Party season is upon us, which means we’re lusting for retro waves, chic chignons, and bombshell blowouts, now more than ever. But let’s face it: Between juggling work, travel plans, and last-minute gift shopping, primping our hair is the last thing we need to be stressing over. That’s why we’re counting on streamlining styling tools to keep our minds calm and our tresses fabulous from now until New Year’s.
Stuck at the airport? Consider investing in CHI’s Escape Cordless Hair Styling Iron before your next trip. It’s tiny enough to stow in your carry-on, making it easier than ever to achieve on-the-go touch ups. Not a fan of traditional curling irons? The Tulip Rotating Curler by InStyler is the ultimate game-changer. Just feed a small section of hair into the chamber and allow the self-rotating barrel to work its magic and voilà! Perfect curls in seconds—no salon visit necessary. To see even more innovative hair tools, click through our gallery!
1. CHI Escape Cordless Hair Styling Iron
Traveling over the holidays doesn't come without the often-delayed, or sometimes cancelled, flight, which is why we're ecstatic that CHI's Cordless Flat Iron ($110; ulta.com) is tiny enough to be stashed in our carry-on bag for any on-the-fly touch ups. This mini version packs the exact same benefits as its full-sized counterparts, and the battery holds an hour of prime styling time, so you don't have to commandeer the few electrical outlets at your gate.
2. Amika Switch Kit
Have it your way-Amika's Switch Kit ($100 for the starter kit, $30 each for additional attachments; sephora.com) is equipped with a detachable barrel, allowing you to change up your hairstyle as often as you change your outfit. Use the default Hollywood Vixen barrel to form defined, retro waves, or swap it with the thinner Beach Bombshell attachment (far left) to impart surfer-girl texture. The Supermodel Allure barrel, with the classic clip, allows you to fake the appearance of a voluminous blowout.
3. The Vixen Dryer Brush by Sultra
We admit: Juggling your round brush with your dryer can be more of a workout than a beauty regime, but Sultra's Vixen Volumizing Dryer Brush ($130; sultra.com) is officially taking that act out of your routine. This innovative tool combines the brand's powerful blow dryer technology with a round brush attachment, making a salon-perfect blowout as easy as combing your hair.
4. Glampalm Simpletouch
The easy-activation method of Glampalm's Simpletouch flat iron ($220; glampalm.com) means you'll never hit the off switch by accident mid-style again. Simply tap the plates together once to turn it on, and in 10 seconds flat, the tool is heated and ready to go.
5. Tulip Rotating Curler by InStyler
If working with traditional curling irons isn't your forte, then the Tulip Rotating Curler ($100; ulta.com) is the ultimate game-changer. The device couldn't be any easier to use-once you've set your preferred temperature and curl direction, feed a small section of hair into the chamber and allow the self-rotating barrel to work its magic. The tool will release your strands automatically, leaving no room for any burnt hair mishaps that may or may not be part of your filmed hair tutorial.
6. GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand
By keeping the length of the barrel at a uniform 365 degrees Fahrenheit, this curling wand ($245; ghdhair.com) creates any shape-from structured ringlets to loose waves-in half the time with the least damage to your hair. Instead of giving your strands multiple passes on the same area, which can be drying, the GHD Curve locks in the style the first time around with a long-lasting hold.
7. Panasonic Nanoe Hair Dryer
In the dead of winter, our strands often put the "dry" in "hair dryer" after our feeble attempts at a DIY blowout, but Panasonic's Nanoe version ($130; panasonic.com) is the first of its kind that actually proves to leave our hair healthier. This high-tech tool takes the moisture already in your hair and from the air around you, and transforms it into miniscule water particles that penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen it against heat damage. You'll see an increase in volume and shine, and a major decrease in frizz, breakage, and that damaged, straw-like texture.
8. Babyliss Nano Ultrasonic Cool Mist Iron
Yes, you're reading this right-Babyliss' Cool Mist Iron ($160; ulta.com) is actually good for your hair. As you're straightening a section, the tool pumps out a cool micro-mist of water, which enters the hair shaft and keeps dry or damaged strands from breaking off mid-style.
9. InStyler Max
Our favorite rotating flat iron ($100; target.com) just got a few major upgrades... The new ceramic barrel forms a smoother texture without sacrificing volume, and allows you to get thisclose to your roots without burning yourself, thanks to the cool tip attachment that stays a uniform temperature no matter how heated things get.