Harpers Bazaar August 28, 2023

Harpers Bazaar

Beauty

The 20 Best Hair Tools for Every Styling Need

 

The top irons, brushes, and more

Everyone needs a lineup of great hair tools, regardless of hair type, texture, length, or color. The universe of hair tools has expanded in the last several years beyond the usual suspects like the hairbrush, blow dryer, curling iron, and straightener, and some of these new additions are game changers for your hair routine. Whatever you’re looking to add to your hair tool kit, we’ve rounded up the best of the best, from hot tools to brushes to heatless curl kits, so you’ll have everything you need for the perfect styling job at your fingertips. Plus, we consulted with celebrity hairstylist Joseph Maine and Nelson Solivan, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, to share their expert picks as well.

BEST BLOW-DRY BRUSH

Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer

PROS

  • Over 5,000 reviews

CONS

  • Some reviewers note it’s better for volume than curl

Revlon’s blow-dry brush changed the game, and it did so for a price that can’t be beat. It’s still one of our all-time favorites, and a must-have for those get-ready-quick mornings.

Customer review: “So easy to use and much better than a brush and dryer separately.” —Shauna

Key Features Designed for 120V USA outlets ONLY. 2 Heat/Speed Settings for Styling Flexibility with Cool Option.; 1100-Watt power

BEST FOR LONG HAIR

Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete Long

PROS

  • Multiple attachments to style hair straight, wavy, or curly

CONS

  • Unique design takes getting used to

The price tag may be eye-popping, but our editors stand by this investment, given this hair tool’s endless versatility. And if you have long hair, there’s a specially designed version for you featuring larger attachments.

Customer review: “I love this thing! I’ve noticed wayyyy less shedding when I dry/style my hair now. This makes my mornings so much more efficient too since it dries hair so quickly and smooths it out at the same time. There’s a little bit of a learning curve but nothing a couple YouTube videos can’t help. 10/10 recommend!” —Gina89

Key Features 3 heat; 3 speed; 1,300 Watts

BEST FOR CURLY HAIR

Shark SpeedStyle for Curly & Coily Hair

PROS

  • Designed to avoid heat damage
  • Great for frizz

CONS

Another multitasking tool that both dries and styles is Shark’s SpeedStyle. Shaped more like a traditional blow dryer, it lets you rough-dry your hair first, then add on your diffuser, brush, or smoothing attachment as needed.

Customer review: “It really dries my hair fast. I love the result I get. My hair is shiny and stays curly. This is the best dryer I have ever used. It’s kind of fun too. I definitely recommend this!”

Key Features 4 heat and 3 airflow settings, plus cool shot;1700 watts

HAIRSTYLIST PICK: BLOW DRYER

BaBylissPRO BaBylissPRO Volare V1 Dryer With Ferrari-Designed Engine

PROS

  • Six speed and heat settings
  • Four-year warranty

CONS

  • Some reviewers found it heavy

This powerful dryer is the go-to for Solivan. “It comes with an extra boost button that helps kick it into overdrive when you’re in a pinch. And the B series Ibiza boar-bristle brushes help smooth hair and give it shine, without stripping the hair of all of its natural oils,” says the pro.

Customer review: “This hair dryer left my hair silky smooth. Anyone that has thick hair like mine should have this blow dryer.” —Astrid

Key Features Nano Titanium technology; 2000 watts; Ion generator; 6 heat/speed settings; Includes 2 slide-on concentrator nozzles; Ferrari-designed AC motor; Made in Italy

HAIRSTYLIST PICK: CURLING IRON

Harry Josh Pro Tools Cordless Ceramic Curling Wand 1 Inch

PROS

  • Cordless technology is super convenient
  • Heats up to 400 degrees in one minute

CONS

As for a curling iron, “The new cordless curling irons by Harry Josh Pro have become a staple in my kit when traveling and doing photoshoots,” says Maine. “I love having the ability to recharge a battery while still using the iron. The ceramic coating makes gliding through the hair a breeze.”

Customer review: “I use it every morning, all around the house. No longer tethered to the wall and it has all the power needed. So happy and love this brand." —Sara

Key Features 3 heat settings: 320˚F, 335˚F, 400˚F; 1" Nano Silver Tourmaline Barrel for even and consistent styling; Powerful Ceramic Heating Plates

HAIRSTYLIST PICK: UNDER $100

Trademark Beauty Speedy Blo Hair Dryer

PROS

  • Travel-friendly size

CONS

Maine says this blow dryer from his line, Trademark Beauty, is his favorite right now. “It’s compact, lightweight, powerful and affordable. I travel often for clients, so having a dryer that I can easily pack is important,” says Maine, adding that “It’s rare you can find such a powerful quality dryer under $100.”

Customer review: “Love this blow dryer so so much! Not only does it do an amazing job of quickly drying my hair when I am in a hurry, but it's also super cute. The attachments make it great for all hair types. It did an amazing job at styling my bangs, best blow dryer ever!!” —Virginia

Key Features 1800 watts, 3 heat settings

HAIRSTYLIST PICK: WET TO DRY

GHD Duet Style 2-in-1 Hot Air Styler

PROS

  • Dries and styles at the same time

CONS

  • May take longer for those with a lot of hair

For anyone looking to cut down on styling time, consider this tool. “The new GHD Duet styler is a super cool innovation that makes it simple for people to go from dripping wet hair to sleek and straight with minimal effort,” explains Maine. “This iron is a staple for anyone with a lot of textured hair that loves making it sleek and straight.”

Customer review: “You guys I’m obsessed with this ! It takes my hair from a 0-10 in legit 20 minutes.” —sincerelyhaneen

HAIRSTYLIST PICK: WAVE IRON

Trademark Beauty Babe Waves X - Pink

PROS

  • Great price point
  • One-hour auto shut-off for safety

CONS

  • May be too large for short hair

If traditional wave irons take up too much space, Maine recommends this slimmer option. “It gives you the same loose wave provided by triple barrel irons but with only two barrels. This allows you to address shorter hair lengths,” he says. Plus, “The opening and closing method is closer to that of a flat iron so you can apply additional pressure if needed for tough textures.”

Customer review: “This hair waver is easy to use. It heats up fast, and the waves are big and plumped. This tool is ideal for longer hair, I'm using it on my 20" weave” —Neesy

Key Features 4 temperatures, 1.25” tourmaline ceramic barrels

BEST CURLING WAND

Amika The Chameleon 5 Barrel Interchangeable Curling Kit

PROS

  • Can create a number of styles using one tool

CONS

  • Pricey

A curling wand is great, but you know what’s even better? A five-in-one curling wand that you can use to create waves and ringlets of all shapes and sizes.

Customer review: “My stick straight hair doesn’t hold a curl for an hour regularly. So when they told me it would hold for 24 hours, I was like you have got to be joking! We curled and waited. And watched. And much to my surprise, the curls STAYED! I couldn’t believe it. Very cool.” —Nichole

Key Features Titanium barrels; digital temperature setting from 250ºf up to 450ºf

BEST STRAIGHTENING IRON

T3 Smooth ID 1" Digital Ceramic Flat Iron

PROS

  • Great for personalizing to your hair type and texture

CONS

  • Pricey

Using a straightening iron regularly can lead to damage, so it’s important to use one that takes your hair type and texture into consideration. T3’s model has smart heat settings that you can adjust to minimize damage, and delivers the shiny, smooth finish you’re looking for.

Customer review: “What an incredible flat iron! I’m absolutely terrified of constantly using heat on my hair, but the quality of this iron doesn’t leave my hair damaged! My hair lasts straight for days and looks so soft!” —hhayleej

Key Features T3 HeatID Technology; a smart-touch interface; nine heat settings

BEST STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

T3 Edge Heated Smoothing & Styling Brush

PROS

  • Beginner-friendly

CONS

  • May not have the same results on curly and coily textures

Perfect for both hairstyling novices and touch-ups, this tool straightens as you brush it through the hair—no added skill required.

Customer review: “Wow! This brush is amazing! I have long coarse hair and I do Brazilian blowouts. My stylist said the blowout will last longer if I don’t use a flat iron. She recommended this type of brush for between washes. The engineer deserves a prize. It’s super simple to use and I get great results.” —jeegdg

Key Features T3 Rapid HeatIQ technology, PrecisionEdge Design, which includes edge-to-edge heated plates and tufted nylon bristles

BEST DIFFUSER

Bio Ionic Universal Diffuser

PROS

  • Compatible with most dryers

CONS

A lot of diffusers come with blow dryers, but Bio Ionic’s is sold separately, so you can attach it to the one you already own and love. The diameter is 2.25 inches, so double-check it will fit your model.

Customer review: “One of the best hair gadgets ever discovered and purchased! It works perfectly. It’s easy to use, and my natural curls respond with more curliness.” —Robin

Key Features 12 air outlets

BEST TOOL FOR HEATLESS CURLS

Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set

PROS

  • Creates curls overnight

CONS

  • Only works with longer hair

Thanks to TikTok, we know we can get flowing curls without any heat at all. This set features a pillowy satin rod to wrap your hair around, plus two scrunchies to secure it (but you can use them separately as hair ties too—who are we to stop you).

Customer review: “Honestly was not sure this would work, but I LOVE it. Lasts for multiple days, takes a fraction of the time as a curling iron, and gives great curls!” —TaylorY

BEST HOT ROLLERS

Conair 20-Piece Hot Rollers With Clips

PROS

  • Feature a tourmaline and ceramic coating to protect hair
  • Heat up in 85 seconds

CONS

  • May need two sets if you have a lot of hair

Hot rollers are having a moment thanks to their movie-star-worthy finish. Conair’s set features eight extra-large (1.25"), six large (1"), and six medium (.75") ceramic-coated rollers, so you can mix and match around your head as needed.

Customer review: “I absolutely loved the Conair heated rollers. The varying sizes helped achieve different curls and volume I wanted in my hair. Super easy to use and your hair looks amazing. My curls lasted for few days and I got so many compliments.” —Har

BEST BRUSH FOR WET HAIR

LolaVie Wet Brush Pro Flex Dry

PROS

  • Can be used on both wet and dry hair

CONS

  • May not be strong enough for coarse hair types

A collaboration between Wet Brush and Jennifer Aniston’s LolaVie hair care, this brush has everything: heat-resistant bristles, a vented design to help hair dry faster, and flexible bristles that contour to the scalp.

Customer review: “Fantastic wet brush that’s gentle enough to also use on my dry hair. Bonus: It’s easy to clean. I love it so much I ordered a second for my mom.” —Marianne

BEST PADDLE BRUSH

Unbrush Wet & Dry Vented Detangling Hair Brush

PROS

  • Flexible on hair and scalp

CONS

  • Shouldn’t be used with a blow dryer

ICYMI, this hairbrush is taking TikTok by storm. Here’s why: The vented back allows air to flow and won’t catch buildup, while the straight bristles are easy to clean.

Customer review: “This by far has been the best detangling brush we have tried on the market... both wet and dry this thing goes through like butter.” —June

BEST BRUSH FOR CURLY HAIR

Denman Original Styler 7 Row Hairbrush

PROS

  • Helps define and shape curls

CONS

Curly-haired girlies know a hairbrush is to be loved and feared, but the Denman brush is one you can trust. The bristles help define curls when hair is wet, and won’t tug or pull.

Customer review: “I’ve been using my Denman brush for five years and I can’t live without it. This brush is a game changer. My curls are so defined and I constantly get compliments from strangers.”

BEST COMB

The Hair Edit Section & Style Comb

PROS

  • Great price point

CONS

A rattail comb (yes, real name) is the secret weapon of your hair tool kit. Use the “tail” to create a clean part, shape edges, and to section pieces for drying, then flip it around and use the comb for smoothing.

Customer review: “Such a great rat tail comb 10/10 recommend! Perfect size for all your needs plus the sharp end for detail work.” —ESmith289

BEST EDGE BRUSH

Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross Edge Tool

PROS

  • Multipurpose tool

CONS

  • Bristles may be hard on sensitive skin

Who doesn’t love a multipurpose must-have? This two-sided edge tool has vegan bristles to shape hairs and hold them in place. Plus, the pointy-ended handle acts as a sectioning tool.

Customer review: “I love the Edge Tool. I use it + the Pattern Edge Control when I want a sleeker look (a pony, a bun, etc.) It’s also great for touch-ups.” —Laphora

BEST ROUND BRUSH

Olivia Garden Nanothermic Brush

PROS

  • Great for fine hair

CONS

  • Avoid touching the metal barrel as it can get very hot

Even if you blow-dry your hair once a year, you need a round brush. This one has a ceramic-coated barrel that heats up quickly and stays warm, giving hair a soft, smooth finish as it creates volume.

Customer review: “I love this brush. I have fine hair. This brush helps me to get the styles that I want. It helps my hair to dry quickly and doesn't drag through my hair as I dry it.” —Suzanne

Key Features Tourmaline Ion technology


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