It’s safe to say that some people got lazy with hair care during the pandemic. Some people went the opposite direction and began soaking their hair in olive oil, or coconut-based hair masks, embracing the DIY lifestyle. Caring for your hair can feel like a chore at times, but it is a job worth doing to encourage long, healthy locks and a nourished scalp.
Protecting the hair is especially important for those who use heat-styling tools like flat irons or blow dryers. Some of these tools don’t always allow for temperature control, while others do and can reach temperatures of more than 400º F. The hotter the temperature, the better the styling, right? Wrong. Exposing your hair to high heat changes the shape of the keratin strands in your hair. Research states that temperatures exceeding 300º F convert alpha-keratin to beta-keratin, which contributes to weaker hair that loses elasticity. Melting the keratin in your hair causes your hair to maintain that shape on a molecular level, and it’s not reversible.
Damaged hair lacks moisture because heat strips hair of its natural oils. Higher temperatures evaporate the water molecules in the hair, which changes the protein structure and makes hair dry up quickly. Fortunately, you can protect hair from heat tools by using a DIY protectant spray with natural ingredients.
The hair and scalp easily absorb almond oil, making it an excellent ingredient for all your hair care needs. Because the hair absorbs it quickly, it won’t weigh your hair down. It uniquely nourishes the hair because it has a high composition of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, and D. Together, these nutrients work to fill in any gaps that exist within the structure of your hair strands. That helps the hair become more resilient, stronger, and beautiful. The only thing to keep in mind is that whether or not you have a nut allergy because you don’t want to have an allergic reaction.
Coconut oil has a low smoke point of 350º F, which makes it an excellent option for finer hair. If you apply coconut oil to your hair as a base protectant, don’t exceed 325º F with whichever heat tool you use. Coconut oil has the ability to both condition and act as a sealant, repairing existing damage within the hair. By penetrating the hair shaft instead of simply coating it, coconut oil works to smooth out hair and keep frizz or flyaways at bay. Not only does it make your hair look much healthier, but it keeps your hair looking and feeling softer.
You can add some essential oils to the heat protectant spray to give it a signature scent. Essential oils offer protection to your hair, in addition to promoting growth and a healthier scalp. Great blends include lavender and rosemary or peppermint, tea tree, and lemongrass. Just keep the drop count to about 10 drops for whichever oil or blend of oils you use.
DIY Heat Protectant Spray
- 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons almond oil
- 2 teaspoons conditioner of choice
- 1 cup distilled water
- 10 drops essential oils of your choice
- Spray bottle
- Melt the coconut oil and allow it to cool slightly before you pour it into a spray bottle.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the same spray bottle, screw on the top, and shake well to combine the ingredients. Shake before each use.
- Spray on damp hair before blow-drying. Mist your hair lightly a second time before you use a heat styling tool.
- The protectant spray lasts anywhere from one to three months depending on how you store it. Storying it in the refrigerator will extend the shelf life, but the oil will have to melt in order to use it.