Heat Protectant Spray

Heat Protectant Spray vs. Cream, Which Is Better?

Heat protectant spray and cream are essential for protecting your hair from damage caused by hot curling irons and straighteners, but which one is better?
Updated: September 28, 2023
Share article:
Article Contents

When it comes to heat protectant spray or cream, which one is better?  Protecting hair from heat is one of the most important things during the styling process. Consistent use of curling irons and straighteners can damage the hair in multiple ways, but by using protective products, this harm can be minimized.

Let’s find out.

About heat protectant spray

A heat protectant spray is exactly what it sounds like; a spray that is used to fortify the hair strands against potential temperature-related damage.  Using a water-based formula, the spray is dispersed from the bottle onto the hair before it is rubbed into the hair more thoroughly.

Heat protectant spray is a product designed to help protect your hair from damage caused by heat-styling tools, such as flat irons, curling irons, and hair dryers. It’s essentially a protective barrier between your hair and the hot tool, helping to reduce the amount of damage caused by the heat. Heat protectant sprays work by coating the hair shaft with a thin layer of product that helps to retain moisture, which is often lost during heat styling. This layer of protection can also help to prevent split ends, breakage, and frizz.

About heat protectant cream

A heat protectant cream is tasked with the same job as the spray, but it operates differently.

Much like a traditional body or face cream, the heat protectant cream has a thick, oily base and is applied completely by hand. The user should rub it thoroughly into and over the hair, making sure to cover as much surface area as possible to give the best chance of protection when styling. The cream can be used on either wet or dry hair.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each product?

Like with every haircare item, nothing is perfect. Both heat protectant spray and cream have their own set of pros and cons, and it’s important to be aware of these before buying.

Spray

Firstly, the heat protectant spray shows its flexibility by being by far the easiest and quickest product to use out of the two. If you’re needing a quick top-up of protection, just bust out your trusty can and give your hair a little spray. Any time, any place, you will be sorted. This is a godsend for us as it really speeds up our mornings when we’re getting ready.

On the not-so-good side of heat spray, it can, if overused, dry out your hair to an uncomfortable degree. Dry hair can result in split ends, frizzy hair, and broken strands falling out. Not great. However, this will only be a problem with overuse, and your hair should remain healthy if you only apply spray correctly and at the right times.

We’d recommend the GHD Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray. It has done wonders for some of the gals at the Speaking Skincare offices. You can pick it up now on Amazon!

heat protectant hair spray

Cream

The biggest advantage of heat protectant cream is just how much protection it really offers. Due to its rich consistency and moisturizing properties, the cream can protect the hair at a stronger level for longer. It will also condition the hair to be healthier, and give you the confidence to not hold back on your styling choices.

On the flip side, the cream can be much more expensive than a heat protectant spray. If you’re looking to save a few pennies, a good cream can really make a dent in the bank balance. However, if you take your hair care seriously, this might be a price you’re willing to pay. Additionally, using too much cream can cause an unwanted build-up on the hair itself. This build-up can lead to a few issues including greasiness, a dirty look, and holding on to too much oil, which can then block pores in the scalp. Always use a manageable amount of hair protective cream and don’t overdo it.

We’d recommend the REDKEN Heat Protection Smoothing Cream. You can pick it up now on Amazon!

REDKEN Heat Protection Smoothing Cream

How to use heat protectant spray

Using a heat protectant spray is a great way to protect your hair from heat damage caused by hot tools like flat irons, curling irons, and hair dryers. Here are some friendly tips on how to use it effectively:

  1. Choose the right heat protectant spray: Make sure you choose a spray that is designed for your hair type and the heat styling tools you plan to use. Look for sprays that offer protection up to the highest temperature you plan to use.
  2. Apply to damp hair: Start by washing your hair and towel-drying it until it’s damp. Then, apply the heat protectant spray to your hair from root to tip, making sure to evenly distribute the product.
  3. Comb through your hair: Once you have applied the spray, use a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute the product and detangle your hair.
  4. Let your hair dry: Allow your hair to air dry or use a blow dryer to dry it on a low heat setting. It’s important not to apply heat to your hair until it’s completely dry, as this can cause damage.
  5. Style your hair: Once your hair is dry, you can use your hot tools to style it as desired. The heat protectant spray will help to prevent damage and keep your hair looking healthy.

Remember to always follow the instructions on the heat protectant spray you choose, as different products may have different usage guidelines. And don’t forget to take breaks from using heat styling tools to give your hair a chance to recover!

How to apply heat protectant cream

  1. Choose the right heat protectant cream: Look for a cream that is designed for your hair type and the heat styling tools you plan to use. Some creams are specifically formulated for use with a particular hot tool, such as a flat iron.
  2. Apply to clean, dry hair: Start by washing and drying your hair. Once your hair is dry, take a small amount of the heat protectant cream and apply it evenly to your hair from root to tip. Pay special attention to the ends of your hair, as they are often the most vulnerable to heat damage.
  3. Comb through your hair: Use a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute the cream and detangle your hair.
  4. Style your hair: Once the cream is evenly distributed, you can use your hot styling tools to create your desired style. The heat protectant cream will help to prevent damage and keep your hair looking healthy.
  5. Apply more as needed: If you have particularly long or thick hair, you may need to apply more heat protectant cream to ensure that all of your hair is protected. Just be careful not to use too much, as this can make your hair look greasy or weighed down.

In conclusion, which one is better?

Both products have their positives and negatives. At the end of the day, it’s up to you which one you’ll prefer.

If you want to save time and be on the go quickly, a spray might be right up your street. On the other hand, if you want your hair to feel the conditioning and moisturizing elements that will protect it from heat for longer, a cream sounds better.

We’d recommend a period of trial and error with both products to figure out which one is more suited to you.

Read more:
Let's take this to the inbox!
Get our latest skincare news, best product recommendations & brand-exclusive discount codes directly to your inbox.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Staying Medically Accurate!
This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.