Hot air brushes are all the rage for hair lovers this year. Part hair dryer, part hair brush, they’re fast winning our hearts with its ability to style our dyed tresses using ONLY.ONE.HAND. But which is the best hot air brush for our delicate, coloured hair?
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Why do I need a hot air brush?
Hot air brushes are kinder to your hair than your trusty straighteners because they don’t clamp it between two hot plates that heat and damage your hair. They’re also extremely versatile.
We’ve never really got the hang of holding our hair dryer with one hand and styling with a hair brush in the other hand, who has? There’s a reason hairdressers are trained to do it. A hot air brush for coloured hair is the answer to arm-ache, not being able to see the back of your head and working out your left from your right on a daily basis.
Hot air brushes won’t get your hair poker straight as most of the brushes are round, but they are absolutely fantastic at smoothing or adding gentle curls or waves to your hair.
How does a hot air brush work?
Hot air brushes are a plug-in heat styling tool of dreams. These clever little marvels work by blowing hot air through a vented barrel to style your coloured hair while you brush it dry.
They’re not designed to replace your regular dryer – you’ll still need to use your hair dryer to get 80% of the wetness out of your hair. Most have a cool setting that can be used to seal the style too.
And of course you need a hair heat protection spray like the ones we recommend here Best hair heat protection sprays your coloured hair can’t live without.
“For volume, start with your hair slightly damp. Section your hair and work the brush upwards, from your roots to your ends.”~ Elena Rossi, Hair Stylist
Pros of the hot air brush.
- Extremely versatile (for smooth, curly, short or long hair)
- It gives gives great volume, unlike straighteners
- It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- It only takes one hand! Your arms won’t get so tired.
- It doesn’t heat up your hair or have as much contact as straighteners so it’s less damaging.
- Great for travelling – you can just air dry your hair and finish off with one heat styling tool.
- Cool air setting to seal your colour in and prevent fade.
Cons of the hot hair brush.
- They’re not as good as straighteners for making poker straight hair, but we’re all about waves now anyway.
What type of hot air brush do I need?
There are rotating and non-rotating types of hot air brushes available – these are the ones that are kindest to our coloured hair.
There are also ceramic, paddle brush dryers but these work much the same as straighteners with your hair touching a ceramic hot plate. Not the best for coloured hair but no worse than straighteners.
Rotating ones do as they say so your wrist has even less work to do! They’re often multi-directional too which really adds the volume.
Choose a large-sized barrel (2” +) for medium to long hair and smaller barrels (1 or 1.5”) for shorter hair or if you want to create curls. Some hot air brushes come with interchangeable brush heads of various sizes.
Are they as good as a salon blow dry?
Of course, a professional blow dry is always the best for giving you a lift and making you feel and look fabulous – with minimal effort. But for styling your coloured hair at home then you can’t beat a hot air brush for bounce, volume and shine.
All you need to know now is, which one is the kindest to coloured hair. That’s why we’re here!
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Best hot air brush for coloured hair at a glance.
Struggling to choose? Check out our in-depth review for two of the best hot air brushes on the list – Dyson Airwrap™ styler vs ghd Glide | Head to Head.
The best for everyday use.
Beautiful design and great results of the smoothes, silkiest hair from those clever engineers at Dyson. However, it’s the fact that this uses air and not heating elements to give us salon-worthy results that makes this our best hot air brush for coloured hair. Read on!
The BaByliss Big Hair range is all about bounce and volume. This one is middle of the range and comes at a very affordable price. IT ROTATES. Yes, this is a rotating hot air brush which means it saves your wrists from aching too.
It takes a while to get used to the rotating setting! But once you get the hang of it, the results are fab.
The Big Hair brush can be rotated in a clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation, and even with no rotation at all. It has three settings – cool, warm and hot – and all functions are easily operated with your thumb while using the brush.
A good all rounder.
The 50mm barrel is ideal for hair from just above shoulder length to very long length hair, you’ll need to grab the smaller barrel version, the BaByliss Rotating Styler 42mm if your hair’s shorter.
It certainly gave us great volume and smooth tresses, eliminating any frizz and flyaways and delivers plenty of shine to even the dullest, flattest hair types.
Some reviewers report that their hair gets caught in the barrel because of the rotating mechanism so if you have coarse hair that’s prone to breakage it might be better to choose a different type of brush without the rotating aspect.
But overall, it’s a brilliant buy if you’re just starting out your hot air brush journey to fabulous coloured hair.
- Big on volume
- Big on shine
- Cost effective
- Rotating brush
- Rotating aspect takes some getting used to
- Hair can get caught up
BEST FOR: Budget
One from the hairdressing duo we trust, this is a brush and volumizer that does what it says on the box.
It’s an oval shaped brush with a flat side to smooth your hair and add a little volume, while the curved side gives a lotta volume and curls the ends to give a flirty flick.
Bristles that condition your hair.
This one makes the best hot air brushes for coloured hair list for its activated charcoal bristles with comfortable tips to softly detangle hair and with a purifying effect. So not only is the dryer gentle on your hair, but the brush is too.
It has a 3 heat, 2 speed settings and the all important cool setting that stops our colour being burnt to bits. The only downside is that it’s a bit bulky and heavier than other ones on the list.
The results? Volume, and loads of it. The brush really helps to lift and sculpt out hair at the roots. We used this on medium to thick hair so used the hottest setting but there were no frizz or flyaways to report. And hair was shiny as well as smooth.
- Bristle made of caring charcoal so doesn’t snag your hair
- Great for volume
- Good speed and heat settings
- Heavier than others
BEST FOR: Volume.
From the brand that brought you the best vacuum cleaners and without a doubt, the best hair dryer, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, behold…the Dyson Airwrap styler. Will this be the best for coloured hair?
Like the Supersonic, The AirWrap uses the same tiny but powerful motor as the hair dryer, which has been engineered within an inch of its life to be magically powerful yet quiet.
Stylish design for the best hair styling.
The motor creates the ‘Coanda effect’ which means instead of heat, it uses a jet flow of air that attracts your hair to the barrel, wrapping it around to create amazing results.
The idea is that the air flow mimics a hair stylist’s blow-drying technique, directing air down the hair and creating the style, relying on air rather than extreme heat – working wonders for colour treated hair.
Because it’s so powerful, it also does a really great job of drying your hair, so we only had to air dry ours for 10 mins or so before using it.
Goodbye all other styling tools.
It’s pricey, but it also comes with a very generous six, yes six attachments that will help you to create anything from beach waves, to curls. It also does an incredibly good job at straightening hair compared to others on our best hot air dryers list.
Since we’ve had this, we haven’t touched our straighteners and it’s easily less damaging than using your hair dryer and straighteners every day. It’s worth the investment to look after your coloured hair and keep that colour from fading.
- It uses air, not heating elements (although it does get very hot!)
- It comes with enough attachments to make it replace your hair dryer, curling tongs AND straighteners.
- It’s quieter than others in this list.
- Great for everyday use as it’s not as damaging.
- It’s Dyson, so the quality is evident from when you first get it out of the box.
BEST FOR: Everyday use.
Revlon’s One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer is a nifty brush with the power of a dryer and the volume of a styler. The brush has combination bristles and an oval design so you get smooth, tangle-free and high volume hair in no time.
The one-step hair dryer has built-in ionic technology and a ceramic surface that distributes the heat evenly – ensuring that the brush never gets too hot for your coloured hair.
A hot air styler for fine hair.
This is a brilliant brush for finer hair. We sectioned our hair as instructed and had it dry and silky in 15 minutes flat. In fact, we needn’t have dried our hair beforehand, it could probably be used from wet (remember to use heat protection product!)..
You have to make sure that the handle doesn’t get overheated during your styling session. Also, the high-powered brush might feel too noisy. But now we’re being picky. This is a great hot air styler for the price and the reviews are excellent.
- Adjustable heat setting with curling options.
- Mixed bristle design is ideal for all hair types.
- Easy to use.
- Very affordable.
- Some people might find it noisy.
- Can get quite hot to touch.
BEST FOR: Fine hair
The ghd Glide Brush is from those masterful hair heat experts at ghd. Queens of the straightening irons, they’ve developed this award-winning marvel that takes everything that works about their straighteners and packs it into a brush.
Like their infamous, award-winning straighteners, it has ceramic technology with ioniser heats up the brush consistently to the optimum styling temperature of 185ºC for healthier looking coloured hair.
Glides through hair to eliminate frizz.
The brush also contains ions that eliminate frizz so your hair is smoothed in just a few quick strokes. We love it for looking just like a brush and making the whole blow drying experience seem so easy.
The ghd Glide Brush doesn’t straighten our hair as well as straighteners, but hot air brushes don’t tend to anyway. They are MUCH easier than straighteners to use, however, particularly on the back of your hair, so they make the best hot air brushes list for that.
To give you extra peace of mind, it also has the automatic sleep mode which switches off after 60 minutes of non-use. Hurrah!
BEST FOR: Easy use.
THE BEST FOR EVERYDAY USE.
Beautiful design and great results of the smoothest, silkiest hair from those clever engineers at Dyson. However, it’s the fact that this uses air and not heating elements to give us salon-worthy results that makes this our best hot air brush for coloured hair. Buy it now!