After months of planning and effort, you want your bridal look to be effortless. To achieve that perfect look, your stylist may need an arsenal of tools. Planning and purchasing those tools ahead of time can save you from sending bridesmaids out to frantically search for a bobby pin while you prepare for your first looks. But with so many choices on the market and so many important details to consider, finding the right product can be overwhelming.
Some hair styling tools are straightforward with one heat setting, which is sufficient for a lot of hair types and styling needs. Higher-end products often come with multiple heat settings so that you can choose the temperature based on your style and your hair. If you want different textures in your bridal look, or you want more control over how much heat gets on your hair, look for a tool with adjustable heat and temperature settings.
Most tools come in a variety of different materials, with different results for your hair.
When it comes to styling tools, size does matter. Small barrels (less than an inch) will create tight waves or curls, medium barrels (1 to 1.5 inches) can be ideal for loose curls or beachy waves and large barrels (over 1.5 inches) will create natural-looking styles for an effortless look.
Some hair styling tools will come with adjustable sizes and shapes, heat-resistant gloves, different attachments and other helpful tools to give you the most variety. If you want to ensure your stylist has plenty of options or you want to reduce the number of tools you purchase, consider a tool with adjustments and accessories.
In the middle of your wedding day, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you remembered to turn off the curling wand. Check for a handy auto-off feature on your styling tool to keep this thought off your mind on your big day.
Most hair styling tools will be priced between $20-$100. This is quite a large range, but you generally do get what you pay for. For $20-$40, you’ll find decent products that do the trick but may have more risk of damaging your hair. Products in the $40-$70 range are unlikely to damage your hair but may not have all the bells and whistles. If you want top-notch products with every conceivable upgrade, you’ll be looking in the $70-$100 range.
A. The tools matter and hair spray helps, but the preparation you do prior to your styling can have a significant impact on the security of your style. Consult your personal stylist, but most professionals suggest washing your hair the day before with high-quality shampoo and conditioner. Preparing your hair with a leave-in conditioner or creating texture with a styling mousse can create a healthy canvas for your stylist to work on.
A. That depends on you. If you already have high-quality tools at home that produce reliable results that you feel comfortable with, then purchasing other tools might not be necessary. If you’re still using the straightener that you used on your bangs in middle school, you may want to consider at least one new tool for the big day.
What you need to know: This salon-quality flat iron has ceramic-infused titanium plates designed to protect hair and heat to a temperature of 400 degrees.
What you’ll love: Equipped with an automatic shutoff after an hour, this flat iron heats up quickly and keeps consistent heat throughout. The plates smooth your hair, leaving shine and minimizing frizz.
What you should consider: The plates may dent or scratch more easily than others.
What you need to know: This affordable hair dryer is equipped with ion technology that smooths hair while drying it for a frizz-free bridal look.
What you’ll love: It has a powerful motor for efficient drying, diffuser and concentrator attachments and a cool shot button that helps to set the style.
What you should consider: The cord is relatively short, at less than 6 feet long.
What you need to know: Extra helpful for fragile hair, this curling iron uses infrared technology to produce a gentle heat, minimizing damage to hair while maximizing curl.
What you’ll love: It’s made from a titanium material that leaves hair smooth and shiny, and the 1-inch barrel is versatile for different styles. This curling iron is also equipped with a spring mechanism that stays firm on hair and releases with minimal pressure.
What you should consider: Some customers found that the curling iron gets too hot, which could burn hair.
What you need to know: To achieve salon-quality blowouts, this volumizer lifts hair from the roots for a full head of evenly distributed style.
What you’ll love: Equipped with a large, wide barrel that covers a lot of hair in a minimal amount of time, this volumizer distributes heat evenly for symmetrical styling and is effective at drying hard-to-reach areas like the base of the neck.
What you should consider: Some customers found it bulky and a bit heavy.
What you need to know: This popular waving tool is beginner-friendly and ideal for loose, casual styles.
What you’ll love: Equipped with plates that have tourmaline and ceramic technology that reduces frizz and smoothes hair, this waver has an adjustable barrel plate for different levels of wave and a swivel cord for easy use.
What you should consider: Waving may not hold as well as curls or other styles, so it may require touchups.
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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.