Styling tools are a crucial part of our daily beauty rituals. If they're not part of your daily regimen, that means one of two things: a. they should be; or b. you have perfect hair (and we greatly envy you).
Sure, every now and then we get a free pass (the alarm didn't go off, the coffee carafe rolled off the kitchen counter and shattered, etc). But it's amazing what a little heat and metal can do - and with minimal time too.
Whether you're in the market for a new ionic dryer, or need the volume only hot rollers can give, there's a styling tool out there for all hair types. Take a look at our guide to get up to date on the latest trend-setting styling tools. You'll be salon fabulous in no time!
For those of us who don't have naturally curly hair that can set perfectly with a bit of gel, hair dryers are a must. If you plan on using your hair dryer on a regular basis, look for one with multiple heat and speed settings. Keep an eye out for a dryer with a nozzle attachment, which concentrates the air in a narrow oval shape. While many dryers can be bought on the cheap ($5 to $20), you may want to invest a bit more in one with ionic or ceramic features, so you won't pay later with hair damage from repeatedly using a dryer with only one speed and heat setting.
Dryer You Should Try: Hot Tools Black & White Hairdryer
This dryer features a NanoCeramic grill, Direct ION technology and a rubber grip handle. It infuses a high volume of ions into its air stream and your hair gets to reap all the benefits. This technology cuts down drying time by nearly half! It has multiple heat settings, a removable lint filter, multiple heat settings and a cool shot to set your perfect style. $71.99
Diffusers work great for curly-haired girls, and can either be bought separately from your hair dryer or attach onto it. With a diffuser, you dry hair starting at the root, moving in circular motions. You'll want to use the slowest speed setting. When diffusing, you slowly continue to dry the hair, working outward to the ends of your hair. A diffuser's prongs are the key to drying hair, preventing frizz, providing optimum curl and preventing heat damage. This is because the heat is not direct but diffused.
Diffuser You Should Try: TS-2 Aerate Diffuser
This diffuser is all about air, air and more air! The TS-2 Aerate Diffuser features air flow from 5 directions, which give each strand optimum volume. It has vented fingers, side directional air flow vents and a double-vented interior which creates natural curls while proficiently drying hair. Sounds like a bit of a vortex for your hair (without the tangles). The TS-2 has a large bowl shape, which allows it to hold heaping sections of your glossy locks. $30
Hot rollers have been around for ages and come in many varieties, such as the soft rollers of yesteryear that had to be left on while your hair naturally dried. There are so many rollers out there; it's hard to know where to begin. Right now, the trend is all about loose flowing curls with lots and lots of volume. That look is best achieved with large hot rollers.
Heat them up first, then roll in hair and leave for 10 to 20 minutes, or apply them cool and blow dry over hair to heat them up. When looking for hot rollers, ionic rollers work well, as they change color based on temperature, so you know when they've cooled and can take them out.
Hot Rollers You Should Try: Conair Xtreme Instant Heat Multi-Sized Hot Rollers
These rollers are great for girly girls who want curl but are short on time. These hot pink rollers heat up in just 75 seconds, and contain ceramic technology that aids in heat transfer for curls that last the whole day. Heat comes from the clip and roller to increase effectiveness. This set has ready-dot equipped rollers, just in case you're tapping your foot after 60 seconds. $41.99
A round brush is a jack of all trades. It can straighten out waves to create a smooth, sleek look, pump up the volume for listless, thin hair and completely reinvent the curly-haired maven's look. When you use a round brush there's rarely a need for curling, flat ironing, etc. With a round brush it's a one-stop-shop!
Using a round brush will take practice though. It's used when you blow dry your hair. Typically, hair is sectioned off, and you start by wrapping the brush around hair at the roots, pulling downward in a circular motion all the way down the strand. Meanwhile, you have the hair dryer in the other hand, emitting heat onto the round brush's metal core, which gives hair its hold. If you're right-handed, holding the round brush in your left hand is going to feel awkward at first. But with practice, it'll get easier, and you'll find your hair has that salon finish you love.
Round Brush You Should Try: CHI Turbo Ceramic Round Brushes
This round brush is turbo charged - it's made of 100% natural boar bristles, which means it can last through years of your styling abuses. The brush cuts down on drying time by 40%, since it reflects the heat back into the air and has an even temperature throughout. The CHI brush is good for all hair types, and its non-slip handle will help you maintain control of your hair through the entire styling process, whether your grasping hair at the root or letting it set at the ends. Say goodbye to fly-aways! Prices vary by location.
Remember, no matter what type of hair you have or look you crave, there's a styling tool out there for you. From voluminous waves to tightly wound curls, there's a way to get the style you want. All it takes is the right styling tool, a little heat and a bit of practice.