Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best UV Hair Protectant

Last updated on November 15, 2022

We looked at the top 8 UV Hair Protectants and dug through the reviews from 12 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best UV Hair Protectants.

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top UV Hair Protectants

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Joico Defy Damage Heat & UV Hair Protectant

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Defy Damage Heat & UV Hair Protectant

Only a small drop once a day offers protection against the elements while also strengthening your hair and making it shiny. The formula is packed with vitamins and oils that serve the purpose of strengthening and shielding your strands. The bottle contains 1.7 fluid ounces of serum with an easy open and closed flip top.

Overall Take

Strengthens and ProtectsA blend of antioxidants, vitamins A and E and silica help strengthen the hair while also protecting it from heat and UV rays.

" Color-safe. Adds shine. Repairs hair damage. Sulfate-free."
 Runner Up

L’ange Remede Shine Enhancing UV Hair Protectant


Remede Shine Enhancing UV Hair Protectant

A mixture of argan oil and vitamin E help improve the shine in your hair while also smoothing it. The oil comes from the kernel of the Argan to give your hair essential fatty acids and antioxidants to both moisturize and protect it. The compact size makes it convenient for storing in your purse or tucking into your luggage.

Overall Take

For Frequent TravelersThis 2-ounce bottle of argan oil is ready made for travel, with a small, leak-resistant format.

 We Also Like

OUAI Hair Oil Sulfate-Free UV Hair Protectant


Hair Oil Sulfate-Free UV Hair Protectant

A mixture of exotic oils help protect the hair and keep it from fading. The formula includes African galanga, ama and Asian borage oils to help smooth your hair while safeguarding it. You’ll only need to use one to three drops, and you can apply it either on wet hair or after drying, as well as wearing it overnight if you need more intense hydrat...

Overall Take

Easy ApplicationA pump that dispenses one drop at a time makes this hair oil easy to use.

" Excellent benefits when used in dry or wet hair: this is absolutely my favorite hair oil and it completely changed my hair, which is soft, smooth, and silky after use. Can be used in wet or dry hair: while I..."
 Strong Contender

You’ll get a 5-ounce squeeze bottle of hair protectant that can be used either on wet or dry hair. The formula helps protect against the sun’s harmful rays while also giving it a smooth, shiny look. You’ll only use a pea-sized amount with each application, so one bottle will last a while.

Overall Take

Pleasant ScentA lightweight but tropical aroma sets this hair protectant apart, blending well with your other products.

" A pea-sized amount is all that’s needed on medium-long hair. We tried it both on wet and dry strands and was pleased with the performance with both application types. The luxurious-smelling cream (it’s a bit like what we’d imagine the..."

Buying Guide

It’s almost impossible to completely avoid harmful ultraviolet rays. A little sunlight each day is good for you, but even small amounts can damage your skin and hair, particularly around the midday hours. You can cover your skin in sunscreen and UV-protectant moisturizers and lotions, but the hair suffers from sun exposure, too.

Sun exposure is hardest on the cuticles of your hair strands. Similar to bleaches, sun exposure lightens the hair while also damaging the proteins that give it strength and luster. The result is frizzy, hard-to-control hair and even potential thinning. Those with fine or light-colored hair are most vulnerable, as well as those who have flat or tightly coiled strands.

The best protection against UV damage is to cover your hair or stay in the shade when you’re outdoors. If you plan to swim in a chlorinated pool, wash the chlorine out as soon as possible. But even with proactive measures, your hair can suffer UV damage from the exposure it naturally gets while you’re walking from your car to buildings or working in the yard.

That’s where UV hair protectant can help. Simply work a couple of drops through your hair strands after showering or drying your hair, depending on the directions specific to your chosen product, and enjoy a shield against those harmful UV rays. But many of the best products both protect and strengthen the strands, giving you bonus benefits.

The best thing about strengthening hair protectants is they typically use nutrients and natural oils to do the job. By depositing essential vitamins, these products naturally boost your hair’s properties without including harmful chemicals. Search for UV protectants with oils that add luster and shine to your hair. This will keep you looking good while you’re repairing and safeguarding.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the uv hair protectants available to purchase.

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings


Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Best Products, BestReviews, Byrdie, Elle, Mane Addicts.


User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 8 UV Hair Protectants and also dug through the reviews from 12 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best UV Hair Protectants.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

What to Look For

  • UV hair protectants come in various types of tubes and bottles. You might prefer a squeeze bottle over a flip top or vice versa. If the directions call for only a drop or two, a flip top that dispenses a small amount will make things easier.
  • Pay close attention to the application directions before buying. It might seem like serum bottles are small, but when you only apply a drop or two once a day, even one measuring only one or two ounces can last a while.
  • Some products use fatty acids and oils to achieve benefits. If possible, find a product with cold-pressed ingredients. When heated, oils can lose some of those essential nutrients.
  • If you plan to travel with your UV hair protectant, look not only for one that’s small enough to tuck into your luggage but also in a container that’s leak-resistant and sturdy.
  • Typically, you’ll use your UV hair protectant on freshly washed hair. In some cases, you can use it on either wet or dry hair, but check the label to find out the specific instructions for your chosen product.
  • For already damaged hair, more intensive therapy might be necessary. You can buy products that you wear overnight as a hair mask for hours of treatment.
  • The fragrances built into hair protectants can vary. Some are unscented, while others are heavily perfumed. Check the scent of any protectant you’re choosing.
  • For some, a hairspray-based protectant works better. They apply lightly over a wider surface area. You may still need to massage it into the strands, though, to make sure you’re getting even distribution.
  • If you swim, even occasionally, UV rays aren’t the only concern. Since all pools have at least a partial chlorine concentration, a swim cap is necessary for safeguarding your strands while underwater. Make sure you get one with a secure fit that will keep chlorine from making its way inside.

More to Explore

Hair is somewhat strong, but it still can be easily damaged. In fact, some of the biggest culprits might not even be things you expect. Even rubbing shampoo into the entire strand of your hair can damage it. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends massaging shampoo into your scalp and letting it flow naturally through the rest of your hair.

Other hair-damaging behaviors include towel drying your hair, brushing your hair while it’s wet, hairsprays and gels that promise to hold the hair in a certain position for hours, pulling and tugging on your hair while styling and brushing too much. Of course, well-known hair dangers include using hair dryers and heated styling products, coloring or perming your hair, wearing hair extensions and wearing your hair in a ponytail or cornrows.

From our partners