If you frequently style your hair using hot tools like blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons, you know the kind of damage heat can have on your lovely locks. That’s why it is so important to use a heat protectant before using any hot tools to style your hair.

The best heat protectant is silicone, but there’s a catch. Silicones eventually build up on hair shafts, causing the strands to lose their natural texture and moisture. With too much silicone-filled heat protectant you will ultimately end up with dry, brittle hair.

To avoid this problem, many people are turning to natural heat protectants like certain oils to keep hair healthy and safe. Here are a few of the best hair heat protectants to keep in mind:

  1. Shea Butter
    Shea butter protects hair against heat because of its thermal conductivity. Much like silicone used in commercial products, it becomes the perfect barrier around each strand, sealing the hair shaft while also locking in moisture. Make sure you’re using 100% pure, raw shea butter and not a shea butter blend, which may contain preservatives and silicone.
  2. Grapeseed Oil
    Grapeseed oil is known to have a very high smoke point, so it is able to withstand the extreme heat from your styling tools. This kind of oil is lighter than shea butter and can also be used after your hair is styled to tame frizz and add body to hair.
  3. Almond Oil
    Like grapeseed oil, almond oil has a high smoke point, so you know it will stand up well against your hot tools. In addition to protecting your hair, almond oil can also provide your lovely locks with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. It is high in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, and E. Hair salon stylists and hair experts recommend organic cold-pressed almond oil over other varieties.

According to an annual report by Target Market News, African Americans spent $7.4 billion in 2009 on personal care products and services, including hair salon services. This year, instead of wasting money on commercial products filled with harmful chemicals, try a natural hair-protecting solution.