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Getting The Most Out Of Your Hair Styling Tools

This article deals with styling tools, and their uses on different hair types.

Making the right investment in styling tools can change your life.

I wanted to begin by addressing the one topic that would make the biggest impact on someone's life. After much research with my existing clientele, I decided to focus on what it means to have really useful styling tools, and how you can make the right investments without cluttering your cupboard with a ton of unnecessary plastic and metal. I'm here to encourage you to start fresh: take a deep breath (get a loved one to join you on this) and dive into that closet of "hair stuff". Give the things you never use to a loved one or have them recycled. Girl, free up that valuable real estate! Now it's time to decide what stays and what you need to add.

A couple of basic tips for all hair types:

  1. Make sure you have a nozzle on your blow dryer.
  2. Avoid styling your hair in the bathroom after showering because of the humidity.
  3. When choosing round brushes and rollers, remember that the bigger the brush or roller, the less curl you'll end up with. The smaller the brush or roller, the more curl you will get.

After this it comes down to specific hair types.


When I do radio shows, the number one question from my callers is how to add lift to fine straight hair. Yes, we all know that with the right cut, volumizing products (or even hair color) can give you a little extra volume. But what about a few hot rollers, or a little curling iron action? You would be amazed at the difference these two tools can make.

Here are some techniques on how to create longer-lasting lift in your hair. If you look at most magazines, you'll see that 80's hair is out - unless it's intentional. So for a modern appearance with volume, remember: the idea is to create lift on the top of the head, but not necessarily over the ear. Remember Linda Evans? Who could forget those wings?

After using a volumizing product, lean your head forward and pre-dry the root area a little. Then, when completed, start drying your hair with a round brush, always working with the hair in sections. For lasting volume, I love using hot rollers or curling irons. Hot rollers are surely not as hot as curling irons, so depending on the quality of your hair, you decide which tool is appropriate. Think about the desired look - you generally want to have most of your volume on top. To avoid that springy feel over the ear you may want to refrain from using rollers that are too small over the ear or nape.

Dry a section at a time and place the rollers as you go. While working with sections, be sure to add a softer hairspray to the section before wrapping it around the rollers. You'll want to use less spray if you have extra fine hair. Leave the rollers in for about ten minutes to allow for a good set. Remember, you can do this quickly - it doesn't have to be an all-morning escapade. If you are pressed for time or want a not-too-bouncy feel around the face, use a brush over the ear instead to give a softer feeling with more lift on top from the rollers.

Tip: For a little texture or wave in your hair, towel-dry your hair well, then braid it with some styling product and sleep with it braided. When you wake up, gently un-braid your hair.


The idea is to work with an already curled head of hair, adding more definition and sex appeal to your curl.

Air dry (or diffuse) your hair with appropriate curling product. In my my experience, a curl cream combined with an alcohol base product makes for a great curl. Remember, always use a tiny bit of heat protection prior to using any iron.

After your hair is dried, take sections and re-curl with the iron. This will seal the cuticle of the hair, giving shine, definition, and allowing the hair to repel moisture and avoid frizzing. And if you see steam coming off of your hair from the heat, don't panic, it's a good thing! It means that the hair is being protected by product from the heat.

Here's a great trick: instead of opening the clamp of the iron to curl your hair, try actually wrapping the hair around the barrel of the iron while it's closed. Try it - you'll love it!

Another tip: When diffusing, try not to continuously scrunch your hair, this can help create frizziness or unnecessary lift.


Easy! Apply your favorite smoothing lotion, polishing milk, smoothing balm, or straightening silicone - there are so many names these days! When blow drying your hair, focus on getting the hair smooth and the ends polished. Remember that you will be using a flat iron to further straighten the hair, so don't over-dry it. After blow drying, apply a little serum to your hair, avoiding the root area.

IMPORTANT! Section your hair into four sections (ear-to-ear and from the center of the forehead to the back of the head). To iron the back right section, turn your head to the left and work with the lower back sections, moving up to the crown of the head. Always working with small sections, do the same with the left side. Then move to the front sections, keeping in mind that you can section off the bangs, leaving them for last.

Great Tip: As you flat iron the hair at the top of the head, take sections and wrap them in velcro rollers. This gives you the look of a great polished head of hair, with lift at the top of the head. Every woman looks great with a little body on the top, whether it's curly or straight.

Antonio Gonzales

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