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The pursuit of trying to re-create the same shiny blowout, “effortless” beach waves, or voluminous, Farrah Fawcett-inspired curls courtesy of a stylist’s best hair tools may be a frivolous “problem” to some. Nonetheless, the struggle is real for most. If you’ve ever tried to push back a much-needed hair wash in hopes of preserving a salon blowout, you know that such attempts often lead to a slew of lifestyle inconveniences. They usually include ditching your weekly boxing class to avoid sweat damage or using up an entire bottle of your pricey holy grail dry shampoo to bring life back to your locks.
Even with a well-stocked arsenal of products and endless tutorials on YouTube, unless you’re a professional or naturally blessed with hair-savvy hands (I’m jealous), it can feel impossible to re-create a salon-level finish when left to your own devices. While luxe texture sprays, shine-enhancing oils, and intensive conditioning masks all play an integral role in ensuring a good hair day, it turns out that heat styling tools and even brushes are equally as important considerations. So I asked some hairstylists and colorists to share their go-to tools whether they’re in the salon, on set, or prepping for a red carpet event.
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Celebrity and editorial stylist Scott King boasts an impressive roster of clients, including Kate Beckinsale, Lisa Rinna, Sabrina Carpenter and Ashley Tisdale (just to name a few), who rely on his hair wizardry to keep their manes looking perfectly coiffed while still at least, looking effortless. The one tool he simply can’t live without? His beloved (and apparently, bulletproof) FHI flat iron.
“The hair tool I swear by is my FHI flat iron ($105.99). I’ve had it for four years, and it just never fails.” It’s worth noting that one of the biggest hair hacks we’ve stumbled upon on-set is using a flat iron to create delicately messy waves by maneuvering the iron in angular motions. Unlike a traditional barrel curling iron, this method gives you a bit more control and looks a little more undone. Who doesn’t love a good two-in-one?
Next, we probed Kerrie Fishman of Ramirez Tran salon in Beverly Hills — an iconic Beverly Hills salon whose Instagram is brimming with celebrities, models, and influencers from Gwyneth Paltrow to Emily Labowe. Ramirez Tran is arguably the O.G. salon responsible for putting those now Instagram-famous “lived-in” beach waves – refined by owners Johnny Ramirez and Ahn Co Tran – on the map. So we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the salon’s stylists actually use some products that won’t break the bank.
“We all use and swear by the Parlux blowdryers and Ibiza brushes.” She also notes that the product preparation is a key component to achieving the salon’s signature lived-in waves and a quicker blowout. “We also love prepping every client with oil and de-tangling spray for a quicker, sleek blow dry. We have been loving Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oil and Oribe Run Through Primer. [To create] waves, we use a 1 1/4 inch iron,” Fishman says.
Los Angeles based color specialist Bianca Brandon at Mane Fixation salon also named Ibiza’s round brushes as a must-have for attaining the perfect blowout, along with BabyBliss’s Pro blowdryer ($84.95), and a damage-preventing Wet Brush to prevent further breakage on color treated hair. Because clearly, if you have breakage that is so severe it could be actually mistaken for intentional bangs (I’m totally guilty as charged), regardless of how much effort and money you put into your hair styling endeavors, your hair will not be able to handle the heat.
1. Parlux Compact hair Dryer No. 3200
Not only does this budget-friendly hairdryer earn the seal of approval for its static-free drying power, but it’s also designed with built-in silencing technology so it’s great for both the salon and at home.
2. Hot Tools Gold Barrel Curling Iron 1 1/4 Inch
I spotted this surprisingly affordable curling iron on several booths at Ramirez Tran during my last appointment.
3. Wet Brush
Wet Brushs’s de-tangling brushes are essential to preventing additional breakage when combing through wet hair after a wash — especially if you’ve just gotten a hair color treatment or highlights.
4. Ibiza Round Hair Brush
This round brush is apparently the gold standard among stylists for a voluminous blowout.
5. FHI HEAT Platform Tourmaline Flat Iron
This multi-functional flat iron not only great for straight hair days and calming flyaways, but you can also use it to create beach waves and voluminous curls without having to switch between tools.