivity properties that work in a way that’s similar to silicone by coating and protecting the hair shaft.
Sunflower oil also has conditioning properties that can penetrate the cortex of the hair, adding hydration and softness. It also contains beneficial ingredients like fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins to improve the health and strength of the hair over time.
Next time you’re in the mood to break out your heat styling tools, consider using a natural heat protectant. Not only will you reap the benefits of protecting your hair from heat damage, but you’ll also receive additional benefits that improve the overall health and texture of your hair, too!