The Best Tools For Your Hair Type: The Pros Spill

The scene? The bathroom, otherwise known as the real gal’s backstage. When going about your own blowouts and glamateur styling sessions in the comfort of your own home, why not use the tools curated by the best professionals in the hair biz?
To replicate the shiniest, voluminous, curliest and sleekest finishes we thought we could only score in salons, we hit up our favorite celebrity hairstylists and accosted them with questions about the brushes, blowdryers, flat irons and curling irons that they can't live without. Which follicular items will be vital in your repertoire? We’ve broken them down for you, by hair type!

Your Hair Type: Curly

Your Dream 2013 Hair: Curly, With More Definition

Your Ideal Brush:
The Sephora Collection Square Paddle Brush is, according to Sally Hershberger stylist Matthew Fugate, “your ultimate brush-out brush, great for brushing out curly hair and detangling quickly.” Be warned, it’s solely a detangling brush to use straight out of the shower — not for dry hair, unless you want to end up with major frizz. “Also, if you have thin hair, it can be used to help rough-dry thick hair because it helps you move hair around without it snagging,” advises Fugate. “This is not a brush used for finishing; it is for prepping hair only.”

Your Best Curling Irons:

For Tresemmé stylist Jeanie Syfu, the R Session Tools Nalu Waver is her go-to curling iron. “It gives me that perfect texture that all my clients love and it can create a very finished glamorous deep finger-wave, a beachy tousled wave, and enhance a natural curly texture without looking overly styled,” explains Syfu. She recommends using it by holding the barrel horizontally to create a full wave by holding the iron at 45 degrees. “If you hold the barrels vertically and wind the hair in a figure 8, it will create a deep finger wave,” Syfu says. “You can use this iron to add that undone texture to your braid or bun.” Why all girls need to own it? Because, Syfu says, “it will give you a new twist to how you are already styling your hair.”

Another favorite of multiple stylists is the Hot Tools Gold Curling Iron. In a hurry? You won’t waste time using this tool, as celebrity stylist Ted Gibson notes that it heats up in practically no time. Suave Professionals stylist Jenny Cho is another fan. “This curling iron has never let me down in the last 14 years of doing hair," she says. "It's affordable and dependable.” Stylist and salon owner Angelo David points out that “this product delivers the most consistent curls, with a reasonable price point.” He recommends setting the preferred temperature for curls, then wrapping the section of hair around the curling wand. “Let it set a few seconds, then release for the perfect curl,” advises David.

Your Hair Type: Straight Or Slightly Wavy Fine Hair

Your Dream 2013 Hair: Voluminous, Textured Locks

Your Ideal Brush:

Creative Ceramic Ion Brushes are a favorite of Marie Robinson Salon stylist Tommy Buckett. “Each one polishes hair giving it loads of shine," he says. "They come in a multitude of sizes so that anyone, no matter what their hair type may be, can achieve the perfect look suited just for them.”

Your Ideal Curling Irons:

Celebrity hairstylist Gregory Alan is a fan of the Sarah Potempa Beachwaver. "This simple-to-use tool makes it possible to get the perfect beachy look and even red carpet waves," he says. "It can style your hair in the matter of minutes, plus it's fun to operate.”

Celebrity stylist David Babaii’s wavy hair go-to is the T3 SinglePass Whirl Professional Styling Wand. Why? “The ceramic barrel is gentler to hair — plus, it has digital temperature controls,” he says. “It doesn't have a clamp, so it's great for creating sexy, soft, natural-looking waves and comes with a handy user guide to help you determine what heat setting works best for your hair type.” David uses it to wind one-inch sections around the iron, holding them there for a couple of seconds to create shiny ringlets, or a few face-framing tendrils.

Your Hair Type: Kinky, Curly or Wavy Hair

Your 2013 Dream Hair: Sleek and Straight

Your Ideal Brushes:

The gold standard, the Mason Pearson hairbrush, is Alan’s favorite. “It evenly distributes your natural oils and products throughout your hair and helps stimulate your scalp and hair growth,” he raves. Babaii, too, is a fan of the British classic: “It's versatil, it works with any hair type, and it has a comfortable handle to work with.”

Gibson’s brush of choice to complement his recently raised haircut price of $1,200 is the Y.S. Park YS 701 Brush. What makes it special? “I love it because it’s a dual bristle boar and nylon brush,” Gibson says. “It’s irreplaceable because of the dual bristles for detangling and boar for smoothing.” He uses it to brush hair in one-inch sections. “It’s the best brush on the market," he says. "It works for all different hair types.”

Your Ideal Blowdryer:

The Turbo Power Twin Turbo Blow Dryer is Syfu’s favorite. “It's built to last! I've had the same dryer for over six years and I use it practically every day on numerous models.” Why is it special? Syfu notes that “it's the most powerful dryer I have used and it can tackle any texture of hair with two different nozzles. It also has a cool shot button to really seal in the shine.” She uses it for blowouts, setting, straightening and styling. “It has even been used to dry nails and fake lashes on set,” she confesses. Why do you need it? “It makes all the difference when you invest in a good blowdryer. You get better results because it seals the cuticle so your style really lasts,” says Syfu.

Your Ideal Flat Iron:

Syfu’s flat iron of choice? The Solano Sleek Heat 450 One Inch Professional Flat Iron, as “the width works on most lengths of hair, there is a setting temperature dial, and the shine result is like no other.” What makes it special? “The plates are ionic, so it's less damaging on the hair and will help retain moisture. It has a light that changes from blue to red when it's ready (literally in a few seconds)," she explains. “I also like that you can hold the tip of the iron without burning yourself.” Best for achieving ultra sleek styles, this one’s a necessity if you're looking for straight hair without the stress.


Your Hair: Straight or Wavy

Your 2013 Dream Hair: Perfectly Styled — In As Little Time As Possible

Your Ideal Brush:

Cho’s favorite brush when time is of the essence is the Sheila Stotts Removal Brush, because “it detangles the finest to the knottiest hair fast.” Says Cho, “The needle-like bristles detangle quickly — which is especially great for hair with extensions because it doesn’t catch or pull, so it won’t hurt.”

Your Ideal Blowdryer:

Hairstylist Philip B is partial to the Parlux PAR4014 Professional 3800 thanks to its "super amazing force — it has the perfect ratio of heat to power. It lets you dry hair more quickly and move faster,” he explains. It’s a good weight — not too light and not too heavy, — but it's strong. He uses the blow-dryer to dry the hair 80 percent, just moving it around with his hands, and then starts polishing with a brush. “I always aim the blowdryer in the direction I'm blowing,” he says. “If I want a really smooth finish, I'll apply my Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baume to hair before I start.”

Babaii’s favorite speedy hair-styling heat tool is the Blowdryer Italy HairFashion's 1800-Watt Professional Dryer. Why? “It dries hair in half the time, and it has great airflow with ceramic and infrared technology,” says Babaii. “The dryer is lightweight, yet it delivers amazing performance plus ceramic and infrared, so that you aren’t drying out the hair.” He uses it to straighten or rough-dry the hair into a Bohemian texture. This one is worth the investment, he insists. And this stylist, who’s tended to the famed manes of Angelina Jolie and Kate Hudson, has done his research.

Your Ideal Flat Iron:

For a speedy ‘do that’s sleek as all get-out, Buckett opts for the Sedu Icon Prive. “The adjustable temperature heats up to 450 degrees in only 60 seconds,” he says. “It's small enough to get those hairs tucked away in corners, yet strong enough to cover a ton of hair.” This tool is another investment, but you know that feeling when your hair looks perfect (and it actually stays that way)? Yeah, we'd say that feeling is worth its weight in gold.

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