There's no denying that the last year has seen many of us getting a little more experimental with our at-home haircare than ever before. From hair dyes to fringe trims, the brave (or foolish, depending on how you look at it) have been more hands-on than ever with hair routines in lieu of a professional salon experience. Thankfully, now that salons have reopened across the UK and a professional cut is back on the cards, I'm more than happy to leave my strands in the capable hands of the experts.
However, there's one hair tool that I've noticed has been gaining notoriety over the last year as people have been clamouring to re-create a salon-standard blowout at home: the blow-dry brush.
Yes, while I previously considered blow-dry brushes to be a bit of a retro beauty product—almost entirely down to the fact that pre-2020, my nan was the only person I knew who owned one—these trending tools have had a major resurgence of late, with new launches cropping up faster than my split ends. Some dry your hair from wet so you can forgo the need for a hair dryer entirely, while others are used to transform dry strands into a shiny, bouncy blowout. Either way, it turns out that celebrity hairstylists are obsessed with them too.
Bridget Brager—hairstylist to the likes of Ashley Graham, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Gwyneth Paltrow and more—took to Instagram recently to sing the praises of the Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush (£70), claiming that it works for "fine to thick and curly hair" with the cool-shot feature proving "essential to a good blowout."
Similarly, celebrity hairstylist and BaByliss ambassador Syd Hayes—who has styled the strands of everyone from Lily James to Kaia Gerber—swears by the BaByliss Hydro Fusion Hot Air Styler (£60). "It has incredible Advanced Plasma Technology that will help smooth and target flyaway hair whilst you style, plus helps to close the cuticle faster to lock in natural moisture and hydrate," explains Hayes. "When styling, make sure to rough-dry your hair to 80% dry and then use the Air Styler to cut down time hugely and ensure a smooth, silky blowout finish."
From trendy Brooklyn-based haircare brand Amika comes this new two-in-one hairstyling tool that is seriously good. It combines a blow-dryer and round hair brush in one so you can dry your hair from wet and easily create a smooth, shiny blowout in minutes. I have fairly unruly hair and was really impressed at how much softer and sleeker my hair looked after using this.
So many beauty editors swear by this hot brush, which you use on dry hair to create a professional-looking blow-dry effect. If it's volume you're after, then this is your tool. It lifts from the roots and makes it easy to create waves, curls or straight looks.
This is definitely an investment, but if you want styling options, then it doesn't come better than the Dyson Airwrap. With various styling attachments to curl, smooth, dry and wave all hair types, it's the closest you'll come to having a professional hairstylist move into your home. The volumising brush is particularly brilliant for creating those classic, Hollywood-style waves.
This classic blow-dry brush allows you to dry and style your hair in one easy step, and it has so many five-star reviews on Boots. It uses a mixture of nylon and boar bristles to make detangling a breeze, as well as two heat settings and that all-important cool shot to set your look in place.
Honestly, I'd never heard of Revamp before, but I have a friend who raves about this blow-dry brush, and her hair always looks incredible. You can skip the hair dryer with this one, as it has three heat speeds and settings to make both drying and styling a breeze.
If you're new to the world of blow-dry brushes and aren't sure if you want to invest yet, then this is a good affordable starting point. Particularly good for fine strands, it works best on hair that's around 80% dry before you get down to the all-important job of creating that bouncy blow-dry.
Unlike the other brushes in this round-up, the GHD Glide is specifically designed for second-day styling—namely, those mornings you wake up and want to look polished fast. It has a mixture of long and short bristles that add volume and transform unruly strands into ones that genuinely might rival J.Lo.
It's very much the bigger the better when it comes to this styling tool. The chunky barrel is decked out with soft bristles to genuinely lift hair into the kind of volume-defying shape that only a professional could usually achieve. Plus, it adds so much shine.