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Do heat protectants work?

Photo by GoodLifeStudi_Getty Images

Let’s face it, no matter how little heat you use on your hair, at one point or another, you will use it. Because nothing slaps like beautifully defined curls or a stunningly sleek silk press. Heat-based styling is here to stay but repeated use of these tools can wreak havoc on any crown. It is because of this that heat protection matters but before we talk about that, let’s first discuss how heat styling alters our hair structure.

Each strand of hair has layers:

  • An inner cortex, filled with water molecules and keratin

  • An outer cuticle, which in healthy hair is smooth and shiny

Experts say applying heat to hair essentially evaporates the water molecules in the inner cortex, altering the internal structure and mechanical properties of the strands. This essentially is what allows you to change your hair’s natural curl patterns.

High temperatures can form cracks and ruptures in the cuticle, making the hair vulnerable to damage. Heat can also break down the keratin in your hair, which affects the strength and texture of your hair.

Because we know how damaging heat can be, it’s critical to protect your hair against it. Enter: heat protectants.

What is a heat protectant?

Heat protectants are products that reduce possible damage to your hair when used before heat styling. Heat protectants come in many forms, like a spray, cream, or serum that you put on your hair prior to using any heat tools.

How do heat protectants work?

Heat protectants add a barrier between your styling tool and your hair, sealing in moisture and fending off frizz. They also work to smooth the cuticle, making your hair look smooth and feel soft.

Choosing the right heat protectant

Quality heat protectants contain ingredients like propylene glycol and panthenol, otherwise known as humectants. Humectants preserve moisture and block frizz. They also contain Keratin, a key amino acid that strengthens hair. To determine the best heat protectant for your hair, consider your hair type, the ingredients within the protectant and also the cost. Buy a product that is reasonably priced so it becomes a part of your toiletry list and not a once-off purchase.

Remember that heat protectants minimise damage, they don’t prevent it. Meaning, you need to ensure that your use of heat is not excessive and that it is intercepted by things like protein treatments. Using a heat protectant is definitely the way to go if you want to keep your hair healthy and heat damage low.

By striking the right balance, you can ensure that your hair stays healthy and strong.

Love MPL 🧡.

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Matt Damon
Matt Damon
Sep 14, 2022

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