Hot Air Brushes Are The Secret To A Salon Standard Blow-Dry At Home

Making waves—literally.

By Delaney Loane
We don't know if it's a result of frequenting the salon less (because, winter) or the fact that we've watched The Devil Wears Prada (and subsequently admired Andy's glossy blowout) one too many times lately, but suddenly, no beauty ritual seems to possess as much power as a truly great blow-dry.
If you, like us, lack the co-ordination to pull a brush through your hair at the exact angle that will craft a perfect voluminous curl while simultaneously blasting hair with heat from your blow-dryer (we're all only one person, okay?) then hot air brushes are the answer to your polished hair prayers.
Here, ELLE breaks down how these clever tools work their magic, and how to pick the perfect one for your needs.

How do you use a hot air round brush to attain a blow dried finish?

You know how you usually have to recruit a brush, dryer and sometimes even a straightener or curler to achieve the flawless ripple waves you're after? The not-so-humble hot air brush streamlines all those steps into one to give you a big bouncy blow-dry with just a single tool—sorcery, right?
So how does it actually do it? Round-barrel hot air brushes allow you to dry your hair while the rotating barrels brush through, working to simultaneously detangle, smooth and best of all, style. Yep, by brushing the tool through your strands while it applies heat to hair, you'll be able to carve out bouncy waves that scream 'I just got back from the salon' without ever leaving your bathroom.
If you're partial to a certain wave pattern, don't fret: there's plenty of choice in the hot air brush arena in terms of curl type and size. In the case of most brushes the selection process is similar to that of choosing a curler—the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl, and vice versa; larger equals looser.
On the other hand, some of the extra fancy options even come teamed with an array of different sized brush attachments so you can try bouncy curls one day and voluminous, smooth body the next. The world is yours and your brush's oyster.

How do you use a hot air round brush?

While the exact instructions will differ depending on your brush of choice, there are two primary techniques.
To build body and achieve the glorious 'flicked in' or 'flicked out' ends we associate with a classic blowout, simply pull the brush through hair while applying hot air, twirling it ever so slightly in your preferred direction (brushing from beneath the section of hair to flick ends outwards, and from above to flick them inwards).
To create more defined curls or waves, use the first technique to smooth texture and add volume, then roll the brush (with your hair wrapping around it in a similar fashion to if it were a wand) upward toward your roots. Once you reach the level you want curls to fall from (somewhere beneath the ear is best for a low-maintenance look), hold the brush in place for a few seconds to allow the heat to set the shape, and then release.
Most blow-dry styles utilise curls wrapped away from your face, so it's generally best to place the brush above the section you're curling and wrap from beneath. If you prefer a more dishevelled aesthetic with pieces curled in varying directions, however, wrap the section above and over the tool in a few areas as well to break up the pattern.

The best hot air round brushes to shop

  • undefined: Delaney Loane (1)