Using a heat protectant before styling your hair with hot tools is always recommended — but if you have dry hair, it's an absolute non-negotiable. That said, not all heat protectants are created equally, and dry hair types are going to benefit from a formula that focuses just as much on restoring moisture as it does preventing damage. With that in mind, the best heat protectants from dry hair are going to be enriched with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and plant-based oils (think argan, avocado, olive, coconut, et cetera), or in some cases, brand-patented complexes that work to repair existing damage, too.
To apply your heat protectant, check the label to see if it's recommended for use on dry or damp hair. (In most cases, you should be able to use it on both.) Apply it in sections and comb it through your hair so every strand gets evenly coated. Then, you can move onto styling your hair with your hot tool of choice. Some heat protectants double as leave-in serums, and they can also be used after styling your hair for even more smoothness and shine.
1. The Overall Best Heat Protectant For Dry Hair
Specifically designed for dry hair lacking moisture, this Giovanni 2chic Ultra-Moist Protective Spray contains a host of heavy-duty moisturizing ingredients, like vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter, panthenol, and the oils of avocado and olive to restore hydration and add shine while protecting hair from heat-induced damage. Expect smoother, bouncier hair that feels softer and more supple to the touch (so this is a great choice for dry hair that's also brittle). Other highlights: The spray-top bottle makes for easy application, and the formula is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, too.
2. The Best Heat Protectant For Dry, Curly Hair
Cantu is known for their range of curly hair-targeted products that put an emphasis on restoring moisture — and this heat protectant shield is no exception. It protects hair from heat up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit while providing dry, curly hair with some much-needed moisture, courtesy of shea butter. In turn, this will help enhance your natural curl pattern, reduce unwanted frizz, and promote more bounciness and shine. Best of all, this spray-on heat protectant will only set you back $4.
3. The Best Heat Protectant For Dry, Damaged Hair
If you have hair damage in the form of breakage, split ends, and brittleness, this bond repair spray from Alterna can help heal that damage. The formula contains caviar extract (!!!), the brand's Caviar Bond Enforcing Technology, and Age-Control-Complex, another patented technology from the brand, in addition to more traditional moisturizing and strengthening ingredients such as sunflower seed oil and several different proteins. All of these work together to strengthen hair and reverse damage while infusing it with moisture and shine. And of course, it protects hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. The Best Multitasker
For a product that truly does it all, you want Pureology's Color Fanatic leave-in spray. It purportedly offers a whopping 21 different hair benefits, including protecting hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also detangles, conditions, restores moisture, repairs breakage, adds shine, reduces static, prevents color from fading, and shields hair from environmental aggressors, among other things. So in short, it's a product that truly anyone could benefit from, regardless of hair type.
5. Editor’s Pick
Editor's review: "I like to use the amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum both before and after styling my perennially dry hair with hot tools, and I also love smoothing it on before heading outside during the summer to prevent humidity-induced frizz. Not only does it protect hair from temps up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, but it also softens my split ends, adds major shine, and promotes generally smoother, easier-to-manage hair. But perhaps the best thing about it is its heavenly scent (if you've tried any amika products before, you'll know what I'm talking about). It's so fruity and delicious that it makes a solid substitute for perfume." — Adeline Duff