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When you’re rushing to get ready in the morning, and styling your hair isn’t exactly your priority, chances are you may skip a hair styling or hair care product. But if one of those products happens to be heat protectant, making that choice could have a not-so-great outcome. In fact, if you’re blow-drying or flat ironing your hair, it’s a good idea to take a couple of extra seconds to apply a few quick spritzes or a dollop of a heat protectant before styling. Want to know why? Here, we explain why heat protectant should be part of your hairstyling routine.
Real talk: When you expose your hair to heat every time you style your hair, this can lead to damage. The good news is, by applying a heat protectant and being smart about how you use your heat tools, you can help prevent heat damage in the first place.
Ready to blow-dry or straighten your strands? Don’t pick up your tool until you’ve prepped your hair! Here are four heat protection products from L’Oréal Paris.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight HeatSpray: This high-performance, lightweight spray offers sleek hair and 450° heat protection for an ideal sleek look. Specifically formulated to work with any heat styling tool, the unique formula not only helps protect from heat damage, but calms frizzy hair, seals in shine, blocks humidity, and conditions strands.
How to use it: Spray onto damp or dry hair section by section before styling.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Quick Dry Primer Spray: The lightweight primer formula helps cut down blow-dry time while protecting hair from damage.
How to use it: Apply on clean, damp hair. Spray evenly from 6-8 inches away from your hair. Then, separate your hair and clip it into three even sections, blow-drying from the top—this can also help cut down on styling time.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Thermal Smoother Cream: The lightweight hair cream formula instantly smooths hair while protecting from heat damage. No pulling, no tugging.
How to use it: Squeeze a quarter-size amount into palm for mid-length hair. Apply on damp hair before blow-drying with a round brush. Blow-dry your hair in a downward motion to help seal the cuticle for a smoother, shinier finish.
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Frizz Vanisher Cream: This high-performance leave in hair cream fights frizz for up to three days, helps lock out humidity, tames flyaways, and provides heat protection. It also smooths the cuticle for sleek, polished hair with a silky touch.
How to use it: Apply to damp hair, leave in and blow-dry for a sleek look.
After picking a heat protectant and beginning to use it religiously, it’s important to note that you still don’t have free reign to use heat tools without taking further precautions. Besides stocking up on those heat protection products, there are other strategies you should employ to help beat heat damage. Find four additional tips to prevent heat damage, below.
Think about it: If you start blow-drying your hair when it’s soaking wet, it’s going to take quite a long time to fully dry. So, curb your exposure to the heat by letting your hair air dry at least halfway before going anywhere near it with a blow-dryer.
Alternatively, you can consider allowing your hair to air dry completely. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), decreasing the number of times you blow-dry every week helps limit damage. And don’t worry, you can still achieve a beautiful style without your blow dryer. Spritz your towel-dried strands with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray to create beachy waves, no heat tools necessary.
Beyond taking a break from your blow-dryer, it’s also a good idea to cut back on the frequency with which you curl and straighten your hair. The AAD shares that flat irons should be used no more than every other day. If your use exceeds that, take a little hiatus and put your strands into a pretty braid instead.
Always use the lowest heat setting possible on your hair, those super high heat settings likely aren’t necessary for your hair. In reality, the highest settings are typically meant for in-salon treatments—not at-home use.
Repeatedly applying heat to the same section of hair will increase the chances of damaging your strands. The AAD recommends that when working with a curling iron or wand, you only leave your heat tool in place for a second or two. As for using a flat iron, straighten your hair in small sections to make passing over your hair easier. You should only need to pass through each section once to straighten it.
We’ve covered how to protect your hair from the heat but what’s one to do if they already have heat damage? Besides starting to take preventative measures (it’s never too late), follow these tips for handling damaged hair:
There are hair treatments to help with everything, including heat damage. The L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion, formulated with goji, helps strengthen fragile hair and protect against breakage. Applied daily, the lightweight formula moisturizes, revives shine, and fortifies hair sensitized by UV rays, water, and heat styling. It also brings softness and provides added slip and detangling.
Heat damage often presents in the form of unsightly split ends. If your hair has been afflicted, it’s best to go ahead and trim your hair. That way, you can cut off the ends of your hair—where most of the damage is anyway—and get a new haircut out of it. Not such a bad deal, right?
Next up: How to Curl Your Hair with a Flat Iron.