Heated hair tools can make all the difference between a good and bad hair day. If you’re looking for a salon-worthy transformation, few things are as effective – whether you want to boost volume in fine hair, add more definition to frizz-prone curls or go from wavy hair to super straight locks. So what will be your weapon of choice? Below are our favourite heated tools everyone should have in their personal haircare artillery…
Needing very little introduction, the humble hair dryer remains a go-to for most of us – regardless of hair length or texture. As well as getting hair from wet to dry, it can also be a formidable styling tool in its own right and is often used on already-dry hair to create smoothness, texture or volume – especially with a paddle or round brush. Hair dryers can come with a number of attachments, like a diffuser – ideal for distributing the heat evenly to minimise breakages (and for defining curly/wavy hair), while a straightening nozzle can ensure the cuticle lays flat for a sleek finish. And ionic hairdryers are great at reducing static, to minimise flyaways and lock in shine. You can also adjust the speed and heat settings as desired (e.g. finer, brittle hair might fare better with a lower heat).
A party season essential, curling tongs are the quickest way to give your hair some body and texture. You wrap a section of hair around the barrel and pull it through which should leave you with a perfect spring-like shape. The barrels come in different sizes, depending on whether you’re after loose curls or tight spirals. You can leave the curls in tact or gently brush through for more natural-looking waves. Most irons will allow you to adjust the temperature depending on your hair type (e.g. thicker hair might require a higher temperature) and they also come in ceramic and tourmaline versions for boosted shine – or metallic and gold-plated varieties, which heat up quicker.
Ideal if you want to rock a retro 80s vibe, crimpers are great fun and can really add volume to naturally fine and flat hair. They work similar to a straightening iron, but rather than having flat plates, crimpers are zigzagged-shaped to create mermaid-style waves for ultra volume and texture. You can let them hang loose, or sweep them up into a statement bun or beehive. You can even tie them into a chunky braid to jazz up your daytime look.
If you’ve got a big event coming up that warrants bouncy curls – then heated rollers are your best bet. Not only do they exude vintage vibes while you’re wearing them, but they’re also super easy to use. They come in a box that you use to heat them up, by plugging it in and waiting for around 10 minutes. You then pop them in, wrapping each one around different sections of hair and securing with clips or pins (the curlers normally come in different sizes so you have the option of both tight and loose curls). Then all you have to do is wait for them to cool down, take them out and secure with a mist of hairspray. Either wear your curls loose or sweep them into a dazzling ‘up-do’.
Another popular hair tool, straighteners have two flat panels that you clamp over the hair and run down towards the ends to smooth out any kinks. They usually come with different heat settings depending on whether you want a bit of smoothness or poker-straight locks. Some people like to quickly run straighteners through their hair after blow-drying for a final touch of polish, while others prefer to go section by section for salon-worthy precision. They will help you create ultra-sleek 70s-style locks or a slick high ponytail. You can also use straighteners to curl the hair (believe it or not!) by holding them at an angle as you run them down the length of your strands - watch our tutorial below to get the know-how!