How to Use Hair Serum for Heat Styling Protection

Key Points

  • Using heat to style your hair opens the outer layer of protection and damages the inner keratin — the protein that makes your hair.

  • Heat-protectant serums coat the cuticle of your hair with oil, wax, or silicone to create a barrier between the heat and your precious hair.

  • Choose a cream, spray, or oil product that suits your needs to start protecting your fragile hair!

  • Apply your protective serum when your hair is damp, give it a few minutes to absorb, and then style as usual for healthier hair.

Is there any better feeling than a perfect hair day? Your mood is set just right and your confidence shines when your hair looks its best, but those hot styling tools can be harsh on your beautiful locks. It's a classic beauty crisis — you want the perfect hairstyle, but you also want healthy hair.

Consider this your guide to mastering the art of healthy heat styling. Less worry and more fabulous hair days ahead!

Impact of Heat Styling

Heat styling often provides the best curls, waves, or straight hair for your best look. While heat is an amazing tool to make your hair look how you want, it's also incredibly damaging to the health of your hair.

The hair shaft has three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair that protects the inner layers. The cortex is the thickest layer and it contains the keratin proteins. The medulla is the innermost layer, made up of air.

Applying heat to your hair damages the cuticle, causing the scales to open up. When this happens, the cuticle can no longer protect the inner layers of the hair.

Heat then denatures and damages the keratin proteins in the cortex of your hair. Keratin is the vital protein in hair that provides strength, structure, and elasticity to your locks. When this keratin faces damage, it loses its natural structure, and the hair becomes weaker. As the keratin breaks down more, the hair is more prone to breakage.

The hair's natural oils can also evaporate in heat. These oils help to protect the hair from damage and keep it moisturized. When the hair's natural oils evaporate, the hair becomes dry and potentially damaged.

The amount of damage your hair endures from heat styling depends on how long your hair is exposed to heat, how often you use heat on your hair, the heat setting on your styling tool, and the existing health of your hair.

Don't worry — you can still curl your hair for your winery trip with the girls this weekend! You just need to take some precautions to protect your gorgeous mane.

Protecting From Heat Damage

To protect your hair from heat damage, it's best to minimize your use of heated styling tools. Use the lowest heat setting that still provides your desired results, and skip the heat as much as possible. If you absolutely must use your hair straightener regularly, at least give your hair a break every few weeks.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "Flat irons should be used on dry hair on a low or medium heat setting, no more often than every other day. If you use a curling iron, only leave it in place for a second or two. No matter your hair type, excessive heat can damage your hair.

When you do apply heat to your hair, it's essential that you apply a product to protect your hair first. Heat-protectant hair serums are here to save your keratin and give you an added boost of shine!

A person applying hair serum to heat damaged hair.

Heat Protectant Hair Serums

Applying a heat-protectant hair serum before heat styling protects it from damage. It creates a barrier between the hair and the heat, preventing the heat from penetrating the hair shaft and damaging the keratin proteins.

Heat-protectant hair serums typically contain silicones, oils, and waxes. Silicones are polymers that form a protective layer on the hair shaft. Oils help to moisturize the hair and prevent it from drying out. Waxes help to smooth the hair cuticle and make it more resistant to damage.

Using a heat-protectant hair serum is an important step in protecting your hair from damage. By using a heat protectant, you keep your hair healthy and looking its best!

Here are some of the benefits of using a heat-protectant hair serum:

  • Prevents heat damage to the hair.

  • Helps to keep the hair hydrated.

  • Makes the hair more manageable.

  • Reduces frizz.

  • Improves shine.

If you heat style your hair regularly, it's important to use a heat-protectant hair serum. It keeps your locks healthy and looking their best.

Choosing a Serum

There are countless hair serums available! Serums for frizz, hair growth, shine, volume, and heat protection. If you're searching for a hair serum for scalp health or growth promotion, check out The Ordinary Hair Serum or Divi Hair Serums.

Regular hair serums offer some heat-protectant properties. This protection is for environmental damage, such as UV rays, not your hot-enough-to-bake-brownies hair straightener! While these other serums provide some protection, you should invest in a hair serum meant for heat protection, as they function at much higher temperatures than regular hair serums.

Heat-protectant hair serums come in a variety of forms, including sprays, creams, and oils. The best type of heat protectant for you will depend on your hair type and the type of heat styling you do.

Consider some of these factors when finding the right hair serum for heat protection:

  • Your hair type: If you have fine hair, you may want to use a lightweight spray or oil-based serum to provide protection without weighing your strands down. If you have thick or curly hair, you may want to use a cream or oil that provides more intense protection.

  • The type of heat styling you do: If you use high heat styling tools, you'll need a serum that can withstand high temperatures. If you only use low-heat styling tools, you can use a lighter-weight serum.

  • The ingredients: Some ingredients to look for in a heat-protectant hair serum include water-soluble silicones, oils, and waxes. Silicones form a protective layer on the hair shaft, while oils help moisturize the hair and prevent it from drying out. Waxes help to smooth the hair cuticle and make it more resistant to damage.

How To Use Your Serum

Follow the directions on the heat-protectant hair serum you purchase to effectively apply the oil, spray, or cream. Incorporate the serum into your styling routine:

  1. It's best to apply your serum when your hair is damp, ideally after washing. This allows the serum to penetrate the hair shaft and provide the best protection. Alternatively, you can re-damp your hair or apply it dry.

  2. Put a pea-sized amount of serum in your hand, about one to two drops. Rub your palms together to warm the serum.

  3. Apply the serum to your hair, starting at the ends and working up to the middle of your strands. Be light with serum on your roots, as it could make your hair greasy.

  4. Gently distribute the serum throughout your hair with your fingers, without pulling or being rough on your hair. You could also use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the serum more effectively.

  5. Apply any other products you desire, and style as usual! Wait at least a few minutes before applying heat to your hair to give the serum a chance to settle in.

  6. You could also reapply some serum after styling with heat or throughout the day to touch up your look.

Top Hair Serums for Heat Protection

Congratulations, you're taking an amazing step towards healthier hair by properly protecting your mane from heat! Check out some of these top hair serums for your styling routine.

No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
$30.00 ($10.00 / Fl Oz)

by Olaplex 

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03/07/2024 09:10 pm GMT

Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

Protect from heat, strengthen your hair, add some shine, and tame your frizz all in one with the Olaplex No. 9! This formula is lightweight and absorbs into your hair fast — proving that your hair loves to drink up the red algae extract. Your hair will feel incredibly soft and not weighed down.

© Age Defying Testing Lab.

Olaplex's special formula bonds to your hair and delivers antioxidants to your cuticle. Trust a renowned brand for repairing severely damaged hair, and enjoy the amazing look of your styled hair without a residue from this serum.

In July 2023, an Amazon reviewer said, "My stylist recommended this product to me and I am now on my second bottle. It’s become a staple in my hair care routine that I use after washing my hair about 1-2x/ week. It helps with drying, smoothing frizz, protecting hair from heat, and detangling. If I were to have only one hair care product in addition to shampoo/conditioner — it would be this"

Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Cream Heat Protectant
67,68 € (573,56 € / l)

by Briogeo 

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03/07/2024 11:03 am GMT

Briogeo Farewell Frizz Blowdry Cream Heat Protectant

Perfect for curly, straight, thick, or thin hair, the Briogeo Farewell Frizz protects your hair and reduces frizz for the perfect blow-out, every time. A natural combination of rosehip, argan, and coconut oils deeply nourishes your hair and provides a high-heat seal to your hair's precious cuticles.

© Age Defying Testing Lab.

If you're looking for a hair serum that protects your locks from high temperatures (up to 450 degrees) and tames your flyaways, Briogeo Farewell Frizz is for you! This cream requires a bit more product than other serums — start with a dime-sized amount and add more if needed. Once you get the hang of adding the right amount, you'll love this serum!

Glossy Shine Spray with Heat Protection
$20.00 ($3.08 / Fl Oz)

by VERB 

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03/08/2024 06:02 pm GMT

VERB Glossy Shine Spray With Heat Protection

Ahh, the convenience of a spray for heat protection! If you're looking for a product that you don't need to apply with your hands, or if you just want a lightweight formula, the VERB Glossy Shine Spray is perfect for you. Peach and rosehip oil offer shine, moisturization, and heat protection up to 425 degrees.

The main draw of this spray is actually the shine and bounce it gives your hair! The heat protection is an added bonus thanks to the high-quality ingredients. This product is perfect for those who like versatility in their hair products, want a spray heat protectant, or appreciate an extra touch of volume to their hair. There's also a delicious scent, but perhaps too strong for some.

Blockade Heat Defense Serum
$28.00 ($16.47 / Ounce)

by Amika

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03/07/2024 10:57 am GMT

Amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum

Looking for a serum to apply whether your hair is damp or dry? Try the Amika Blockade Heat Defence Serum for a lightweight, residue-free serum. This serum adds a gorgeous shine without weighing down your hair, making it an ideal choice for dull or fine hair.

Applying this serum is super easy and doesn't leave residue on your hands. Use it for high heat protection, but don't rely on it for moisturization.

Protecting Heat Spray
$6.98 ($0.87 / Fl Oz)

by TRESemmé 

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03/08/2024 06:02 pm GMT

Tresemme Heat Protectant Spray

For an easy, budget-friendly, drug-store-available product, try out the Tresemme Heat Protectant Spray. This serum is a long-running and reliable option for all types of hair up to 450 degrees! It's lightweight and easy to distribute through your hair. The spray nozzle even features a lock button for peace of mind.

This spray effectively tames flyaways and keeps your hair looking super shiny. Be careful not to add too much, or your hair can end up looking a bit stiff or crunchy, as if you used too much hair spray. However, when you use just the right amount, this spray protects your hair and elevates your look.

A woman with long dark hair applying serum to hair.

Protect Your Lovely Locks

Taking care of your hair is essential for maintaining its health and enhancing its natural beauty. Heat styling can be damaging, but with the right precautions and heat-protectant serums, you can enjoy fabulous hairstyles without compromising the well-being of your strands.

Choose a serum that suits your hair type and styling needs, and apply it before using any heat tools. Give your hair the love it deserves!

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