Best Heat Protectants For Fine Hair

The 7 Best Heat Protectants For Fine Hair

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Applying heat to your hair can leave it dry and brittle, even more so if you have fine hair. The best heat protectants for fine hair make heat styling safer for your delicate strands without weighing them down. Top-rated options should be formulated for the specific purpose of creating a barrier that protects your hair from damaging heat, and should strengthen and nourish your finer strands without weighing them down. A lightweight formula is essential for fine hair to avoid flattening it or giving it an oily texture, which typically means opting for a spray-on heat protectant that can distribute the product in a finer mist than a serum or cream. Also look for lightweight ingredients like water or aloe to be sure they won’t weigh you down.

Since fine hair needs extra protection, you’ll also want to make sure you pick a heat protectant that includes with the necessary ingredients to keep it strong and hydrated. Heat tools can strip your hair of its natural oils and proteins, so a product with nutrient-rich oils like argan, jojoba, avocado, olive, and coconut, or extracts like aloe leaf, beet, and sea kelp, can help nourish and seal moisture into your dry strands. Other ingredients like proteins, glycerin, silicones, polymers, and castor oil can strengthen your hair and shield it from heat so keep an eye out for a formula that contains ingredients like these to ensure you have an effective formula. In addition to moisturizing and protecting, consider whether you want a spray that has any additional benefits, like detangling, cutting down on your blow-drying time, or even just smelling really nice. Also think about whether you’re looking to protect wet or dry hair from heat tools, since some sprays are specifically designed to be used only on wet or only dry strands.

From blow drying to flat ironing, these highly rated heat protectant sprays on Amazon will protect your fine hair and give you the look you want.

1. An Editor-Favorite Heat Protectant Spray

This heat protectant spray has an impressive ingredient list, which includes aloe leaf extract, sweet almond protein, cucumber fruit extract, and prickly pear fruit extract, to leave your hair fine hair feeling soothed, smoothed, and moisturized — all while being paraben-, sulfate-, and cruelty-free. The spray also has polymers for heat protection and can be used on wet or dry hair. Amazon reviewers love it, and so does Bustle Associate Commerce Editor Kori Perten, who reports: “My stylist recommended the Prep Spray by R+Co for my incredibly fine hair, and I’ve been using it for years now. I spritz my damp hair with this stuff after every shower for incredibly soft strands that don’t feel fried or frizzy after I use a blow dryer.” Best of all, she adds, “Most products can make my hair feel flat or greasy, but this one never does — and a few spritzes go a long way, so I don’t have to repurchase very often.” A win win for fine hair.

Helpful Amazon review: “I use the spray after washing my hair and before using hair dryer in the morning. It provides heat protection. It also reduces hair frizz and makes my hair more manageable. The scent is light so does not bother me. There are a bunch of good key ingredients in it, like aloe leaf extract, coconut oil, sweet almond protein, and etc. I really like the fact that it is formulated without harsh chemicals.”

2. A Budget Heat Protectant Spray That’s Super Popular

With more than 42,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars, it’s easy to see why this heat protectant is so popular. The lightweight spray uses silicones to create a barrier around your strands for thermal protection (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and L'Oréal promises that it will keep hair sleek for up to three days — though according to one reviewer, “My hair was sleek straight for a whole week.” Nourishing ingredients like camelina sativa seed oil do wonders for your strands. You can apply to damp or dry hair, but some reviewers have advised caution with the nozzle — the spray coats your strands evenly, but can make your floors slippery if spilled. However, since this heat protectant spray comes in at under $5, it’s a small price to pay.

Helpful Amazon review: “OMG this stuff is amazing. My hair is super curly and fine and this spray is the absolute best protectant I have ever used!!! [...] I spray it on right out of the shower and it makes my curls beautiful and then add more when I use my flat iron or brush. If you're blow drying you get zero frizz. Get this and you won't be anything but happy!”

3. A Fan-Favorite Heat Protectant Spray

Another popular heat protectant is the CHI 44 Iron Guard, which can be used on wet or dry hair. It’s a lightweight, sulfate- and paraben-free spray with panthenol for shine and softness, jojoba and olive oils for moisture, and keratin and silk proteins for thermal protection (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Reviewers love that it doesn’t leave hair feeling greasy or weighed down, and one fan even raved, “I have super fine hair that tends to get thin easily if I damage it too much with heat. So I've been using this for forever. Though, I did stop using it for a couple of years and there was a noticeable difference in the health of my hair!!” CHI is a brand synonymous with high-quality heat styling tools and products, so this heat protectant is a reliable choice for fine strands.

Helpful Amazon review: “This is very popular for a reason! I love this product. I use it daily! I use a lot of heat for my hair and this helps keep my hair from frying or drying out. It mists very easily and distributes through hair nice. It has a nice smell and actually adds some texture to my hair which is great since I have very fine hair. I only use a few squirts for blow drying, but I really spray it on when I'm doing curls or flat iron.”

4. A Heat Protectant Spray That Also Detangles

If you’d like your fine hair to look and feel healthier after applying heat, consider choosing a heat protectant that also promises to condition and detangle (a claim backed by reviewers). Fans saw results from their first use and can report that “it added shine and bounce to my fine knotty hair.” This lightweight spray uses marine extracts for UV protection, and beet-derived extracts, glycerin, and castor oil for heat protection (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit), while remaining sulfate-, paraben-, and silicone-free. Living Proof is also known for the Healthy Hair Molecule that’s used in this product, a proprietary technology that’s engineered to reduce the surface energy on your hair and decrease frizz and oil. Reviewers have called it a “go-to hair product,” “life changing,” and a “miracle.” Note that this product is intended for use on damp hair.

Helpful Amazon review: “This is one of my absolute must-have hair products. I have been using it for about 3 years now, and repurchase about once every 3-4 months. I straighten or heat style my hair every day, and this leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy even with all the heat I use on it.”

5. A Heat Protectant Spray That Promises To Decrease Blow-Drying Time

This highly rated blow-dry spray is a lightweight mist that the brand has specifically designed for fine hair. The formula should be applied to damp hair, and is made with jojoba oil for nourishment and strength, plus keratin and polymers for thermal protection (up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit). It claims to cut blow drying time in half, while softening and de-frizzing in the process. Devotees can back this up, with one reviewer explaining, “Definitely speeds up drying time and hair looks so healthy when using. Highly recommended!!” Fans also love the tropical scent, non-sticky feel, and the fact that a little product goes a long way.

Helpful Amazon review: “My hair is fine and I have to be careful of 99% of the products out there because it weights down easily. I also have asthma and am sensitive to most scents give me a headache. This is nice and light, scent is nice and not too strong for me, and it makes my silver hair shine! Even over hairspray. This is a good find!”

6. A Cult-Favorite Heat Protectant Spray Available In Travel Size

Fans of Moroccanoil products and the brand’s Perfect Defense Spray rave about the signature scent that combines notes of tropical flowers, vanilla, amber, and wood. That rich, nutty smell comes in part from argan oil, which is a natural thermal protectant and moisturizing ingredient. The spray also includes a mix of silicones, castor oil, glycerin, and polymers to protect your hair up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. And many reviewers with self-reported fine hair love this product, which has an overall rating of 4.5 stars after more than 3,000 reviews. It’s also free of sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil and can be applied to dry or damp hair. And if you want to take it on the road, there’s a 2-ounce travel size.

Helpful Amazon review: “This not only protects my hair from the heat of my curling iron, but it helps my curls stay put until I wash my hair. This is huge, because I have really fine hair that won’t hold a curl without Moroccan Oil.”

7. An Affordable Heat Protectant Spray Made With Avocado & Olive Oil

There are a lot of heavy-duty moisturizing ingredients in this heat protectant spray, including vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter, panthenol, avocadooil, and olive oil. These moisturizers combine to nourish, hydrate, and add shine to your fine hair without feeling heavy. Fans write that this is “a perfect lightweight leave-in when you don't want your hair to be weighed down.” It contains glycerin for thermal protection and should be applied to damp hair. The packaging is recyclable and the spray is sulfate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free. It’s no wonder that reviewers call it “the perfect moisturizer for fine and dry hair.”

Helpful Amazon review: “I love this product. Great heat protectant & it smells amazing! Love that it’s free of most chemicals.”