Silicones are the only tested ingredient for heat styling your hair but can you find silicone-free heat protectants that actually work?
If you’ve made the switch to sulfate-free shampoo then you also need to think about the other products you’re using in your hair.
Some ingredients, such as certain silicones, are hard to remove from your hair without a regular shampoo. This can cause a build-up on your hair, making your hair seem dull or dry.
I received this great question from Jody, who wrote to me asking about silicone-free heat protectants:
I recently found your blog and I’m lovin’ it! About 6 months ago I started using the Curly Girl Method and trying to embrace my newfound post-pregnancy curls (my hair was stick straight throughout most of my life).
I find myself still occasionally longing for a straight style, and I was just wondering if you have found any straightening products that are heat protectants but that are free of non-water soluble silicones? Every product I pick up seems to have silicones in it. I’m currently co-washing, so using a water soluble straightening product is important to me.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for the wealth of information on your blog!
Thanks so much Jody!
I’m glad to hear you’re embracing your curls and I also think it’s ok to switch up your style for a different look when you feel like it.
The heat protectants I use contain silicones. I counteract this by using a clarifying shampoo afterwards when washing my hair. I like the O&M Detox and Pure Hair Food Clarifying Shampoo. Both of these shampoos are still sulfate-free and clean your hair without stripping it back too much.
It is really hard to find a silicone free heat protectant because silicones do all the work to coat hair and create a barrier from the heat. They’re the only tested ingredients to work as a heat protectant because they don’t conduct heat, thus creating a barrier on your hair. It’s not foolproof, because heat stylers are often over 200 degrees Celcius (over 450 degree Fahrenheit) but they do make a difference.
There are some new formulations on the market getting good reviews and the following are silicone-free heat protectants.
Silicone-free heat protectants
- Living Proof Restore Instant Protection – Available at Ulta and Sephora
- Kevin Murphy Damage Manager – Available online at Adorebeauty or in salons.
- Aveda Brilliant Damage Control – Available at Aveda, Look Fantastic, Nordstrom and salons.
- Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum – Available at Mixed Chicks and Target
- Sedu Volumizing Heat Protecting Boost – Available at Bellelure
Tips for using heat protectants
- Apply your heat protectant to damp or air-dried hair before using any heat styling tool (hairdryer, straightener or curler).
- When spraying dry hair, give your hair a few seconds for the product to absorb into your hair. Your hair must be completely dry before before straightening or curling.
Have you stopped using silicones? What’s your fave heat protectant? And confess, how often do you use heat stylers on your hair?