Hair washing, drying and styling in the mornings before setting off to work, school or college can become a real rush against time! And, if you have kids all wanting to get hold of the dryers and brushes, family life can become a bit trying.
I have two girls and a boy and they all want to do the hair routine in the mornings. My hubby has a few strands over a balding patch so he just smiles and leaves for work in a totally relaxed mood!
The thing I hate most about blow drying is the amount of hair that I find left in the brush after all the pulling and brushing. Soon I will look like my hubby! And, why don’t I look like I do when leave the salon? My stylist manages to get a fabulous smooth and silky look that makes me feel like a celebrity and after an hour of drying I end up with a frizz that demands a scarf to hide it away.
BUT, I have recently discovered the most amazing brushes that cut down on drying time and give a really decent look. They are heated or thermal brushes and work wonders on all types of hair.
After reading about them, I set out to try a few and here are the
top 3 best round brush for blowouts that I recommend.
1. John Frieda Salon Shape 1.5 Inch Hot Air Brush
This brush at first glance looks like a normal round hair brush with bristles but looking closer you will see that it has a setting switch on the handle. This is the key to the whole design. The brush heats up and dispenses warm air as you style, which reduces drying time and also gives you that salon look with thick, full and luscious looking hair.
The brush has a Titanium ceramic coated barrel and comes in a classy silver colour. The lower end of the handle is slightly wider, giving a nice firm grip. I loved the two heat settings that it offers, you can start off on the hotter one when your hair is really damp and then switch over to the lower setting as it becomes dryer. It is really easy just to push the slide button with one finger as you are working with the brush. It also has a cool setting, perfect for those last few brushes – I really felt like a professional hair stylist.
The brush has tangle-free anti-static bristles that glide through your hair rather than tugging, snagging and pulling it out. The bristles are actually very soft and the brush certainly added volume and a fabulous shine and was easy to use. The swivel cord is a dream, you can manoeuvre the brush around and not worry about the electric cable getting all twisted up. Not being an expert on these heat brushes, at first I was concerned about how heavy these brushes would be and whether I would get burnt, but this one is very light in the hand and the heat is no where near enough to burn your scalp. My girls loved it too and their long hair looked really full and bouncy – as good as walking out of the salon.
2. Olivia Garden Nano Thermic Ceramic Ion Brush, 2 1/8 Inch
This brush looked really cool with a gold color and a wood-look handle. It also works with heat but as opposed to the first brush, it doesn’t have heat settings, so I did find that after a while it tended to get a little bit too hot and I had to be careful not to touch it on my neck or ears. I would have been happier with the option of a switch. But I did turn it off and continued to use it as it cooled down and it worked just fine.
The brush has a ceramic barrel and is light in the hand and the round design gives a comfortable grip. My hair lost all its frizz and that awful fly-away look and the style stayed in place all day. The bristles on this brush have really soft tips and don’t snag or pull your hair out. The size of the barrel is 2 1/8″, slightly smaller than the first brush and it worked well on my younger daughter who has slightly shorter hair than her sister. What we discovered was that the thicker barrels tend to work better on long and thick hair and the thinner barrels are more suited for shorter hair. Drying time is definitely reduced as opposed to using a hair dryer with a normal round brush.
3. SUPRENT Nano Thermal Ceramic & Ionic Round Barrel Hair Brush, 2 inch, for Hair Drying, Styling, Curling, Adding Hair Volume
The third brush we tried was the cheapest of the three but also did a very acceptable job. The barrel is the thickest of the three at 2″ and is also made from ceramic material. This was definitely better for longer hair because of the thickness of the barrel and I think it would be a a bit tricky to use on really short hair. The brush does not have heat settings but did not tend to get too hot and become uncomfortable.
The bristles are made from tourmaline and they ran smoothly through the hair and did not snag or pull it out. The brush was light to hold and work with and the round handle had a decent grip with a rubber type feel that was textured, so it did not slip out of my hands. I quite liked the trendy color and the patterned design on the handle. This brush has a neat little hole at the top of the handle which makes it easy to hang up on a hook in a bathroom if you want to do that. Like the others, I got a really good smooth, full bodied look with minimal frizz and no fly-way, so I was really happy. The product description claims that the brush has extra large air vents for a speedier drying time. I am not sure if the time was reduced substantially more than the other brushes we tried, but overall, drying time with all these thermal air brushes is faster than using a normal brush.
Better than an ordinary round brush?
If you use an everyday round brush to style your hair while blow drying you will be much better off using one of these heated ceramic brushes. The change won’t be a shock to you as you will still feel as if you are holding a brush in your hand and not some other strange device, but it offers so much more value.
Because it heats up, the brush tends to slide smoothly through your hair with no snagging, tugging or pulling, putting far less strain on your hair. The result is that it adds volume and extra shine with you basically doing exactly what you would usually do.
Another added advantage is the time. Because it is hot, your drying time can be reduced by up to one third – a mega bonus for that early morning rush or that last minute dinner date!
How best to use your brush?
All these brushes can work on damp hair or even wet hair, but we found that towel drying before starting is better. Use a thicker size brush for medium to long and thick hair – a 2″ barrel is great. Use a thinner barrel like a 1 1/8″ for shorter and finer hair. Divide your hair into sections and wrap around the brush. Then pull through as you would do with a normal brush while directing the hair dryer onto the hair. Brush from your roots up, away from your scalp pointing the dryer toward the roots. The difference here is that the heat makes it simply slide through the hair with the least amount of energy and pulling needed and the heat adds a glossy and sleek look.
If your brush has heat settings, start off with the hottest setting and then go to the lower setting as your hair gets dryer. If there is a cooling function, use that at the end for the final touches.
What to look for?
Thickness of barrel – Brushes range from 1 1/8 to 1 1/ 2″ and 2″. So what to choose? The longer your hair, the thicker the brush should be. So if you have medium to long hair, go for a 2″ barrel. For shorter hair, choose a thinner barrel. Also remember that the smaller the diameter, the more curl you will get. You can also adjust this by winding more or less of a section of hair around the barrel – you will need to experiment a bit to see what works best for you.
Variable heat settings – I would suggest a device that has variable temperature settings. This gives you that extra control to start off hot and then switch to cool as your hair dries out. The brushes without heat settings tended to get a bit too hot after time and needed to be turned off to continue using. This will also depend on how long you use the brush for, if your routine is done before the brush gets super hot, you will be fine.
Swivel Cord – I really enjoyed the swivel cord on the first brush because it allows you to twist and turn without worrying about the cord getting all tangled up.
Price – these hair brushes for blowouts range from about $14 to $26. They all do the same job and all work well. If price is an issue, the cheaper version will do a good job, so you don’t need to break the bank!
Color – this is really a personal issue, but these brushes offer a choice ranging from silver to gold and a trendy patterned gray. You are bound to find one that suits you!
Save money – walking out of the stylist looking like a million dollars is the best feeling in the world, but we all know that the look usually gets washed out after the first shower or hair wash and is almost impossible to re-create. It also costs an arm and a leg! These brushes get you pretty close to that look and with practice you may almost get as good. So if you don’t need a cut or color at the stylist and only a blowout, spend some time and see how good you can get on your own with a ceramic heating brush.
I was really impressed with the time saving and the great look I got, I almost felt as if I had just left the stylist without the massive cost.