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If you’re unsure of which hair styling tools you really need, this guide can point you in the right direction, saving you the inevitable cost and frustration of buying the wrong thing.

These days, there are such a wide variety of hair styling tools readily available to the general public, it can be tough trying to figure out which one is right for the look that you are trying to get. While everyone knows the basic use for say, a hair dryer, they may not realize that this tool can actually be used in a number of ways in order to get a lot of different looks. Flat irons, curling irons and hot-air brushes can also all be used for some surprising effects that you may not have ever guessed possible. Read on for a complete account of how these different styling tools can be used to get the best hairstyle for you.

Benefits of Using Hair Styling Tools

Although it’s still possible to do a great deal of damage to your hair through the frequent use of inferior styling tools, it is now possible for anyone to buy professional-quality dryers, irons and brushes that are made to minimize heat damage and even improve the condition of the hair in the end. Those that are made of materials which heat up evenly and which use modern technology like negative ions in order to restore moisture to the hair, can leave it looking smoother and shinier as a result of their use, unlike the cheaper tools that are so often found in drugstores and big box retail outlets.

Hair styling tools make it possible to get an assortment of different looks that would either be impossible without them or that would take hours in front of a mirror. You can get perfect ringlets, soft waves or pin-straight hair, usually in just a few minutes, by simply selecting the right hair styling tool for the job and for your hair.

Flat Irons

Flat irons have become one of the hottest-selling beauty products in recent years, thanks to their ability to provide a sleek and sexy look to even the curliest and frizziest locks. The cheap metal flat irons of yesteryear are quickly being replaced by amazing new utensils that have a slew of helpful features and uses. While many people assume that a flat iron is limited to straightening out curly hair, the latest models have pivoting plates and come in different sizes that make it perfect for creating everything from tighter curls to beachy waves.

Pick the best flat iron with our buyer guide >>>

It’s important to look for high-quality plates when you’re making a new flat iron purchase, since those that are plated with ceramic or other materials can often chip with use, making the iron snag the hair as it passes through. Solid ceramic or specialty metal plates, like titanium, are the most preferred by professional hairstylists. If an iron provides negative ions to the hair through tourmaline or infrared technology, then it’s all the better for daily use.

Top Rated Flat Iron Reviews

Rusk RSK732 - 1.25 in
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic, titanium
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1.25
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $79.95
read full review
HSI professional 1-inch
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic, tourmaline
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $39.99
read full review
Infrashine Original
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1, 2
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $124.95
read full review
ISA Professional Victorya
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic, tourmaline
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $129.00
read full review
PYT Flat Iron
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1.25
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $60.00
read full review
6th Sense FH-1
  • Editor Rating:
  • Technology:
    ceramic, tourmaline
  • Plate Size (inch):
    1
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $104.99
read full review

Curling Irons

Curling irons have been around for decades, but recent advancements in their design have made them even more useful and easy for at-home stylists. They can create tight ringlets for a formal up-do or looser curls for a more natural look. Pick the size of your iron based on the look that you want, choosing smaller rods for tighter curls and larger ones for soft waves.

The same rules that apply to picking out a good-quality flat iron go for when you’re looking at curling irons. Avoid cheap metal or plated rods to sidestep that annoying snagging issue and look for irons that use ionic technology to mitigate damage. It’s also possible to find curling irons these days with a no-clip design, so that you won’t have the clip mark that comes from using a traditional rod.

Recommended Curling Irons

BaBylissPRO MiraCurl Machine
  • Editor Rating:
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $152.95
read full review
Sultra The Bombshell
  • Editor Rating:
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $130.00
read full review
Sarah Potempa The Beachwaver
  • Editor Rating:
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $199.00
read full review

Hot Air Brushes

Hot-air brushes are one of the newest additions to the hair styling tool market and they have captured the attention of both hairstylists and retail consumers with their ability to provide fast and long-lasting curls. These appliances are effectively a cross between a curling iron and a hair dryer, offering users the chance to style their hair as they dry it, which cuts down on the amount of time needed to get ready as well as a style that is more set and which will last for hours.

Those who use hot-air brushes have plenty of options at their fingertips, since these tools can be rolled into the hair for curls or pulled through like a brush for loose waves or to straighten. Due to their versatility and the fact that they can serve as both a dryer and a curling iron, these styling tools are exceptionally handy to have when traveling, lightening the load and still allowing you to maintain impeccable hair.

Hair Dryers

Although hair dryers have been around for the last century, the newest versions of this prolific styling tool are well-advanced from the models that have come before. They can provide a steady stream of hot air to the hair, which vastly reduces the amount of time that it takes for it to dry. Hair dryers can be used in conjunction with brushes, pins and other tools to create a variety of looks, as their heat relaxes the hair so that it will more readily take on a different shape, like a curl or a wave. Once it’s been heated in the desired form, using the hair dryer’s cool setting will lock the style in and help it to stay in place for longer.

The best hair dryers also use negative ion technology in their design and they will normally feature a good selection of settings for the user to choose from. Different levels of heat and power can be quickly and easily customized to fit your needs at the moment, which is a large part of what makes these hair styling tools so useful.

Recommended Hair Dryers

Rusk Speed Freak Dryer
  • Editor Rating:
  • Watts:
    2000
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $61.89
read full review
Solano Professional Dryer
  • Editor Rating:
  • Watts:
    1875
  • Price: as of Jan 26 2016 15:49 PDT 
    $149.00
read full review
Solia 1875W Dryer
  • Editor Rating:
  • Watts:
    1875
  • Price: as of Jan 13 2016 07:49 PDT 
    $75.00
read full review

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