Which hot-air brush is best?
Imagine how much time you would save in the morning if you could dry and style your hair at the same time. You don’t have to maneuver a separate blow-dryer and round brush to get it done, either. With a hot-air brush, you can go from wet locks to perfectly styled hair in a matter of minutes.
Hot-air brushes are exactly what they sound like: a handheld tool that emits hot air for drying and features bristles for smoothing and styling your hair. For the best results, though, you have to choose the right brush for your hair type. If you want a high-quality brush that can provide a smooth blowout that lasts for days, the Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a hot-air brush
If you want a hot-hair brush that won’t damage your hair and can provide the best results, it’s essential to consider your hair type when shopping.
For thin or damaged hair, choose a hot-air brush with variable temperature controls you can adjust with a dial or an LCD screen. Do not style or dry fragile hair at a high temperature or you risk further damage. Instead, you want a brush that you can use at the lowest temperature possible to dry and style your hair.
If you have frizzy hair, a hot-air brush that offers ionic technology is an excellent option. It emits negative ions to neutralize the positive ions in your hair, which cuts down on frizz and static and leaves you with smooth, shining hair.
Thick, coarse hair does best with a hot-air brush that features strong, durable bristles and tangle-free features. It should also heat to higher temperatures to effectively dry and style thick, heavy hair.
Hot-air brushes are available in several shapes, but the majority are round. Round hot-air brushes are usually the most versatile because you can smooth, straighten and curl your hair. They’re also highly effective for adding volume at the roots.
Paddle-style hot brushes and comb hot-air brushes often don’t blow out hot air to dry your hair. Instead, they just heat up and function more like a flat iron or hair straightener than a blow-dryer/brush combination.
Many hot-air brushes only feature two heat settings: high and low. Instead, opt for a model with a heat dial or other variable temperature controls for greater control over the brush’s temperature. You can even find some hot-air brushes that produce cold air to help lock your style in place.
Barrel and bristle materials
Most hot-air brush barrels are made of chrome, ceramic or tourmaline. Models with a chrome barrel usually are the most affordable options, but they don’t heat as evenly and can damage your hair. Ceramic and tourmaline are particularly effective for smoothing hair and keeping it frizz-free, although you’ll pay more for brushes with barrels made of these materials.
The best brushes feature durable, sturdy bristles that won’t break off easily. You’ll also have an easier time smoothing your hair with stronger bristles.
What to look for in a quality hot-air brush
Some hot-hair brushes feature a rotating barrel that makes it much easier to style and add volume to your hair. The brush automatically winds your hair around it to boost the volume. However, for the most body, choose a brush that rotates in different directions, which can give your hair a more natural look.
It’s a good idea to choose a hot-air brush with rotation you can shut off, so you don’t have to use it all the time.
For long hair, a hot-air brush with a long barrel makes it much easier to style your hair. A longer barrel allows you to reach all sides of your head and can handle more hair at a time, letting you dry and style your hair more quickly.
A hot-air brush’s cord can get in the way when you’re trying to maneuver it around your head. A model with a swivel cord makes it easier to maneuver the brush.
For the most comfortable hair styling, a hot brush’s weight is a vital feature to consider. A heavy brush can tire out your hand and arm in a hurry, so stick to models that weigh about 2 pounds.
Not all hot-air brushes can effectively dry hair, so they’re not designed for use on wet hair. For more versatility, opt for a brush that’s suitable for use on damp or wet hair. If your brush isn’t intended for wet styling and you use it on wet locks, you may wind up damaging your hair.
Choose a hot-air brush with auto shutoff, heat-resistant bristle tips and a curl-release feature.
How much you can expect to spend on a hot-air brush
Hot-air brushes usually cost $25-$150. Those that cost $25-$55 typically aren’t that durable and aren’t suitable for wet or damp hair. For a high-quality hot-air brush that allows for wet styling, expect to pay $55-$100. Rotating brushes and those with more temperature options generally range from $100 to $150.
Hot-air brush FAQ
Why should you use a hot-air brush rather than a curling iron or straightener?
A. The main benefit of a hot-air brush is that it can dry your hair in addition to styling, while a curling iron or straightener can’t. It’s also highly effective for boosting volume and doesn’t use direct heat, making a hot-air brush less likely to burn or damage your hair.
Will a hot-air brush damage hair?
A. A hot-air brush emits hot hair, so there is the risk of damage. However, it’s much gentler on your hair than other heated styling tools because it doesn’t use direct heat. However, you should still apply a heat-protectant product before using the brush to help prevent damage.
What are the best hot-air brushes to buy?
Top hot-air brush
What you need to know: This hot-air brush uses ionic technology to fight frizz and provide a smooth blowout that can last for a couple of days.
What you’ll love: It features strategically placed vents to reduce drying time. The ionic technology seals the hair cuticle to cut down on frizz. The brush is lightweight and comfortable to hold. It works well on all types of hair.
What you should consider: Some users found the brush’s head was too large. It doesn’t work as well for thick, wavy hair.
Top hot-air brush for the money
What you need to know: A simple, solid option, this hot-air brush uses ionic technology to fight frizz and offers user-friendly operation that can style all types of hair.
What you’ll love: It features tourmaline ceramic technology to cut down on frizz. It has anti-static boar and nylon bristles that prevent tangles. The brush rotates in two directions and the rotation feature can be turned off.
What you should consider: It works better for styling your hair than drying it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This pro-grade hot-air brush is packed with features to give you salon-quality results.
What you’ll love: It has a 24K-gold-plated barrel and charcoal-infused bristles for salon-quality blowouts. It heats quickly and has three heat settings. The ion technology helps smooth hair and reduce frizz. The contoured handle is comfortable to hold.
What you should consider: It can be fairly loud when in operation. It’s also somewhat easy to burn your fingers on the barrel.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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