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Curly Nikki

Will Grape Seed Oil Prevent Heat Damage?

By January 27th, 202113 Comments
Will Grape Seed Oil Prevent Heat Damage?
via the Beauty Brains

Lilypad asks:
I’m transitioning from relaxed to natural hair and a lot of blogs and video bloggers tout grape seed oil as a heat protectant when blowdrying or flat ironing hair because it has a high smoke point (about 420 °F). Is there any truth to this claim? The smoke point refers to the oil’s use in cooking but does it apply to hair as well?

Read On!>>>

The Right Brain responds:
We’ve blogged before about how to protect your hair from heat damage and there’s more to it than just the how much heat the ingredients can take.

What to look for in a good heat protectant
Heat tolerance (in this case measured by smoke point of the oil) is only one factor to consider. You also need to look at how the product lubricates hair. You can experiment with oils if you want DIY heat protection but be careful: oils alone can create drag which could slow down the flat iron as it passes through your hair so it could end up doing MORE damage.

Good heat protectants should also help offset the drying effects of heat. Ideally you want a combination of glycerine or other moisturizers to lock in water and a low molecular weight polymer that can penetrate and help prevent heat from cracking the cuticles. (See the link above more more discussion and scientific references.)

Which oils can stand a lot of heat
But back to your question about smoke point. This site lists grape seed at 485F with soy bean oil at 495F, safflower oil at 510F, and avocado oil at a startling 520F! Wikipedia lists slightly different values: Cottonseed and virgin olive oil are in the same range as grape seed while almond, peanut, sunflower, and our cold friend coconut oil are higher. We’re not sure which values are more accurate, but either way it looks like you have some options to try that offer an even higher smoke point than grape seeds.

Which ingredients really work to protect against heat?

There are dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of products that claim to protect hair from heat damage. Do they really work? The scientific literature shows only a few chemical compounds that have been studied and shown to provide a real, measurable benefit. For best results, look for leave-in treatment products that have these ingredients in listed toward the top of the ingredient list (in the first 5 ingredients, or so):

  • PVP/DMAPA acrylates copolymer
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Quaternium 70

(This doesn’t mean these are the ONLY ingredients in the universe that really work, but these are the only ones that have published data. Strong reducing ingredients that work by the oxidation-prevention mechanism described above are not recommended because they may cause other types of hair damage.)

Which heat protectant do you use?


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  • Isolina Campbell-Cronin says:

    Hair is made of proteins and flat ironing hair destroys the protein. I do protein treatments with Nutress Hair protein packs every time I wash and flatiron my hair. I also use the Nutress Stop Break Leave-in-Conditioner and Foam Wrap to protect my hair before I blow dry and flat iron it. My hair always feels protected and stays healthy despite the heat! Check them out the products are so versatile and AFFORDABLE.

  • LovelyB says:

    I use GrapeSeed Oil EVERY time I blow-dry and it gives me the softest bounciest [and not weighed down, it's really light] hair ever. for a blow dry anyway. I put it on to "seal" in my leave-in and then use an extra dab on each section before blow drying.

    HOWEVER when it comes to flat ironing. I use an actual heat protectant. Actually I use a mixture of chi silk infusium, nexxus heat protectant, and some grapeseed oil. Shine, Protection & Healthy easily revertable hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I transitioned for almost 2 yrs by flat ironing every 2 weeks faithfully. My stylist used Chi silk infusion or biosilk as a heat protectant, never oil. Now that I have cut away the relaxed ends, I have had no issue with heat damage or my curls reverting. HOWEVER, I have a few straight pieces in the front, I believe due to rocking bangs for a period of time where I ironed them more frequently. I know these products aren't "all natural" but I personally swear by them. Good luck!

  • The Melanista says:

    Yes, I have say it serves its purpose. I've straightened once and I've blow dried my hair several times and I've always applied grapeseed oil as my heat protectant first. NikkiMae (NaturalChica)actually turned me onto grapeseed oil, because she always wears blown out hair and it's beautiful. I have not had any setbacks with heat use and my hair has always reverted back to curly when I wash. I can only speak for my hair, but you can test a small section of hair before doing your entire head to see how it responds to heat. HTH!

  • Erica S says:

    I never considered using oils as a heat protectant while I'm straightening it, but now that I see how oils can withstand so much heat, I think I'll try it out.

  • s.perry722 says:

    I've used grapeseed oil with great success. Does it keep my hair straight? No. lol But it gets the job done as far as protecting my hair…bounces right back!

  • Pecancurls says:

    Anon @ 4:28, I am of the same mind set. I never thought about oil and heat on my hair. I think of hot oil and cooking as well. Although I guess that may explain hot oil treatments —-although they never get hot.

  • mangomadness says:

    I read 'Heat Addict? How to Prevent Heat Damage to Black Hair: 'Your Guide to Responsible Heat Styling' by Audrey Sivasothy ( This article–backed by scientific info–leads me to believe that -cones are the best heat protectants.

  • Anonymous says:

    I refuse to use an oil in my hair as a heat protectant no matter what claims are out there. I am all for oils and potions and mixed butter, etc. but I draw the line there. I would rather use a product that I know for sure was formulated as a heat protectant. I'm not willing to take that kind of a chance with my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Scared to death to use an oil. When I think of heating oil I think of cooking. So maybe I need to train my brain otherwise. haha!

  • launie says:

    I personally don't use oils as a heat protectant. I use Motions heat seeker protecting spray. It has worked really well for me.

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