Style

The $18 Drugstore Hair Tool I Swear By

The Best Hot Air Brush (For Only $18)

When I was in high school, I fell in love. Not with a person. With a hair tool…

A hot air brush is essentially what you’d get if a round brush and a hairdryer had a baby. I’ve never been able to master that whole holding-a-round-brush-and-blow-dryer-at-the-same-time thing necessary for creating blow-outs at home. But this little tool — which blows hot air — cuts out the middle man. With a tiny bit of practice, you can get a smooth, professional-looking blow out at home.

For the past 20 years, it has been my savior for weddings, first dates, interviews, and everyday. I use this one, which typically retails for $18. But they also make fancy versions, if you’re into that kinda thing.

We first posted about this one million years ago, but have gotten requests for a tutorial. So, here’s how to use it:

The Best Hot Air Brush (For Only $18)

Start with towel-dried hair. For best results, I like my hair to be in a place where it’s definitely still wet, but well past the point of dripping.

The Best Hot Air Brush (For Only $18)

Gather the top half of your hair and secure it on top of your head. (I use one of these clips because it’s easy to secure with one hand and makes me feel more legit. But you can also use a soft scrunchy or any other plastic hair clip. Just avoid elastics, which can cause breakage.)

How to Use a Hot Air Brush

Begin drying the bottom portion of your hair, one section at a time. I gather two-inch-ish sections — you want to make sure the entire piece is getting exposed to the heat, but also that you’re covering enough so that you can dry your whole head in a reasonable amount of time. Start at the roots and move the brush downward, as if you were brushing your hair super slowly. You want to (gently) pull the hair a little bit taut with one hand as you brush it with the other — this is key to create smoothness.

How to Use a Hot Air Brush

Once the bottom half of your hair is dry, unclip the top portion and dry it in the same way, going section by section. I’ll hold these sections straight outward as I brush, to create more volume. If you want a sleeker look, then continue to brush them straight down.

How to Use a Hot Air Brush

At the bottom of each section, turn the brush upwards for one full rotation, which lends a bit of smoothness to the tips. You don’t need to wrap it around and around (and risk creating a tangle of doom) — just once around the brush will do.

The Best Hot Air Brush

When I’m almost done, I’ll concentrate on the topmost section of hair, on the crown of my head. Hold the hair straight up as you brush, again to help create volume.

The Best Hot Air Brush

That’s it! The entire thing takes me around 10 to 15 minutes. People ask ALL THE TIME if I’ve gotten a blow out, and I am happy to report that I have no special skills. It’s all just because of this magical tool.

Do you have any hair tools or tips you can’t live without? Would love to hear.

P.S. The one beauty product I always finish and more hair tutorials, including a braided top bun and three tricks for parting your hair.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)

  1. YES! Why don’t more people talk about hot air brushes? I can’t even find them at Target and they are game changing. I recently bought a new one after years of going without and it seriously makes a huge difference in my weekly schedule. They are also amazing at refreshing old hair. Just work in some dry shampoo, flip your head over and give it a few runs through and you’re good!

  2. Jean says...

    Great tutorial! I swear by the John Frieda version on my medium length, very thick, VERY heavy straight hair. This is the only thing that makes my hair look nice with me doing it. Absolute lifesaver.

    Can I just say that I aspire to look half as sexy as Caroline does the next time I do this? I’m going to need that robe…

  3. rach says...

    I’m concerned to use this, only because my hair reacts really oddly to soft cloth like bristle hair brushes. gets super frizzy! id be willing to give it a try!

  4. Gloria says...

    YES! I’ve used one of these for years and I always get compliments on my hair the next day.

  5. Sc says...

    I bought this after reading, and the first thing my friend said when she saw me was “holy shit your hair looks great”. I am SO GLAD I BOUGHT THIS!!! As someone who is notoriously bad with hair styling this has by far been the easiest tool to use. Thank u COJ!

  6. -g- says...

    I just moved to Paris and upon learning that my American hair dryer isn’t compatible here (I know, rookie mistake) I’ve been scouring the stores for a European equivalent and all I’ve seen EVERYWHERE are these brushes! I didn’t get it. But now I do! And I want in!

  7. Kelli Fletcher says...

    I’m going to need a link to that robe (probably buried in the comments above…) but please let me know! K, thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s vintage, thank you! xoxo

  8. Ashby says...

    I bought the John Frieda airbrush after a CoJ article a few years ago, as it looks like a few other people did too. I always liked it and found it to help “polish off” my hair when it was almost completely air dried, but it didn’t ever *blow* my mind because it turns out I wasn’t really using it correctly…. I tried using it last night with the tutorial that Caroline posted above and I am AMAZED. So much better results than just trying to randomly put it around and under all my hair with no strategy… It definitely took 20 full minutes to do, BUT I think I will be able to go an extra day without washing because there is none of the usual hair clumping happening below the surface, which usually happens to me when I let it air dry or half-ass blow dry it. Worth it for me! Thank you, Caroline and CoJ team, for keeping this beauty-challenged lady up to speed. :)

  9. Colleen says...

    So, I have no hair skills. None AT ALL. I have very thick hair, but the individual strands are fine. My length is about an inch below my shoulder.

    I bought the Revlon one praised throughout the comment section. Tried it out last night after I let my hair towel dry for about 30 minutes. I also bought a $5 heat protector spray from the drug store (I think it was Garnier). I ended up drying my hair in there different parts. It still took about a solid 20 minutes, so not a major time saver. The finished look turned out great. My hair was soft and glossy. No tangles like I usually experience after the flat iron and it didn’t smell weird from too much heat. My hair does seem to have more movement to it and a little extra volume. Would I use this during my morning routine? Probably not, I’m still pretty lazy and need time to let my hair air dry. This is definitely a handy tool to have though if you’re aiming for that “fresh out of the salon” look. My boyfriend said I looked like I just got my hair done. In the words of Queen Bey, wake up- FLAWLESS. *hair flip*

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad, colleen! fun to hear your feedback!

      “In the words of Queen Bey, wake up- FLAWLESS. *hair flip*” = hahaha!

  10. Jamie says...

    I bought the John Frieda hot air brush after the article a few years ago. I don’t use it every day, but when I want to look more polished, it definitely does the trick with my fine hair. I am not great at styling, but one of the first times I used it my boss asked me if I had had a blowout!

  11. Tory says...

    just bought this! which wand do you use – the 1 inch or 1.5 inch?

  12. Spycegurl says...

    I bough the john frieda brush on caroline’s previous recommendations ( the old links seem to have changed to a different brand now???) but i’ve always found this insanely time consuming (lots of fine hair here). Does the new one listed blow more air, is it worth giving it another shot with this revlon one?

    • Lauren says...

      Same! I bought it as a result of this CoJ article from 2014: https://cupofjo.com/2014/05/a-hair-trick/

      I remember CoJ saying in the comments that they were going to do an article later on with more tips for using it, I guess 5 years later counts ;) (hehe, I kid) … What Caroline describes here is pretty much the way I use it. Re: it being time consuming, I have very fine hair; the hot air brush works best once I’ve towel dried it and given it about another 15 minutes to air dry. Sometimes I’ll even do a quick once-over with a regular hair dryer first, if I’m in a rush. I feel like the hot air brush is especially useful for styling bangs!

    • Spycegurl says...

      Thank you both for the replies. I may give the old one a try with drier hair and try the other one as well!

  13. Caroline, do you prep your hair with any products before drying/styling?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      No. It’s probably a good idea to use some kind of heat protection product, but I currently don’t!

    • Thanks for this perfect response! My low-maintenance heart rejoices. 😆

  14. justine says...

    need to try this! however, i feel like i need a video tutorial for this bit: :)
    At the bottom of each section, turn the brush upwards for one full rotation, which lends a bit of smoothness to the tips. You don’t need to wrap it around and around (and risk creating a tangle of doom) — just once around the brush will do.

  15. bridget says...

    i immediately went to amazon and purchased this! I have very long straight hair and blow drying is the bane of my existence. if this can save me even 20 minutes then it is SO VERY WORTH IT. thanks, caroline!

  16. jane says...

    So, question: Currently use a light mist of hair serum/oil before blow drying (Aubrey’s Chia hair Serum) and would love to try this heat brush for straightening but worry that my hair will fry. I have seen protection products but feel daunted by how and when and etc. Anyone with thick curly hair who air brush straightens daily have a routine or products that work?

    • Ez says...

      I have thick and wavy hair, and I much prefer it straightened. I’ve learned to embrace dry shampoo! I wash/blow dry/straighten every three days, and dry shampoo for volume as needed. I change products all the time (I’m currently living in Lithuania, and the product range seems to get better every month, hence the constant change) but I generally go for a heavy conditioner, then an oil or leave-in conditioner for the ends, then a brown-tinted dry shampoo on the off-days. My hair – and my schedule – are so much happier without the drying/straightening burden every day! Also, I work out strenuously every day, and this hair routine still works 🎉

    • Christina says...

      Hi Jane! I don’t use this brush yet, but I ordered the Revlon One-Step that others recommended in this thread. It sounds like we have similar hair types – mine is very thick, coarse, and wavy/curly, and prone to damage and breakage. I use the Kenra Blow-Dry Mist (linked below) which makes my hair dry much faster and more evenly. I also always use a hair oil (either Bumble & Bumble Invisible Hairdresser’s Oil or Kerastase Resistance serum). I would use the spray first, then a pump or two of the hairdresser’s oil, style my hair, and then I always finish with another small pump of oil/serum after everything is cooled off. I have tried all of these products and love them, and everything seems to last about 6 months (or longer!) which helps with the pricetag.

      https://www.ulta.com/platinum-blow-dry-mist?productId=xlsImpprod6370253
      https://www.ulta.com/bbhairdressers-invisible-oil-heatuv-protective-primer?productId=xlsImpprod16451004
      https://www.kerastase-usa.com/collections/resistance/serum-therapiste-hair-serum.html

    • Rita says...

      There are several hair serums/creams/styling products with added heat protection. I use and love PHD by Living Proof as my sole product after washing my hair and then use a blowdryer and a similar brush as Caroline’s and it works great!

      (I bought argan oil for split ends afterwards, but I really just forget it every time. I used to use an oil before blowdrying and cannot be sure it fried my hair, but it dedinitely did not help at all)

  17. Elizabeth Pencak says...

    During the holidays my Mother-in-law offered me hers becasue it wasn’t working for her and who am I to pass up a free hair tool. IT.CHANGED.MY.LIFE. It solved my hair woes I had been trying to fix with blowdryer then hot rollers then curling iron. I get ready so much quicker with so much less time and hair damage. PRO-TIP also great for using with dry shampoo when your hair needs to be refreshed.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Yes! The dry shampoo refresh is everything. Sometimes I’ll wet just the pieces that need fixing and use this to make second day hair look like I just washed it.

  18. celeste says...

    Love Beauty & Planet shampoos and conditioners smell great, make my hair silky, and supposedly have less plastic waste. A win.

    • Becky says...

      I love their deodarant! The lavendar one is amazing!

    • Denise says...

      My girlfriend just turned me on to these products – I am in love!

    • jen says...

      I started using the kitchen cleaner spray in the lavender and love it so much. But now I cant bring myself to use the shampoo as it is now kitchen cleaner ;).

  19. Csilla says...

    YES!! Thank you! I need this in my life! I was just going to buy a new round brush and give it a try (for the zillionth time). I don’t have the coordination for using brush and hair dryer!

  20. mary hayes says...

    I adore these! I use the rotating John Freida one and love it. Recently started following it up with a big hot roller set and my hair routine has gone full 90s, and yes people also constantly ask if I got a blowout! Which, I basically did!!

  21. Kelly says...

    Hot air brushes are a godsend for us ladies with fine motor skill issues! I could never successfully blow dry and once got a 2″ round brush stuck so far in my hair I needed it cut. Great tutorial!

  22. Andrea says...

    I have very short, fine, straight hair and am one year in to growing out a pixie (aaaggghhhwhyyyy). This tool helps tame that bottom mullet part that always wants to flip out and look stupid. That would be a good post, pixie growing-out timeline. It takes a couple years and constant restraint not to just cut it back off – which I have done before at a year and a half in. A couple friends and I have a support group via text, haha.

    • Sasha L says...

      Agreed! Growing out a pixie is tough. I’ve done it many times over the years. Love the look of a pixie. Hate everything between pixie and the long layers I currently have.

  23. Nicole Lieberman says...

    Do you notice any damage from using this? I’ve been curious about this trick since your other post about it but hate to do anything to damage my already frizz prone hair living in humid NYC.

    • Lisa says...

      I have FRIED my hair before using it – just need to be careful not to hold it in once place for a long period of time.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      I personally actually haven’t noticed any damage from using it. Lisa’s point is a good one — be careful not to concentrate on any one place for a prolonged period of time, keep it moving. I use my brush every other day and haven’t had any issues.

  24. Emily says...

    I bought one of these after you wrote about it years ago and it legit CHANGED MY LIFE. When I do my hair with this tool people at work say “ohhhh you’ve got your swishy hair today!”

  25. Stephanie says...

    I have to believe this is too good to be true, since there are plenty of scary reviews about melting plastic and fires. Has anyone given a hot air brush (any brand!) regular use, and can vouch that it holds up? I’m wary about buying something that will break or set fire after a few uses or within a year…

    • Rita says...

      I use my Philips one every other day and had inherited it from my mom, so it is a fre years old, maybe four or so.

  26. Jen says...

    LADIES WITH THICK, COARSE HAIR WHO HATE TO BLOW DRY AND VOLUME IS NOT A CONCERN.
    Amika Straightening Brush has been a god send. It is an investment but worth it for a daily routine.
    My routine is washing and air drying my hair in evening, going to bed, waking up with crazy hair and then using this straightening brush for 5 minutes. I get smooth, shiny hair that isn’t quite achievable with a half ass dry job and straightening iron.
    I used the curling brush off and on for years (still have one) but I always had to follow up with a straightening iron because my hair was too puffy. It was too much work for me.

    https://www.sephora.com/product/ired-polished-perfection-straightening-brush-P441833

    • K says...

      PLEASE TELL ME MORE

      Does your hair have natural wave? Does this manage to tame it? When you say crazy hair in the morning just how crazy/puffy do you mean?

      I recently tried a curling brush that had rave reviews, but my hair was still so frizzy/puffy from it that I ended up straightening it afterward and it defeated the whole purpose.

    • CJ says...

      I can vouch for this. I was cheap and bought the travel size Amika Straightening Brush with a gift card and it is amazing on my long thick hair! I only use it once a week because otherwise it seems like too much heat. Also the travel size is so easy to throw into a gym bag or carry on. This changed my life!

    • Abigail Thompson says...

      Hahahah! “Tangle of doom!” My mom had one of these when I was a kid, and I would sometimes use it. And if course, being 11, I would wrap the whole thing up and become horrifyingly stuck. My mom always threatened to just cut it out the next time, but she would always painstakingly unwrap it for me while I was having an angsty preteen meltdown.

    • Jen says...

      @K I have very wavy hair that used to be curly enough that people thought I had a perm if I worked in mouse. That texture is no more but it’s still pretty thick and wavy-ish (hair is just below ears now).
      The Amika brush smooths your hair out because it’s a straightening iron/brush hybrid. The curling hot hair brush is designed to give you volume just from the way you work it so it’s not ideal for us gals with naturally poofy hair.
      I also got an undercut recently, which really helps achieve sleekness.

  27. That’s amazing! I never knew that this was a thing. This can save people tons of money by not needing to go to blowout bars. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Nadya says...

    I used to have one of these and they work nicely (though with my fine, limp hair nothing will make a wave hold), but with 2 small children I don’t have the time to stand and dry my hair with this. Instead I now use a big barreled tong. The barrel is the same size as the hotbrush but I can use it on completely dry hair, meaning I don’t have to wait around for my hair to be 80% dry as it’s guaranteed one of the kids will suddenly need me and the moment will pass. Not sure if the tong is harsher on hair but I also prefer it as I can use it on hair that isn’t recently washed to curl under my pony tail or give my hair a subtle wave.

  29. Krysten says...

    Caroline, the very first time you mentioned this miracle worker on cup of jo I ordered one from Amazon and have been religiously using it ever since. I have never been the girl with the good hair, not ever. My fine, sort of wavy, sometimes frizzy hair has always been tough to handle, but now, even with two little kids in tow, I have magic hair. Thank so very, very much.

    • Jane says...

      I have fine frizzy hair too! What product do you use?

    • Lisa says...

      Me too! I scrolled back up to check the date and thought it was a repost!

      Still enjoyable article, as always:)

  30. Meg says...

    Ok I was all-in to buy this $18 brush after reading the article and then I came to the comments and saw everyone raving about the $50 Revlon one, so now I have that in my cart. Anybody have anything else they want to upsell me on before I check out, I’m quite suggestible… :D

    • Jen says...

      The Revlon one fried my hair. (Shoulder length, colored, fine but lots of it). I sent it back–wonder if I should try again.

  31. Emilie says...

    Ok, so I about 2 sec after reading this post, I was frantically scanning Facebook marketplace to get a used/cheaper one (they’re unfortunately not 18$ in Canadian drugstores). Found a women in my city (Montreal) selling one. Exchanged a few Facebook messages to find a meeting place for the exchange. Turns out our husbands work in the same building, a couple of floors apart.
    I LOVE thinking of how two suited men will meet in the business-y high-rise lobby to proceed to the exchange of a hot hair brush for their wives. How great is that!?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahah so great!!

    • Wendy says...

      Ahhaha! I can tell you from experience, those two suited men will talk about this meet-up for years! Years ago I set up a similar exchange for cloth diapers and my husband is still telling the story, “..it was like a drug deal in the office parking lot…”

    • Emilie, your message really made my morning :) Hahaha
      I’m still laughing when I think about this two suited men exchanging a brush .. thank you for this!
      I have actually been using it too, since I can remember. I can not manage to use a round brush and a hairdryer like said in this post. It’s my holy grail!

    • Emilie says...

      Ladies, it is set to happen today at 1:00pm eastern! Send your thoughts! 🤣
      Now, to make it an even greater story, i’m (not so) secretly (anymore) hoping for the hot air brush seller to also be a cup of jo reader, and to read this thread: Manuela, are you there?!?

    • Karen says...

      This is fabulous!! Made my morning. Thank you for sharing!!

      ECHO: Manuela, are you there?!

  32. loren says...

    Last summer I was visiting my friend in England and she showed me hers and urged me to try it. We have similar haircuts, a layered chin length bob. I bought a Babyliss hot air brush with an Amazon gift card, and I LOVE it! I still have to use the turban and blow my hair mostly dry before I can use it, but it makes very short work of styling my hair and I get so many compliments on my great haircut. There was a bit of a learning curve at first but now it’s easy. I clip my hair up and do it in sections. https://www.babylisspro.com/search_result.php?keywords=rotating+brush

  33. Kelly says...

    Ok curlistas my daughter has tons and tons of thick coily 4c hair and this contraption has changed our lives: https://myrevair.com/

    Pricey but worth every penny!!! Caroline your hair looks amazing!!! But that brush wouldn’t get through one lock of my kiddo’s hair!! Not sponsored just a huge fan!!

    From what I’ve seen revair would prob work great on any hair that has any amount of curl/wave where a straight outcome was desired…it’s not going to create a lot of body but if smoothing and stretching are your goals then it’s so easy and so much faster than blow drying!!

    • Monica says...

      Thank you, Thank you so! Feel a surge of almost-love for you:) So great that you shared a curly tip.. we curlies need taht!

  34. Savannah says...

    I love this – and then hitting my hair with the flat iron real quick, just to smooth out any frizzies, because my hair is prone and happy to frizz. I have a lot of hair, so this helps a lot.

  35. Kim says...

    I’ve got the revlon one step one and it’s fabulous. I’ve never been able to style my hair correctly, and this makes it look like I do.

  36. Josephine says...

    Oh wow, I’m so suggestible… just added the VS version to cart! I’ve been very unhappy about the brush and hairdryer juggle for so long. Can’t wait to give it a go!
    Curious if you use any product in your hair beforehand?
    Thanks folks!

  37. Jodie says...

    I also bought this after the original post and was disappointed when it didn’t work for my very thick, wavy, and long hair. Out of desperation for something to help tame my hair, I reluctantly purchased the Revlon one-step hair dryer and volumizer hot air brush and it’s incredible!! It’s around $50 and has seriously changed the way I feel about my hair. I highly recommend it!

  38. Amy says...

    Just a note to say I had three or four of these between 1998-2005 before I discovered flat irons. They were great. Like the folks with thick, frizzy, wavy hair, the brush shown in this post specifically did not work for my hair. However, I had great luck with brushes like this with bigger (and plastic) bristles. If you google Helen of Troy Hot Air Brush 1.5″ you’ll see more of the type that worked for me. This wasn’t the specific brand that I used but you’ll get the idea. I probably used the Revlon brand and upgraded once to a pricey Sephora brand. The (cheaper) Revlon version lasted so much longer and was more consistent/reliable.

  39. Katie says...

    I bought one of these when Caroline recommended it in a different blog post. Since buying my first one, I have moved on to the Revlon One Step Hair Dryer which I have LOVED. I have very thick/wavy hair and have found this dries my hair a bit faster (can do my whole damp head in 15 minutes which is really fast for thick hair!).
    It has been a game changer. Like Caroline, I also do not have special hair skills and yet it somehow always looks like I got a blow out. Thank you to Caroline for upping my hair game!!

  40. Karin says...

    I use a rotating version of this. It’s truly a game changer. You wait until hair is about 80% dry. If it gets tangled you just hit the off switch and it comes right out, but honestly i’ve Only had it tangle about 3 x in all the times of using it. I have medium thick medium length hair, for reference. It makes me look like my hairdresser did my hair.

    https://www.amazon.com/INFINITIPRO-CONAIR-Brush-2-inch-Black/dp/B010XIHC54

    • Kate says...

      Ditto! I love this Conair spin brush!

  41. Zoe says...

    Haha I was wondering this! I have wavy to curly hair and am very curious, but it would probably create a mess, you’re right.

  42. La says...

    Video please!!

    • Julie Lazanich says...

      I second that!!

  43. C. says...

    I have one of these, and l like it fine, but I crave a bit more curl. Do you think this tool could be used somehow to make more waves or curl? I am sort of hair tool illiterate, so maybe this is a crazy question.

    • Savannah says...

      Watch YouTube videos about how to use hot air brushes. They will explain how holding your hair tight in it for a long time will form curls. I have accidentally given myself big Texas beauty queen curls (read that with a twang, if you please.)

    • Tovah says...

      I have curly hair, and one of the golden rules for developing curl is that you never brush it! I have found a ton of information and product recs on a website called naturally curly dot com. Hope that helps!

    • Kate says...

      Yes! I use the Revlon One-Step and just slowwwwly twist the brush/hair away from my face as I move down the shaft (I can’t say that without giggling) to create waves!

  44. Kelley says...

    Omg! I’ve been using one of these for years! My mom got it for me in college and its my secret weapon.

  45. Lucy says...

    Yeah, I remember when you first posted about this a few years ago…I’ve been using it ever since! Magic!

  46. Sonja says...

    this SO does not apply to curly hair…that hot-air brush should be advertised as “for straight hair” the same way that all curly-hair products emphasize “for curly hair”! :)

  47. Samantha says...

    I totally bought one of these the last time you recommended and LOVE it. Cup of Jo strikes again!

    Samantha

    • Sheena says...

      So did I and it’s life changing!

  48. miranda says...

    Poo-nami!

  49. Maddy says...

    Yeah I dunno. Still looks like a lot of work. Sections? Clips? Sigh… How about a review of those special towels/turbans that are assaulting my IG feed w/ ads?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s really quick in real life — takes 10 minutes. caroline got me hooked this winter and i’m really into it! i actually skip the clips and just go around my hair brushing it (and thus drying it). :)

    • Young Directionless says...

      Also, if you don’t wash your hair every day this will smooth it out and while it will lose volume by day two or three, in my experience it still looks good! It’s a bit easier to justify spending ten to fifteen minutes on your hair one or two days a week than it is to make it a daily habit and your hair will be less damaged from the heat.

    • Ellen says...

      Responding to Joanna’s reply here. I’m amused by how “quick” means different things to different people. To me, ten minutes sounds *long*–longer than I currently spend on my entire getting dressed & ready routine. Right now, I spend twenty seconds running a brush through my hair. I don’t wear make up. I’m also in charge of getting the kids out of the house in the morning… Ten minutes doing my hair would be fancy occasion business for me.

    • Jenny T. says...

      For those of us with thick hair with texture, this takes much longer than 10 minutes… like 30 – 60 mins. Several times, I’ve had stylists with fine hair offer to give me a blow out. An hour later when it was finally done, they seemed less enthusiastic. :)

    • CB says...

      I’m not sure which ads you are seeing but I bought the Aquis hair towel after having my first daughter years ago and no joke, it has changed my life. It is the only way I figured out how to do my hair in the morning before work and cut my drying time in half! I won’t even travel without it and I give it to all my friends after having their first baby. Hope that helps :).

    • Rita says...

      Also don’t do clips. I love the turbans!

  50. Maggie says...

    Ooooh. Totally just bought this with the one-click on Amazon Prime (so dangerous). I’m dying to know how – Joanna, how do you get your perfect hair? Do you also use this brush? Any magical hair products? Your hair always looks like you just had a professional blow out!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you’re so sweet! sometimes i honestly HAVE had a professional blow out, if we’re doing a more involved photo shoot. other times, i use this hot air brush, too, after caroline’s recommendation. and it’s funny: there are a bunch of other women in our shared workspace who have now gotten them, too!

  51. Mar says...

    In my case I use my GHD Hair Straightener, after drying the Hair. For me it’s the perfection. Absolutely love this product, my hair is in amazing condition. Well worth it, they are quick to heat up and so easy to use, glide through my hair, I’ve never straightened my hair so quickly !

  52. laura says...

    SOLD!

  53. Nanette says...

    Where is your darling robe from?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It’s from La Petite Coquette. I found it in a thrift store (with the tags still on!) when I was in college.

    • Rachel says...

      I was wondering the same thing! Of all the people in the world to possess (and carry off!) a silky, leopard-print robe, of course it’s Caroline ;)

  54. caitlin says...

    yo i bought one of these mofos after the 2014 post and it is magic. i have crazy thick hair so i blow dry it until it’s 90% dry (i truly do this like a maniac, just frantically waving the blow dryer at my head until it’s a huge nest of hair. it all smooths out with the brush) then hit it with the hot brush. it’s taken me from a life of strictly ponytails and going to work with wet hair (a good way to feel like a real professional) to a someone who wears their hair down and says, “oh a picture? right now? sure!”

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hahahaha I love this comment. Please be my friend.

    • LOL. I too bought one of these mofos after the 2014 post and it changed my life.

    • Diana says...

      Maybe that was the approach I needed to take! Also I love this comment and I too would like to be your friend.

    • kathy says...

      this is very helpful. i have very coarse, frizzy, and thick hair and thought this couldn’t possibly work with my hair. maybe there is hope.

    • Jenny says...

      This comment just led me to hit the buy now button in my Amazon cart! I have thick hair and never thought this would work for me. Thanks for the info and very do-able directions!!

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! I LOVE THIS.

      Caitlin, I use mine the EXACT. SAME. WAY. I have, on occasion, used it the way Caroline describes, but it feels like too much work for me. Also, I use the hard bristles because with my klutzy, uncoordinated hands and fingers my wavy(ish) shoulder length hair becomes a diabolical mess.

      I’ve been using this thing since the 90s (i.e. high school). The white and purple Conair one I bought at Walgreens has since been replaced by this sleek black and gold number: https://www.amazon.com/Conair-Supreme-Styling-Brush-Black/dp/B00005A43X

    • Emily says...

      I have very curly/frizzy hair and this tames it so well! I think I might need to learn some technique though cause I do tend to get big loose waves, not like Caroline’s straight hair. Still pretty great though!

  55. Dee says...

    Ok UK reader here. If this is a blow out (rather than a blow dry) what do you guys call that thing babies do when they have an explosive nappy and get poo all up their back? Genuine question!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha same thing!

    • Melissa says...

      That’s also a blow out! Context is key, I guess? ;)

    • Katelyn says...

      Midwest USA here; we also call that a blowout. Just depends on the context, I guess.

    • Twyla says...

      I personally prefer the term ‘poo-nami’…

    • Sonja says...

      Lol yes! For this reason I cannot stand the term ‘blow out’ in reference to hair, I think it the stupidest name!

    • K says...

      I grew up in Vermont, USA and had never heard a blow dry called a blow out until I moved to NYC!

  56. Amanda says...

    How thick is your hair?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It’s medium thickness, and naturally dries to a (frizzy) 2b wave.

  57. liz says...

    I bought one to try after the last time you mentioned it here. Sadly, it didn’t work well for my hair type (thick, a little frizzy, and wavy (actually something in between straight but not super curly, I hesitate to just say “wavy” because that implies it looks normal with waves — it just looks messy honestly.). bummer for me but you look amaaaaaaaaaaaazing :)

    • Mims says...

      Dont fight your waves! embrace them. Check out the Curly Girl method….I got the book from my local library. information online too….abotu how to wash moisturize and air dry hair to enhance waves and curls. IT changed my life and my hair for the better….(I have no patience for blowdrying!)

    • Tali says...

      I agree, I wanted to like this product so much but it didn’t work so well on my thick, medium wave hair. I don’t have frizzy hair and yes, this did make it sleeker, but it takes forever!! Even with blow drying it regular until it’s misty dry first!

    • Lisa says...

      So I have thick, wavy, a little frizzy hair and I bought myself an Amika hair straightening brush. Much more than $14, but has been amazing for the days I want to take my no longer wavy, now just messy hair and make it smooth. It buys me several more days of dirty hair wearing without leaving my hair flat. Oh, and most importantly, it is so fast. I have a lot of hair, but I can make my whole head presentable in about 7 mins.

    • liz says...

      thanks, Mims… will look into this! But do have to say, usually what throws me off is the fact that I do activities every morning that make me super sweaty, so I’ve always struggled with the advice to wash your hair less.

    • liz says...

      Lisa, I tried the Amika one too! : (

  58. Stephanie says...

    Dang, on canadian amazon the same one is almost $60. Will have to try the drug store!

  59. Carrie says...

    I used to use one of these but recently replaced it with a hot tools thermal brush. It’s practically the same thing but without the air. I think I prefer it because I can completely dry my hair, then run the brush through a few times and it’s given me better results. It’s also silent, which is an added bonus because I can listen to my podcasts while getting ready!

  60. Angela says...

    I need a video. I’ve been wanting to try one of these and this reads so easy, but the steps are still kind of confusing to me!

  61. Jeannie says...

    Yay!! I’ve been waiting for this post since this one: https://cupofjo.com/2014/05/a-hair-trick/

    2014!!

    I did buy a hot air brush after that post and people often ask me if I got a blow out after I use it (even my hair stylist once did!)… thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes hahaha and we have been talking about it since then! so happy to finally deliver :)

    • liz says...

      woah, can’t believe that was back in 2014! time flies, y’all!

  62. Diana says...

    I bought this tool after it was recommended on this blog a couple of years ago and it didn’t work for me. I have really long, thick, wavy hair and it didn’t get my hair dry (even though it was towel dried beforehand). THAT BEING SAID–it worked AMAZINGLY on my roommate who has thinner, shorter hair. It was seriously like magic for her. I gifted it to her and now she uses it all the time! I wonder if I bought a more expensive one if it would have better results for me?

    • shaheen says...

      I think the ones that have prongs instead of brushy bristles are the way to go for thicker hair.

  63. Megan G says...

    I always wished these hot air brushes would work for me, but alas my hair has too much natural curl for this to straighten it effectively. (I’m a 2c-3a curl.) I did, however, come across the Amika smoothing brush at the end of 2018 and let me just say, GAME. CHANGED. This device is as if a paddle brush and a flat iron had a baby. When I first saw it, I totally believed it would be yet another disappoinment in a long line of hair tool fails. I love the way my hair looks straightened, but I hate the hot air and sweating involved in home blowouts. Flat irons make my hair way too flat, not to mention the damage they can cause. The smoothing brush is used on dry hair and it is amazing! It straightens out my crazy lion’s mane, leaves nice volume, and does no damage! It is the best. And it can be done fairly quickly. Curly girls who like the straight look, check it out! I will never be without one. It is the best hair tool I have ever purchased. If your hair is super super curly it might not work as well, but it is worth a try, I promise.

    • RobberSoup says...

      Thank you for this! I can just tell my hair is way too thick and curly for the hot air brush, and I’d never heard of the Anika one!

    • Lisa says...

      Just said this up thread! The Amika tool is worth all the dollars.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, so curious about the amika one now, too!!

    • Kim says...

      I have a Conair one, it’s like the hot air brush, but in a paddle shape. It’s great, but the Revlon one step made it obsolete for me.

    • A says...

      Ugh I’m not sure what I did wrong but the Amika one did NOTHING for me. I have wavy Asian hair that can get pretty frizzy, but does straighten easily with a flat iron. I’m super hair tool illiterate but this thing wouldn’t even go through my hair – it just kind of touched the very top of my hair and the bristles wouldn’t even go through the top 1/2 cm of my hair. Was so useless. I was so excited to get it and admittedly I didn’t really play around with it for too long but this went back to Sephora. The only way it half-worked was when I pulled up very very small pieces of my hair and pulled it down with one hand and straightened with the other. It was so time consuming (not to mention frizzy) that it made me feel like why not just flat iron it at this point..

    • JC says...

      I just bought the Amika straightening brush at the recent Sephora sale. It’s a little pricey but yes, WORTH IT! I have naturally curly hair and after years of straightening my hair decided to go natural and ditch all the chemicals that come along with it. I had the hardest time managing my curls until I bought this product. I got rid of all my other heat brushes. Highly recommend this quality product to anyone who wants to manage their curly hair.

  64. Brooke says...

    I had one of these in high school, too, but I had no idea how to use it! Now I need another one–I want volume, too!