Thursday, 30 December 2010

The 4 Must-Have Hair Tools for Babes on a Budget!

The 4 Must-Have Hair Tools for Babes on a Budget!
Not everyone has the extra cash to spend on every single kind of curling iron, crimper, waver, straightener, gel, pomade, spray, brush, comb out there. So what should you definitely invest in to get those luscious locks?

In this article, I explore the hair styling tools (products for another day!) that will tease your tresses into submission!

1. Boar-Bristled Barrel Brush

As a rule, one should only ever brush your hair when absolutely necessary. Brushing hair can lead to breakage, which can hinder even the best intentions to grow and maintain beautiful healthy hair. A wide-toothed comb can be your best friend when combing out wet hair.

However, there is one brush that could prove vital to your arsenal of hair tools: A boar-bristled barrel brush.

This type of brush is great for several things: Curling (depending on the size of course), teasing and smoothing. Of course, there are special brushes for each of these things but with a little ingenuity, you can use this sort of bristled brush for anything. 

It isn't great for combing out tangles, but I'm assuming everyone reading this already has their own hair brush.
Teasing with this type of brush is actually a breeze. By bringing the bristles close to the hair to be teased and then firmly brush the hair downwards, you can have super teased hair in just two strokes and of course, very little damage! 

There are of course special smoothing brushes, but because of the bristles of this brush, you can gently use it to smooth out your hair. Spraying a little bit of hair-spray on the brush it self and then running it over the surface of your hair will give you that sleek, shiny, red-carpet-ready finish.

2. Velcro Rollers

These types of rollers have tiny teeth that cling to your hair and so don't require any fussy clips to keep on your hair. 
They truly are my go-to tool for everyday hair. When I want a little bit of oomph to 2nd day hair or even my 90% dry after-shower hair, I stick the top half of my hair in large velcro rollers and within 10 minutes while I put on my makeup, clothes, etc. I have sexy, big hair without any teasing necessary. A quick mist of hairspray and I'm basically set.

Velcro rollers are relatively cheap and can come in a variety of different sizes. They can be found in beauty supply stores. I got mine from the drug store, and they're by Goody and came in different sizes that stacked within each other. The small ones can give you tight curls if left in your hair for long enough (blast with heat from a hair dryer and a spritz of hairspray for staying power, wait to cool before removing) and the larger ones give you wonderful volume. Like I said, before, they cling to your hair pretty well, (so be careful when removing them! Don't just rip them out!) but if you need a little help, you can always turn to your trusty...

3. Bobby Pins

Oh Bobby Pins. How I love thee. They pin stray locks away from your face, are great for up-dos, keep your velcro rollers in place...they're cheap...How could you not love them? If you're not convinced, I've got just two words for you: Pin Curls

This no-heat curling technique can be achieved by taking sections of your 80-90% dry hair (the bigger the sections the bigger/loser the curl, but don't get too big a section that you won't be able to pin it down), wrapping it around two fingers, pulling it off your fingers but keeping the curl you just created and slowly curling your hair up towards your scalp. Think of it like trying to roll your hair on an invisible roller (which is why a small, flat section is easier to work with). Then, when it's at your scalp, just pin it across your scalp with two bobby pins creating an X shape. It should look like an O with a cross over top. Work from top to bottom. When dry, just take out your bobby pins, and you can either brush it out to get that 1950's look or leave it as is (though your curls may need some taming!)

This technique is great for recreating 1940's-1960's hairstyles. Pin curling is actually what they used to do back in the day before they had all the fancy gadgets we're blessed with. Which brings us to the final item on our list:

4. A Good Hair Straightener

"Not a curling iron?" I hear you cry.

Nope. For the ultimate jack-of-all-trades tool, a hair straightener will quickly become your best friend. Used the right way, a hair straightener can straighten, curl, crimp and wave your tresses. That's right, that's one tool that can completely change the way your hair looks from one moment to the next.

What to look for when buying one:
Not all hair straighteners were made equal and it's frustrating to find that you've just dropped $100.00 on something that won't quite do all the things you want. So first off, make sure it's not too wide. A 1.5 inch wide hair straightener is a good size. Another thing to look for is that it should have temperature/heat settings.
All good hair straighteners should have this. Why? Everyone has different hair. It would be bad to have a straightener whose only heat setting is so low it doesn't do its job, and even worse when its only heat setting is so high, it burns your hair. As you can see from the image above of my own hair straightener, I have heat settings from 170F all the way up to 420F. Always go from low to high. Start with a lower heat setting, and if it doesn't work, go a step up. Never use more heat then you absolutely have to and always use a heat protectant!

Make sure it glides through your hair easily and doesn't snag. When shopping for this straightener, I actually took it out of its box (make sure the store you're at allows this, if not you should definitely ask for assistance!) and ran it through my hair a few times. No snags. If it snags, put it down, walk away. You don't want it pulling unnecessarily at your hair.

The last and possibly most important thing to look for in a hair straightener are curved edges. Look at the image above of my hair straightener (I can't tell you the brand because it's totally rubbed off, but I did get it for $75.00 from Winners) and you'll notice it's got rounded edges. This edge is what gives you the ability to curl, your hair.

And that's it! Your 4 tools to perfect hair everyday! If you've got any more suggestions for hair tools that you can't live without, leave it in the comments below! Look out for the upcoming article on great Hair Products, for more tips and tricks!

Have a good one!


Images: Hair Brush 1 and Hair Brush 2 and
All other images and editing on images done by xNTA

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At 24 January 2011 at 19:00 , Blogger Kendra said...

I definitely agree with all of these! I wish my own straightener was this cute! I am your newest follower, btw :)


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