“For a salon-like blowout” is a promising phrase often seen in the advertising of hair styling tools. What the industry neglects to tell you, however, is that if you aren’t a professional—or seasoned DIY—hairstylist, you’ll need loads of practice, patience and supporting products to successfully achieve the hairdo you want… and that’s after you’ve also watched a couple Youtube videos just on how to get things started.
So beyond the marketing hype of new products, what should you be looking out for in a good hair tool? Depends on the type of styler, but for one, you should not let “state-of-the-art technology” distract you from some of the basics: Like user-friendliness in terms of weight and ergonomic design (too heavy or bulky and it’ll take its toll after five minutes of curling sections), as well as clear functionality, by opting for one with streamlined buttons and settings so you don’t end up getting confused or frustrated with using it ever again. And more importantly, you need to choose based on your primary hairstyling needs. Is it a swift, smooth and bouncy blow-out you seek? Are you someone with frizzy hair looking for a sleek, straightening (or curling) solution but is worried about heat damage? Or are you someone with fine, straight hair looking to add volume and texture?
While many hair stylers preach multi-faceted results, zooming in on their unique strengths will make it easier to find the one that’s going to give you the best return on investment, according to your specific needs. Scroll down to see our five tried and trusted tools for fabulous, humidity-proof good hair days we can guarantee.
1 / 5
GHD Platinum+ Styler
Best for: Ultra straight, sleek ‘dos and curling curly hair (yes, you read that right)
If you think a hair straightener is, well, just for straightening, this versatile styler will prove you so wrong. As someone with naturally curly and frizzy hair, this is my go-to tool no matter the style. It works on both air-dried or blow-dried hair, and instantly smoothens and straightens each section in a single, snag-free glide. You might need to do two to three more glides each for super sleek results but rest assured its Ultra-zone predictive technology will sense and adapt to your hair, ensuring the safest and optimum styling temperature (185 degrees) to create and lock in your style while protecting the integrity of your hair. This also has advanced, precision milled floating plates with a high spec gloss finish for a high shine finish, plus an automatic sleep mode that switches the styler off after 30 minutes of non-use for absolute piece of mind. And that part about curling curly hair? Well, curly, frizzy hair needs to be tamed before it can be effectively reshaped, and this does exactly that by intensely smoothing and curving locks with the essential amount of heat.
GHD Platinum+ Styler, $425; available at Sephora
2 / 5
Dyson Airwrap Hair Styler
Best for: Everyday blow-outs of varying volumes
If you’re going to get the Dyson Airwrap, get complete set with eight attachments (it’s a top-up of $50 from the six attachment-set). Let’s start with the highlights of this feat of beauty engineering: It comes with the pre-styling dryer attachment which essentially is a smaller version of the Supersonic, with powerful airflow and controlled heat to take hair from sopping wet to damp and ready for styling in no time. Then there are the three brush heads for simultaneous drying, taming and shaping, starting with the effortless Soft Smoothing Brush with soft, ball-tip bristles that are gentle on the scalp; the Firm Smoothing Brush for a straighter ‘do with hard bristles engineered to work on more unruly, frizz- and flyaway prone hair; and the Round Volumising Brush, which add a serious amount of lift, volume and cruve from root to tip. Unless you have naturally straight and tame hair, you’d have to do at least two of those steps thoroughly before moving on to the 40mm or 30mm barrels, depending on whether you want big, bouncy waves or smaller, more defined curls. These all use the Coanda effect, featuring directional bursts of air that attract and propel hair on and around the attachments to create all sorts of spiral, straight or voluminous styles without extreme heat.
Dyson Airwrap Hair Styler, $699; available at Sephora
3 / 5
Philips Hairdryer with SenseIQ
Best for: Fuss-free blow-dries on-the-go
According to research from the Philips Global Beauty Index 2019, hair styling tools continue to dominate the beauty tools market globally, with 76 percent of women using a hair dryer regularly. 57 percent of women globally, however, are concerned (justifiably) about the impact these heat stylers have on the health of hair. Enter the Philips Hair Dryer with SenseIQ technology, which provides a faster, smarter and personalised drying experience that respects your tresses. The SenseIQ technology is activated through infrared sensors that continuously track hair’s temperature and adjusts its own heat output up to 4,000 times to prevent from overheating and preserve hair’s natural moisture. This in turn protects hair condition, prevents hair breakage and cuts down drying tie by more than 20 percent, while all three in-built drying modes (Fast, Gentle and Dry) releases ions that keep hair shiny and frizz-free. It’s also compact and lightweight, making it super convenient to pack for good ‘dos anywhere.
Philips SenseIG Hair Dryer, $249; available at Shopee
4 / 5
Balmain Paris Hair Couture Ceramic Round Brush 25mm
Best for: Assisting all kinds of blow-outs
Think all brushes are made equal? Think again. First up, this round brush is 25mm, making it easy to maneuver around both short and long hair and to get as close to the root as possible to create everything from a voluminous lift at the crown, to smooth curls and bouncy, full-bodied waves depending on how you angle the brush. It also features a ceramic coating that emits negative ions that help to seal hair cuticles, reduce frizz and flyaways, while also ensuring even heat distribution and enhancing drying time.
Balmain Paris Hair Couture Ceramic Round Brush 25mm, US$37.18; available at Net-A-Porter
5 / 5
SLIP Pure Silk Turban
Best for: Extending the life of blowouts and preserving hair condition overnight
Scoop your tresses into this 100 percent pure mulberry silk turban, which cocoons hair in luxurious softness that’s crafted to eliminate any friction while you sleep—unwanted tension between your hair and sheets that may lead to breakage, frizz or overtangling. It’s also the chicest way to help protect and extend the life of your blowouts so you wake up with beautifully set locks instead of a messy bedhead that you have to re-style the next day. Those with naturally curly or frizzy hair can also benefit from the moisture-locking benefits of this fine silk wrap—just air dry, finger in a good hair oil or leave-in conditioner, and let the turban do the rest.
Slip Pure Silk Turban, US$91.03; available at Net-A-Porter