Your mane femme is back in the house after a little vacation. I didn’t mean to leave y’all stranded, but my best friend was our adored houseguest for over a week and we had the best visit in the world!
As luck would have it, she brought her 1 ¼” InStyler with her for me to tinker with (pictured above), since my ¾” version is kind of…intense now that my “lob” is all grown out. It was love at first brush and we ended up swapping them, which brings us to the next piece in my series about hair.
Part Two — Hot Tools:
THE BLOW DRYER
My hair is thick as molasses and there’s a ton of it, which means I only blow-dry once or twice a month with a cheapie from Targetbecause it takes forever.
One-stop shops like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall’s, or Nordstrom Rack are fantastic places to check for higher-quality tools at thrifty prices, so keep your little eyes peeled the next time you’re there picking up a cast-iron frying pan or sequined Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater. Bust out your smartphone in the store and check reviews for the product on Amazon if you’re uncertain! Just keep your receipt if it doesn’t work out.
Be sure the dryer comes with a concentrator to direct the heat; it doubles as protection by not letting your strands get stuck in the nozzle or too close to the heat source. I also like a diffuser attachment for coaxing waves into pin-straight hair like mine.
Two important words: porcelain ceramic. I have the BaByliss Pro 1” and 2” (pictured above), and while I’ve tried others, nothing is as gentle as these puppies. I can instantly tell the difference in quality when I use any other non-ceramic, non-porcelain flat iron. That said, everyone’s hair is different and if you find something that does minimal, minimal damage, never let go.
Again, check the stores I listed out above for hair dryers — I’ve yet to pay full retail for one because I’ve gotten all mine for a bargain! As styling goes, I rarely use mine for straightening. Usually it’s for haphazard beach waves or un-fussy curls (you can always negate prissy curls by creating some insouciance — just flat-iron your ends!), but I know naturally curly girls love ‘em because they create sheets and sheets of slick, straight hair.
SEPARATE YOUR CURLS, GIRL
This is where it gets a little embarrassing for me. I have a 25mm curling wand from NuMe, Remington’s T-Studio Pearl Ceramic Professional Styling Wand, a 1 ¼” CHI Velocity Digital Ceramic Curling Iron, and the TIGI Bed Head ‘Wave Artist’.
If I had to pick just one of the above for getting consistent, lasting “FFAF” curls or waves, it’d likely be the NuMe wand. It’s a really versatile tool (and the most dangerous — seriously, I have a scar). The Remington and TIGI tools are a lot of fun and were inexpensive, but more or less serve the same purpose (beach waves), and the big CHI bad boy is a lifesaver when I’m in a hurry but want to add volume and a little movement, but I could definitely live without it.
I’m a huge fan of the DIY curling wand and the petite has two of my hand-me-downs in this department. It’s so easy to do — just use a screwdriver to remove the clamp and voila = instant curling wand!
I’ll eventually post photos of which tools do what, but here are some tips to tide you over ‘til then:
- randomly alternate the direction as you curl
- get wild and switch it up between two irons or wands in one go
- don’t burn your damn fingers (you will anyway, but BE CAREFUL)
- if your hair is stubborn, lightly spritz with hairspray after each section
- don’t forget to protect your hair from heat like I talked about in part one
We’ll talk about other tools (pins, brushes, teasing combs) and styling products next time, but your questions and suggestions are welcomed!
Just popped in? See Part 1 of 6: Care & Maintenance
(sources unknown for second and fourth photos)