If you ask me what’s hot this season, I might tell you a smoking haircut or equally sizzling color, but I also want to share some of the hottest styling tools. They aren’t all the same in quality or function.
Let’s begin with hair dryers. It is essential, whether you pay $20 for an average one or $200 for designer luxury, that it come standard with the following: a nozzle for directing the air flow down the hair shaft when straightening the hair (so don’t throw it away with the instructions and bubble wrap), a temperature dial for controlling the intensity of the heat (low for colored or fragile hair and higher for thick, coarser hair), a cool shot button for sealing the hair for added shine and setting the curl before you release the round brush, and a removable filter cover for self-cleaning. It will add years to the life of your appliance. There are many add-ons you can try, but this basic model gets the job done well.
Next, curling wands, or as we called them in beauty school 20 years ago, curling irons. The giant ones are for very long hair or for smoothing the hair more than for lasting curls, while the itty-bitty ones are for short coifs and ringlets. Run your fingers through the latter for a more modern twist.
I have all sizes in the salon. My favorites are a brand called Hot Tools available at Sally Beauty Supply or through your stylist, and I use them daily to create voluminous waves, rich body and glamorous spiral curls. A trick is to ignore the clamp and wind random sections around the barrel of the iron, being careful not to burn your fingers. Count backward from 10 and release. Waving irons are hot right now, too, for that red carpet old Hollywood deep wave reminiscent of the flapper girls of the ’30s and ’40s, used much like a crimper with waving plates. Just press, hold and instant retro.
Finally, a question I routinely get from salon guests is, “What is the best flat iron?” Avoid clearance bins and hot pink zebra mini flat irons that cost less than a Happy Meal, because one of the biggest causes of damaged hair is poor quality flat irons. Spend a bit more and be certain your model comes standard with a temperature control, ceramic plate, and a long, durable cord. Never hold the iron on the hair for more than three seconds, and keep it moving. Think of your hair as a delicate silk scarf you are putting the household iron onto, and glide the flat iron tool through the hair strategically, quickly and only where necessary. Now go turn heads with these cool tips on a hot topic.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.