Heat styling natural hair without first applying a protectant is like driving a car without a seatbelt or riding a bike without a helmet — a bad, ill-advised idea that's just not worth it. Whether you straighten your 'do once a year, or on the regular, using hot tools on natural strands can leave you with an altered curl pattern, dry texture, and breakage.
While it's not a guarantee, a good heat protectant in your corner can help mitigate damage when you want to go bone straight, craft bouncy curls, or opt for smooth waves. They work by creating a shield against the high temps while simultaneously strengthening. We've rounded up our top picks at every price point, ahead.
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