The Best Hair Tools for Every Budget
The Blow Dryer
Splurge: Parlux 3200 Compact Hair Dryer
This ultra powerful dryer weighs just two pounds. “It allows me to get hair super dry, super fast,” says L.A. stylist Riawna Capri. “Plus, my arms never get tired!” Four temperature settings work on all hair textures, from thick to fine.
Parlux 3200 Compact Hair Dryer, $100; parluxus.com.
Steal: Conair Infinti Prohairdryer
A high-speed dryer that rivals its pricier counterparts, the Infiniti's AC motor ensures a speedy blow-out while negative ions reduce frizz and add shine. Plus, “the higher heat settings are great for extensions,” says N.Y.C. stylist Ellin LaVar.
Conair Infiniti Pro Hair Dryer, $35; target.com.
The Curling Iron
Splurge: RSession Tools Nalu Waver
This fork-shaped iron curls two strands at once “so you can work through your entire head really fast,” says hairstylist Ted Gibson. The ceramic barrels are spaced 1⁄2 inch apart to create loose crimp-free spirals.
RSession Tools Nalu Waver, $180; rsessiontools.com.
Steal: Hot Tools 1-inch Professional Spring Iron
This tool is a universal stylist favorite, and it comes in eight sizes—one for every length. “The heat is consistent, so each curl turns out beautiful,” says N.Y.C. stylist Carla Gentry Osorio.
Hot Tools 1-inch Professional Spring Iron, $34; hottools.com for stores.
Splurge: Y.S. Park 336 Basic Cutting Comb
This heavy-duty plastic styler won't snap on even the thickest locks. “It’s durable, doesn’t snag hair, and lasts forever,” says stylist Harry Josh at John Frieda Salon, who uses it to untangle Gisele Bundchen’s wavy locks.
Y.S. Park 336 Basic Cutting Comb $13; onsalon.com.
Steal: Krest Professional Comb
“It’s hard to find a cheap comb that doesn’t yank your hair out,” says L.A. stylist Adir Abergel. “It’s the gem of the drugstore."
Krest Professional Comb $2; sallybeauty.com.
Splurge: Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightener
Thanks to a 450-degree setting, it “smooths hair in one swipe,” says Capri. “Plus, I don’t have to squeeze it tight for it to work.” Titanium plates ensure scorch-free results.
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightener, $130; stylesource.com.
Steal: Babyliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Iron
One of the only mass-market irons that reaches 450 degrees, with ceramic plates that emit infrared heat, this multitasker “gets strands pin-straight in a single pass,” says Denine Smith of the Warren-Tricomi Salon in N.Y.C.
Babyliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Iron, $60; folica.com.
Splurge: Mason Pearson Popular Mixture Brush
This classic has dual bristles: long nylon ones detangle at the scalp and short boar-hair ones add shine.
Mason Pearson Popular Mixture Brush, $151; neimanmarcus.com.
Steal: Denman Grooming Brush
Nylon and boar bristles lift and add luster. “It’s a simple brush, but the design is very smart,” says hairstylist Johnny Wright, who works with Michelle Obama.
Denman Grooming Brush, $25; folica.com.