For some reason, some naturals don’t completely believe in the heat protector. With the various home remedies many of us have found our trust in, we skip the investment on store-bought serums and sprays that claim to protect our hair from the heat of blow dryers and flat irons.

But truth be told, while many of our at-home hair recipes will keep our kinks and curls moisturized and full of body, most won’t actually protect our hair against heat damage. While blow-drying techniques vary when working with different hair textures (limp, fine hair gains its body from the wrist and round brush, while thick tresses are tamed by directing air against the hair to stretch the strands), the one thing that’ll never change is the need to protect your hair from heat damage.

We’ve tested loads of serums, sprays and cremes to come up with these top picks for protecting natural hair from heat damage.

—Marisa Peal