Time to buy new and effective heat protection for your hair? We tested heat protection from brands such as Revlon, Label M and Joico. For heat protection to be named as best in test, it should protect the hair from heat, smell good (or of nothing at all), be easy to apply to the hair and not weigh it down.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our test of heat protection, the products were used on several occasions and under different circumstances. Each product was tested with both a hair dryer and straightener and in wet and dry hair. This allowed us to assess the product’s different properties. We also looked at how the product affected the hair the day after washing. The parameters below formed the basis for our assessment.
Application: Is the product easy to apply? Is it economical or do you need a lot? Can you use it on both wet and dry hair?
Softening: How good is the product at making the hair soft and smooth? Does it keep the hair strands separate during blow drying? Is the result undamaged, healthy hair or frizziness?
Shine and properties: Does the product provide shine and lustre? Does the heat protection product have other properties, and is it easy to combine with other products? What does the product smell like and how long does the scent last?
Our assessment is based on an overall experience of the product. We then look at the product price to see whether it’s good value for money and to allocate a score.
A fine spray that protects and supports your hair
Type: Spray bottle
Finding heat protection that’s practical to apply, dries quickly and at the same time gives consistency is more difficult than you might think. But Label.m heat Protection Mist actually delivers on every point.
One common problem when applying a spray to your hair is that the dispensing spout doesn’t do its job quite as well as you’d want. But Label.m really produces a mist in the true sense of the word – the spray is distributed very evenly and you avoid the problems that big drops usually bring. The fact that it is such a fine mist also means that this is a heat protection product that dries amazingly fast in the hair. This gets a double thumbs up from our testers, as it makes it very easy to do your hair in the morning.
This is a heat protector that actually gives a little bit of consistency, which is a nice bonus for those who don’t have the energy to bother with another spray to fix their hairstyle. Of course if it's an advanced hairstyle, you'll need a strong hairspray as a finish. But for those who just want a little bit of consistency for their dried hair, Label.m is really good.
This may not be a brand that the normal home stylist is familiar with, but if you take a look at your hairdresser’s, you’ll probably more than one product from Label.m there. So you won’t find the brand at the nearest supermarket, but it’s easy to get online.
Label.m Heat Protection Mist is a great heat protector, which also protects against UV radiation. The only thing our testers aren’t entirely happy with is the smell, which just feels a little too dominant. But apart from the smell, this is a great product for styling your hair.
Economical and very effective heat protection spray that smells good and gives smooth, shiny hair
Formula: Liquid Format: Plastic spray bottle Price class: Budget
This easy to use heat protection comes in a practical spray bottle and smells of hairdresser visits and newly washed hair. As the name implies, Revlon Uniq One All in One Hair Treatment is actually much more than just a heat protection spray, which also makes it a very usable product that will never collect dust on your bathroom shelf.
This is a spray that works in several different ways. For example, it works really well as a conditioner spray, which made it very popular with our test families with children who hate having their hair brushed. The hair is easy to brush, shiny and smooth. At the same time the spray protects your hair from the heat produced by hair dryers, straighteners and curling tongs, it also gives the hair more body and consistency.
The bottle sprays a good amount of the product evenly over the hair. It works just as well in dry as wet hair. The heat protection spray never feels sticky or greasy, but leaves a shiny result with minimum frizz. The product turned out to be a real star on damaged, coloured hair that most resembles a spiky bush in its natural condition. It smells good but not overpowering, and you can also choose between several different scents.
Revlon Uniq One All in One Hair Treatment is easy to use, good value and multifunctional – a real winner for anyone with tangled hair or brush-phobic kids.
Fantastically smooth and healthy result with lots of lustre
Formula: Cream Maximum temperature: 180 degrees Format: Tube, screw top Price class: Premium
A nice scent that’s reminiscent of a hairdresser’s salon spreads out when you squirt a little Ciment Thermique into your palm. The consistency is light which makes it easy to distribute it evenly throughout your hair.
If you apply the cream before brushing your hair, it doesn’t help detangle the hair much, as it only has a softening effect once you use the hair dryer. But it does get fantastically soft. During blow drying, the hair strands are kept separate and don’t get tangled or frizzy, and the product works even if you’re using a simpler hair dryer. The results after use are amazingly smooth without feeling greasy. The hair simply looks really healthy.
Kérastase Ciment Thermique gives the hair a lot of shine and lustre. However, it doesn’t provide any consistency, so for styling you’ll need to supplement it with another product. Instead, this is a base product that provides the foundations for healthy, strong looking hair. This heat protection cream has been praised to the skies and although it’s expensive, given that you really need very little each time and that the results are fantastic, Kérastase Ciment Thermique is well worth the price.
A multifunctional cream with both heat protection and moisture boosting properties
Formula: Cream Format: Plastic spray bottle Price class: Medium
Do you have dry hair that thirsts for moisture? If so, REF’s Leave in Treatment is a really good option when you’re looking for a new heat protection product for your hair.
REF. Leave in Treatment provides both moisture and heat protection in a single product. This means it doesn’t only protect your hair from high temperatures during styling, it also gives it moisture. The combination results in soft hair without frizz.
This is a cream that comes in a practical pump bottle. Depending on how long and thick your hair is, the amount you need will vary. But for shoulder length hair, our testers found that two or three pumps are plenty. You apply the cream evenly to the hair before using heated tools, while it’s still damp. This also detangles the hair, making it easier to comb out any knots.
The formula is light and your hair doesn’t feel weighed down at all. After use, the hair is smooth and looks shinier than if you don’t use the cream. The fact is that this is such a nice product you tend to apply it even if you aren’t going to use any heated styling tools.
It’s a multifunctional product that smells fresh and feels caring, which means you often reach for it when your hair needs a little boost. And even when it doesn’t. Quite simply a really nice complement to your haircare routine.
Easy to apply and effectively counteracts frizziness
Formula: Spray Format: Spray bottle
Redken’s Frizz Dismiss is a softening heat protection spray that adds lustre to your hair. The consistency is relatively thin, between a liquid and cream, and you spray it into your hair. Despite its light formula, it has a smoothing, caring result. It doesn’t have any detangling effect to speak of. So it’s best to brush your hair first and then spray the product on so you can get it where you want.
The product is intended to counteract frizzy hair, and it does this very well. Because it’s thin and you spray it on, you can also get a thin layer closer to the roots without the hair becoming greasy. This can be difficult with similar products in cream format. Frizziness stays away even during the blow drying process. You will need to brush your hair afterwards, but it doesn’t get tangled. It’s possible to overdo applying the product, which makes the hair feel heavy. You only need a very thin layer. The scent of the spray is good but mild, which means you can use it with other products. And you’ll need other products, as this doesn’t give any structure to the hair. Redken Frizz Dismiss Smooth Force FPF 20 is a good base that provides protection against heat but also adds extra shine and lustre.
Heat protector that gives magically good results and makes the hair fresh and shiny
Formula: Liquid to foam Format: Pump bottle without propellant Price class: Intermediate
Davines Liquid Spell is a product for thin or already damaged hair. Unlike the majority of other products that provide heat protection, Liquid Spell doesn’t promise smooth hair. Instead, it claims to provide a fuller effect while protecting the hair against heat.
And you can almost believe the liquid, which transforms into a foam when you pump it out of the bottle, really does contain a small touch of magic just like the name indicates. You see a clear difference after applying the product and starting to blow dry your hair. Thin hair immediately appears fuller and with greater volume. And if you’re used to lacklustre, damaged hair, you’ll be happy with the way it suddenly looks significantly more healthy and stronger.
Liquid Spell contains a heat activated molecule that compacts the cuticle of the hair strand, protecting it against heat. It doesn’t merely look fuller either – the results after you style it last better too, even if you don’t use other hair products. Of course it isn’t really sorcery, but your hair still looks magically great using Davines Liquid Spell.
Good value and softening heat protection spray that gives lustre
Formula: Spray Format: Spray bottle Price class: Budget
Bangerhead Professional Protect My Hair has a very light formula but still succeeds in softening the hair. Blow drying the hair is straightforward and it doesn’t get tangled at all. Nor does it become frizzy. Even though the heat protection spray has a smoothing and detangling effect, the hair doesn’t become heavy or feel greasy. And the effect is equally good on the day after you use it. After blow drying, the hair has lustre and looks healthy. For very dry or damaged hair, this product still isn’t completely sufficient. But it’s good for hair with normal amounts of damage.
The product comes in a spray flask, which should make it possible to apply it easily. But unfortunately the spray is quite broad and it’s a bit difficult to get it exactly where you want it. Fortunately this doesn’t matter too much because of the light consistency. The mild scent of the product quickly disappears after hair drying, which means it’s not overpowering in your hair. There really isn’t much negative to say about Bangerhead Professional Protect My Hair. Its positive properties together with its very reasonable price mean that Bangerhead Professional Protect My Hair deserves all the praise it gets.
Very nourishing and gives soft results
Formula: Cream Format: Tube
Lipidium Thermo Repair is a product in L’Oréal’s Absolut Repair series that’s intended to nourish and rebuild damaged hair. And the ends of your hair definitely feel less split after you've applied this mildly scented cream. Once you’ve blow-dried your hair, it becomes soft and shiny. But the consistency of the cream is very greasy, which makes it rather difficult to apply. Partly because the product isn’t absorbed easily by the hair and partly because it requires a certain amount of effort to apply it evenly. It’s even more difficult if you haven’t brushed your hair first. So we recommend you brush your hair first and then apply the cream. This means you can’t use this heat protector as a softener to help you detangle your hair.
After blow-drying, which doesn’t take long and doesn’t result in frizzy hair, the greasy feeling disappears. In other words, the character of the cream changes completely when it’s heated, and your hair doesn’t feel heavy or look greasy when it’s dry. The scent is nice but mild, which is good for sensitive users. As with the majority of heat protectors, the product doesn’t give any structure to the hair, so you’ll need to combine it with other styling products. L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Lipidium Thermo Repair cares for your hair beautifully and is well worth the price.
Good value heat protector that gives a natural result and smells good
Formula: Liquid Format: Pump bottle with propellant Price class: Budget
Joico is a brand that often slips under the radar, which is a shame because they have a lot of good products. And Ironclad is one of them. This heat protector, which is intended for use in dry hair during styling, comes in a largeish spray bottle. The product smells incredibly good and it’s tempting to use it not only in your hair but also as a room perfume.
It’s easy to think Ironclad is a styling product, because the bottle is similar to many hairspray bottles. But this is a product that protects your hair but only provides the lowest level of consistency. The major advantage is that you don’t get the crispy surface that sprays with more styling consistency tend to give your hair. Ironclad produces a soft and flexible result, with a good helping of shine. The lovely smell fades during the day, but your hair stays soft.
If you're looking after a heat protector that doesn’t offer any other functions, Joico Ironclad is a good option, particularly if you're looking for a soft and natural result.
Counteracts frizz and produces a soft result
Formula: Cream Format: Spray bottle Price class: Premium
Maria Nila market their heat protector as 100% vegan, which is bang on trend. Regardless of the influence on the animal kingdom, this heat protector has good properties for your hair. The cream is soft and quite greasy. If you spray it on unbrushed hair, it will help you comb out the tangles. This product promises heat protection and frizz control – and it really works. As you blow dry your hair, it stays smooth, and you can get really good results with a brush. Your hair becomes soft and lustrous, but the product doesn’t give any shine.
The instructions say you should only spray a thin layer onto your hair, which is worth remembering as it’s easy to apply to much. The cream is economical and if you use too much your hair will be heavy and feel greasy. One tip to get the right amount just on the ends is to spray it first into your hand and then apply it evenly in the hair with your fingers. The scent is mild and pleasant and after blow-drying it’s almost completely disappeared. Together with the fact that Maria Nila Cream Heat Spray is economical and gives nice smooth results, this makes it a good product despite the price.
Very easy to apply to both wet and dry hair
Formula: Spray Format: Spray bottle Price class: Intermediate
GHD Heat Protect Spray has a very light and thin formula. The spray bottle makes it easy to apply the product in a thin layer over the hair. It gives off a lovely, hairdresser-inspired scent and both the scent and the packaging feel very luxurious. But the spray doesn’t help much in terms of softening, so it’s not much use for detangling your hair. Nor does it help to keep the strands separate during blow drying. And unfortunately the result is neither shiny nor smooth.
After blow-drying, your hair will be light and airy. And there’s pretty much no indication that you've applied a heat protector. This means this is a good choice if you want to use several other styling products and only want heat protection. It’s also useful that the spray works for something other than styling and blow-drying. Lots of heat protectors with a greasier, cream consistency can be difficult to use after a shower when you only want to run a straightener through your hair. But GHD Heat Protect Spray is perfect for this. It’s easy to apply even in dry hair without giving an impression of heaviness. It’s perhaps not the most nourishing and strengthening product in the world, but to prevent damage and protect against heat, GHD Heat Protect Spray is a very good option.
Economical, with good consistency that counteracts frizz
Formula: Spray Format: Spray bottle
If you're looking for a heat protector that can be combined with other products, Style Link Buffer Thermal Spray is a good choice. The consistency is somewhere between a cream and a spray, and it's easy to apply and adds no structure to the hair. The scent is relatively mild, so even though it stays after application you can combine this spray with other products.
This heat protector doesn’t help you detangle the hair, so it’s best to brush your hair before applying it. Unfortunately it doesn’t particularly help to keep the strands separate while you're blow-drying it either. It works well on frizziness but doesn’t make your hair shiny or lustrous. If the ends of your hair need a bit of extra care to make them look healthy, we recommend you look for a more nourishing product. But the thin formula makes it easy to get the right amount and you aren’t likely to apply too much. The heat protector succeeds in the balancing act of making sure your hair doesn’t feel heavy or greasy but is kept airy and fresh both on the first and second days. So if you’re mainly looking for protection against heat, Matrix Style Link Buffer Thermal Spray is a good value product that lasts a long time.
Heat protector that smells good and has stylish, environmentally friendly packaging
Formula: Liquid Format: Plastic spray bottle Price class: Intermediate
This is a heat protector for the environmentally conscious. The packaging – a stylish pink spray bottle – is made from sugar cane and is completely biodegradable. The contents are free of parabens, sulphates and colouring.
Björk Skydda is a nice-smelling spray that you can apply to both damp and dry hair before you use heated tools. The spray is rather difficult to apply evenly to the hair – if you hold the bottle too close you get far too much product in a single place, while if you hold it too far away the fine drops of spray struggle to reach your hair. This means the product is fiddly to get evenly distributed in your hair and not particularly economical.
Compared with other heat protectors, Björk Skydda doesn’t leave your hair with the same shine or softness, but the scent is nice and lasts for a while. The advantage of this heat protector is that it also protects the hair against UV radiation, so it continues doing your hair good all day, not just until you switch off the hair dryer. Another positive point is that Björk Skydda is also completely vegan.
Most of us probably agree that having healthy, undamaged hair is important. And yet we still do things that damage our hair, sometimes daily. Because your hair really doesn’t like heat from your hairdryer, straightener or styling tools. Fortunately there are loads of products that can help you protect and care for your hair.
You often apply heat protection as the first product after washing your hair, and after that it can be combined with other styling products. There are also many products that have several properties including heat protection. For example, hair oils generally provide protection. Even though the products are often intended to be applied to damp hair, for example before using a hair dryer, some of them can also be used in dry hair. If you don’t wash your hair every day but you use straightness, for example, it can be a good idea to pick a product that also works in dry hair. The aim is to give your hair as much protection as possible. But if you do apply heat protection to dry hair, it’s important to allow it to dry completely before you start using your styling tools. Otherwise you end up doing what’s known as “Spray and Bake”, where your hair can actually be burned by the hot tools in contact with the chemicals in the heat protection.
As well as protecting your hair against heat, these products usually help the hair to dry more quickly so you don’t need to use the hair dryer for as long. They also usually counteract frizziness and give your hair lustre. When you blow-dry your hair, there’s a risk that it will tangle. And untangling your hair also causes damage. So heat protectors often have a softening effect on the hair, making sure the strands remain separate for a smooth result.
Perhaps you’re wondering why you should blow-dry your hair at all? It should be better to leave it to dry by itself. But actually that’s not the case. When the hair strands are wet, they expand and become more porous and easier to damage. So it’s good to dry your hair as quickly as possible. Which means low heat on the hair dryer together with a good heat protector is a winning recipe for healthier hair!
In our test of heat protectors, we tested 14 different products. And we name Revlon Uniq One All in One Hair Treatment as our best in test. This isn’t merely a budget-friendly heat protector; it also does so much more than simply protect your hair from heated tools. It also detangles, gives tons of shine, makes your hair soft and has a nice but unobtrusive sent.
Every time you expose your hair to heat by blow drying it, using a straightener or curling tong, you damage your hair. If you use a heat protector, you reduce the effects of the heat. A heat protector also usually has other properties – for example giving your hair extra shine, detangling it or giving it much-needed nutrition.
Heat protection forms a protective film on the hair strand. This film means that the heat doesn’t come into direct contact with the surface of the hair. Heated styling tools quickly reach very high temperatures – often more than 200 degrees. These temperatures quickly damage the hair, but if you use a heat protector the hair can resist this much better.
Heat protection can have different formats: spray, cream or oil. It’s best to apply the product into towel dried hair. Read the instructions on the product – some recommend that you apply it to all of your hair at once, while others should be applied as you style your hair. Remember that even if you’re using a heat protector you should try to keep the temperature of your heated tools as low as possible.
Use a heat protector every time you use a heated tool on your hair – regardless of whether it’s a quick blow-dry or a long session to achieve a gala hairdo. Apply it to towel dried hair and allow the film to settle a little so the product doesn’t evaporate when you use the heated tool. The steam you sometimes see when you use a straightener or curling tong is moisture evaporating, and opinion is divided as to whether the heat protector can also evaporate – so it’s best to allow it to dry a little first.