Heat Protectants for hair conditioner

Hello everyone,
I am looking for a Heat Protectant ingredient to add to my hair conditioner. I was always told that oils protects hair against heat but now some people say, "it is like when you pour oil in the pan over the heat, so it would sizzle it". What do you think, who is right and if oils are not good, is there any other natural / synthetic ingredients that can do the job. Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it.


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    One word: silicones!
  • ZaraZara Member
    edited July 31
    ;chemicalmatt , Is there any ingredient other than Silicons? :) Thanks
  • There are polymers with some heat protectant claims (by suppliers), which I doubt you are going to find on the DIY market.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Zara - It's a question of whether you want something that actually works, or whether you want something that has a story that it works.

    If you want something that works, silicones are it.
    If you want to avoid silicones, then just put in some oil and tell people it's protecting their hair from heat. It won't work that well, it's inferior to silicones in performance but it would be suitable for the story.

    What's more important to you?  A product that works, or a story that is compelling?
  • ZaraZara Member
    Perry , I don't have any problems with Silicons but I need to make a product that customers like, so I have to look for a second best ingredient if there is any. :)
    - Is there any preference with silicons as a heat protectant?
    - Do you think Silicon alternatives would work better than oils or the same?

    Thanks everyone for your responds. I really appreciate it. 
  • @Perry shared this article some time ago in of the threads started by me https://www.dropbox.com/s/fuuig4f3p3fwxmd/heat-damage-to-hair.pdf?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR3guJlqfx4ebTqfEs_jntunWu-iT5bb71BmoZACZFHel-SNtYFRGq7qD4A

    In summary, it's not that easy to quantify damage to conclude that the product works. As per my quick research, most heat protectants on the market contain conventional ingredients such as PVP, Behentrimonium Chloride, various cationic polymers (i see polyquaternium 47 a lot but I have never tried it) and obviously silicones. If you want to avoid silicones because of customer perception I think the best way would be to see what is advertised in Personal Care Magazine. https://www.personalcaremagazine.com/story/20118/a-natural-solution-for-healthier-hair

    No guarantee that those materials would work, because those are articles by suppliers (and they are definitely not independent) but good enough for a story.
  • ZaraZara Member
    ngarayeva001 , Thank you for your respond. That is a good info. I don't mind to use water soluble Silicons but some people have made a monster out of it and never listen to what you want to say. 

    Thank you every one for helping me with your valuable knowledge. 
  • This study in 1998 found that 2% glycerin or propylene glycol also prevented heat damage to hair. Not sure if this theory has held up since then. Perry, do you know?

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @charlotte - I know this paper. It looks like they conclude that Glycerin or Propylene glycol coat the hair and prevent it from drying by preventing water from escaping. This kinda defeats the purpose of protecting from heat damage since the heat is being applied specifically to dry hair. That's probably why it hasn't been recommended as a solution.

  • Oh interesting! Good point. So these heat protectants would work for blow drying, but not straightening and curling irons?
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