You know those people who say, "I don't do hair"? Well, that's me. I can barely put mine into a ponytail without it looking like amateur hour — seriously! There is, however, one styling talent I've developed as of late: Giving myself blowouts. That's right, I'm helpless when it comes to updos, but armed with Revlon's One-Step Volumizer and Hot Air Brush, my hair looks full and feels silky smooth in a matter of minutes. In case you're not familiar with this absolute wonder tool, it's an Amazon No. 1 bestseller for a reason, with nearly 18,000 perfect ratings to back it up. At just $40, it's far more economical than paying for a professional blowout, but it'll have your hair looking like a million bucks. Keep reading to see why I think it's deserving of my own five-star review, although, spoiler alert: I'd give it at least six stars if I could.
The genius of the Revlon Hot Air Brush lies in its 2-in-1 design. It looks like a brush on the outside, with its dual nylon pin and tufted bristles, but has an interior motor that emits heat through air vents, allowing it to operate like a blowdryer while you brush. If you're like me and have limited upper-body strength, having only one object to hold — rather than balancing a blowdryer in one hand and a brush in the other — makes the job so much easier. It also allows for better aim when it comes to directing the heat towards your hair, and since you're brushing and drying simultaneously, it cuts down on the amount of time it takes to give yourself a blow-out by a ton. What used to take me over 30 minutes now takes less than 15, the results are better than ever and I'm never going back!
For context, I have thin, naturally curly hair — and a lot of it. It also tangles at the drop of a hat, which is why, despite its positive reviews, I wasn't sure the Hot Air Brush would work with my hair type. I envisioned my tresses getting caught in its bristles, causing me to hastily turn it off and shove it in some cabinet, never to be used again. I'm happy to report that not only did this scenario not play out, it has quickly become my go-to hairstyling tool, and I use it multiple times a week.
A slight learning curve
As with most new gadgets, it took me a few tries before I felt like I had my Revlon Hot Air Brush technique down pat. During my first attempt, I didn't brush my hair sufficiently beforehand. This might work for someone who has relatively few knots, but if you're snarl-prone like me, I highly recommend giving your hair a once-over to remove tangles before getting started. The brush part of the Hot Air Brush is more effective at smoothing rather than detangling, so this extra step will make the process a lot easier.
I also made the mistake of not giving my hair enough time to dry — not that your hair should dry completely, but it shouldn't be sopping wet, either. Using the Hot Air Brush on hair that's too damp can cause heat damage, as the hair is more fragile when wet. I've found that using it on my hair when it's about 75 percent dry works well, and you can even use a regular blowdryer to speed things up if you're pressed for time.
Speaking of damage, you'll definitely want to apply a heat protectant, which provides a protective barrier and helps seal in moisture. The Hot Air Brush has two heat settings to choose from, so you can always opt for the lower one if styling damage is a concern. There's also a cool setting to help lock in your work once you're done styling.
The results are in
Once I got the hang of it, I realized the Revlon Hot Air Brush was the hairstyling tool I never knew I needed in my arsenal. Not only does it save me a ton of time, it makes my hair look like I just came from the salon, only I don't have to leave my house or shell out a lot of money. As someone whose hair gets frizzy just by hearing the word "humidity," I was especially amazed by how smooth my hair looked — and stayed — after being brushed and blown dry with this brilliant device.
If you're looking for more volume, its large, ovular design helps lift hair at the roots to provide a fuller effect, and it can also be used to give a slight curl to the ends. On the flip side, anyone looking to straighten their hair is in great hands with this tool. I primarily use it to straighten out my curls, which, again, are on the frizzier side. I much prefer the Hot Air Brush for this task to my old flat iron, which used to make my hair look limp and fried, due to the direct contact with heat. The Hot Air Brush does, in fact, get hot, but it never makes my strands feel like they're being singed like they did when being pressed between two piping hot pieces of metal! Plus, I'm able to achieve a sleeker look that still retains my hair's natural volume. For best results, I suggest working with small sections of hair at a time — that way, you'll have more control, and you'll be less likely to miss a spot and end up with those dreaded waves in the back.
Check out these photos showing my hair before, during and after being blown out by the Hot Air Brush — not too bad for a hairstyling novice, huh?!
All hair types welcome
While the Revlon Hot Air Brush has done wonders for my hair, not all tresses are the same. Luckily, many Amazon shoppers with all different hair types swear by it:
"Amazing tool for voluminous-looking hair!" wrote a five-star reviewer. "I’m someone who doesn’t experiment with hair products much due to the fear of damaging my already thinning hair. I was skeptical when I purchased this volumizer but was mind-blown when I tried it. My straight hair is almost always flat in the front, even when I use a hairdryer well. But this volumizer gave it the puffy look I was expecting, just like how hair stylists set your hair at the salon. I’ve never been able to do this by myself effectively before. So 10/10!"
"This dryer is revolutionary," raved another fan. "I have natural kinky hair and this dryer was not even phased — it glided through my hair with such ease and only needed 2-3 glides to be completely dry. 10/10 highly recommend this product if you are looking for a blow-out look."
"I was skeptical when I bought it because I have very thick, 4C hair," said one happy shopper. "This worked like a charm. Dried my hair in a fraction of the time...Very minimal breakage and pulling. I used the medium setting and it worked great."
"Nothing I bought helped my wild and frizzy gray hair...that is till I bought the Revlon One-Step Volumizer!" proclaimed an enthusiastic customer. "I was also looking at another product that was 2x as expensive. I am glad I bought the less expensive Revlon. It just plain works. One of the features I like the most is the cool setting...I wait until my hair is 70 percent dry, then start using on hot and finish on cool. Amazing. If you are thinking of buying...do it."
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.