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What Is a Hot Air Brush?

By R. Wood
Updated May 21, 2024
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A hot air brush is a hair styling tool that combines heat with combing or brushing ability. Most models are electric, but they can sometimes also be battery powered. In either case, the basic functionality is usually about the same: hot air blows through the central brush cylinder, usually at a designated speed and intensity, while the outer casing works as a brush. This allows people to get the effects of a blow dryer and a hairbrush in one. There are usually many different models to choose from. The most common is usually made from chrome or other metal, and is generally best for people with normal and healthy hair. Ceramic models are often thought to be higher quality, in part because of how they’re able to more evenly distribute heat. They’re normally more expensive, but are often a better choice for people with fine hair or hair that’s particularly susceptible to damage from heat and styling.

Basic Concept and Main Benefits

As far as styling tools go, the hot air brush is usually pretty easy to conceptualize and understand. In essence, they normally look like a thick-handled hairbrush with a power cord attached, or at least a set on controls on the handle. They can be flat or rounded, though rounded options tend to be most common. The brush itself is normally made up of brush bristles on a barrel that has vents where the hot air is pushed through. The barrel typically is attached to a handle; most handles have specialized grips to give users more control along with normally as knobs or buttons that set things like air temperature and blowing speed.

Most people use hair brushes from time to time, and many also use hot air styling tools. Air brushes often allow people to achieve styles faster and more easily than they would if they had to use a brush and a blow dryer simultaneously — and it can all often be done with just one hand.

Chrome Models

One of the most popular styles is made of chrome. This sort of brush typically has a metallic barrel with a slightly rough surface. The rough surface can cause snags and break the hair. These are generally cheaper and take longer to heat up and cool down. They usually are recommended for users with healthy and undamaged hair, and may not be suitable for use every day without risking damage.

Ceramic Brushes

Another option is made primarily of ceramic. It has a smoother finish that reduces overheating and friction on the hair. The more advanced models have ionic heating. This type of heating conditions the hair and can prevent scorching using charged ionic particles that are designed to interact with the hair. These types of hair brushes usually are more expensive, but normally also have a longer life and may get better results.

Bristle Styles

The bristles on hot air brushes are typically made of either nylon or boar hair. Boar hair bristles are thought to cause less damage to the hair, but they’re often a lot more expensive. Nylon bristles can be tipped with rubber or plastic to make them more suitable to heat-centric applications, and to more closely approximate the gentleness of more natural fibers.

Things to Consider When Purchasing

There are a couple of key things people might want to consider when looking to purchase this sort of tool. Whether the brush has adjustable heat settings is one example. If a person has thick hair, a brush with a higher temperature limit could be a better choice. A person usually should choose a lower temperature if he or she has fine and limp hair, as higher temperatures can cause breakage. Hair that is damp versus soaking wet might also require a different temperature, and flexibility can be really helpful in this regard.

The barrel size is also something a person might want to consider. A hot air brush with a wider barrel will cover larger areas at a time. The larger barrels typically are best used with long hair or for creating waves. Also, there are barrels that have removable bristles, which allow a person to choose different bristle types for different situations.

Popular Companion Products

People who use these sorts of styling tools every day often notice damage to the hair over time, thought there are often products and treatments that can prevent this, or at least reduce its seriousness. Protective sprays, for instance, can be used to protect hair from heat damage by sealing moisture into the hair and blocking the heat. This typically will help with frizzy or flyaway hair. Balms, creams, and leave-in conditioners can work the same way.

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