There’s no better feeling than stepping out of the salon with total confidence, knowing that your hair looks absolutely amazing! Whether you have long or short hair or wear your hair curly or straight, there’s one product that you might not be using yet that can help you achieve that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look:
The hot air brush.
If you’re looking for a new way to get gorgeous, here’s everything you need to know about how a hot air brush works, plus 11 of our favorites.
What is a Hot Air Brush?
The reason you get a great blowout at a salon or dry bar is that professional hairstylists are skilled at operating a hairdryer with one hand and maneuvering a brush with the other. But for amateurs, this is a lot harder than it looks.
That’s why we love the hot air brush.
A hot air brush is a brush that projects hot air directly onto your hair, doing double duty as a styling brush and a hairdryer. Because it dries and styles your hair at the same time, there’s no need to juggle two tools at once.
Hot air brushes have a round or oval barrel, and most barrels are ceramic. Some also have ceramic bristles, which are great for smoothing the hair, while others have nylon bristles, which are ideal if you’re concerned about detangling.
Hot air brushes typically have multiple temperature settings, and most also have a built-in “cool shot.” Blasting your hair with cold air after you’re finished drying and styling helps to give your hair salon-styled shine!
The hot air brush is not the same thing as a hot brush or a hot hair brush, though some people use the terms interchangeably. The main difference is that you can use a hot air brush to dry and style your hair at the same time. A typical hot brush, which is often paddle-shaped as opposed to round or oval, is used for styling rather than for styling and drying.
Can You Use a Hot Air Brush on Any Type of Hair?
Hot air brushes can be used on all different hair types, but they’re ideal for people with average to thin hair. That’s because they easily dry your hair and add volume, just like a professional blowout.
But if you’re a curly girl, don’t fret! Ghanima Abdulla with The Right Hairstyles has some tips to help you with your locks. “Hot air brushes are excellent for getting curly hair straight, but only on hair that has already been dried. So it shouldn’t be used as an alternative to drying the hair with indirect heat, i.e., under a hooded dryer or hooded dryer attachment with rollers. Focusing dryer heat on wet hair causes bubbles in the hair shaft which can lead to brittleness and damage.”
Hot air brushes are great for creating a smooth blowout, but they can also create great waves and soft curls. This makes it a versatile tool that almost anyone can put to use. Plus, it’s a lot easier to maneuver than holding a hairdryer and a brush at the same time.
How to Use a Hot Air Brush
Hot air brushes are super easy to use. It can take some trial and error to figure out which temperature setting to choose, but once you know the appropriate heat setting for your hair, it’s a breeze.
Start by heating your brush to the proper temp. If you have fine hair or your hair is damaged from over-styling or frequent color treatments, start on the lowest setting to avoid burning your hair.
Whether you have healthy hair, dry hair, or damaged hair, it’s always best to apply a heat protectant product to your hair before applying direct heat.
Next, section off your wet hair and work the hot air brush through in sections. It’s much easier (and more effective) to work in sections than to attempt to dry your entire head at the same time. Brush from the root of your hair to the tips in slow passes. When you’re done, do a final pass of the brush with a cool shot to make it ultra-smooth and add some shine!
If you want a smooth, straight look, hold the brush straight. If you want some curl, twist and bend the barrel to create soft curls.
Abdulla adds, “If you want a bouncy blowout, use a hot air brush on hair that’s already been dried and stretched. That could be from using rollers with a hooded dryer or just from braiding or knotting your hair more than once and having the preliminary stretch already done. If you use a hot air brush on hair that’s been pre-stretched and dried, you’re looking at a long-lasting, bouncy blowout.”
Our Favorite Hot Air Brushes
Not sure which hot air brush to buy? These are our favorite hot air brushes for every budget.
The InfinitiPro by Conair Frizz-Free Hot Air Brush is one of the most affordable hot air brushes you can buy. And it works quite well.
This hot air brush has two heat settings plus one cool setting, and it’s made with a titanium ceramic-coated barrel to give you that amazing salon-styled look. The barrel measures 1.5 inches in diameter, which makes it easy to use on long and short hair. It also has ionic technology to fight even the worst frizzies!
The Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler is one of the absolute best hot air brushes you can buy – but it’s also the most expensive.
In all fairness to Dyson, this isn’t just one styling tool. This is a complete system with multiple attachments so you can curl, wave, straighten, and add volume to your hair. This tool also has multiple speed settings, multiple heat settings, a cool shot, and it’s all packed into a pretty storage case to boot.
You can use this all-in-one tool as a hairdryer, curling iron, or straightener, and it includes 1.2 inch barrels and 1.6 inch barrels to create different effects.
Blow-dry and style your hair at the same time with the BaByBlissPRO Nano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush. With a round brush barrel, this tool features multi-directional rotation to add volume and shine, three temperature controls and a cold setting, and anti-static bristles for shine.
Recommended for use on hair that’s at least 80% dry, this tool has both forward and reverse spin controls, allowing you to alternate curls and waves or create a perfectly straight blowout or one with some bounce.
Blow-dry your hair like a pro with the DryBar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush. This hot air brush features ionic technology to reduce frizz, add shine, and make your hair salon-worthy with ease. It’s ergonomic, so it’s comfortable to hold, and it features a mixture of nylon and tufted bristles – great for detangling!
This dryer brush has a 2.44” barrel, making it perfect for people with longer hair. (DryBar also makes a Single Shot with a smaller barrel that’s better suited for short hair styles).
Considering that DryBar is considered one of the best blowout bar salon chains, it makes perfect sense that they would make one of the best hot air brushes on the market as well.
We love the Amika Blowout Babe Interchangeable Thermal Round Hair Brush for the fact that it comes with interchangeable barrels. This brush styler includes 1.2 inch, 1.5 inch, and 1.8 inch barrels, so if you want to add some curl, you have different options. (The bigger the barrel, the looser the curl).
The Amika Blowout Babe brush is made with nylon bristles to separate and detangle your tresses. It’s also equipped with a nine-foot cord, which makes it easier to move around while styling. (Most hot air brushes tend to have six-foot cords).
If it’s volume you want, it’s volume you’ll get with Ghanima Abdullah’s recommendation, the Revlon One Step Volumizer Hair Dryer Brush. This volumizer hot air brush features a combo of nylon and tufted bristles, three heat and speed settings, and a cool shot option to further reduce frizz and add lots of shine.
Not trying to shell out a ton of money for a new hair styling tool? This Revlon one-step hairdryer and styling tool is one of the most affordable and most effective on the market. It also has more than four stars with over 300,000 Amazon reviews.
If you have thick, coarse, dry, or frizzy hair, there’s a good chance you use at least one of John Frieda’s many anti-frizz hair products. Well, make room for another one because we’re loving the John Frieda Salon Shape 1.5 Inch Hot Air Brush.
This styling tool is made from titanium and ceramic and is designed with advanced ionic technology that puts out 50% more negative ions than most other hot air brushes. It has two heat settings and one cool setting, perfect for creating a gorgeous blowout with volume and shine.
With tourmaline ceramic technology and a mix of bristles, the Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Hair Dryer + Volumizer Hot Air Brush delivers a salon-worthy blowout with ease. This styling tool reduces frizz, adds shine and gloss to your hair, and creates an ultra-smooth finish.
It’s designed with three heat and speed settings, including a cool setting. It’s ideal for use on freshly washed, damp hair, but it’s also great at refreshing hair that hasn’t been washed in two or three days.
For one, this hot air brush has a gold barrel surface, which is excellent at conducting heat and distributing that heat evenly. It includes three heat and speed settings, boar tech bristles that create a silky finish, and charcoal-infused bristles that are perfect for refreshing hair two or three days after washing.
It’s lightweight, ergonomic, and has a cool tip so you won’t burn your fingers. It’s also great at detangling, so even if you’re straightening out your curls, you won’t have to worry about knots.
The bigger the barrel, the easier it is to blow out long hair. But if your hair is on the short side, check out the Instyler FREESTYLER 1” Ionic Ceramic Styler. This hot air brush has a narrow barrel that makes it much better suited for people with short hair.
With four heat settings that go as high as 400 degrees, this hot air brush features tourmaline ceramic heated bristles that are wider than the bristles on most other brushes. Those wider bristles make it super easy to work through knots.
If you’re in a constant battle with frizz, the CHI Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush just might become your new favorite styling tool. This hot air brush features an oval brush for volume, a paddle brush to create an even smoother look, and a nozzle concentrator for direct airflow.
Want even more volume at your roots? This tool also includes a compact diffuser.
This styling brush adds shine, seals the cuticle of the hair, reduces flyaways, and puts out negative ions to fight frizz. Plus, the four different attachments allow you to create all sorts of gorgeous, salon-worthy looks.
Are Hot Air Brushes Easy to Use?
Like curling irons, flat irons, and other hair styling products, it can take some time to master the technique of using a hot air styling brush. But it’s way easier than trying to hold a hair dryer in one hand and rolling a brush through your hair with the other hand.
Whenever you buy a new hair styling tool, test it out when you have enough time to experiment, make mistakes, and perfect your technique. In other words, don’t wait until an hour before a first date or a job interview to try it out for the first time!
Unlike some other hair tools, learning how to use a hot air brush is incredibly easy. And once you do get the hang of it, you’ll be able to pull off a salon-styled blowout like a pro!
You might also be interested in: Our 9 Favorite Flat Irons For All Hair Types
Best Hot Air Brushes:
- InfinitiPro by Conair Frizz-Free Hot Air Brush
- Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush
- DryBar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush
- Amika Blowout Babe Interchangeable Thermal Round Hair Brush
- Revlon One Step Volumizer Hair Dryer Brush
- John Frieda Salon Shape 1.5 Inch Hot Air Brush
- Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Hair Dryer + Volumizer Hot Air Brush
- Hot Tools Professional 24k Gold Charcoal Infused Blowout Styler
- Instyler FREESTYLE 1” Ionic Ceramic Styler
- CHI Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush