If you visit a good quality, reputable hair salon you will always achieve a high quality blow dry. But if you’d rather style your hair at home, then a hot air brush will deliver plenty of bounce, volume and shine as long as you purchase the right one for your hair type and understand how to get the best out of it.
As a professional stylist, I've used more than my share of styling tools, so I've gathered up a few of my favorites to share with you here.
How Does a Hot Air Brush Work?
Hot air brushes work similarly to a hair dryer - but with the added ability to straighten, curl, and style your hair while drying.
Hot air (or cool air, depending on the setting you select) blows through the bristles to dry and style hair at the same time.
Choosing Your Hot Air Brush
When purchasing a hot air brush, you'll need to consider a few things:
Rotating vs Non-Rotating Brushes
With a rotating hot air brush, the barrel actually spins. These brushes tend to produce more professional results, but can be harder to get the hang of at first.
Non-Rotating Brushes, sometimes called hot curling brushes, are simply round brushes that you rotate by hand as you style. They are easier to get started with, but can be more work in the long run.
An entirely different option, but often confused with hot air brushes, is the hot curling brush. That tool looks very similar but it does not blow dry hair - it's strictly for styling.
The barrel is the round part of your hot air brush. It’s best to choose a thick barrel (2”+) for thick, long hair. Smaller barrels (1 or 1.5”) are fine for shorter hair or if you want to create tight curls.
Higher quality stylers will be made from materials such as ceramic, tourmaline, or titanium. These will stand the test of time, and will be more gentle on your hair as well.
Lower end models will be made from plastics and other inexpensive materials.
Bristles can be a variety of different materials as well. In the highest end models, bristles are usually ceramic, so not only does hot air blow through, the bristles also heat up to help style the hair.
In other models, bristles are made out of wire or nylon, and some are even similar to the bristles you’d find on a hairbrush.
Some hot air brushes come with additional features, like barrels and brushes of various sizes that can be swapped out, or heat concentrators for setting curls.
If you travel frequently, you'll want to look for a dual voltage model so that it can used worldwide without risk of damaging the device.
Best Hot Air Brush Models – Our Reviews
When choosing a good quality hot air brush you need to really investigate the features. But this takes time and effort - and not everyone has access to multiple stylers for testing.
We’ve done all the hard work for you! Here are the top hot air brushes, that we've tested in our own salons along with the benefits and disadvantages of each model.
Best Rotating Hot Air Brushes
These are our top three picks for rotating hot air brushes. Keep reading for detailed reviews, or scroll down to check out non-rotating hot stylers.
|InfinitiPro by Conair
|Dyson Air Wrap
|- High Quality
- Nano Titanium
- 2" barrel
- 3 Heat Settings
|- Great Value
- Tourmaline Ceramic
- 2" barrel
- 2 heat settings
|- Luxury Option!
- Full set of interchangeable barrels and styling tools.
Our #1 Pick!
Editor's Note: The BaBylissPro hot air brush is our top pick for overall performance. It's a high quality styler that performs well on a variety of hair types (including stubborn curly hair), and comes at a reasonable price. Check Price Here
- Dimensions 3.5 x 13.8 x 6”
- Weight 14.1 oz
- 125 watts (not for universal use)
This is the type of hot air brush that delivers salon blow-dry quality in the comfort of your own home. It’s comfortable and lightweight so it won’t make your wrist ache either!
The BaBylissPRO works well to get rid of frizz and flyaway hairs, and delivers plenty of shine to even the dullest, flattest hair types.
When you use this brush you’ll get exceptional shine and volume. It has a rotating brush head, so you do need to practice in order to get it right. But persevere, because once you’ve got the hang of it, you will enjoy it.
Some customers do report that their hair gets caught in the barrel because of the rotating mechanism. So if you have very fine hair or hair prone to breakage, it might be better to choose a different type of hot air brush without the rotating aspect.
However, as mentioned, once you get the hang of the rotation, you should be able to manage it perfectly well.
The BaByliss is not a cheap model. So if you're looking for a more budget-friendy option, check out the Conair (reviewed below), which is a less expensive but comparable product.
Editor's Note: The InfinitiPro by Conair is our top pick for best value. It's a solid performer, gets great reviews from our readers, and comes at a very affordable price.
- 500 watts
- Weighs 1.5lb
- Dimensions 3.5 x 5.1 x 15.5”
Here's a great budget hot air brush! This is another rotating hot air brush from long-time hairdressing professionals, Conair.
The Conair is less expensive than the BaByliss hot air brush reviewed above, but comparable in quality. It is easier to handle although it doesn't deliver quite as much shine and bounce.
However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly hot air brush this one will work well for you.
The bristles are tangle-free so are kinder to hair – great for hair that is dry or prone to breakage. It also has a 2” barrel so it’s ideal for longer, thicker hair.
The Conair hot styler delivers plenty of volume, shine and curl control thanks to the extra ceramic technology with ionic control.
If you can’t get comfortable with the spinning mechanism, you can switch it off and use it as a normal air brush which is a big bonus.
Finally it comes with a two-heat control panel plus a cool shot to set your style.
Customers report that while the Conair does dry hair quickly (hair needs to be around 80% dry first) that it’s probably better for hair that isn’t too thick or frizzy. So if you’ve got fine or very straight hair, this is the right one for you!
Complete Hair Styling System
The Dyson Airwrap is one of the newest hot air brushes to hit the market, and it comes with all the clout of the well-known Dyson brand.
But this hot styler is much more than just a hot air brush - it's a complete styling system!
The Dyson is designed to curl, wave, smooth and dry hair - all with no extreme heat.
It comes with a complete set of styling attachments. It includes a pair of 2" barrels and a pair of 6" barrels. Each size comes in a pair because there is one for clockwise rotation and one for counterclockwise rotatiion - so you can get perfectly symmetrical styling.
It includes a firm smoothing brush for frizz-prone hair, a soft smooth smoothing brush to be more gentle on the scalp, a round voluminizing brush, and even a pre-styling dryer attachment.
It's literally everything you could ever need for creating amazing styles. So if there's room in your budget for a splurge, be sure to check this one out.
Best Non-Rotating Hot Air Brushes
Some people prefer to control the movement of the hot air brush themselves rather than using a rotating barrel. And this is certainly easier if you don't completely understand how to use rotating brushes, which have a bit of a learning curve. There is also less chance of getting hair caught in the barrel of a non-rotating hot air brush.
Here are our top 3 picks for non-rotating hot air brushes. Keep reading for detailed reviews, or scroll up to see our favorite rotating hot stylers.
|Revlon One-Step Volumizer
|Conair Supreme 2-in-1 Hot Styler
|- Great for adding volume to hair.
- 4.25" oval barrel
- Ceramic Coated
|- Designed for styling and curling
- 1.5" and 1" barrel
|- 2 heat settings
- 1 ½" barrel
- Shorter, easy to handle barrel
- Titanium, ceramic coated
Great for Long, Thick Hair
Editor's Note: This is our top pick among non-rotating hot air brushes. It's a very reliable styler, works on all hair types, and comes at a reasonable price.
- 4.1 x 11.4 x 10.1”
- Weight 1.8 lb
- 500 watts
If you’ve got lots of thick hair or it’s particularly frizzy this hot air brush is perfect for your needs. It's powerful, yet lightweight and comfortable to grip.
And more importantly, it delivers plenty of vavavoom to your hair - including volume, body, bounce and shine.
It’s also excellent for use on damaged or broken hair because it promises less damaging pressure on hair. The unique oval shape adds volume, and smooths down the hair follicle so it looks super-silky without any frizz, and delivers salon shine.
The brush has three heat settings, but unlike the other brushes mentioned here, it takes one minute to heat up. Still - this isn’t too long to wait for perfect hair!
It also boasts fast drying times and ionic technology to protect your tresses. It's really a salon-style product for use in the comfort of your home.
We found this is the ideal hot air brush for thick, long hair. The large barrel size may be a bit tricky to manage on shorter or extra fine hair.
Best for Travel and On-theGo Styling
Dimensions 2.7 x 15.8 x 1.1 inches
Weight 1.1 lb
Conair is a trusted name in hair styling - and this budget-friendly hot air styling brush delivers plenty of positives.
Firstly, it’s a two-in-one curler and hot styler, making it super versatile. It dries, straightens and curls depending on how you use it.
There are two brush attachments included- a 1.5” brush and a 1” brush so you can choose the type of volume and curl you want. Use the smaller size for lots of smaller curls and use thelarger size for bigger volume). It also means that this brush is suitable for shorter hair styles.
The bristles are made out of nylon so they are kind to hair and they have some flexibility so they glide through easily.
The aluminium barrel delivers plenty of shine and smoothness and hair styling is good enough to last in between washes. You can use this product straight after washing as long as your hair is damp and not soaking wet. It’s also fine for use on dry hair too.
This brush heats up instantly, has a cool tip so it won’t burn your fingers and a swivel cord so there’s no chance of tangling up.
And as an avid traveller, the dual-voltage mechanism means it’s a great product to travel with.
Now as far as consumers, it has had some mixed reviews. Many users absolutely love it. But others find it cheap looking and not good enough for thick, long hair.
However, it is a budget model so if you’re looking for something to pack away for travelling, this is definitely suitable enough for a vacation, the gym or a weekend away.
It’s also safe to use on synthetic extensions and it’s gentle enough to use on damaged, dry, broken hair.
For big volume, work on damp hair, section hair and work brush upward, from bottom to top until dry. For even more volume take the brush close to the scalp and roll the brush slowly downward until you reach the bottom of the hair and then flick out the brush so it curls underneath.
For root lift, lift hair with the brush from the root, hold for about twenty seconds, move the brush along to the end and then release.
For smaller curls use the small brush and twist up the hair and for straight hair, just brush hair out as you dry it out.
Best Hairdresser Manufactured Hot Air Brush
- 500 watts
- Dimensions 2.6 x 11.6 x 5”
- Weight 1.2 lb
- Not dual voltage
Lightweight and ergonomically designed for the ultimate in comfort, this is a best-selling hot air brush from hairdresser icon John Frieda.
With advanced ionic technology, it banishes frizz and flyaway hair, promoting shine, body and silkiness.
This airbrush comes with two heat settings and a cool-shot setting to seal style in.
The barrel is titanium for the ultimate in luxury and coated in ceramic so it’s gentle on hair. Plus, it has tangle-free anti-static bristles to keep it from getting caugt up your har.
As for the downsides - some consumers have reported that you must dry your hair by 85% to get the most out of this product. And it's also fairly slow. with the 1.5" barrel, it's not the best air brush for very thick and very curly hair.
But if you have fine or medium thickness hair, you will get an excellent finish from this product.
When using, dry your hair with a towel so most of the moisture is removed. Section out the hair carefully and start at the back. Brush hair from root to tip for straight styles, lift hair from root to tip and flick out for voluminous styles.
This hot air brush from the famous Bed Head brand is a pretty solid contender as well.
First of all - it's darn cute with it's pretty pink and purple color choices.
It's a high quality brush made from tourmaline ceramic. It has mixed pattern bristles, which are great for adding texture to your hair style.
And it has an oval shape, similar to the Revlon One-Step, which is ideal for adding lots of volume.
It's designed to be used on wet hair, but you will still get the best results if you towel dry your hair first.
This hot air brush comes from the folks at Drybar. And while Drybar may not have invented the salon blow out, they sure did make it popular!
So I would say this brand knows a thing or two about hair styling.
This is a nice, solid brush made with a combination of nylon and tufted bristles to give hair texture without tangles.
It has three temperature settings that allow it to work well on a variety of hair types.
And the lightweight, ergonomic design makes it easy to use.
My only complaint about this hot air brush is the price. It's a bit on the high end compared to similar models, so you are likely paying a premium for the Drybar name.
Best for Next Day Styling
This Hot Tools One-Step Dryer and Volumizer is new to our list in 2020. I've been impressed overall with the quality of styling tools coming from the Hot Tools brand. They're affordable and good quality.
This hot brush comes with an oval shaped barrel for maximizing volume, and three heat settings.
But my favorite feature is the activated charcoal - which is amazing for refreshing oily or greasy hair. So if you're looking for a tool that can make that second-day hair look amazing, this is a great one to try!
Our Least Favorite 🙁
- Dimensions 2 x 7 x 16”
- Weight 1 lb
This inexpensive hot air brush claims a number of features, including ceramic and tourmaline technology. It also has two interchangeable barrels so you choose the curl you want, 1” or 1.5”. This means it’s suitable for mid-length hair and short hairstyles.
The three heat and speed settings give you plenty of choice and there’s a cold shot setting to keep your style in place for longer.
Unfortunately, this one gets the thumbs down from our product testers. It is a cheap product, and it is built that way, so it just doesn’t last.
Consumers report problems with the switches, short life and poor finish on the hair.
Additionally, the handle is on the large size so it’s uncomfortable to hold, resulting in wrist-ache for those with longer or thicker hairstyles!
If you want an extreme budget option, the Conair 2-in-1 is going to be a more reliable choice.
The fine print:
- Dimensions 8 x 3.8 x 15.8”
- Weight 1.1 lb
- 1000 watts
We do love a Conair product and this one offers a multitude of different items all in one!
When you buy this you get three styling attachments, a 1 ¼ tourmaline ceramic-coated thermal brush which delivers smooth and silky shine, a natural boar and nylo bristle brush (the best type of hairbrush for any hair type) and a “concentrator” for pin-point styling.
The tourmaline technology with ceramic means no more frizz and flyaway hair plus it protects hair from heat damage and delivers a silky-smooth and shiny finish.
With two speed settings you get to control the tool and the cool tip means no burnt fingers!
Finally, 1000 watts means this little baby is very powerful.
This is a good product - not excellent, but for the price you get a reliable item.
It’s best for shorter and finer styles rather than thick and long hair.
Paddle Hot Air Brush
While most hot air brushes are going to be a round brush style, it's also possible to find some that are a more traditional paddle brush.
These won't be as uesful for producing curls or waves, but can still be quite helpful for straightening and eliminating frizz.
This Revlon hair styler works like a regular hair brush, except it dries and styles at the same time.
Simply plug the styler in, use it on damp hair, and brush through sections of your hair until it’s dry.
How to use the hot air brush:
- Wash hair as normal
- Towel dry
- Apply styling oil or other heat protecting product
- Section hair
- Start at the back and brush from root to tip, you might need a couple of passes, depending on your hair thickness, before your hair is dry and smooth
- Finish with some serum, and you’re ready to go!
The ionic technology promotes a sleek, shiny and silky-smooth finish without frizz or flyaway hair.
It’s powerful and has two heat settings, so it’s suitable for most hair types. It works well on thick and long hair as well as shorter, finer styles and even top hairstylists swear by this product.
Wet/Dry Hot Air Stylers & Dryers
There are a few models designed specifically to be used for drying in addition to styling.
While all hot air brushes offer some degree of drying capabilties, these models are designed more like a hair dryer with a styler attached (rather than the reverse).
But keep in mind, you will still always get the best results by at least towel drying your hair first.
The following two air stylers dry and style at the same time:
Dimensions: 12.3 x 6.1 x 2.6 inches
This hot styler looks more like a comb, and is an attractive, lightweight air styler. With tourmaline and ceramic technology, it promises a straight, shiny and sleek style, without frizz.
And because it has its own unique “tension” control system, it’s suitable for all hair types, thick and thin. Finally, it has a 2-speed slide switch and a cool shot button so your style stays locked in for days.
This is a great hair styler for curly hair girls, even with the thickest hair. Generally it straightens and smooths in just one pass, so it’s worth the slight premium over other mid-range models.
- 12.2 x 4 x 10 inches ; 1 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
This Conair drying styling comb works by combing hair through while distributing heat. Think of it like a hair dryer with a comb attached.
Complete with ionic technology, it reduces frizz and flyaways to create super smooth and shiny locks that last all day.
This styler is also dual voltage so it's suitable for worldwide travel and comes with two heat and speed settings, so you can control it according to your hair type.
With three attachments, a bristle brush, a comb and a detangling comb it’s great for curly hair, wavy hair, fine hair and thick hair.
FAQs about Hot Air Brushes
Hot Air Brushes vs Straighteners & Curling Irons
These hot air brushes are far kinder and gentler to hair than using hot irons, curling wands, or hair straighteners because they do not “clamp” hair or hold very high temperatures against hair.
Therefore hot air brushes won’t damage hair as long as they are used at the right setting.
Hair straighteners create a sleek look, but definitely don’t create volume and bounce - but hot air brushes do achieve this type of look.
Curling wands and curling irons do create some volume and you achieve a better curl with them, but if you’re looking for mostly volume, you won’t go wrong with a quality hot air brush!
How To Use a Hot Air Brush
To use a hot air brush:
- Wash and condition hair as normal.
- Towel dry, so hair is damp.
- Apply your favorite styling product.
- Section hair out, and clip each area away.
- Switch your hot air brush on. It heats up instantly – no waiting!
- Unravel the first section of hair from the back of your head and brush. your hair using the hot air brush. Or wind hair around the brush and move the brush along the hair until it is dry.
- You should have a voluminous section of hair with plenty of body in it.
- Pin hair back to maximize volume until you’ve finished your entire head.
For dry-hair only hot air brushes, follow the steps above but make sure hair is completely dry before styling it.
What are the Best Dual Voltage Hot Air Brushes for Traveling Abroad?
These two hot stylers are dual voltage and can be used in multiple countries without issue: