Searching for a new hair dryer or iron can be complicated, and overwhelming with so many options. We reached out to our hair styling pro Jason lee to give you the rundown on what to look for and how to care for those tools!
Blow dryers and irons are an expensive investment, but remember, good quality tools can last for many years, so you want to make a smart decision. Buying the right items and taking proper care of them will ultimately help make them last longer and the investment worthwhile.
I get all of my hair care needs at a small mom and pop shop owned by the Moon family in downtown Toronto called Cosmetic World. This cozy little spot has everything: blow dryers, flat irons, hair extensions and tools! Now if you’re in an area that doesn’t have a ‘cosmetic world’, I thought it would be helpful if I broke down how I choose my tools along with how to take care of them.
Often when looking at buying a blow dryer, I feel for weight because when you’re holding one of these things for a long time to blow-dry your entire head of hair, they can get heavy. So, weight is important and nowadays a lot of blow dryers aren’t as bulky as they used to be, but beyond weight is the strength and power.
I look for blow dryers that go up to 2000 watts for those with thicker hair, but for those with finer hair, you don’t need that level of power. Having a cool air button is a great feature to help lock down that cuticle so the hair doesn’t get frizzy, but you should also have multiple settings of heat and of strength so that you can customize settings for your hair type, for example those with finer hair, don’t need to go to full blast as it could be too harsh on their hair. I like to go into retail spaces when possible and feel the weight and balance of a blow dryer to figure out what feels the most comfortable.
How to take care of your blow dryer:
- Tip #1: I always tell people, that when you wrap up your chord when putting your blow dryer away, you want to leave a little bit of slack when wrapping your chord before putting it away. This will help avoid wires breaking down over time. A lot of people tie it super tight, and that can be an issue as it can affect the wires.
- Tip #2: We talked about this last time, but it’s also important to clean out the back of your vent to avoid all of that lint and hair getting stuck in the back vent which actually makes your motor work overtime. Best advice is to take a toothbrush and some warm water, and just clean out the back vent roughly once a month.
With both flat irons and curling irons, you have tourmaline and ceramic irons. Both are great materials to get your irons in, ceramic ultimately helps to create a nice smooth glide through the hair and is great for finer hair. Tourmaline, is perfect for those who have frizzier hair because it helps with neutralizing the ionic charge in the hair. What does that mean? Tourmaline basically creates a negative ionic charge and basically doesn’t dry out the hair. Tourmaline is also great because it heats up evenly and you get a very even heat distribution. Titanium is very similar to Tourmaline irons but the difference is that it can heat up higher so that makes it better for coarse or hard hair to smoothen out.
How to take care of your irons:
There will always be product build up on your irons so it’s important to remember to wipe down the plates of your irons regularly especially if you see product build up like hairspray or other sticky products. Possibly every couple of months depending on your usage, you want to really go at it!
- Make sure your iron is not hot and then I spray an iron cleaner and I let it sit before wiping off.
- If you don’t have an iron cleaning solution, it’s possible to use little bit of rubbing alcohol as an alternative. Just pour a touch on a towel and wipe off the build up.
So, remember these key things when taking care of your tools. Keep them clean, don’t pull the chords too tight, and here’s something that’s important to note, these are very powerful tools that get plugged into the wall electrical sources, so we often forget that. If you ever notice that your tools seem extremely hot or start to smoke, turn them off right away….it may not be a duct tape moment to just keep wrapping tape around the dryer to hold it together after 20 years because it can actually be quite dangerous!
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