This Top Stylist Says That Heat Protectant Is a Sham

ICYMI: Last week, we debunked the whole “shampoo is bad for you” idea on The Glow Up. This week, we’re here with some more beauty news that challenges another long-held idea we’ve had about hair and that’s the importance of heat protectant. 

Conventional wisdom (and pretty much every stylist we’ve ever interviewed) tells us that when heat styling your hair (i.e., using a blow-dryer, flatiron or curling iron), you should always use a heat protectant first.

Well, one hairstylist disagrees: Jon Reyman, a seasoned celebrity hairstylist, the founder of Spoke & Weal salons and the global styling ambassador for Dyson. (In sum, the man knows hair.)Between the usual chatter about upcoming trends and styling tricks, he said something that made us choke on our coffee. Y’all ready for it?

According to Reyman, heat protectant is a sham. (OK, those are our words, not his.) He explained to us that we don’t actually need heat protectant because, theoretically, any styling product you’re applying to your hair before applying heat qualifies as a heat protectant. “The goal is just to create a barrier between your strands and the heat, so any leave-in conditioner, serum, cream or oil can achieve that,” said Reyman.  

Bottom line: If you already use a styling or conditioning product like the ones we just listed above, you don’t need a separate heat protectant. But if you don’t use any other styling product before blow-drying or ironing your hair, then by all means, use some heat protectant.

And if you’re in the market for some new styling products, shop some of our favorite picks below.


oribe priming lotion leave in conditioning detangler

Oribe Priming Lotion Leave-in Conditioning Detangler

For hair that looks as good as it smells, we reach for this leave-in conditioner. Comb it through freshly washed strands to quickly detangle and to keep curls from frizzing up as they dry. We find our hair to be smoother and shinier whenever we use it. 

shea moisture coconut hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie

Sheamoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

For something with a bit more weight (key for ladies with dry or coarse texture), we love this hydrating concoction. The tiniest, dime-sized blob locks in all the moisture so your ringlets are well defined without any crunch. Just remember to start slow; when we say it’s hydrating, we mean it is hy-dra-ting.

hair food avocado argan smooth hair oil

Hair Food Avocado & Argan Smooth Hair Oil

You already know the many beauty benefits of argan oil (aka liquid gold) and this hair oil is packed with the stuff. Add to that the omega fatty acids from the avocado in the formula and dry, frazzled ends are sealed into smooth submission. Tip: Rub one pump of oil into your palms and the backs of your hands before working it through your hair for an even distribution.

virtue volumizing primer

Virtue Volumizing Primer

On the flip side, if you need some extra volume, try misting some of this volumizing primer before styling. Formulated with hydrolyzed wheat and soy proteins, it bulks up limp strands, while making them smoother and more manageable overall.

kristin ess fragrance free detangling tonic

Kristin Ess Fragrance Free Detangling Tonic

We love this detangling spray for its sheer versatility. The lightweight, fragrance-free formula can be easily layered on all hair types and textures without weighing things down (or adding any competing scents if you use other products afterward). Mist it all over damp strands and marvel at how effortlessly your brush glides through. 

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...