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Best heat protection spray 2024: Self-care for all types of hair, from £5

Our roundup of the best heat protection sprays for maintaining strong and healthy hair

If you regularly style your hair using heat, investing in the best heat protection spray is a must. No matter if your hair is curly, straight or wavy, heat styling tools allow you to style it any way you like, but using them daily inevitably leads to damage, especially if your hair is coloured. That’s where heat protection spray comes in.

Combining thermal shielding and repairing properties, heat protection spray helps to lessen the damage caused by heat-styling tools. Simply spritz it over the hair before applying heat, and you’re protected from damage. There are a range of sprays available, but are the pricier products more efficient than the high-street ones?

We tried a range of the best heat protection sprays currently available to buy. Scroll down to see our list of the very best on the market or, have a look below to see what to consider when buying a heat protection spray.

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Best heat protection spray: At a glance

How to choose the best heat protection spray for you

How do heat protection sprays work?

Heat protection sprays help to protect the hair from the damage that can be caused by everyday styling tools. They create a thin film around the hair in order to spread the heat made by these tools more evenly. In this way, the hair will gradually warm up instead of being “shocked” by the sudden high temperature. As a result, you will face less damage due to the cuticles not being directly exposed to the heat source.

High-quality protectants also contain specific ingredients like humectants, natural oils and amino acids that will help the cuticles to stay moist thanks to their hydrating properties.

Normally, you’ll use the spray on damp or dry hair before using any hot tool, from curling irons to straighteners. Make sure to read the instructions, though, as some products benefit from being used on wetter hair.

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How do I find the best heat protection spray for me?

The key to the perfect heat protection spray is to identify your hair type and what its needs are. If your hair type is oily, then you don’t need an extremely rich product, but if you need extra nourishment then a high-quality spray rich in natural extracts is the way to go.

What results can I expect from a heat protection spray?

Everything comes back to the state of your hair. If you’re using hot styling tools regularly, then using heat protection spray won’t completely prevent heat damage but with some tender loving care, the right products and proper techniques, you can help your hair to become less dull and stressed out. Avoiding direct exposure to high temperature in this way will go a long way to preventing split ends and dryness.

How we test heat protection sprays

At Expert Reviews, we know that the best way to put a product through its paces is to use it ourselves. As such, we test all the heat protection sprays and lotions we review by using the product as directed on our own hair. We note the look and feel of the hair while styling with a hairdryer, a curling tong and a straightener, particularly in terms of how easily the heat tools glide over the hair with the formula applied. We also assess how well the product reduces dryness, frizz and other signs of heat damage.

As well as evaluating the effects of the heat protection product on styling, we also consider how the product feels in use on the hands and in the hair, and whether it creates any stickiness, heaviness or crunch in use. We examine the quantity of product required for a single application, how easy the product is to apply, and the scent and its overall pleasantness. We also take note of any additional benefits such as moisturising, strengthening and adding hold to styles, reviewing the length of time the finished style lasts in the hair over the course of a typical day.

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The best heat protection sprays to buy in 2024

1. Tresemme Care & Protect Heat Defence Spray: Best budget heat protection spray

Price: £6 | Buy now from Boots

Finding a high-quality hair product that doesn’t break the bank is not always easy, but Tresemme has an immaculate track record of delivering top-performance formulas for a very reasonable price. The product claims to be enriched with a UV filter and to help reduce breakage by 82%.

The first thing we noticed after using this product a few times was that the hair held styles better than usual, at the end of the styling process. After brushing there were fewer knots and less hair breakage, which indicates that the spray helped to soften hair and keep it in good condition.

Our Pro Tip: As the spray nozzle is quite narrow, make sure you hold the bottle at least 20cm away from your hair and comb before proceeding with your hot tool.

Key details – Size: 300ml

Buy now from Boots

2. Aussie SOS Heat Protector Saviour Leave-In Spray: Best heat protection spray for fine hair

Price: £5 | Buy now from Boots

Affordable and efficient, this heat protection spray was a very pleasant surprise. Its lightweight formula is enriched with Tasmanian pepper leaves, helping protect against damage from heating tools without being sticky. It worked particularly well on curls.

We also loved its very delicate and subtle fragrance, which gives your hair a gorgeous fresh smell that lasts all day.

Key details – Size: 100ml

3. GHD Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray: Best for hair straightening

Price: £19 | Buy now from GHD Hair

GHD Heat protection spray has had a revamp. The manufacturer’s new Bodyguard protection spray just launched and we have to say that it’s worth the hype.

The product is quite light in texture and the nozzle creates a good diffusion. The brand claims that its spray improves smoothness, and I could definitely see after using it that my hair was very hydrated – with no dry patches on the sections that needed more styling. We saw the best results using the Bodyguard protection spray before a hair straightener rather than a curling iron, so it’s definitely one for those who regularly straighten their hair.

Key details – Size: 120ml

Buy now from GHD Hair

4. Ouai Heat Protection Spray: Best heat protection spray for frizzy hair

Price: £26 | Buy now from Asos

We were excited to try this product and it didn’t disappoint. This spray is particularly efficient against brittle and frizzy hair: we tried it on dry and textured hair and saw the result was quite impressive, even after using a curling iron at the highest setting.

My hair kept smooth and shiny, but if you have very long and thick hair – and lightness is a deal-breaker for you – this might not be your number-one choice, as the product is quite thick and can weigh down the hair.

We particularly love the floral fragrance and the fact that Ouai has made this product free from chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), parabens, phthalates, gluten and silicones, which can cause irritation in some users.

Key details – Size: 126ml

Buy now from Asos

5. Aveda Heat Relief Thermal Protector And Conditioning Mist: Best heat protection spray for soft and shiny hair

Price: £26 | Buy now from Lookfantastic

Made from 97% naturally derived ingredients, this conditioning protector has a very airy texture and creates a shiny film that makes your hair smooth, glossy and soft.

We loved the classic shampoo fragrance – typical of Aveda’s range, with 25 pure flower and plant essences. We also loved that this product is not only vegan and cruelty-free but it also comes with eco-friendly and recyclable packaging. Thumbs-up to Aveda for caring and taking action.

Key details – Size: 100ml

Buy now from Lookfantastic

6. Davines Melu Shield Heat Protection Spray: Best heat protection spray for damaged hair

Price: £28 | Buy now from Sephora

If you have long, fragile and damaged hair, this is a must-have. The formula contains rosemary, antioxidants and anti-static agents that prevent your hair from going wild because of humidity.

I tried this product after a busy week of using styling tools pretty much every morning and was impressed with the results. The nourishment and shine lasted all day, and the product was absorbed quickly without leaving any kind of greasy trace.

One thing to look out for, though, is that if your hair is very curly, coarse or dry, you’ll need to use quite a lot of product to ensure your entire head is covered. The bottle is quite small, so in these cases it may not last very long.

Our Pro Tip: We found it works better if used on completely dry hair. If used straight after washing, make sure to towel-dry thoroughly and wait for a few minutes before using your hair dryer.

Key details – Size: 250ml

Buy now from Sephora

7. Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray: Best heat protection spray for luxury

Price: £40 | Buy now from SpaceNK

The most expensive product on our list, Oribe’s Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a fantastic protective shield for hair. It was one of the best heat protection sprays we tested, leaving the hair incredibly smooth, light and shiny.

The formula is extremely lightweight, containing vitamin B and plant-based collagen, and enriched with edelweiss, lychee and watermelon flower extracts. Oribe claims it has a UV filter to help reduce the effect of pollution on your hair, so we tested it a few times on busy days outside. What we noticed is that, even after a whole day out and about, the hair didn’t appear dull or weighted down, and the results are equally satisfying after using either a straightener or a curling iron.

Key details – Size: 175ml

Buy now from SpaceNK

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