Let's face it: blow dryers and other hot tools can work miracles on the hair, but they can also ravage it, leaving split and fried locks. That's why I've long preached the magic powers of thermal protectant sprays. Today I've rounded up five rad products for every budget. You're welcome.
Under $6: Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield
Shea Butter is so good for the hair. It absorbs well and coats the cuticle, smoothing areas that your scalp’s natural oils don’t generally make it to. Cantu’s formula is light, provides shine, and can be used in wet hair, pre-blowout, or in dry hair before iron work.
Under $10: Paul Mitchell Seal and Shine
This is one of my absolute HG, ride-or-die, must-have products of ALL TIME. Seriously, we've been together for almost a decade. At $8.99 for an 8.5-ounce bottle, Seal and Shine provides a base level of heat and UV protection that is suitable for all hair types. Yes, all hair types. It leaves no weight to the touch, thanks to awapuhi extract, hydrogenated (water soluble) castor oil, and super-light silicones that add powerful shine and protection.
Under $20: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Hydromist Blow-Out Spray
Hydromist Blow-Out spray is in its own lane. Often thermal protection can weigh down fine hair, and it almost never builds body. But when misted onto my damp hair (you can even spray your roots a bit), this gave me body, shine, and softness, with lasting waves. It's pretty rare to find a product that protects, has memory, is humidity-resistant, and adds fullness. Panthenol fattens and repairs, awapuhi and honey add moisture, and polymers make the style hold and smell yummy.
Under $30: Phyto Phytokeratine
Phyto puts loads of research into its products. This is one of the first sprays of its kind to feature hyaluronic acid and ceramides, and you can feel a difference. Silky--but not heavy or greasy--this is a great choice for those who put shine and hair health above all. The formula contains botanical keratin and cloud mushroom extract. The ceramides actually help repair split ends (look out for the ingredient in hair products of the future). At $32, its not cheap, but it’s a great option, especially if you won’t be using any other products.
Under $60: Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray
My stylist buddies tipped me off to this new favorite, citing a speedier dry time, knockout shine, and general amazingness. I have to confirm: everything they said was true. This spray is a wunderkind, worth its high price for its proprietary silicone blend, plus ceramides and argan oil to keep hair healthy.
Remember that heat protection is essential to your hair, no matter the length, thickness, or texture. And don’t let anyone else heat style your hair without a thermal protectant, either!
- How often do you heat style?
- Tell me all of your favorite thermal protectants in the comments! And let me know if you've tried any of these.
Photos: Darnell Scott