Want a salon-fresh look every day without the time and cost of going to the salon? Our introduction to hair appliances covers everything you need to know to give your ‘do an easy upgrade at home. Explore our range of dryers and straighteners, along with the best curling tongs, hot air brushes and hot rollers. These simple tools will help you create chic curls, silky straightness or flirty waves with ease.
These bits of kit will be your secret weapons in the fight against flatness and frizz.
Hair dryers and diffusers
Or course, the most basic tool of the trade is the trusty hair dryer. You probably have one of these at home already, whether you use it every day or leave it in the cupboard until you’re in a rush to leave the house. But did you know how versatile a styling tool it can be? For example, take a simple diffuser – popping one of these on the end of your dryer will add volume in the roots by holding up sections of hair and directing the air flow towards them.
Whether you're taming flyaway strands or completely transforming your look, straighteners are another must-have for styling at home. The best straighteners for short styles have narrow plates that are easy to control, while wide plates work wonders to keep long hair looking even.
Curling tongs are ideal if you’re looking to experiment with new looks. They also go by a different name – curling irons – but both do the same job. The main things to consider when choosing tongs are barrel width and heat. For tighter curls, a slim barrel works best, while a larger barrel will create wider loops. High heat is best for thick hair as its effect will be longer lasting and it will take less time to set, which is better for the health of your locks.
Styling wands are the cousins of curling tongs, but they come without the clamp that keeps your hair in place. Instead, simply wrap strands around the barrel and let them slide over the heated section. Wands give you supreme control over your curls, so you can make them as tight as corkscrews or as loose as waves with a flick of your wrist.
Hot air brushes
Hot air brushes are ridiculously simple to use. They look like rounded barrel brushes but they have the added benefit of streaming heated air through your hair as you brush it. Add volume by drying off with one of these, then finish off with a spritz of hairspray for a look that will last all day and night.
If you’re looking for curls that maintain their shape, try heated rollers. They’re not like the old Velcro kind your gran used to wear – these heat up before you put them in, so they set your hair into long-lasting shapes as they cool.
Here are some of the best styling tips and tricks for two essential looks to ensure you never have a bad hair day again.
How to curl your hair
When you're curling your hair, you can change things up as you work on a section by twisting the strand or keeping it flat, or by wrapping it more tightly or loosely around the tongs. Using a styling product such as a finishing serum or oil will help tame frizz, while a curl hold spray will lock your locks in place all day.
- Start by taking your curling tongs and clamping a two inch section of hair, beginning about an inch from the end.
- Hold your curling iron vertically with the clasp facing forward.
- Simply wrap the end of your hair around the barrel, working your way up towards the root, and hold still for a few minutes.
- When you release you’ll have a restyled ringlet.
How to straighten your hair
Smooth hair can be achieved with straighteners alone, but it's best to start with a blow dryer.
- After washing, simply aim your hot air stream in a downward motion as you’re drying. This angle will encourage the cuticles to lay flat, ultimately preventing frizz from forming.
- We recommend applying some heat protectant spray while your hair is still damp, plus a tiny bit more once it's completely dried.
- Once that's done, it’s time to whip out the straighteners. Run them down your hair from root to tip. The hotter the iron, the less time you'll need to spend on each section.
You can make a real difference to how healthy your hair looks by drying it according to whether it's thick or fine.
Thick hair drying tips
Opt for a hair dryer with a slim nozzle as it will assist in creating a shiny finish. If you’re straightening your hair, run a wide-tooth comb through it as you work to keep your hair tangle-free.
Fine hair drying tips
When it comes to fine hair, we recommend letting it get about 90% dry using only your hands to separate and fluff it up, then switch to using a hot air brush. This drying technique will help to plump up the follicle shaft, creating va-va-voom volume.