Using hot tools should be like test-driving a Ferrari: luxurious, impressive, and exhilarating. (Hey, you’re driving some high-performance tech here.) Even though finding the most outstanding hot tools to come out this year might seem like a lofty goal, the Allure team dedicated months to the endeavor — and succeeded.
We subjected our curls and waves to high temperatures, stressed fine strands with tugs and pulls, and occasionally filled our homes with the scent of singed hair. We observed everything from the tools’ obvious features and overall efficacy to their weight and hand-feel (you know, the sensory satisfaction you have from wielding the wand, dryer, or iron in your hands).
The result was this list of best-in-class hair tools — innovations that stand out in the hair space and beyond. We found a multitasker that doubles as a curling wand and a straightener, a flatiron that can take on thick, voluminous hair in a timely manner, and a styler that makes literal and figurative waves. Even better: Many of these picks skip the high price tag without skimping on quality.
Once you’re done with these hot-tool winners, be sure to check out the rest of the categories in our 2022 Best of Beauty Awards.
Best of Beauty Awards 2022: Hot Tools
Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every single time-saving blow-dryer, curl-loving diffuser, and more:
Drybar Reserve 3-in-1 Interchangeable Blow-Dryer
Why it won: Drybar Reserve 3-in-1 Interchangeable Blow-Dryer transforms from a volumizing, oval-brush blow-dryer to a smoothing, paddle-brush blow-dryer to a concentrated blow-dryer faster than you can say, “Presto changeo!” Just swap out the attachment head. One unexpected bonus? The extra-long cord, which site director Sam Escobar says they now wish came standard on every hot tool.
Best Diffuser Attachment
Ceremonia Diffuser de Rizos
Why it won: Curl maintenance is a round-the-clock job, which is why it’s so brilliant that the Ceremonia Diffuser de Rizos (which fits most standard hair-dryers) is completely collapsible and, therefore, portable. Position it near your roots for extra definition.
Best Brush Dryer
Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus
Why it won: The original Revlon blowout brush was a viral hit for its ability to dry and volumize hair simultaneously. The new Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus does the same, with a slightly smaller brush head (better for those with shorter hair or seeking extra volume) and a slimmer handle that’s easier to grip.
Best Brush Dryer
T3 Edge Smooth & Styling Brush
Why it won: Since nothing says “I flatironed my hair” like having pin-straight ends, there are heated plates along the beveled edges of the T3 Edge Smooth & Styling Brush that allow you to achieve a softer, turned-under look when it’s smoothing you’re after. We also love this tool for laying down baby hairs and smoothing frizz.
GHD Original Styler
Why it won: With plates that maintain an even temperature of exactly 365 degrees Fahrenheit (leaving hair less damaged, smoother, and shinier), we’re not ashamed to say the GHD Original Styler is among the more stable things in our lives right now.
GHD Max Styler
Why it won: If the diameter of your ponytail has ever caused an elastic to snap or you can unironically refer to the hair on your head as a “mane,” you’re probably the perfect candidate for the GHD Max Styler. The extra-wide plates were made with long, thick, and curly hair in mind.
Best Curling Iron
Chi Air Setter 2-in-1 Flat Iron and Curler
Why it won: The spork of beauty tools, the CHI Air Setter 2-In-1 Flat Iron & Curler has a large-barrel that can also be used as a flatiron. However you use it, it magically heats to the last temperature at which you set it — and fast.
Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion WavePress Ceramic Deep Waver
Why it won: Sandwich sections of your hair between the interlocking barrels of the Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion WavePress Ceramic Deep Waver, then remove to reveal fresh-from-the-beach bends. (Alright, you got us: it’s basically a hair-crimper for grown-ups.)
Trademark Beauty Sunny Styler
Why it won: Frankenstein together a curling iron, flatiron, and the cool-shot button on a blow-dryer, and you’ll end up with the Trademark Beauty Sunny Styler, equipped with a venting system that helps lock in your style the moment you create it.
Like what you see from Allure‘s Best of Beauty Awards?