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Best heat protection products to use with Dyson Airwrap in 2023

Guard your hair against styling damage with our pick of the best heat protection products to use with the Dyson Airwrap

The Dyson Airwrap provides a safer way of styling hair, using air rather than heated plates to shape and style locks. However, even with a safer method of heat styling, it’s important to protect your hair from heat damage. 

A heat protection spray or lotion provides a lightweight barrier between your hair and your styling tools, allowing the heat of your dryer, curling wand or straightener to do its work without causing damage and breakage. By helping the hair’s cuticle to stay sealed, heat protective products also keep hair smooth, shiny and frizz-free, while also helping your finished style to stay in place longer after styling. 

Most heat protection products come in the form of a spray, but some are lotions or serums; all are applied to the hair before heat styling to shield against scorching and help the hair retain as much natural moisture as possible. Many heat protection products also include moisturising ingredients to further condition and hydrate the hair; and fixatives to help it stay in place all day after styling. 

Read on to find out more about how heat protection products work, and discover our favourites – for every hair type and budget – to use with the Dyson Airwrap and other heat styling tools. 

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Best heat protection products: At a glance

How to choose the best heat protection products to use with your Dyson Airwrap

How do heat protection sprays work?

All heat protective sprays and serums contain ingredients that slow down conduction to form a barrier against heat. Silicones such as dimethicone are a common ingredient for this reason – they reduce the rate at which heat is conducted, and also smooth the outer cuticle of the hair to allow straighteners or tongs to pass over strands without snagging or pulling. Polymers and wheat protein are other ingredients that form a barrier against heat; wheat protein has the added benefit of strengthening the hair, too. 

Since even gentle heat styling can dehydrate the hair, many heat protection sprays and lotions also contain moisturising and hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, coconut or almond oil to boost softness and shine and reduce frizz. Plus, strengthening proteins such as keratin help prevent the hair from breaking and shedding. 

Is a spray or serum better?

If you’re styling your hair from wet – with a blow dryer or hot brush, for example – then a serum or lotion is a good option since it’s easy to distribute through damp hair. You may find a serum more difficult to spread evenly through dry hair. 

For those working with dry hair, as is usual with tongs and straighteners, a spray is often easier to apply evenly. A spray works equally well on damp hair, if that’s your preference, although note that very wet hair may dilute a fine mist so it’s best to plop or rough-dry your locks before applying. 

How do I use my heat protection product? 

To apply a serum or lotion, take a small amount (one pump is usually enough if your bottle has a pump dispenser) and rub lightly through the hands, then apply evenly through the hair. Brush through, then section your hair and continue styling. 

If you’re using a spray, brush and section the hair first, then spritz from around 15cm away from the head, so that it mists evenly over the hair. You don’t need a lot of spray, but do make sure you’ve applied a light mist to all sections before styling. 

Many heat protection products also offer some degree of hold, helping your hair stay in place for longer after styling. You can also finish with a light spray of styling product to smooth down flyaways, hold your new style in place more firmly, and add extra gloss if desired.

Layering heat protector with other styling products? Then apply your heat protector first, so it’s closest to the hair, then add any other products on top. 

How we test products to use with the Dyson Airwrap

At Expert Reviews, we know that the best way to test a product 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, in combination with the Dyson Airwrap. We note the look and feel of the hair after having used the Airwrap, in particular with regards to how well the product reduces dryness, frizz and other signs of heat damage.

We also consider how a 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. As well as noting how well the product adds hold to styles, we review how long the finished style lasts over the course of a typical day.

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The best products to use with your Dyson Airwrap in 2023

1. Kérastase Genesis Defense Thermique Heat Protector: Best heat protection spray for colour-treated hair 

Price: £29 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

A lightweight and hydrating heat protection spray from hair-care specialist Kérastase, Defense Thermique is particularly good for hair that’s already dry and damaged as a result of being coloured or previous heat styling. The strengthening formula with moisturising glycerin and ginger root extract helps reduce frizz and prevent breakage, helping your hair achieve its maximum length. 

The spray helps hair feel softer and glossier from the first use, and with repeated use you’ll notice your locks feel stronger and healthier as a result of the combination of heat protection and increased hydration. A hero product for dry and damaged hair. 

Key specs – Pack size: 150ml; Heat protection up to: 180ºC

2. L’Oreal Elnett heat protection spray: Best classic heat protection spray

Price: £5.99 | Buy now from Boots

Created in 1960, L’Oréal’s original Elnett hairspray is an absolute beauty classic that’s still revered by stylists worldwide for its fine mist and flexible hold. These more recent additions to the Elnett line – in two variants to suit sleek straightening and blow-dried volume – add heat protective technology to shield hair from temperatures of up to 230ºC. 

The lightweight formula delivers the fine mist of Elnett’s original formula, but adds a moisturising “slip” that allows heat-styling tools to glide easily over the hair and leave styled locks with a smooth finish and soft shine. Hair feels moisturised and healthy after use, with no crunch. The spray also helps keep your style in place, offering a medium to firm hold that still looks natural. A great thermal-protection update to a classic beauty icon.

Key specs – Pack size: 170ml; Heat protection up to: 230ºC

3. KMS ThermaShape 2-in-1 Spray: Best for heat-styled curls

Price: £22 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

If you often use tongs or heated rollers to curl your hair, this 2-in-1 spray from KMS is a great product for guarding hair against hot tools while adding hold and shine to your finished look. Silicone and polymers deliver protection from heat, reducing breakage as a result of heat damage when styling hair from dry. Note that the spray can also be used at the end of styling to hold curls in place (KMS promises hold of up to 72 hours; we can certainly vouch for a full day). Hold is flexible but firm, with a little touch of shine. 

ThermaShape can also be used on straight styles, but the added hold and humidity protection means it’s especially good for waves and curls. The spray helps reduce flyaways and frizziness, helping hair cope particularly well in humid conditions. So, if you find your curled styles tend to go a bit out of control after styling, this could be the product to keep your hair looking exactly as you styled it. 

Key specs – Pack size: 200ml; Heat protection up to: Not stated

4. Cantu Shea Butter Thermal Shield Heat Protect: Best protection for straightening textured hair

Price: £7.99 | Buy now from Superdrug

Curly and afro-textured hair can tend to become frizzy and dry, since the curls in the hair often means the cuticle lies less flat against the outside of the hair, which in turn allows moisture to escape. Cantu’s range of hair-care products are great for bringing life back to dehydrated and desiccated hair; this heat protection spray combines moisturising shea butter with polymers that provide a barrier against heat. The spray is ideal for afro-textured hair when using flat irons and hot combs, and is also good for nourishing chemically relaxed hair when blow drying or tonging. 

Like other products in the Cantu range, Thermal Shield Heat Protect is cruelty-free and smells delicious. It can be used on damp or dry hair, and leaves locks feeling soft and looking shiny and healthy. A very good value option for all hair types, especially curly and coiled hair.

Key specs – Pack size: 200ml; Heat protection up to: 220ºC

5. ghd Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray: Best heat protection spray for a soft and shiny finish

Price: £19 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

ghd’s own Bodyguard heat protector spray is formulated with protective polymers and conditioning castor oil to create a soft and flexible barrier during heat styling, helping any tools glide over tresses with ease and leaving hair soft, shiny with no residue or crunch. Spritz through the hair and comb through before styling; the spray goes on with an even mist and has a pleasant, fresh smell. 

Bodyguard is lightweight enough to leave even fine hair full of bounce and flowing naturally after use. In addition, it adds shine, which helps straightened hair look healthy. The spray also plays well with other products, so you can add your favourite spray or mousse on top without any trouble. A well-performing heat protector spray from the brand that’s synonymous with heat styling. 

Key specs – Pack size: 120ml; Heat protection up to: Not stated

6. Revlon UniqONE Professional Leave In Conditioner: Best multitasking heat protection spray 

Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

Not just a thermal protection spray, Revlon UniqONE is a leave-in conditioner that offers a wealth of hair-nourishing benefits. As well as shielding hair from heat, UniqONE is formulated with smoothing and hydrating ingredients to detangle hair, fight frizz and give hair a smooth and sleek finish. The spray is vegan-friendly and comes in a 25%-recycled pump-action bottle. The classic version (pictured here) has a pleasant, fruity aroma; or you can protect and repair hair with the same product in a tropical coconut or exotic lotus flower scent. 

UniqONE can be used on damp or dry hair, and gives blow-outs and straightened styles a soft and shiny finish. It’s especially good to use on curly hair – the detangling formula works well with ruffled cuticles, reducing frizz by smoothing down the outer cuticle of the hair. Used and recommended by hairdressers, UniqONE is a great-value product for a decent-sized bottle – and a little goes a long way, too.

Key specs – Pack size: 150ml; Heat protection up to: Not stated

7. Olaplex No. 9 heat protecting serum: Best heat protection product for damaged hair

Price: £27 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Olaplex is the brand best known for its bond-building products that repair and replenish very damaged hair. Item No. 9 in the range, a heat protecting serum, was launched earlier this year and contains Olaplex’s proprietary bond-building agents, together with red algae to nourish and hydrate damaged strands resulting in wonderful shine.

The serum is suitable for all hair types, but especially good for hair that needs a little extra love – bleached or highlighted hair, for example, or hair that’s already suffered previous heat damage. The serum feels light and silky, rather than greasy or sticky, and is easy to work through damp hair. Apply a small amount – around the size of a 5p coin – to the palms of the hands and work evenly through the lengths of the hair before blow drying.

No. 9 serum can also be used when air-drying hair naturally – as well as thermal protection, its bond rebuilding and protective benefits guard against UV damage and other environmental pollution, so it’s a good product to use whether you’re heat styling or not.

Key specs – Pack size: 90ml; Heat protection up to: 232ºC

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