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Best hot air brushes for styling hair at home

For many of us, styling hair at home can be one of those high effort/low reward tasks. No matter how much time you spend on your hair, it never looks quite as good as a blowout fresh out from the salon. Fortunately, a hot air brush can help you achieve a gorgeous blowout at home with much less hassle.

 

Hot air brushes have enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity, and perhaps rightfully so. It gets the job done faster so that styling your hair won’t have to be such a time-sucking chore. No more dealing with a mess of hot rollers, curling irons, or straightening irons!

 

What is a hot air brush?

 

You may have heard it referred to by any of these various names: heated hair brush, blow dryer brush, or heated styling brush. Simply put, it’s an electric heated hair brush that can give you a voluminous, silky blowout in less time it would take with a regular hair dryer and a round brush. Whether you need to straighten your hair into silky tresses or curl it into tousled waves, there is a brush that can help you get the exact style you want.

 

How does it work?

 

                 

Product video courtesy of Revlon 

 

The hot air brush is incredibly user-friendly. Similar to a hair dryer, you just plug it in and select the heat setting that you prefer. Hot air (or cool air, depending on the selected setting) will come out through the bristles so you can dry and style your hair simultaneously.

Wrap a section of your hair around the barrel of the round brush (or just brush normally if you’re using a paddle brush for straightening). The nice thing about using a heated brush is that the heat is targeted to only that section of hair, which reduces the damage to your hair and overall frizz, compared to the traditional method of holding a regular brush in one hand and a blow dryer in the other.

 

  Demo photos courtesy of manufacturer

 

With one hand free, you can style your hair much faster and with greater precision. Another benefit that comes from using a hot air brush is that it directs heat to only a targeted section of your hair (the part that’s wrapped around the brush, obviously), which dries your hair in much less time and thus reduces overall heat damage to your hair.

 

Protip: Towel-dry or blow dry your hair with a hair dryer first to remove excess moisture, then use the heated brush on semi-damp hair to cut down on total drying time and achieve better results.

 

What to look for when buying a hot air brush

 

  • Ionic technology: Most heated hair dryer brushes are made with ionic technology, similar to the hair dryer or straightener you may have at home. With ionic technology, the negative ions saturate the airflow to reduce the size of water droplets for faster drying. This reduces frizz and static for shinier, smoother hair.

 

  • Barrel size: For long, thick hair, we recommend brushes with barrels that are 2 inches or above. For short hair, or if you want tighter curls, brushes from 1 to 1.5 inches large are best.

 

  • Wattage: Wattage is how much electrical power the device is capable of. The higher the wattage, the more powerful, and the faster you can dry your hair. We recommend choosing brushes that are 500 watts or above for best results.

 

Best for creating volume or long, thick hair: Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1100 Watts power (FEEL THE POWER!)
  • 120 voltage
  • 2 inch barrel
  • 3 heat settings: low, high, cool
  • Enhanced air control
  • Mixed nylon pin and boar bristles softly detangle hair while gripping hair for greater volume
  • Ionic technology
  • Ceramic coated plate
  • Tangle-free swivel cord

 

If you’re looking for volume, straightening your hair, or creating beach waves, this Revlon hot air brush has you covered. This brush can handle long, thick hair, whether straight or curly. Many Amazon customers who have curly hair reported that it only took them 10-15 minutes to dry and straighten their hair with this hot air brush, and it took care of the frizz beautifully. If you have short hair, as long as your hair is long enough to cover the barrel, you will be fine (the shaft is 2 in wide, and barrel is 4 in wide from tip to tip of the bristles).

 

Best for fine, short hair: John Frieda Hot Air Brush (1.5 in Barrel)

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 500 watts power
  • 110 voltage
  • 1.5 inch barrel
  • Ionic technology
  • 3 heat settings: low, high, cool
  • Titanium ceramic plate
  • Enhanced air control
  • Swivel cord

 

The John Frieda Hot Air Brush has been a favorite Editor’s pick by Allure in the past. It touted advanced ionic technology that produces 50% more negative ions for shiny hair and better frizz control. The only downside about this brush is that it is lower wattage (500 watts) compared to the Revlon brush above (1100 watts). This means that it would take longer to dry your hair, especially for those with thick, long hair. The smaller barrel size is also not designed to handle thick, long hair. However, those with fine and/or short hair will find this John Frieda hot air brush a fantastic budget pick.

 

Best for on-the-go styling or traveling: Lescolton One Step Dryer & Styler Hot Air Paddle Brush

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1000 Watts power
  • Lightweight (0.99 lb) and compact size (3.6 x 13 x 1.5 in)
  • Ionic technology
  • 3 heat settings: low, high, cool
  • Enhanced air control
  • Titanium ceramic plate
  • Swivel cord

 

Powerful and ergonomic, this paddle brush is excellent for straightening hair while traveling. It packs an impressive 1000 watts power, so you can blow dry and straighten your hair faster, no matter what hair type you have: long, thick, short, fine, curly–this brush can handle it all. Paddle hot air brushes are a great, less damaging alternative to using the flatiron everyday. If your hair has been suffering from heat damage due to excessive use of the straightening iron, give this brush a try and you’ll be blown away by how healthy your hair will look.

Note: There is currently a 10% off coupon for this brush on Amazon.

 

Best rotating hot air brush: BabyLiss Pro Nano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 500 watts power
  • 110-125 voltage
  • Multidirection 2 inch rotating barrel
  • Ionic technology
  • Anti-static bristles
  • Titanium ceramic plate
  • 3 temperature settings: low, high, cool

 

Quite possibly the best rotating hot air brush currently on the market. In addition to the 3 heat settings, the brush has 2 directional buttons that lets you control the way the barrel rotates: toward the scalp and away from the scalp. The benefit of a rotating brush is that it lets you create interesting texture to your hair while looking completely natural (think: voluminous, casually tousled waves as opposed to one dimensional curls).

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Babyliss brush, the Infiniti Pro by Conair Spin Air Rotating Styler/Hot Air Brush is a perfectly decent choice.  (Bonus: it comes with 2 interchangeable barrels: 2-inch and 1 1/2-inch.)