I have to admit, protecting my hair from heat styling wasn’t really on my radar for a long time. Having pretty manageable and straight hair, I never went through that middle school fry your hair with a straightener phase. Naturally, because I had straight hair, I have always been fascinated with curls.
When I was a senior in high school, I splashed out and bought myself my a nice curling wand set. Although I loved this new look and the versatility I could now get with different hairstyles, my hair wasn’t thanking me. As my need for a trim increased with every passing style, I was soon forced to look into protecting my hair and preventing further damage.
I had always prided myself on my healthy hair, so this period of dry, frizzy ends definitely required an intervention. I started with a clean slate, cutting a few inches off and beginning again with some new advice from my hairstylist. Ever since then, I’ve been a bit crazy when it comes to protecting my hair from heat.
The Heat Styling Products I Love
I’ll start off with my heat protectant products I use in my blow dry routine. Firstly, I use a detangler or leave in conditioner to help me brush out my towel-dried hair. For over a year now, I’ve been loving the It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in which has added Keratin for a strengthening and smoothing boost. This helps me comb through my hair and also adds hydration and fights frizz.
The next product I’ll use is the L’Oreal Expert Absolut Repair Lipidium Blow Dry Cream. This is basically a blow dry cream that nourishes and protects hair during a blow dry, leaving the hair feeling smoother, stronger, and shiner. This product targets very weak and damaged hair and I think it does an amazing job at protecting my hair from both heat styling and the dry hot Californian air. Although I normally steer clear of any heavy looking creams because I’m always looking to add more volume, this cream is very light and feels weightless on my hair.
When I’m curling my hair or working with heat on dry hair, I have a different set of products. When curling my hair or on the rare occasion when I straighten my hair, I like to start off with a prep product for heat protection. I liberally apply the Redken Iron Shape all over my hair, lifting pieces up in sections so that everything is protected. I like using this product because it protects your hair from heat up to 450 degrees, it feels lightweight, and it’s not sticky.
Then I brush my hair to distribute the product and wait a moment to let it dry. After sectioning out my hair, I like to spray the Paul Mitchell Express Hot Off the Press Thermal Protection Hair Spray onto each section before I curl it. This product not only protects the hair from heat, but it also acts as a flexible hold hairspray to hold your curls in place. If I’m going for a soft, beachy waves look, I don’t even finish off my curls with a hairspray. This product is awesome for preventing my curls from falling too much. If your hair doesn’t hold a curl very well, then this product is a great prep spray for styling because it adds this extra hold.
Once I’m finished using heat on my hair, whether it’s a blow dry or a full-on curling routine, I like to finish off my style with a bit of nourishing hair oil. A finishing oil adds some extra shine and moisture, but it also protects against split ends and keeps my hair from drying out throughout the day. I always apply a hair oil because I notice that my hair is much more likely to feel dry and dehydrated after I’ve heat styled it. My oil of choice is the Davines Ol Absolute Beautifying Potion. I love this product because it does a great job of adding shine and softness. This oil also helps separate and define my curls as well as protect my hair from free radicals, a great feature for any of those living in a city.
Overall, I think that protecting your hair if you like heat styling is essential for maintaining healthy hair. I did have to learn the hard way, but it’s never too late to start protecting your hair. Treat yourself to a little trim and some heat protecting products and your hair will thank you.