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When it comes to hairstyling, we’re all about anything and everything that will speed up the process and get us out the door faster. Enter hot air brushes, which act as a part blow-dryer, part curling iron, and part straightener, allowing you to both dry your hair and create either smoothness and/or bend and movement in one fell swoop.
But if you’re anything like us, when you think hot air brushes, you may have flashbacks to your middle school days when you used an old-school one on your bangs. Just like your hairstyle, these tools have come a long way since then, and the latest iterations tout all kinds of innovative new features and work better than ever to give you the hair of your dreams, fast.
So no matter whether you’re already a loyal hot air brush user or are now sold on trying one, check out the best ones below, which offer something for every hair type and need. You’ll be blown away (get it?) by how well they work.
Best Overall: Dyson Airwrap Styler
The brand known for its high-tech household appliances made a big splash in the beauty world when they launched their tech-y blow-dryer a few years ago. Now comes the latest hair iteration, this multi-use styler that can dry, curl, wave, or smooth your hair.
In true Dyson fashion, there’s some serious technology happening. It’s powered by a digital motor that allows you to style without having to use super-high heat—i.e. it reduces the risk of hair damage, which is always a good thing. It also relies on an aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Coanda effect. At the risk of getting all high school physics class on you, this essentially means that the high-speed air jets attract and wrap your hair around the barrel of the styler for you. While the price tag is steep, there are six different attachments, which make for the ultimate in styling versatility, allowing you to create everything from a smooth and sleek look to tousled beach waves.
Interested in learning more about this product? Check out our Dyson Airwrap Styler review.
Best Budget: Conair InfinitiPro Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush
Ringing in at just under $30, this costs less than one professional blowout but will deliver multiple good hair days. Two different types of bristles serve two different purposes—detangling nylon bristles make drying a breeze, while heat-activated silicone bristles around the perimeter of the brush add lots of shine.
Best for Volume: Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer
With an oval shape and rounded edges, this is designed to give your hair sky-high volume, boosting strands at the root and leaving the lengths with plenty of body and bend. A combination of both nylon pin and tufted bristles on the brush not only make detangling a breeze—no stressing about snags—but also help add volume, too. Two heat and speed settings let you customize your styling process, and there’s also a cool shot button to help set your finished look.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best hair dryers.
Best for Short Hair: John Frieda Hot Air Brush 1”
With its shorter length and smaller barrel, this pick is ideal for anyone with shorter strands (though it works well on longer hair, too, and also comes in a larger, one-and-half inch barrel size). Advanced ionic technology packs a serious smoothing punch, and the titanium barrel is also ceramic coated for more even heat distribution. Translation: No random hot spots that can damage your hair without you knowing. Amazon shoppers rave about how well it highlights styles with lots of layers, though note that it works best when used on hair that’s damp rather than soaking wet.
Best Rotating: BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush 2 Inch
Turn on the rotating action in this brush to create a voluminous and bouncy blowout; you can even switch the direction in which it rotates depending on which way you want your ends to flip up. And for days when you want a slightly sleeker style, simply turn off the rotating feature to smooth and polish your strands.
Best for Curly Hair: Drybar The Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush
Can’t make it to the salon chain for a blowout? Try Drybar's hot brush, a smoothing paddle brush that works wonders on even the curliest, kinkiest of hair. It heats up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the same max temperature as many flat irons, and is made to be used similarly—passed slowly through dry sections of hair. (FYI, you’ll still need to blow dry before using this one.) Still, satisfied Sephora customers rave about how much faster it works than traditional straighteners, and it also has ionic technology to help further tamp down frizz and increase shine. Plus, the digital controls let you lower the temperature if your hair is fine or damaged.
Read more reviews of the best hair straightening brushes available to purchase online.
Best for Damaged Hair: Amika Blowout Babe Thermal Brush
The one-and-half inch ceramic barrel on this tool emits far-infrared heat that instantly penetrates into the cortex (inner part) of the hair shaft, heating it from the inside out. The result? Hair is heated evenly and in half the time, seriously reducing the risk of any damage, making this a top pick if your hair isn’t quite the picture of health. This is another option that’s meant to be used on dry hair to add movement and smoothness.
Best for Second Day Styling: GHD Glide Professional Performance Hot Brush
Up your second-day hair game with this tool. Ideal for all textures and lengths, it has both shorter and longer bristles to tame and smooth your hair, plus frizz-eliminating ionic technology. Spritz some dry shampoo at your roots, brush your hair with this bad boy, and no one will be able to tell that you didn’t wash your hair that day. We also like the convenient heat-up light indicator, which makes it easy to tell when it’s reached optimal styling temperature.
Best for Fighting Frizz: CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Heated Paddle Brush
Frizzies, be gone. With 53 percent more bristles, this first and foremost grips hair better, giving you extra control as you style, and the brush makes more contact with your hair than a standard flat iron. Couple that with a frizz-busting negative ion generator, and it’s no wonder that even super curly and frizzy-haired users rave about how well it works. Bonus points for an included tool that makes it easy to clean the brush.
Best Bells & Whistles: MicroPure 2-in-1 Ionic Straightening Brush
An Amazon favorite, this has a metal-ceramic heater for even heat distribution plus an anti-scald feature to help minimize damage. Adjustable temperature settings, ranging from 300 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit let you choose a temperature based on your hair texture and condition, and there’s also an auto temperature lock to keep it at your chosen setting. It automatically shuts off after 60 minutes and comes with a heat protecting glove and travel case, too.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best hair brushes article.
Best for Smoothing: Remington Pro 2-in-1 Heated Straightening Brush
An anti-static coating coupled with smoothing ionic technology gets hair super sleek, while the titanium coating imparts mega-watt shine. Other benefits include three different heat settings, non-snagging bristles, and speedy 10-second heat up time.
Don't forget to set your final look with hairspray. We rounded up the best hairsprays for long-lasting hold.