20 Under-$20 Heat Protectants for Anyone Addicted to Their Flat Iron

20 Under-$20 Heat Protectants for Anyone Addicted to Their Flat Iron
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Photo: Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER.

Is it just us or do flat irons and blow-dryers get used a whole lot more during the winter season? I mean, it actually makes perfect sense: After all, hot tools and the sweltering elements are about as mismatched as it gets. Because while you may spend hours carefully parting, combing and straightening every section of your freshly washed mane, the moment you step into humid air, all of that hard work practically disintegrates into an almost-instant messy pouf.

The beauty of heat-styling during the winter is that you needn’t worry about your style falling apart in the cold, though it’s still just as important to protect it from wet snow, rain or high winds, depending on the weather, which always seems to be unpredictable.

MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Properly Using a Blow-Dryer

And because your usage is on the rise, the same must be so for day-to-day-repair. Enter the ever-dependent thermal spray or cream, a primer made with nutrients that not only give your hair the moisture and luster they’re prone to losing during the hot tool process. They also coat your strands so that even under the pressure of heat, sometimes up to 450 degrees, it will be able to retain its natural texture whenever you’re ready to cleanse again.

MORE: How to Prep and Protect Heat-Styled Hair, According to a Celeb Hairstylist

The ones we love most just so happen to be affordable too, with price tags that stay under $20. From creams formulated specifically for textured hair to mists that also detangle, these heat protectants may or may not be the secret to keeping your blowout on point.

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STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Not Your Mother's Beat the Heat Thermal Styling Spray
Not Your Mother's Beat the Heat Thermal Styling Spray

An infusion of sunflower oil and vitamins A and E ensure that your strands can stay cool under the heated pressure.

$5.99 at Ulta

Photo: Not Your Mother's.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | TRESemmé Expert Selection Heat Protection Spray
TRESemmé Expert Selection Heat Protection Spray

A mist that'll shield your hair from up to 450 degrees of heat without leaving it stiff and flaky.

$4.98 at Amazon

Photo: TRESemmé.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Mizani Thermasmooth Style & Style Again Heat Activated Styling Cream
Mizani Thermasmooth Style & Style Again Heat Activated Styling Cream

Apply this styler to towel-dried hair before sitting under a hooded dryer or using a blow-dryer. What you'll be left with are strands that are so smooth, you'll think they air-dried that way.

$20 at Mizani

Photo: Mizani.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | CHI Total Protect
CHI Total Protect

In addition to vitamin E and silk for locking in moisture, this thermal spray also includes UV absorbers to prevent color-treated hair from fading after multiple uses.

$16.50 at Ulta

Photo: CHI.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Joico Heat Set Blowout Perfecting Crème 03
Joico Heat Set Blowout Perfecting Crème 03

Detangle, calm frizz and reduce drying time every time you apply this protective cream to towel-dried hair.

$13.91 at Amazon

Photo: Joico.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Macadamia Professional Thermal Protectant Spray
Macadamia Professional Thermal Protectant Spray

It's no secret that this featherweight spray is made with macadamia oil, but don't forget about conditioning silicone, the ingredient that'll give you hair next-level luster.

$19.95 at Amazon

Photo: Macadamia Professional.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Sexy Hair Protect Me Hot Tool Protection Hairspray
Sexy Hair Protect Me Hot Tool Protection Hairspray

Soft strands without breakage and and a promised 78 percent reduction in breakage overall make this a must-try.

$18.95 at Ulta

Photo: Sexy Hair.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Redken Hot Sets 22 Heat Protectant Setting Spray
Redken Hot Sets 22 Heat Protectant Setting Spray

A lightweight thermal spray to use before your blow-dryer or flat iron. The result: straight hair with a nice amount of clean hold.

$13.05 at Amazon

Photo: Redken.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Biosilk Silk Therapy Thermal Shield
Biosilk Silk Therapy Thermal Shield

Shields your hair from damage without leaving behind that all-too-familiar sticky residue.

$16.50 at Ulta

Photo: Biosilk.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray
Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray

You can count on mongongo oil to deliver shine to your locks as they're being protected from the heated elements.

$13.89 at Target

Photo: Mielle Organics.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist
Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist

Cut drying time, smooth split ends if you can't cut them and enhance dull-looking strands with this all-in-one spritz.

$14 at Target

Photo: Kristin Ess.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Blow Dry Creme
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Blow Dry Creme

If your textured hair has been chemically processed, this rich cream, made with organic shea butter, Jamaican black castor oil and peppermint oil, is key to coating your hair before exposing it to heat.

$9.99 at Target

Photo: SheaMoisture.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | ORS Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum
ORS Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum

If your hair is prone to dryness after being manipulated with hot tools, this reparative oil will whip those strands back into fighting shape.

$7.39 at Target

Photo: ORS.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Heat Styling Primer
Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Heat Styling Primer

Vegan, infused with coconut oil and artifical-color-free. Sounds like a near-perfect formula that would give hair the nourishment it needs, with or without heat.

$10.99 at Ulta

Photo: Matrix.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Kiehl's Since 1851 Stylist Series Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream
Kiehl's Since 1851 Stylist Series Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream

Apply to damp hair, concentrating most of your effort on the more vulnerable ends, for hold and shine.

$17 at Kiehl's 

Photo: Kiehl's.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer
Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

Six oils and UV protection combine to moisturize, soften and protect hair before and after it's collided with a hot tool.

$12 (mini size) at Sephora

Photo: Bumble and bumble.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray
OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray

Coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and keratin proteins are the magic mix that'll elevate the look of freshly washed hair before you grab the flat iron.

$8.42 at Amazon

Photo: OGX.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Creme of Nature Argan Oil Smooth & Shine Polisher
Creme of Nature Argan Oil Smooth & Shine Polisher

Argan oil is the ultimate solution for strands that need nourishment and smoothing at the same time.

$7.10 at Amazon

Photo: Creme of Nature.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Curl Girl Unwind Thermal Protector and Detangling Mist
Curl Girl Unwind Thermal Protector and Detangling Mist

Quench your hair's thirst and prepare it for harsh styling with this blend of shea butter, tea tree, babassu and pumpkin seed oils.

$15.99 at Amazon

Photo: Curl Girl.
STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | FoxyBae Cool AF Heat Protectant Spray
FoxyBae Cool AF Heat Protectant Spray

In addition to protecting your hair from sizzle, there's also a dose of biotin to promote growth.

$8.95 at FoxyBae

Photo: FoxyBae.

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  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Not Your Mother's Beat the Heat Thermal Styling Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | TRESemmé Expert Selection Heat Protection Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Mizani Thermasmooth Style & Style Again Heat Activated Styling Cream
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | CHI Total Protect
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Joico Heat Set Blowout Perfecting Crème 03
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Macadamia Professional Thermal Protectant Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Sexy Hair Protect Me Hot Tool Protection Hairspray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Redken Hot Sets 22 Heat Protectant Setting Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Biosilk Silk Therapy Thermal Shield
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Blow Dry Creme
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | ORS Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Heat Styling Primer
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Kiehl's Since 1851 Stylist Series Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Creme of Nature Argan Oil Smooth & Shine Polisher
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | Curl Girl Unwind Thermal Protector and Detangling Mist
  • STYLECASTER | Heat Protectants Under $20 | FoxyBae Cool AF Heat Protectant Spray

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