If you're lucky enough to have a flowing mane of hair, yet unfortunate enough to not know what to do with it, it's likely that a hair taming device, of some sort, will wind up on your Christmas wish list. We make it our business to stay abreast of the latest hair gadgets so that we can achieve salon-standard looks without breaking the bank ... as much as we may dream of thrice-weekly, professional blow-dries, our wallets seem to prefer messy buns. What's more, we don't always have time for all that effort. Thankfully, hair tools have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, so you no longer have to fork out major money for something that actually works, or risk third-degree burns with your household iron (yes, that' not a birthmark, it's a WOUND, okay?). Below, we round up the tools and tricks we've tried in 2015, as well as some new releases, just in time for Santy.
Let's get the most expensive option out of the way first; the ghd Platinum. Yes, ghd has always burned a hole in our pocket but above all others in their line, this is well worth the dosh. Why? It's heat that doesn't damage your hair; otherwise known as "the hair-straighteners' dream". We reviewed it in greater detail over yonder but trust us; your hair will thank you for this one. And don't forget, a ghd isn't just for straightening; hair stylists have long been creating bouncy looks with this multi-purpose tool, and you just need a little practice to get the hang of it. €215.
Next up, something we cannot speak highly enough of: the InStyler. Nope, it won't protect your hair to the same standard as the ghd Platinum, above, but it's foolproof, and sometimes we could certainly do with a dose of that. Invest in a decent heat protection spray and you're covered. Whether you want to keep your locks sleek with a gentle bend at the ends (see Rachel in Friends, circa season 5) or you want that curly blow-dry look without having to haul ass to the nearest salon, this works WONDERS. Simply wrap your hair around the barrel - watch out for your fingers because they will burn if you're not careful - and then close it down. The spinning barrel does all of the hard work for you and when you let it loose you've got the most perfect, bouncy curls. Brush them out and spray them with some flexible hold hairspray for lasting impact. What we really love about the InStyler, though, is that your curls won't seem too carefully crafted; it's natural and not at all "debsy", which is, like, so not who we are ... Prices from €129.99.
Remington Silk Ceramic Heated Rollers
For something a little old school and different, our Jeanne Sutton is a fan of heated rollers. Here's her mini review:
"As someone with a great love of 1980s movies such as Romancing The Stone and Moonstruck, I have always wanted BIG hair. And as someone with straight, mousey brown hair, the great quest of my life has mostly gone unfulfilled. Until now ... This Christmas I've decided to add heated rollers to my pre-night out ritual and they are oh-so-fun! The Remington Silk Ceramic Heated Rollers clock in at €69.99, which is far less than any premium wand on the market, and there's less chance of accidentally burning your chin. Due to the variety in roller sizes, you end up with natural-looking falling waves, as opposed to a limp Irish dancing wig look. The process of using heated rollers can be timely, but it's fun and feels fabulously retro. The other cool thing is that there's also way less chance of you missing swathes of hair. Definitely worth a gander if you want to embrace the casino movie mistress look. Or you just want to add volume to your hair without it looking over-styled.
Remington Curl Revolution
In terms of the latest product to hit the market, we're hella impressed with Remington's 'The Curl Revolution', which puts the days of trying to wrap your hair around your tongs well behind you; you could happily day dream about Jamie Dornan while this gets to work, requiring, as it does, zero brain power. But what's really interesting about this innovation is that the wand also rotates in different directions to create both curl orientations - curl in the same direction for a more uniform, polished look; curl in different directions for a more natural look. For those in a rush, it's hot to trot in just 15 seconds. €129.99
Babyliss New Big Hair Spinning Brush
Finally, in our quest for bigger, better, sexier hair, we've also got our eye on the Babyliss New Big Hair Spinning Brush from Boots (?63.99). Especially handy for those with shorter hair, it creates volume, enhances shine and adds lift from the root, as opposed to creating actual curls. Again, like the InStyler (but at a lower price) it rotates and smoothes through your hair to add body and movement with relative ease. This gets definitely our vote for women in a rush who need to blast off their hair with the dryer while the Babyliss does the hard work. Your hair will look as though you've had a professional blow-dry and you'll be smug in the knowledge that you haven't ... bliss!
We have to also give an honourable mention to KENT Salon Pro Brushes. We spend so much on hair tools when perhaps the first place we should start investing is a decent set of hairbrushes. The oldest brush company in the world, KENT, employ their in-house designers and craftsmen to research, build, test and produce an ergonomically designed range of bespoke, professional hairbrushes that are sold directly to salons (where you'll have to go to buy them!). Every characteristic and design detail is functional and with reason: the durable, specially-developed ceramic coating of the "Ceramic" range of brushes has the capability to heat up quickly enabling these brushes to distribute heat more evenly and hold heat for longer, resulting in faster blow-drying and quicker, more accurate styling. €26-?38 in salons nationwide or from shampoo.ie.