One thing guaranteed to confuse most of us when buying hair appliances is, which one does what job. Jumbo, infused plates, ceramic, Tourmaline it's a jungle out there when trying to decide what to go for.
No doubt you will see the following on many appliance packaging and so here's some jargon:-
Keratin (//) is one of a family of fibrous structural proteins. Keratin is the protein that protects epithelial cells from damage or stress. It is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin.
Tourmaline (pronunciation: /ˈtʊərməliːn/ TOOR-mə-leen) is a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium.
(taken from Wikipedia).
Jargon out the way, this year I've decided to focus on a few products that I know you'll find easy to use and, most importantly will use and won't end up under the bed! Note - I haven't had time to test all of them, but where I did, I've put photos up - please also note I'm not a hairdresser and literally tried once and uploaded the photos. Sometimes that's the best way as gives the most honest approach! Anyway here are my picks:-
TREVOR SORBIE KERATIN & ARGAN 32MM TONG £49.99 www.boots.com
Hair tongs have come a long way in recent years, and thank goodness as I've put my hair through damage limitation hell. These ones have a wide barrel and are infused with the protein Keratin alongside nourishing Argan oil, which means they treat the hair rather than damage it! Within seconds they heat up to 210 degrees, and have an automatic safety shut off point after an hour (anxiety attacks diminished). Easy to use they are great for glamorous curls and make styling a doddle.
UKI DESIGNED FOR HAIR MR BUBBLE £97 www.designedforhair.com
At first glance this looked rather peculiar and erm something not dissimilar to a product on display in Ann Summers (come on we all thought the same). Except it's obviously not. In all seriousness this is by far the grand creme de la creme of hair curlers and for the love of God, I've finally found a hair appliance that I can do myself, without getting into a tizzy. The patented barrel ensures perfect curls each time whether they be medium or large. I've tested on my daughters hair and on mine, so you can see the difference (she has long thick hair, mine is medium length and very fine). As the barrel is injected with Tourmaline, it promotes healthy and shiny hair! If you check out the website there are some great online tutorials to guide you.
UKI DEISGNED FOR HAIR HYSTRIX £93 www.designedforhair.com
Save space and save time with this fantastic 2 in 1 hair styler that both straightens and gives full on volume and curl. The styler looks like a curling brush from the outside but opens up to reveal argan oil infused plates, so you can either straighten your hair by clamping between the plates or use the brush to crate an abundance of curls. Argan oil extracts are released as the plates quickly heat up to 210 degrees, which promotes glossy and shiny locks. The bristles are also heat-resistant so that you can feel safe in the knowledge you won't burn your fingers!
LEE STAFFORD CHOPSTICK STYLER £19.99 www.argos.co.uk
Studio 54 eat your heart out - with the Disco Fever trend still dominating autumn/winter trends, this is all you need to update your look! It's fun, sassy and a little bit Fleur East and will instantly get you in the mood for dancing! The slim square/barrel heats up to 200 degrees quickly and is ceramic coated to keep hair glossy. It gives perfect corkscrew hair to all hair types including short and is perfect for a Christmas present. Here's my after - but please don't judge me - I was in my nightie sans make-up at time of testing, and note the curls do drop slightly if you don't apply hairspray! Oh and a handy tip - for straighter styles but with huge volume, simply place the wand under the root of the hair for an inch lift!
LEE STAFFORD UBUNTU OILS JUMBO JUICY TONG £24.99 www.argos.co.uk
The Jumbo Juicy Tong isn't just any ordinary tong, no it's actually a hair treatment as the barrel is infused with oils from the Southern Africa. Mongongo oil, also known as Manketti oil is the key ingredient within the aBunTu oil, a nut from the Mongogo tree. It's renowned for it's hydrating and regenerating properties and contains natural Vitamin E. Hair is protected from harsh environmental factors and from the sun, so it's ideal for protecting against heat damage from appliances. This giant tong is ideal for giving volume to shorter styles or for adding full glamourous curls to medium/longer length hair.
DIVA FEEL THE HEAT MOTORISED TONG £74.99 www.sallyexpress.com
Finally no more getting tangled up and 'losing it' with the old arm-ache, as quite simply these tongs do the job for you. Simply place the hair under the clip, press the button and watch as your hair whizzes into the barrel. It rotates left and right and like many of the others mentioned features, embedded with proteins and oils to give hair nourishment and shine. There are 14 heat settings, making it ideal for all hair types including those with hair extensions. Perfect curls are achieved within seconds and brushed through create that 40's glamour.
BRAUN SATIN HAIR 7 SENSO CARE STYLER £89.99 www.braun.com
Not just any hair straightener, these are possibly the kindest straightener on the market to hair as they have built in sensors that actually detect the moisture level on each hair strand. This enables the plates to adapt temperature according to how dry the hair shaft is. The technology is so advanced that it actually personalises your hair on a mini computer, and gives feedback on your styling process! If that wasn't enough you can also input other users so you can share with friends, making it personalised to them too!
TONI & GUY STYLE FIX WAVER £29.99 www.boots.com
This is the perfect tool to create waves, be they brushed through and groomed aka Hollywood movie star glamour, or the beach head undone look in which case just crimp and run through with a little salt water! Incredibly compact and light to use, these are ideal for travel and hand luggage. Again with Tourmaline colour lock technology, this will ensure your hair colour doesn't fade and that your waves will be full of shine! In the photo below I've literally just clamped a couple of sections and it's given me full on body waves in seconds!
LABEL.M HOUSE OF FASHION PROFESSIONAL HAIR CARE GIFT SET £23.95 www.labelm.com
Not electrical but the perfect accessory to compliment any hair appliance. This gift set contains miniatures of Label.M's best sellers (note they were the official hair care brand used in London Fashion Week this year). Included is Honey & Oat Shampoo & Conditioner, Protein Spray, Volume Mouse, Dry Shampoo, Hairspray and Shine Mist. Everything is included to create and design all hairstyles from short textures, braids, updos and curls!