Hot Tools 101

My clients are frequently asking me what kind of styling tools they should be using at home. Well, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so I will help guide you toward a good purchase whether it be a blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, or other heat styling tool. My first, and quite possibly most important piece of advice is to be willing to spend a wee bit more than $25 if you want a quality product.  I’m all about saving money, but I’m more about saving your hair from certain death from heat styling!  I will not give specific brand shout outs, but I will share with you important qualities to look for when picking your perfect mate.

Let us begin with the handy dandy blow dryer

You NEED a good dryer in your life. Your hair routine should begin with a good blowout…please don’t skimp here.  You may wonder what it means to have an ionic, tourmaline infused, or ceramic dryer. It all boils down to this…negative ions emitted from your styling tools help seal the outer layer of the strands of hair, therefore creating a smoother, shinier look (it will also decrease your dry time, score!)  All three of these types of tools will do that, however the quality of the tool will determine the effectiveness of the ionic property (apologize for sounding like a science teacher there, just wanted to be specific). Your average cheap drugstore dryer may not have any of these qualities, just a motor spewing hot air.  Please note…having the perfect tool does not always result in the perfect style, you are an important part of the equation (for example if you are going “against the grain of your hair by drying with your head upside down, you hair will be frizzier). So, practice using techniques that can be shown to you by your stylist with the proper products and brushes. I will probably mention this a lot in these paragraphs…ask your stylist for their suggestions on the perfect tool for you.

The next tool I will mention is the ever popular flat iron

I have a love hate relationship with this tool. They are quite useful creating sleek looks, smoothing frizz, and even creating a beautiful curl believe it or not. However, if left in the wrong hands or used improperly, it can be the demise of your beautiful mane.  I would like for you to think of your flat iron  as an assistant, tidying up after the stylist (your blow dryer).  If you repeatedly straighten your hair from a curly state, have the heat to high, or pass over the hair to slow, you can kiss your locks goodbye. No, really…when your hair breaks off and falls to the bathroom sink, pick it up, kiss it, and say you are sorry.  I suggest a flat iron with adjustable heat settings. You do NOT need it on high for Pete’s sake. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and you have your flat iron set to 420 degrees…get it together man. Also, for a flat iron, size does matter. Those mini irons are great for fringe areas or getting nearer to the scalp, but for use on the whole head, go a size up (not the size that looks like your crimper from 1980 (to big)).  Ionic, ceramic, and tourmaline infused also apply to flat irons…refer to previous paragraph. Also, again, ask your stylist for specific suggestions.

Texture is kind of a big deal in hair these days, so let’s talk curling irons

First, and most obvious, the smaller the barrel the tighter the curl. If want a looser softer curl, choose a barrel larger than 1 inch. Styling wands are becoming popular these days which will give you a kinkier wave (I really do suggest wearing the protective glove while using this tool), and may be a little more user friendly for some of you.  Again, some are ceramic if that characteristic tickles your fancy (I don’t worry as much about that type of benefit with my curling tools).  Looking for a specific type of curly look and can’t figure out how to get it? Ask for a demo at the salon, we are happy to help.

Ask Your Favorite K Bella Stylist!

I could go on and on about styling tools – if you want more info, make an appointment with your favorite K Bella girl and we will find the right tools for you (we have some amazing gadgets we can offer you, and more importantly, we serve wine).  If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “I can never get my hair to look like this at home”, I would be able to retire early…now there’s an idea (I should charge a dollar every time someone says that (just in case this Social Security doesn’t work out for my generation)).  Here’s the deal.  Yes, I am a professional and can do a killer blow dry…toot toot…but it is a combination of practicing good techniques, packing your patience, using quality products and tools.  So, set yourself up to succeed, or give me my dollar!

Have a beautiful week!

Kristan Sayers

Kristan is an International Design Artist with Neuma, and the owner of K Bella Hair Studio & Spa. She opened K Bella in 2009, where she also began her own Academy Program training students to become licensed cosmetologists. In 2016 she became the State Representative for licensing regulations to help watch for legislative changes that could hurt the beauty industry. Kristan is also known for working with salons to help them grow and train their hairdressers and guiding them in everything from salon design to training programs for salon owners and managers.

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