5 Tools & Products Stylists Wish You Were Using

by Taylor Fuller

I am guilty of going through hair products like it's my job. I hear that something will "eliminate frizz" and leave me with "long, mermaid-like hair," and I immediately head to the drugstore. Guess what? They never work. The hair tools and products hairstylists wished you used at home, instead, are pretty easy to track down, though — if you take a second to ask. So kick your current stuff to the curb, and give yourself some expert recommended (and much deserved) hair upgrades.

I turned to Taylor Brock, expert stylist at Butterfly Studio Salon in NYC, for some answers, "When I think drugstore products, I think short-term use. Value does not reflect quality. In the long run, using these products are working against your hair and its potential. The reasons why salons provide haircare and tools is for your benefit."

I instantly thought to myself, "I can't afford that stuff!" But, Brock said, "It’s protecting the investment... You only get one mane," and that really made me think. I spend so much money actually getting my hair cut and colored, and I'm only ruining it by using low quality products that are cheap but promise you the world. I asked Brock to help me out, and give me some suggestions on the best tools and products that will keep my hair looking fresh in between salon appointments.

1. Always Add A Heat Protectant To Hair

Don't forget to put on a heat protectant before you begin styling. Brock said, "I wish it were possible to have your thermal protectant talk to your iron and tell it to power on only after it was used (or could be part of the technology to physically power on your iron) because it's that important."

Kerastase Resistance Fibre Architecte, $19, Amazon

Kèrastase Fiber Architect acts as a Bandaid, which leaves hair smooth and shiny. The formula works by wrapping itself around the areas of heat damaged hair with breakage, recreating structure and smoothing out your hair's surface.

Kerastase Discipline Kératine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk, $36, Amazon

If you're interested in finding a product that improves hair over time, then use anything from the Thermique line. It will help you manage your hair and the morpho-keratine will add a suppleness and glazed-like finish to your look.

2. When It Comes To Your Blow Dryer, Investing Is Worth It

Parlux PAR4014 Professional 3800 Ionic Dryer, $153, Amazon

Brock told me, "When it comes to blow dryers, making the plunge will make your styling efforts more efficient and successful, making hair maintenance much easier in the long run." See what your hairstylist is using, and ask them for a recommendation. You may have to spend a few hundred dollars, but it's worth it. And while the sticker price may scare you, you'll be able to achieve salon quality hair at home without damaging it. Think of it as an investment for beautiful locks.

...But If You Don't Want To Splurge, You Can Still Find High Quality Options

BaBylissPRO Ceramix Extreme Dryer, $60, Amazon

Some product ranges have affordable options and professional results. The BaByliss line has something for everyone. The 2000-watt dryer produces gentle, infrared heat that protects hair from damage (you still need to use a heat protectant!). It comes with a micro concentrator nozzle, so you can control the air flow of the dryer, and get salon results at home.

3. Ceramic Hair Tools Are Always Better

ghd Red Gloss Styler Ceramic Iron, $140, Amazon

"Hot tools are all about how they hold the heat. Ceramic is always better," Brock said. "It keeps consistency with the heat, in addition to being more gentle on your hair, equaling more conditioned results." This iron is great for straightening and curling hair. It comes with a two-year warranty and automatic shut off sleep mode (which activates after 30 minutes).

Hot Tools 1-1/4" Ceramic Titanium Spring Iron, $32, Amazon

Hot Tools (the brand) makes a great cheaper option for irons. Their curling irons are high quality and the options are endless. This one is made of ceramic, and it reaches up 428 degrees. It heats up quickly and maintains constant, even heat — ensuring you'll be left with curls that will hold long after you've styled your hair.

Olivia Garden Nano Thermic Ceramic Ion Brush, $21, Amazon

When you're blow drying your hair you need a good hair brush that will eliminate frizz and flyaways. This ceramic ion brush will give you that just cut and dried look you think you can only get at the salon. It heats up fast and retains heat, locking in your style and adding more shine. Plus, it's extra large vents reduce drying time, something that everyone likes to hear.

4. Use Products And Tools That Will Help Your Hair

YS Park Large Diffuser, $29, Amazon

Brock told me that blow drying can be more damaging than an iron. "They're (irons) not much hotter than most blow dryers, and usually the damage a stylist sees from your DIY routine at home is from a blow dryer." To manage the heat from your blow dryer, you can try using a metal mesh diffuser. The fabric is made of silver and titanium particles. They heat up and retain the heat while turning the harsh blast from the dryer into a manageable diffused heat that will leave you with less damage.

5. Choose The Right Hair Brush

Mason Pearson Junior Hair Brush, $170, Amazon

You may be looking at that price and thinking, "Really? You wan't me to spend almost $200 on a hair brush." But hear me out. I know people who have had their Mason Pearson brushes for 15 years. That's how incredible the boars hair and nylon brush is. It doesn't cause split ends, and it won't irritate your scalp. Plus, it comes with a hair brush cleaner to ensure it will last you for years. Your hair will feel softer and look shinier with continued use.

...But Remember You Can Always Find High Quality Alternatives

Denman Large Natural Bristle W/ Nylon, $17, Amazon

Okay, I get it, not everyone can fork over $170 for a hair brush. That's okay because there is an alternative that is a fraction of the price and still really good quality. This brush is made of a natural bristle and nylon quill combination that is good for conditioning hair and leaving it soft. The lightweight design is extra helpful for control when brushing tangled hair.

Images: Fotolia (1), Amazon (10)

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