When you walk down the aisle, only you and your hairstylist will know how much effort actually went into your seemingly effortless hairstyle. (Do you think Meghan Markle just woke up with that "messy" bridal bun?) But whether you choose tousled waves, a romantic updo, or sleek straight locks, it’s probably going to take a lot of work—and a lot of heat styling—to achieve your wedding hairstyle. Unfortunately, all those hair trials and days spent styling your hair for your engagement party, the rehearsal dinner, and of course, the wedding, might take a toll on your tresses.
Excessive heat styling can be extremely damaging to hair, causing frizziness, split ends, dryness, and burnt strands. While avoiding heat styling is ideal, you're not going to achieve that wedding-worthy blowout without it. So the best thing you can do for your ‘do is prep hair with a heat protectant that will help prevent any damage.
Out of all the hair-care products you'll use on your big day, a heat protectant is probably the most important. Consider it a primer for your hair, with added benefits like fighting frizz, extra hold, moisture, and shine. We’ve reached out to wedding hair experts for their favorite multitasking heat protectants for every hair texture and every type of heat styling. Keep scrolling to see their picks!
Warren Tricomi Hot Tools Spray
Senior hairstylist at Warren Tricomi Naté Bova recommends this spray for heat protecting and wedding-day styling. She says, “This lightweight [spray] offers heat protection and a medium hold that keeps your curls fresh for the day without buildup.” Bova also suggests getting a conditioning treatment a week before heat styling, which will strengthen hair without weighing it down on the big day.
SHOP NOW: Warren Tricomi, $19
Shu Uemura Fiber Lift Protective Volumizer
For fine hair, Bova recommends this styling gel/heat protectant for added body and heat protection. Just apply a small amount of this lightweight gel to tresses before blow-drying for volume, shine, and hold.
SHOP NOW: Walmart, $24.97
Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray
For blow-drying and flatironing, StylesOnB owner Stacy Pitt recommends this spray. “It cuts blow-dry time in half.” She explains, “It's an intense heat protectant, anti-humidity spray that also eliminates frizz.” The lightweight spray detangles and softens hair and is suitable for all hair types.
SHOP NOW: Ulta, $22
Toni & Guy Prep Volume Plumping Mousse
Pitt recommends prepping hair for curling with a mousse. "The more moisture a product has, the more heat is transferred to the hair, and that could be more damaging in certain cases. Mousse is a dryer product," she explains. "Since [wedding hairstylists] are working with hair that is new to us while styling bridal parties, we find that mousse is the safest bet that works best all around." Her pick is a lightweight formula that adds long-lasting volume, perfect for those wedding-day curls.
SHOP NOW: Jet, $9.99
Sally Hershberger 24K Liquid Assets Daily Conditioning Remedy
Brandi Voorhees, stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon Barneys Madison Ave, recommends this lightweight moisturizing spray for all hair types. To get the most use out of this heat protectant, Voorhees suggests that brides with coarse or frizzy hair add in a serum or dry oil for smoothing and added shine. For body and volume, she suggests using a mousse as well or a root lift spray like Sally Hershberger's 24K Route Envy Ultimate Root Boost.
SHOP NOW: Barneys, $32
Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Finishing Hairspray
Voorhees notes that the finishing touches are just as important. "You don’t want to use a hairspray that is too heavy," she says. Voorhees loves this spray that offers flexible hold—perfect for those romantic updos you've been pinning—and protects hair from heat and humidity.
SHOP NOW: Barneys, $39
Drybar Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant
"A heat protectant is essential for anyone using any hot tools," says Drybar founder Alli Webb. "I love Hot Toddy because it is a lightweight lotion that protects your hair from heat to prevent damage and color fading." To get the most out of your heat protectant, Webb recommends evenly saturating your hair with the product, and prepping your tresses for the big day with a healthy hair regimen that includes weekly or biweekly hair masks and treatments.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $30