Check Out the Latest Irons and Dryers
by Victoria Wurdinger on Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Ceramic, ionic and tourmaline made hot tools sizzle. First, the technologies boosted sales; now fashion is driving trends. Just in case you forgot what does what:
- Ceramic: Creates even heat distribution and snag-free gliding.
- Far-Infrared Heat: When absorbed, it dries hair from the inside out to work faster and minimize cuticle damage.
- Ionic: Negative ions split or electrolyze water molecules, causing them to penetrate deeply but evaporate faster. When negative ions are attracted to positive ones, they neutralizing them, causing the cuticle to close. Results: smoother, shinier hair.
- Tourmaline: When heated, this gemstone produces more negative ions than any other substance, plus far-infrared heat. The claims: Even heat distribution, faster drying times, less damage, increased shine.
A slew of new high-tech tools accommodate today’s trends. Celebrities’ sexy waves are behind the renewed interest in curling irons of all shapes and sizes. For smooth styles,
Smoothing and Straightening
H2Pro’s Vivace Flat Iron
Summertime finds lots of stylists pumping out the Brazilian Keratin Treatments. At Marie Bove in NYC, salon, celebrity and super-session stylist Don Francis, likes H2Pro’s Vivace Flat Iron, which combines ceramic, far-infrared heat and three different nano technologies: “It works fast and adds incredible shine.” On-set, he favors the versatility of Create Ion’s styling irons with digital ceramic technology, a real-time LCD display and cushions for optimum plate alignment. Says Francis, “The Create Ion two-way styler lets you curl or straighten hair, so there’s less to carry in my kit when I work on location.
As flat irons evolve, they always add the newest technologies. For instance, Brazilian Heat After Dark’s newest flat iron uses floating titanium plates, which allow smooth gliding. Titanium heats more efficiently and holds heat at a consistent temperature for zero recovery time, claims Denise Russell, regional sales manager for Belson Products.
For his Brazilian treatments, Mohammad Rahebi, founder of Signature Salon and now stylist and manager at Identity Salon in Encino, CA., reaches for the IZUNAMI 450. “This flat iron is hot, hot, hot,” says Rahebi. “It reaches optimum temperature in just 30 seconds and stays there, so styling takes less time.” Even when he uses it sans BKT, his clients rave about their shiny, healthy-looking hair, he adds.
One iron that accommodates almost every need is FHI Heat’s Runway Styling Iron, which features 6 layers of ceramic heat and tourmaline to produce 20 percent more negative ions. Its temperature range is one of the widest around (140º - 450º F), and “InStyle” magazine named it as one of its “2010 Best Beauty Buys.”
When it comes to straightening curly hair, Ruth Rivas, stylist and co-director of education for Salon Sessions Studio in Pasadena, CA., is a raving Runway iron fan.
“With the Runway iron, I’m able to do my job better and faster,” says Rivas. “Because the I.C.H.S. heating system provides consistent heat across the surface of the plate, there’s no downtime. It also features advanced ceramic tourmaline technology and emits gentle, far-infrared heat to prevent damage. Since it comes in a one-inch size, I’m able to create endless styles and have a guarantee that the look will last all day.”
Curling up to a New Look
HAI Elite Digistik
With everyone going gaga over curls, waving irons have also upped their techno-game. For instance, at HAI, HAI Elite irons feature nano-tourmaline technology and clampless styling, while HAI Classic Pro products are frequently re-tooled to add the latest technologies, such as lightweight, ergonomic designs with non-slip finger grips.
How irons look matter, too. The HAI Stylemate comes in four fashion colors: black, magenta, purple and teal. It features nano tourmaline-infused ceramic floating plates, heats up to 390º F in 5 seconds and allows waving, curling or straightening on the go.
In addition to cool colors, companies are offering broader size selections. Andis’ newest Elevate iron, the Marcel Tourmaline Nano-Ceramic Iron, comes in 1-inch and ¾-inch sizes. Ivan Zoot, the company’s director of education, says schools are fueling the demand for Marcel irons, but that purists prefer them, too.
“They’re great for using with a candlestick technique, in which a section of hair is pulled out from the head and loosely wrapped around the vertically held Marcel iron,” says Zoot. “With a Marcel iron, you can regulate the pressure of the clamp, which allows more creative freedom.”
For maximum versatility, Garrett Markenson, the owner of Garett Markenson Coiffure in Valencia, CA who also studied fine art in Florence, Italy, loves Hot Tools’ new Blue Ice Titanium irons because the four specialty irons create waves, spirals, ribbons or coiled curls and use state-of-the-art titanium technology. “They’re totally contemporary and help make styling fun by giving give me everything I need to create every type of curl,” says Markenson.
Celebrity stylist Tippi Shorter, who is based in New York and does hair for Alicia Keys, among others, says her favorite tool for curly hair is the Brazilian Heat Ceramic Curl Iron. “It’s a great way to enhance natural curls that may need a spruce up,” says Shorter. “I love the long barrel, which allows longer hair to wrap around the iron more easily, and the double-dipped ceramic coating means even curly hair releases effortlessly.”
Even brushes are being developed for more specific benefits than ever. For instance, YS Park brushes from Dowa, which are available at onsalon.com and passionbeauty.com, were created by a Japanese hairdesigner of Korean heritage for maximum engineering advantages.
Says Garrett Markenson, who is an educator, session stylist and owner of Garett Markenson Coiffure in Valencia, CA, “I like the YS Park G1 Brush for curly hair because it’s a fine-crafted, tailored tool with combination boar/nylon bristles. The boar bristles smooth the cuticle and help distribute natural oils evenly, so the hair shines, while the nylon bristles provide the necessary tension to smooth curl. It just gets better with use—I’ve had mine for four years now!”
For extra help, products are going beyond thermal protectors to ones that speed the entire dry/style process. Just one: Kenra’s Platinum Blow-Dry Spray, which uses evaporative silicones that instantly pull moisture out of the hair, helping it dry faster to dramatically decrease blow-dry time. Of course, it also provides thermal protection against heat up to 428 degrees.
Blow dryers have also adapted to techno-trends. For instance, the mid-priced Mega Hot line (LINK www.belsonproducts.com), which was retooled and will be re-launched in September, is introducing the Mega Hot Professional Ionic Euro Dryer, which has ionic generators with on-off switches. Which switch position you use depends on hair type and climate—remember that ionic technology smoothes and closes the cuticle.
Says Shorter, “The great thing about having an ionic generator that can be turned on and off is that not all hair types need ions. Ions take the moisture out of the hair, seal the cuticle and dry the hair faster, so there is no frizz. If you live in a humid climate, you want to use the ionic generator. But in a dry climate, if your hair is curly and fine, hair goes limp with the ions. The Mega Hot dryer is one of the only professional dryers available that gives users the option to turn the generator on or off.”
When it comes to blow-styling curly hair, Michael Beardé, owner of Salon Beardé in Mission, KS, can’t live without his FHI Heat EPS 2100 Blow Dryer. It makes it easy to dry and style even super-curl without damage or frizz, thanks to nano-fuzeion technology, which he describes as a combination of nano-titanium, nano-titanium oxide and nano-silver particles.
“Together, they leave the hair soft and shiny, while removing chemical build-up, toxins, bacteria, static and impurities such as smoke,” says Beardé. “The dryer also features advanced ceramics and tourmaline technology; it’s low in electromagnetic field and emits gentle far-infrared heat to prevent damage to hair. With twenty-five percent more air velocity and high heat, it dries the hair in about half the time of other dryers.”
Beardé adds that it comes with a free diffuser and a concentrator, which is especially important for taming frizz.
Proving that blowers can get in on hot designs, too, IGP Beauty, Inc. recently announced the launch of the Ed Hardy Vintage Collage Hair Tool Line with a professional styling iron and blow dryer that feature the bold designs of Ed Hardy’s artwork. Clearly, when it comes to cool new tools, not only do new technologies support artistic efforts, but unexpected colors and high-fashion designs add flash to your presentation and sizzle to your style.