We all know how important it is for our hair to be on fleek — whether you’re rocking those bundles, a natural look or protective style. But, it's also a major key to keep your hair healthy and protected from heat damage.
Obviously, heat can be your hair's number-one enemy when it comes to allowing your delicate strands to flourish. To keep you in the clear, we asked our favorite hair connoisseurs for advice.
Each of these hair gurus have tested all of the hottest hair tools (pun intended) in the game — along with the proper heat protectants — to keep every strand in tip-top shape.
See below to see what made the cut:
“If you take great care of your hair, whenever you need heat should be fine. If you do it, once or twice a week for relaxed hair works well. Three to four times on natural hair is OK,” says Nelson Vercher, the lead hairstylist at Rita Hazan Salon, who has styled Kelly Rowland.
Expert Tip: “You should always use some kind of heat protectant on your hair. Oils and sprays, are great. Oribe has a great oil for protection that I love.”
Buy It: Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($55)
“The blow dryer is my favorite hair tool. It's used in all types of hairstyling. You can speed up an air dry style, or you can straighten out your curls, coils or kinks. It's very versatile,” shares celebrity hairstylist Andre Walker, who’s worked with Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Halle Berry .
Expert Tip: “Any heat can cause damage, even on a low setting. To carefully use heat tools is to limit the usage, using less often if possible. The key is minimal use. Try protective styles, as a way to avoid using heat.”
Buy It: Solano Supersolano Dryer ($159)
“My favorite tool is the flat iron, it's multipurpose! But, if the hair is colored — think blonde— the temperature should only be 375-400 [degrees] at the most. If you have darker hair, you can amp it up to 450, just take larger section,” said Kiyah Wright, who has styled Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan and Tyra Banks.
Expert Tip: For heat protection, “I love Sebastian's thermal spray, it's really good, and I like the Sebastian serum," adds Kiyah.
Buy It: Sebastian Professional Dark Oil Serum ($48)
“The Hair Art H1500 1-inch flat iron [is my favorite.] It's well made, it's small and perfect for curls, waves and sleek straight looks,” shares Tina Pearson, who works with Nia Long, Jill Scott and BET’s own Debra Lee.
Expert Tip: “400 [degrees] is safe for most textures, however, clean hair is key when using heat over 280 [degrees]. You never want to use heat on unwashed hair," explains Tina.
Buy It: Hair Art H1500 Ceramic Straightening 1-inch Iron ($75)
“I love Le Angelique hot tools. It has adjustable temperatures and leaves the hair feeling smooth and sleek. It is important to know “what type of hair texture you have is the best way to understand how to use proper temperature,” says Maisha Oliver, celebrity hairstylist for Khloe Kardashian, Lauren London and Meagan Good.
Expert Tip: “Hair that has been chemically treated may use less heat (425 degrees and under), while natural hair may require higher heat (425 to 450 degrees) depending on the style and desired straightening."
Buy It: Kenra Professional Thermal Styling Spray ($16)
“My favorite hair tool is FHI’s Professional Styling Iron. I call it my hair BFF. It’s pretty light and versatile. I can do endless styling with it – creating straight styles, curls and waves on all hair types,” said Tym Wallace, celeb hairstylist for Taraji P. Henson, Zendaya Coleman and Brandy Norwood.
Buy It: FHI Professional Styling Iron ($82)
“[My favorite hair tool is the] Press Flatiron,” says Larry Sims, whose clients include Ayesha Curry, Gabrielle Union and Zendaya Coleman. “It vibrates, straightens hair faster because you can use larger sections due to vibration.”
Expert Tip: “You should always use heat protectant before thermal styling use. Without them, you are exposing your hair to extreme amounts of heat without a barrier of protection."
Buy It: Protect Heat Protectant ($17)
“I love the new Mizani heat protectant spray from the natural hair straightening line, it really coats the hair and protects the shaft from heat damage,” mentions Solange Knowles' hairstylist, Jawara Wauchope.
Expert Tip: “I don't think tools should be set any higher 380 to 400 degrees. If you can manage to only use hot tools once or twice a week I think that’s good.”
Buy It: Mizani ThermaSmooth Smooth Guard ($18)
“My Dyson blow dryer [is one of my favorites], because it dries the hair quickly and encourages shine.”
For a heat protectant, “I use the René Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray, since it adds a silky and smoothing feel to the hair,” says Amoy Pitters, celebrity hairstylist for Chanel Iman and Alfre Woodard .
Buy It: René Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray ($32)
(Photo from left: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)
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