By Catherine O'Neill, Allure magazine
The start of the new year is a time for self-improvement and the opportunity for a clean slate. What better way, then, to usher in a new you than with better hair? Come on, who doesn't wish their hair could be shinier, softer, fuller? Well, better hair isn't just a matter of a good haircut or great shampoo. It's also the right tools. We rounded up some of the best hairstylists in the business and asked them for their favorite tools-their blow-dryer, their brush, and the products they use the most. Take a look what these pros can't live without.
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Mark Townsend, celebrity hairstylist, Sally Hershberger Downtown in New York City
Valecta Paramount Paris TGR 3600. "I just discovered this dryer a year ago and I cannot live without it now. It has the option to turn the ionic function on or off, which is fantastic because when I want the hair to be shiny and sleek I turn the ionic on, but if I want lots of volume I turn it off. It also has adjustable heat settings and a cool button."
Spornette Porcupine Brushes. "These are mixed bristle round brushes. I've used them for all my blow outs for the past ten years, and some of them I think I've even had for that long, too-they last forever! The longer white plastic bristles pick up the hair from the scalp for volume and the shorter black natural bristles are for getting the hair sleek and shiny. It's the best of both worlds."
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Cream. "This is loaded with coconut and almond oils," says Townsend, who consults for Dove. "The cream smooths and keeps the hair frizz-free, giving it amazing shine and texture. It's like having a leave-in conditioner and styling product in one."
Garren, Garren New York salon
Ionic Twin Turbo 3800. "This is my favorite hair dryer because it will not burn the hair and prevents damage that other dryers may do."
Spornette 25 International Porcupine Oval. "It's a good all around choice for every type of hair." Garren New York Designing Spray Tonic. "I find I use this product a lot of the time because it's lightweight, alcohol free, and a great styling product that adds memory to the hair. Plus, it's versatile-you can use it on wet or dry hair."
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Rodney Cutler , celebrity hairstylist, Cutler Salons in New York City and Miami
Twin Turbo 3200. "This dryer boasts a huge amount of power. It also has a thin nozzle, which is critical for steering air direction, in turn helping to optimize styling time, achieve the right style you want, and to avoid fly-aways."
YS Park. "This is a flat brush that is similar to the traditional popular Mason Pearson brushes, but it has longer prongs, which is great for brushing and blow-drying with tension."
Redken Power Grip 03 Mattifying Hair Powder. "This product is genius-it creates maximum hold and volume, yet is so lightweight that it feels like there's nothing in your hair," says Cutler, who works for Redken. "The result is this larger-than-life texture that I could normally only create for my clients by layering in both a volumizing product and a hair spray. It's the perfect solution, whether you're trying to achieve beachy texture and separation, or build the base for a long-lasting updo, and yet it's easy to apply at home or on-the-go."
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Adir Abergel, celebrity hairstylist, Frédéric Fekkai Salon in Los Angeles
Elchim Hair Dryer. "I like it because it tends to blow hard air, which I prefer over many of the new tourmaline dryers, which blow softer air. The Elchim makes hair look fuller and sexier."
Ibiza Round Brush. "I think this is the best quality in boar bristle brushes. I love the combination of boar and nylon, which gives the hair shine and traction. I also like the cork handle because it makes the brush a lot lighter to handle."
Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray. "I love this product because it has the best memory and flexibility of any hair spray I've ever used."
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Sarah Potempa, Aussie celebrity stylist
HANAair Professional Blowdryer. "This blow-dryer is super lightweight and really quiet, and whether I'm using it on myself or a client, it's always fast and easy."
Mason Pearson. "The classic combination of boar and nylon bristles makes this the best styling brush ever!"
Aussie Anti-Frizz Cream. "This product does everything that I need to have gorgeous, shiny hair. I use it before curling, to get rid of frizz, or to make a super clean, shiny ponytail. I love that it is lightweight and water-based, which means defrizzing without weighing the hair down."
Tommy Buckett, Marie Robinson salon in New York City
Sedu Prive Dryer. "I love this-it dries hair in half the time and really changes how the hair feels afterwards."
Creative Brushes. "These have a ceramic core so as you're drying the hair you can also set it without any burning, which then means less damage and dry-out."
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. "Whether your hair needs to be washed or just needs a little texture, this stuff works for everything. I use it when I'm pinning the hair up, or just making it bigger. I feel it gives hair a really modern look."
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By Catherine O'Neill, Allure magazine