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Style & Living Beauty

A Pro Hairstylist Says These Are the 8 Hair Tools Everyone Should Own

Best of all ... they're not crazy-expensive.

By Katherine Kluznik

Most celebs will tell you that fame has its downside (just ask Kylie Jenner!), but from where I’m standing, it also has a few perks — and the best among them (at least in my opinion) is having a personal hairstylist to ring up whenever the mood strikes. My blowout would always be perfect … My hair would forever look shiny and soft ...

But ... since this little fantasy will probably remain just that, I decided to do the next best thing and check in with Fae Norris, hairstylist at L.A.'s Neighborhood Salon to share the hair tools in her kit that have never let her down. Ahead, the brushes, hairdryer, flat iron — well, pretty much every essential tool you can name — that can help you style your own hair as well as any pro.

The Best Round Brush: Olivia Garden NanoThermic

Why Norris Loves It: “Because the ceramic-coated barrel heats up fast as you’re blow drying, this round brush will smooth, straighten or curl hair like no other. It’s extremely lightweight, easy to maneuver and has a great grip. My go-to for bouncy blowouts. The vents make the hair dry extra fast and will leaves it super silky. I most often reach for the 2 1/8-in. or the 1 3/4-in. sizes.”

Pro Tip: “Holding the brush vertically (ground to sky) is the most efficient way to give yourself a blowout. Aim the nozzle of the dryer close to the brush and follow it through each section a few times longer than you think is necessary. Finish it off with a cool shot (or blast the AC for a few minutes in the car) for an extra-silky hold.”

The Best Paddle Brush: The Wet Brush ‘Shine’

Why Norris Loves It: “The Wet Brush is a cut above most every competitor I’ve tried, despite its lower cost. This one-size-fits-all tool will get all the tangles out painlessly on wet or dry hair and works great for scalp stimulation to encourage healthy hair growth. Smooth curls into waves, straighten blowouts, slick it back, jack it up ... the possibilities are endless. Great for extensions too.”

Pro Tip: “Brushing dry hair for a few minutes before shampooing will exfoliate and loosen up any dead scalp and old detached hair. Not only will it make brushing after a shampoo easier, it helps give your scalp and hair a better wash and condition while increasing circulation.” 

The Best Flat Iron: Drybar Tress Press

Why Norris Loves It: “Sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and this is one of those times. ONE pass! That’s it. It straightens, it curls and even delivers finger waves. A flat iron that can do all that and last for years is money well spent. It comes with an extra-long cord, all the heat settings you’ll need (great for chemically treated locks), and an automatic shut-off so you don’t need to turn the car around. The added plus is supporting a female entrepreneur, Alli Webb, who hit it big with Drybar. Great company. Great product.”

Pro Tip: “No matter what anyone tells you—NEVER flat iron wet hair. Just don't.”

The Best Curling Iron: Hot Tools Professional 24k

Why Norris Loves It: “A gold-plated staple in the tool kit of a lot of pro’s, this is my long-time fav. I like the 1 1/4-in version, as it delivers for curls, waves, straight and flips. An exceptionally diverse tool. Don’t forget that the bigger the barrel, the larger the curl. I just picked up the extra small, 1/2-in. size (thanks Mariah Carey '90s hair!) and love how it performs.”

Pro Tip: “If you decide to try for those extra-bouncy, super-curly styles and spirals, just pin up the curl after removing it from the iron and let it cool to set. Take them out once the hair has completely cooled, shake (don't brush), scrunch and twist a few into ringlets before hitting it with hairspray.”

The Best Combs: Cricket Carbon

Why Norris Loves Them: “I’ve found no reason to switch from the Cricket Carbon seamless combs. They’re strong, versatile and offered in a variety of shapes and sizes for all of your needs.  Great for when you’re traveling light—and they won’t scratch the scalp if you comb too hard.”

Pro Tip: “Choose the metal tip for perfect sectioning of cornrows or braids.”

The Best Clips: Y/S Park

Why Norris Loves Them: “A good example of style meeting function, these anodized aluminum clips hold even the thickest of hair and they look cool in the process.”

Pro Tip: “If you’re the lady who loses clips as often as Kanye West tweets, you might want to stick with standard metal duckbill clips. You’ll lose the look but they’re easy to find, inexpensive and hold up better than the plastic varieties.”

The Best Hairdryer: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic

Why Norris Loves It: “Italian made, this is truly the Ferrari of dryers. With two speeds and three temperatures, the Elchin 3900 is light, incredibly quiet and powerful. Two-thousand watts cuts drying time by about 30 percent and always leaves hair feeling softer and looking shinier. With its spot-on temperature control and a great feel in the hand, it’s a great choice for all hair types. This one is an investment that will pay off.”

Pro Tip: “Finish with a cool shot and your 'do will be extra shiny and hold longer.”

The Best Travel Tool: AmoVee 2 in 1 Mini Flat Iron Curling Iron

Why Norris Loves It: “This is a radical invention. It's a curling iron AND it’s a flat iron. A great choice when you’re on the road and don’t want to lug extra tools. While it may not perform as well as the full-sized version, the size and two-in-one capability makes up for it. I’ve taken this overseas many times due to its dual voltage which makes it a great call for international travel. It also comes with a very cute, heatproof case.”

Pro Tip: “While it can smooth fringe and perfect a pixie, this tool can also iron a skirt or a wayward collar!"

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