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Top 5 Heat Protectant Products for Black Hair

Updated on September 16, 2011

Do you use heat to style your hair? For me, it’s the blow dryer once or twice a week and the flat iron almost daily . . .and it’s all just to make my hair sleek and straight, which is the opposite of what it is naturally: very curly and sometimes frizzy.

Most stylists agree that excessive heat is bad for your hair. I know this and I’ve been writing about hair for almost four years, but yet I still use a lot of heat. I’ve gotten better about it and I now try to use the medium heat settings, not the highest heat settings. (Hey, I’m trying!)

To make up for my heat addiction, I’ve tried a few different heat protectants on my hair that I use before I use the blow dryer. Here are a few that I (and other consumers) recommend:

Joico K PAK Smoothing Balm

The Claim: “Heat-activated straightening balm, featuring K-PAK's Keratin Silicone Complex, straightens, conditions and eliminates frizz while protecting against thermal and environmental damage. Hair is left silky smooth and humidity proof.”

The Experience: Okay, I love this stuff. This product does exactly what it promises. Whenever I use it, I am complimented about how healthy and shiny my hair looks. I notice it feels much smoother as well. The KPAK line is excellent for dry and damaged hair and this product is very creamy, which is something to look for when styling dry hair. It is heat activated to conditions your hair with the addition of heat. At nearly $20, it is a bit pricey, but the product lasts a long time. I highly recommend this.

Matrix Biolage fortethérapie Fortifying Heat Styler

The Claim: “Smooths, repairs & protects hair from heat & styling damage. Strengthens and controls overworked hair”

The Experience: Matrix Biolage fortethérapie Fortifying Heat Styler is creamy and smells pleasant like all other Matrix Biolage products. It smooths and protects your hair at once. This works on all hair types, but I especially think it works well on curly hair because it moisturizes without weighing down the hair. A little goes a long way. You can purchase this product at your local salon.

Mizani Thermasmooth Smooth Guard Smoothing Serum

The Claim: “Lightweight, leave-in thermal protecting serum buffers against heat styling damage and facilitates the use of heat tools by providing extra glide for easier manageability. The advance C3 Smoothing Complex with cationic polymers is designed to shield and polish while hair is being smoothed.”

The Experience: The ThermaSmooth line by Mizani is a “thermal smoothing system” that repairs, protects and smooths natural, curly, relaxed and color treated hair. This will make your hair feel sleek and straight without being weighed down. And, like most other Mizani products, it smells good, too. Downside? It is around $25 for an 8.5 oz bottle.

L'Oreal Hot Straight Heat Protectant

The Claim: I don’t think this is available in stores any longer. You may have to order it online. I’ve read about this on so many hair forums that I decided to include it on the list.

The Experience: L'Oreal Hot Straight Heat Protectant is rated highly on multiple hair review sites stating that it protects hair from heat, smells good, is inexpensive and won’t weigh your hair down.

Ion Heat Protection

The Claim: “Leaves hair smooth, shiny and healthy-looking. Protects hair from heat styling damage. 100% Vegan. Paraben Free” Ion Heat Protection Spray nourishes hair and seals the cuticle to protect from heat styling damage from flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers. Leaves hair silky, smooth and shiny. No sticky residue or crunchy build-up.”

The Experience: The point of heat protectants is to lessen the impact and protect your hair from heat. This product does just that. Just be careful not to use too much because it may wear your hair down.

Which heat protectants have you used? Which heat protectants would you recommend to a friend?


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    • profile image

      Jacqueline 19 months ago

      I personally think the Karmin Spray Heat Protector is the best =D

    • profile image

      Mary 2 years ago

      I personally think the Karmin Spray Heat Protector is the best

    • profile image

      Jennifer 5 years ago

      My favorite heat protectant spray was Motions Heat Seeker but Motions has discontinued it. Why would they discontinue this great product I have no idea?? I'm so sad because the spray was so wonderful on my hair! I came to this site to read reviews of other heat protectors for AA hair. I hope to try some of the suggestions on this site in order to get an equivalent to Motions Heat Seeker.

    • profile image

      Mary J 5 years ago

      My FAV is the Pro Naturals moroccan argan oil heat protectant, best one ever!!!! Problem is that it’s so hard to get because it’s always sold out on the sites I've seen it on :( But when I get some it’s heaven for my hair, lol. Makes it so SOFT and shiny I can’t get over it. :D

    • profile image

      Isolina 5 years ago

      Hair is made of proteins and flat ironing hair destroys the protein. I do protein treatments with Nutress Hair protein packs every time I wash and flatiron my hair. I also use the Nutress Stop Break Leave-in-Conditioner and Foam Wrap to protect my hair before I blow dry and flat iron it. My hair always feels protected and stays healthy despite the heat! Check them out the products are so versatile and AFFORDABLE.

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      Beau T 6 years ago

      I have used the Chi Iron Guard for the past year, but the Shielo Antioxidant Leave in Protectant is MUCH better. The Chi Iron Guard makes my hair sticky and dry. This Shielo spray seems so vitamin-enriched, it's super lightweight and makes my hair smooth and shiny, plus IT SMELLS AMAZING!!!! I want to wear it as perfume. LOL. The Chi Iron Guard doesn't smell good at all. Honestly this stuff hasn't only protected my hair from heat, but makes my hair look so much more healthy. I'm so happy I found this!

      By the way, I have wavy, fine hair. Hair that curls/frizzes when exposed to humidity or wet. So, this definitely works on my type of hair.

    • profile image

      Ebony of Essence 6 years ago

      Ebony of Essence all natural hair care would love for you to try our products and write a review.

      Visit and type in offer code: 025 to receive a 25% off discount.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the information. I use heat on my hair too and constantly look for products that to protect it. Voted up.