The Best Hot Tools For Your Hair Type

Working as a hairstylist in New York City, I've learned one thing about hair: No two heads are created equal. And, while I often have to use the same blowdryer, curling iron, and flat iron on my clients, it's quickly become apparent to me what works best on whom. I find myself making house calls or doing photo shoots with vastly different textures, which means I have to adapt my kit accordingly.

In order to safely and effectively style your hair, you need to assess the heat settings, materials, and wind settings of your tools. You also need to be realistic about your styling process — a girl with thick, long hair probably won't be as diligent about her sections as someone with finer hair, right?

Here, I've outlined different hair types and the tools I've found suit them best. Hopefully, you'll find something you're going to fall in love with. Please feel free to leave comments about what you're using below!
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Fine Hair
Women with fine or thin hair should look for tools that have a changeable temperature option. This is important because, when styling, you don't want to overheat the hair; you want to be as delicate as possible, putting life into it. Focus on adding volume with thickening sprays that have protective properties, then get to work!
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This curling wand is amazing for fine hair. It has different temperature control settings, which allow you to choose how much heat you wish to apply to your hair. In the case of fine hair, it's best to not have the curling wand on the highest setting because you don't want to overheat your strands. You also want a barrel that's the right size — too thick will create unrealistic-looking volume. This clipless, 1-inch barrel will add a little bit of a wave, or can be used at the roots for subtle height.
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This blowdryer is amazing for creating body — it has a low wind setting, with the heat setting of a typical blowdryer, allowing you to mold volume into your mane with a round brush. One quick and easy way to add body into finer hair is to flip your head upside down and rough dry (dry your hair using your fingers to rough up the roots, moving the dryer back and forth quickly for movement), then go in and polish with a round brush or switch to your curling wand.
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I use this iron on fine hair in the salon and on shoots because of its adjustable heat settings. You have to remember, especially when straightening, to be cautious! The heat options are great, and the finishing shine that it gives you will make you fall in love. The sides actually heat up, too, so you can twist it to add a little bit of a bend. Plus, it's thin enough for you to work in careful, considered sections for the ultimate sleek finish.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Thick Hair
Women with thicker hair can be more versatile with their tools — you can go higher with the heat settings because your strands are built to tolerate it! For me, it's all about getting the hair dry and styled quickly; there's no need for your arms to be sore after using your blowdryer. Begin with a great thickening cream or blowout balm to help condition your hair, and then get started.
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Thick hair can handle a good amount of heat without it causing any damage and/or dryness. The Chi Curling Iron is my favorite to create anything from a street style wave to a polished 70s Farrah Fawcett volume set — plus, you can pump up the temperature and really, truly go for it.
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Working in the salon, on set, or at home, time is everything. I have thick hair, and my concern is getting great results in the least amount of time. This blowdryer, which stylists at my salon love and simply refer to as, "The Twin Turbo," is great because it has two wind settings and four heat settings, so you can bump up the temperature to get you out the door faster — all without the typical flyaways caused by cheaper models.
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I find that most of my clients with lots of thick hair don't love the idea of creating multiple sections and working on them piece by piece. That's why I recommend this product — you can just grab large sections of your hair and straighten. It glosses your strands evenly without leaving any frizz or puffiness, plus you can go to the next heat setting level. It’s my personal favorite to use on keratin treatments, because it seals in the product and doesn't leave any lines or dents in the hair.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Curly And Natural Hair
Curly and natural hair types are completely different, both in the way they are styled and treated. However, both hair types needs tools designed to protect their texture, which means that shopping for hot tools can end up being a similar experience. Choosing the wrong products and using them on a regular basis can result in long-term damage to your hair pattern, so consult with your hairstylist, best friends, moms, et cetera, about your purchase and invest wisely.

Overall, lean toward tools that have a high heat setting, but also search for products that are ionic (they protect and polish). When blowdrying, use a low wind setting. This is important to keep in mind, because if it's on high, it will blow your hair in different directions, making it frizzy.

Product is even more essential, but that all depends on your specific curl or hair type — curl creams, heat protectants, jellies, and leave-in conditioners can all be crucial. Just make sure you're focusing on hydration that tames and adds polish.
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This product is life changing for a curly-haired woman. The interchangeable barrels give you the option of putting different-sized curls into your hair, so you can customize the dimension and width of your locks. Since it's a wand, you can simply wrap select strands around the iron and go — making it much easier than clamping sections, which will make your hair look too uniform. It also has five heat settings (up to 410 degrees) and it's made with tourmaline and ceramic to deliver a smooth, shiny finish.
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This dryer is specifically made for enhancing curly hair, and the diffuser attachment's 360-degree airflow makes it king. The diffuser defines your hair and adds shine, cutting down on blowdry time and naturally softening your strands. Since the nozzle is also shaped like a hand, you don't have to keep doing your "scrunching" motion — it does it all for you. Just make sure to apply plenty of product, customized to your own personal texture, beforehand.
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Women who want the option of wearing their hair straight need this iron. It doesn't dry out the hair and adds an immediate, glossy shine, revealing silky, straight hair. It actually has "silicone speed strips," which help polish and straighten hair in half the time of a regular iron. This iron heats up to 400 degrees and adjusts its temperature every time you go through the hair, so you get an even amount of heat distribution with each pass. (For more on straightening curly and textured hair — without killing it — click here.)
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