From ghd's Professional Hot Brush to the Dyson Corale, hot hair tools are wildly popular right now, but it's safe to say that nothing has stirred up quite as much interest as Revlon's Pro Collection One-Step Dryer & Volumiser.
The 2-in-1 barrel brush meets hairdryer has been touted as your very own at-home hairstylist, promising extra lift, smooth volume and curled ends akin to a salon blow-dry (all without leaving the comfort of your bedroom). At £59.99, it's a fraction of the price of many hairstylist-adored tools on the market, and considering a professional wash and blow-dry can start at £20, it seems like a good investment. What's more, stockists include Boots, Amazon and even Aldi, making it so easy to get your hands on.
As a beauty editor, I'm very lucky to have access to lots of buzzy new hair tools on the market but glowing reviews, coupled with questions from friends and colleagues, piqued my curiosity. Hundreds of 5-star reviews speak for themselves but would the One-Step Dryer actually make a dent in my dense, wavy, mid-length hair? Would it really give me a salon-worthy blow-dry at home? And if so, how long would my new style last?
At first glance, it's pretty big; almost double the size of barrel brushes hairstylists have used to give my hair volume, bounce and definition. That said, the dryer system is built in, so it makes sense. The shape isn't exactly round; rather oval, as though a barrel brush has been flattened slightly. Brush bristles are studded between the plastic teeth to prevent tangling or breakage and to volumise limp strands. There are three heat settings – cold, warm and hot – and the handle is moulded to fit your hand. The whirr is noisier than a Dyson Supersonic but relatively similar to popular hairdryers such as BaByliss and Panasonic. It's also much lighter and thus easier to wield.
The instructions state to style your hair with the One-Step Dryer when it is slightly damp (not wet or sopping, a mistake lots of people make) for the best results. I rough dried my lengths with my trusty Dyson (pricy but a total game-changer in terms of speed, efficiency and results) and split my hair into eight sections using claw clips to separate.
I have a lot of hair and passing the brush through one section didn't do much, so I halved the sections and started from scratch. The first pass (I took care to go very slowly from root to tip) was impressive. It dried my hair straight, not poker, almost instantly. I found it difficult to curl the ends, which just fell flat, but despite its size it was easy to wedge the brush into my roots. Because of this, I was able to eradicate a lot of frizz from the top but hold on to volume and lift. My hair felt soft and looked seriously smooth. However, I'm right-handed and I struggled with the left side of my hair. With a little bit of practice, though, I'm sure I could nail it.
Using the tool actually made me feel like a professional, but achieving a good result was quite a lengthy process. I had to go over some strands more than once, and I got arm ache after a while. I put this down to the heat setting; I just don't think it was hot enough to style my dense hair. However, if you're trying to steer clear of straighteners or tongs, which often exceed temperatures of 180 degrees and completely frazzle hair, this is a brilliant alternative. I would suggest drenching your hair in heat protector spray first, regardless of the temperature. Distribute Kérastase Genesis Defense Thermique Heat Protector, £25.90, or Toni & Guy Heat Protection Mist, £7.75, throughout your hair from root to tip using a wide-tooth comb, but ensure your hair isn't dripping wet. If it is, give your hair a quick blast with a hairdryer first.
Overall, I think this tool is best suited to those with fine, long hair, who can expect shape, volume and smoothness. Those with hair like mine (very heavy and wavy in places) or curly and textured hair might struggle. On closer inspection, reading the online reviews confirms my theory. Curly hair users don't seem to get on with it as well as a usual hairdryer and a barrel brush, citing low heat and a lack of precision.
If this is you, give the 2-in-1 tools a miss and stick to the tried and tested blow-drying method. Try the new ghd Helios, £159. The salon-approved hairdryer makes styling a doddle thanks to the targeted, very precise airflow and extra attachments. It also imparts a shampoo-ad shine and dries hair at lightning speed. For smoothness, Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Round Brush in various sizes, from £16.95, works a treat and never gets tangled. Also try Kent Large Natural Bristle Radial Brush, £10.99, a round brush which fashions curls and waves when teamed with heat from a hairdryer.
Finally, always finish with a good blanket of hairspray. R29 rates KMS Hairstay Firm Finishing Hairspray, £15.50, or John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray, £5.99, especially if your style is prone to dropping or frizzing up.
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