Mastering a salon-worthy style at home is 100-percent doable with the right tools. These seven new ones are so high-tech and user-friendly, you won’t miss your stylist (as much).
What they’re good for: “These are great for achieving smooth, polished looks,” says celebrity hairstylist and creative director of Virtue Labs, Adir Abergel. “Make sure the hair is totally dry and the sections aren’t too big.” Flat irons can also be used to create waves—a technique many stylists love—but they require some practice to master.
Expert tip: Abergel says the ideal temperature setting for flat irons is 365 degrees, no matter your hair type. “The high heat can add a lot of stress on the hair if a heat-protecting product isn’t used, so I never heat-style without one.”
One to try: The only hair straightener with high-tech plates that flex around the hair for even smoothing action, Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener ($500) delivers less heat, and therefore less damage.
What they’re good for: Celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Nine Zero One Salon Nikki Lee says these are great for someone who is new to curling their hair because they don’t have a clamp like traditional curling irons, which can leave a frustrating mark in the hair if used incorrectly. Instead, the hair is wrapped around the wand freely. “Wands are super universal—you can create many different curl patterns and textures,” adds Lee.
Expert tip: Celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak recommends rotating the direction of the waves for a more natural look. “For the first two face-framing pieces on each side, always rotate away from the face, but for all of the others, alternate the direction. Let the hair sit around the barrel for seven to 10 seconds for best results, and leave the ends out for a fresh, modern look.”
One to try: The Bio Ionic OnePass Oval Wand’s ($99) innovative shape forms loose waves as its unique Moisturizing Heat technology infuses hydration and shine into the hair while it styles.
What they’re good for: Commonly made of ceramic— there are many titanium versions, too—curling irons feature a clamp to keep the hair contained as it heats it to set the curl. They come in a variety of barrel sizes depending on the type of curl desired: 0.25-inch is the smallest, and good for ringlets; 1.5 inches is the largest, and great for loose waves, and also long hair.
Expert tip: For finer hair, Roszak says temperature and barrel size are important factors. “You don’t want your iron too hot or not hot enough—both can result in the flattening of curls—or too small. The sweet spot is usually around 375 degrees and 1 inch. Immediately after curling each section, spray it with a lightweight hairspray to help hold it.” And for all hair types, Roszak suggests letting the curls fully cool before breaking them up.
One to try: Powered by the brand’s breakthrough Rapid HeatIQ technology, T3 Curl ID ($235) optimizes the heat for every hair type based on customized settings to produce perfect curls.
What they’re good for: The blowdryer–round brush combo can help create a smooth, bouncy blowout at home by drying the hair as it styles. “When drying your hair, it can be tough to get the right angles using a blowdryer and round brush simultaneously,” says Abergel. “These tools can help you easily achieve the soft bend you’re looking for with just one tool.”
Expert tip: Avoid using them on soaking-wet hair—make sure it’s towel-dried first, which will cut down on drying time and heat exposure.
One to try: Ultra-lightweight but loaded with 1,000 watts of energy, the amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush ($100) can be used on damp hair for two-in-one styling, or on dry hair to add visible volume without overheating the hair.
Hot Smoothing Brushes
What they’re good for: These look like a paddle brush, but are powered by heat to produce a serious smoothing effect on the hair—they tend to boost shine, too. “They’re ideal for those who have wavy or curly hair and want to make it smooth and shiny,” says Lee. “At times when I don’t need to achieve pin-straight hair, I prefer using one of these over a flat iron, as they tend to produce less heat and cause less damage.”
Expert tip: Lee says to make sure you remove any tangles with a detangling brush before using this type of tool because it’s meant to smooth your hair, not detangle it.
One to try: We love the heated beveled edge of the Moroccanoil Smooth Style Ceramic Heated Brush ($130), which not only lets you get up close to the root, but also makes it easier to master that chic bend in the hair, as seen on many celebs.
Hot Round Brushes
What they’re good for: The perfect marriage of a round brush and a curling wand, these are used on dry hair to smooth frizz and produce voluminous waves. They also work wonders to revive flat, second-day strands.
Expert tip: “For instant fluffy volume or waves, wrap your hair around the tool once and glide it down,” says celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan. “You can also just brush your roots upwards to lift them, or use it to help shape your bangs.”
One to try: Designed with major volume in mind, ghd rise ($189) features a 1.25-inch barrel, universal 365-degree heat and smooth, nylon bristles that never get too hot to touch so you can get right up to the root and lift hair to the tip.
What they’re good for: “I’m loving three-barrel wavers right now! The bubble wave is super trendy, but very hard to achieve with a singlebarrel iron,” says Lee. “This tool makes it very easy to get bubble waves at home.”
Expert tip: “Don’t fully clamp down the tool on your hair,” Lee says. “This will give you more of a wave and less crimp for a more effortless look.”
One to try: It’s never been simpler to get soft, mermaid waves thanks to Trademark Beauty Babe Waves ($54), a trio of conjoined 1-inch barrels and cool tips that make it easy to maneuver.
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