A cloud of smoke is looming over your head and the sizzling strands of hair are causing quite the stench. Sandwiched between the radiating plates of your trusty flat iron are your poor, vulnerable locks.

With temperatures reaching upwards of 500 degrees (zoikes!), I'm sure you can see the merits of using some kind of protection. You already take measures to safeguard your skin from the rays of the sun, so treat your hair right, too.

Excess heat on the hair from blow drying, curling, and flat-ironing takes moisture out of your hair. Not only that, it breaks down the cuticle layer, creating a frizzy, dull, and faded mess. Blah.

So, are you using protection? Check out my list below for some great recommendations for thermal spray and serum protectors so that you can still turn up the heat — without all the risk.