A Handy Little Hairbrush Guide

There are so many different kinds of brushes, you could really go nuts. But which brush is the best one to use? It all depends on your hair type, and your styling needs. Our friends over at BaByliss have it down to a science – literally, their brushes are so technologically advanced! We created this handy little hair brush guide based on the scoop we got from them.

Babyliss Heatwaves Hair BrushThere are many different types of brushes designed to produce different styling results to your hair. The brush you decide to use should reflect the type of hair you have and the end result you would like to achieve. Some of the most popular styles of brushes are the paddle, cushion, vent and round brushes, but which one is right for you?

Paddle brushes are flat and wide and great for creating smooth, straight styles on long hair.

Cushion brushes are available in many different sizes and feature a cushion that holds the bristles. These brushes are great for massaging your scalp and smoothing out hair.

Vent brushes are designed to create volume while blow-drying or air styling, since the openings in the brushes allow air to flow through resulting in quicker drying time.

Round brushes are used to add body and volume.

Smaller barrel brushes create curls, whereas larger barrel brushes straighten and smooth hair.

Thermal round brushes are designed to use while blow-drying, since hot air from the blow-dryer heats the barrel up and allows the hair to set and dry faster.
 
At StyleBell we love choices! Feel free to visit our Hair Brush Section to find the best brush for you.

-StraightBelle

Babyliss: Why Porcelain Ceramic?

Babyliss Pro Porcelain Carrera 2 Hair DryerSure we know all about the benefits of Ceramic Technology, but why Porcelain Ceramic? Hey Babyliss, what’s the deal?

The Babyliss PRO Porcelain Ceramic Collection of appliances offers and advanced form of commercial grade Porcelain Ceramic integrated into the heating surfaces of their irons and dryers. 

Babyliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Curling IronAccording to BaByliss, Porcelain Ceramic generates far-infrared heat, which is less damaging than conventional heating processes. Porcelain Ceramic’s superior heat distribution eliminates hot spots on plates and air outlet surfaces while negative ions reduce static electricity and assist in breaking apart water molecules, decreasing drying time. 

Babyliss Pro Porcelain Turbo Hair DryerPorcelain Ceramic, with its improved heat distribution and increased far-infrared heat and ion production, outperforms standard Ceramic. Porcelain Ceramic technology leaves hair healthy, revitalized, and shiny.

Better heat distribution and increased ionic activity? Sign me up for that!
To see more great appliances visit our BaByliss section for the entire selection of curling irons, hair dryers, hairsetters, you name it.

-StraightBelle

Top Rated Best Selling Flat Irons of 2007

Here they are, StyleBell’s best selling, top rated, must-have hair straighteners of the year and why we like them! You’ll notice a few newbies on the list this year, as well as some past favorites.  

ghd MK3 Ceramic Flat IronGHD 1″ Ceramic Hair Straightener MK3 
Alias: The International Fave
Already a best-seller in the UK and Australia, the GHD MK3 flat iron has a large, loyal fan base here in the US. Even heat conduction allows for quicker heating time than a conventional flat iron, and the long lasting temperature leads to optimal, snag-free hair straightening in minutes. Just brilliant!  

Plus: GHD has expertly formulated a line of hair care and thermal protectors to accompany your heat styling endeavors for maximum hair happiness. Check out the Obedience Cream, it’s truly a must-have.

Insider Info: This iron delivers snag-free results, more than most irons I’ve seen. Great for every hair style and hair type. A little pricier than other irons, but the results are worth it. 

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat IronBaByliss Pro Nano-Titanium 1-1/4″ Flat Iron
Alias: The Mac Daddy of Techno
Love to take control? With the Babyliss Nano Titanium Digital flat iron, you get the superior heat conductivity coupled with the smoothest surface available in a styling tool – Titanium. No more overheating, over-drying, over-damaging your hair. Titanium rocks. Plus the super smooth snag-free surface straightens hair up to 40% faster, what’s not to love? 

Bonus: The Babyliss Pro Nano-Titanium flat iron looks as great as it performs! I love its major counter appeal and never want to put it away. It looks great on any vanity (on top of a heatproof mat, of course!) Gotta love an appliance that has style.  

Insider Info: This iron is chock full of amazing technology for the price, and includes a killer 4 year warranty. It goes toe to toe with those pricey irons, and kicks some of them to the curb. It’s newbie on my list, but the impressive results are sure to convince you.

HAI Convertable Ceramic Flat IronHAI Convertable 1-1/4″Ceramic Flat Iron 
Alias: The Multi-tasker
The HAI Convertable’s ceramic plates are unmatched for equal heat distribution and the ergonomic design makes it is easier to press, hold, mold, twirl and curl your hair. Talk about multi-tasking! People seriously love this iron, and you will too. The HAI Convertable is another one of my all time favorite straighteners. 

Plus: The HAI is just right for smoothing your hair, and for creating loose waves, perfect for those of you who like to mix it up! 

Insider Info: This is the flat iron they use at my salon, and everyone agrees, it’s awesome!

Maxiglide Flat IronMaxiglide
Alias: The Cult Favorite
Soft, shiny, straight and snag free! That’s what I keep hearing from Maxiglide users. Unique steamburst technology and ceramic detangling pins make this iron unlike all the others – in a good way. Not only does this iron get consistently high reviews on beauty sites, Maxiglide customers are very passionate about this straightener; they keep raving about it again and again. There is a reason it’s a best seller. Need I say more?  

Plus: The Maxiglide also has a slimmer, smaller version – the Miniglide. It’s the perfect traveling companion for touch ups on the go. 

Insider Info: Comb through your hair first and style small sections of hair at a time. Less potential for snagging, especially if you have very thick, textured hair. Definitely use the steam on the ends. Definitely. The Beyond Straight is awesome with the Maxiglide – I’m talking super straight. 

ghd MK4 Ceramic Flat IronGHD Ceramic Hair Styler and Hair Straightener, Flat Iron MK4
Also known as: The Innovator
With tons of media buzz, the newest arrival of the GHD family does not disappoint! Being one of the lucky few to get a sneak peek, last year, I am still in love with this iron a year later. Incorporating state-of-the-art styling technology, this heat styler curls as easily as it straightens, giving you the ultimate in versatility. Plus it auto adjust for international voltages, has a stronger cable, and a new sleep mode which turns itself off after 15 minutes. That’s one smart styler! 

Plus: Just to make sure you’ve got the styling ‘know-how’, there’s a step-by-step DVD included in the box. Watch out competition, there’s a new player in town, the GHD MK4 has arrived. 

Insider Info: This is one of the most innovative irons on the market, hands down. The technology is tops and you just cannot match the smooth glides of this iron. Pricey and totally worth every penny, it’s my favorite on the list this year.

CHI Original Ceramic Flat IronChi Original Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron
Alias: The Original
Great hairstyles are simple with the right tool; CHI proves that time and time again. With an extensive product line and many different irons to choose from, I have to agree with their loyal customers, you can’t go wrong with CHI, but the original model is always a customer favorite, and surely to be one of yours! Well known in the industry for continually creating new limited edition irons in trendy colors, CHI is great for you fashionistas out there.
 

Bonus: CHI has a killer line of hair care to keep your hair smooth with pure silk!  

Insider Info: Tons of street cred, everyone’s heard of CHI. The CHI Original narrowly beat the CHI Turbo this year, mainly due to pure customer popularity, but I personally like the Turbo a little better for my hair. Also note, some CHI Original followers have been spotted recently upgrading to other brands due to the increase in technological advancements in the past year, I’ll keep you posted. 

FHI Platform Tourmaline Flat IronFHI Platform Ceramic Tourmaline Professional 1-3/4″ Flat Iron
Middle name: Big Daddy
If you have long, thick, coarse or unruly hair, the FHI Heat Platform Professional 1-3/4” Ceramic Tourmaline ionic flat iron is your one way ticket to smooth. FHI’s Ceramic Nano-Fuzeion Technology combines Titanium, Titanium Oxide and Silver to seal in hair’s moisture and shine, while removing build-up and toxins on the hair. Plus an enormous amount of negative ions neutralize the positive ions found on coarse, dry and damaged hair. If you’ve ever set aside a few hours to straighten your thick, massive mop, you’ll be amazed at how quickly this flat iron tames your tresses.  

Plus: FHI makes an amazing heat protectant – FHI Heat Hot Sauce. It’s moisture-based, and when used with a flat iron it actually penetrates into the core of you hair to reconstruct and deeply condition from the inside out. Talk about protection.  

Insider Info: Another newbie on the list, I find this to be one of the best Tourmaline straighteners out there, and the FHI Platform beat the FHI Classic in my iron to iron showdown this year. I find that some irons with Tourmaline make my hair static-y for some reason (and that’s never a good look) but not FHI Platform. Whew! 

CHI Wet-to-Dry Flat IronCHI Wet to Dry Ceramic Flat Iron Auto-Digital Hair Straightener
Also known as: The Powerhouse
Specially designed for damp hair, the CHI wet-to-dry flat iron utilizes ceramic ionic technology to eliminate frizz while straightening and transforms hair into shiny, super-smooth locks directly out of the shower. State of the art digital technology allows you to set the precise temperature and it even has a timer with automatic shut off. Great for every hair type, the CHI wet-to-dry straightens the fullest, most unruly locks with ease.  

Plus: The CHI works just as well on dry hair, making it perfect for every primping situation. Sometimes I run late you know…  

Insider Info: The CHI Wet-to-Dry iron works best on hair that is 90%-95% dry. Not only is your hair much easier to straighten if it’s drier to start with, there is less potential for damage and frizz. Remember, hair is more vulnerable when it’s wet. Note: The T3 Wet-or-Dry flat iron was a top contender for this spot and missed by just a hair.

Hot Tools Ceramic Titanium Flat IronHot Tools 1″ Ceramic Far-Infrared Heat Flat Iron
Nickname: The Professional
A separate heating system for each heating plate ensures superior styling performance and puts the ‘hot’ in Hot Tools. Professional Soft Heat™ technology produces gentle, far infrared heat for more efficient heating, faster styling, and shinier hair, and the Ceramic and Titanium Technology provides snag-free styling as it glides smoothly down your strands. Any hair appliance that won’t snag or pull an overworked ‘do gets an A+ in my book. Thanks Hot Tools.  

Plus: This iron does a great job of smoothing those strands and adding an unbeatable shine with gentle far-infrared heat. Most irons at this price point just don’t have the technology to compare. 

Insider Info: This flat iron proves you can get great technology at a great price point! This is perfect for those of you who straighten your hair from time to time and want a quality iron without spending the big bucks.  

HAI Twig 3/8HAI Twig Flat Iron 3/8″ Ceramic Styling Iron 
Alias: The Root Smoother
Get up close and personal with those roots and transform even the shortest hair into smooth shiny locks with the HAI Twig. One use and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The ultra-slim 3/8″ ceramic plates work wonders on bangs and those whisper-y wisps we love so much. For the best results and styling control, you should never use a plate width larger than necessary, and now you don’t have to. Now everyone can have the same results as the pros, Twig makes it so easy!  

Plus: This sleek styler features the same rapid heating element and adjustable temperature settings as the larger HAI models, making it a great choice for anyone looking to style extremely short sections in seconds.  

Insider Info: Perfect for pixies, roots, tendrils… and guys! Yes men love this one for super short hair that’s seeking some sleeking. This iron has the slimmest, teeniest plates ever but works like a smoothing fiend to get those roots straight. It’s a great second iron for those of you who need that slimmer design for styling.

FHI Technique Professinal Pink Flat IronFHI Technique Professional Pink 1″ Hair Straightener 
Middle Name: Versatility
One flat iron, with all the styling capabilities you will ever need. You can straighten, flip, and even curl your hair in seconds with this baby in our favorite shade, PINK. The Ceramic Tourmaline technology generates negative ions to help neutralize positive ions found on damaged hair, allowing the hair to lay flatter and smoother. This means shinier and healthier hair is yours with FHI, and who doesn’t love pink?  

Plus: Smooth and sleek or sexy curls, change your style as often as a celeb with this FHI Pink flat iron. And you thought flat irons were just for straight styles!  

Insider Info: It curls and straightens with ease, it’s got Ceramic and Tourmaline technology and it’s pink. What more could you ask for? 

As you can see, there are plenty of great irons that are perfect for your individual hair type and styling needs. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to use a heat protectant. All of these Ceramic, ionic styling tools get super hot and can cause dryness or damage if you aren’t careful. Using a thermal protectant on your hair before styling should always be your first priority. It will keep your hair healthy and shiny and it will enhance the styling potential of any iron you choose.

The 411 on CHI Technology

Just a guess, but maybe you’ve heard of CHI? Of course you have! As one of the best-selling brands of hair appliances (and hair care!) we’ve decided to find out the scoop on why CHI is such a great brand, and we love what we found out. CHI really is different than other brands out there because of their innovative ideas and breakthrough technology. Interested? Read on…

CHI What is CHI Technology?
The unique thing that makes CHI stand out as a brand with a huge competitive edge is the technology. Farouk Systems believes that through innovation they can offer the hairdresser and home stylist truly unique products that out perform anything else on the market. 

What are the Benefits of CHI Technology?
Ceramic Heat
CHI Turbo Flat IronCHI Hair Straightening Flat Irons use moist ceramic, ionic, far infrared heat with ceramic plates and coils to maintain an even temperature all the time, eliminating hot spots that can cause damage and breakage to the delicate hair strands. This ceramic technology in CHI irons also produces negative ions to seals the cuticle, repel humidity and lock in hair color while smoothing and straightening. Shown: Chi Turbo Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron.

CHI Wet-to-DryFlat irons made with traditional copper coils can cause damage by pulling and snagging the hair strands and drying the hair because there is no ionic technology to protect the hair from the excessively high temperature of the hair straightener.

CHI Pink Dazzle Flat IronNegative Ionic Activity
Did you know that your hair carries a positive electrical charge caused by dryness? Over time, this positive charge increases, and as your hair becomes drier, more hair cuticles open, creating unhealthy hair that is hard to style. The negative ions created by CHI appliances cancel these positive hair charges, while smoothing down the hair cuticle. Smoothing the hair cuticle seals in your hair’s natural oils and moisture resulting in healthier, shinier hair. Shown: CHI Pink 1″ Flat Iron.

CHI Turbo Hair DryerFar Infrared Technology
Far Infrared is the longest frequency of the infrared spectrum; it is invisible to human eyes. Far infrared frequency can penetrate up to 1 ½ inches (4 cm) inside of the skin as well as inside of the hair. Far infrared dries the hair from the inside out due to its ionic charge by penetrating deeper. Far infrared heats up objects like your hair, and hair brush not just the air, to dry your hair faster. The recent studies have also shown that it can increase the blood circulation and metabolism. It can also help to maintain our general health. Shown: CHI Turbo Hair Dryer. See more CHI Hair Dryers.

Far infrared heat is produced in all CHI products and tools giving the user amazing performance with every product. CHI products and tools penetrate deeper into the hair and the results speak for themselves.

Want to see more? We’ve got the whole she-bang…CHI Turbo, CHI Nano Digital, CHI Original and more! We also have CHI Hair Care, talk about a selection. Want to see it all? Visit our section dedicated to everything CHI, you’ll love it.

-StraightBelle

Top Tips for Flat Iron Lovers

Start with a better blowout
The proper blowout with your hair dryer before you use a straightener will improve your flat iron’s performance and shorten styling time because there will be less contact with the hot plates. Look for a ceramic, ionic hair dryer to help you smooth your strands before you straighten. Read The Perfect Blowout for tips.

Beyond Straight Temporary StraightenerSafety First
Use a heat protectant! I say it all day long. There are tons of great products on the market today that are heat activated and created specifically to work along with the excessive high iron temperatures to protect your hair while styling. You can avoid a lot of unnecessary damage with a heat protectant. Think of a heat protectant as your flat iron’s Best Friend. Left: Beyond Straight Temporary Straightener.

Go for Quality
Use a quality flat iron. Notice I didn’t say expensive? I said quality. Look for a flat iron with some form of technology dedicated to keeping your hair damage-free while you straighten and smooth.
There are so FHI Heat Professional Flat Ironmany advancements now, that it’s almost hard to find a bad flat iron! Which is great, right? Look for the terms Ceramic, Ionic, Tourmaline, Nano-Silver, Titanium – they are ALL good, in any combination. They all have different technologies and selling points, but all are dedicated to keeping your hair in good condition because they eliminate multiple passes down each hair strand. One-step straightening is what you want. Shown: FHI Heat Ceramic Flat Iron.

How LOW can you Go?
Use a Lower Temperature: Find the lowest possible temperature for your specific hair type, no need to crank your iron up to 400+ degrees if your hair will get smooth at 350 degrees. Yep, that makes sense. With temperature, less is really more in terms of healthy hair. It’s the main reason there are so many irons out there with fixed temperatures – they keep the iron from getting too hot. If you think hey, if 400 degrees is good, 475 degrees must be better – step away from the flat iron and think – even cookies bake at 375 degrees.

CHI 3/4Smaller is Better…
For you shorties, use the smallest plate width for your hair type/length: Less full contact with the plates is always better. Let’s face it, your flat iron is HOT and your hair strands are delicate. There really is no need to pick a 2″ width if you can get away with a 1″ (or smaller) instead. 
Plus, if your hair is shorter, a 2″ plate width is harder to style with and maneuver.
You never want to struggle with a flat iron, you really want the ultimate control with a hot appliance. Learn it. Live it. Shown: CHI 3/4″ Volume Flat Iron.

Wider is Better…
For you long haired ladies, be honest, if your hair is long and thick, just go for the 1-3/4″ or straight for HAI 2 2-1/4the 2″ flat iron. Don’t be concerned that it might be slightly more expensive. You’ll save time straightening with a wider iron and you’ll cause less damage. Too many times over the same section of hair wreaks havoc and causes breakage and let’s face it, if you have a lot of hair, that’s not a great look. Capice? Shown: HAI 2 2-1/4″ Flat Iron.

Of course, if you’re in the market for a new flat iron, our Best Flat Irons section features the most-wanted irons around, and aways, always, always use a heat protectant! You’ll thank me later.
-CurlyBelle

What’s a Nano Titanium Flat Iron?

Question:
What’s Nano Titanium? Should my flat iron have this? I want an iron that won’t damage my hair and my friend told me to get a ceramic one. Is this better?
– Chris via phone

Answer:
With so much tech-talk about flat irons, you could really go crazy! Here at StyleBell we try to make sure that we find out what technology each appliance has and, more importantly, what this technology does to your hair so we can share it with you. Nano Titanium is a state-of-the-art material used in some of the flat irons and hair dryers we carry from BaByliss, so here’s the scoop:

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat IronFlat irons, hair dryers and other heat appliances conduct large amounts of heat to help smooth your hair strands and according to BaByliss, Nano Titanium is an exceptional conductor of this heat, even better than ceramic. This innovative material maintains stability in ultra-high temperatures and emits negative ions known to smooth the positive ions in your hair. This is the same smoothing process as a ceramic or tourmaline flat (or curling) iron, but it uses a different material that happens to retain the much longer.

Whether you are using a flat iron or hair dryer, utilizing these negative ions in this beneficial way creates a faster way of straightening and drying the hair. It also helps keep the hair in good condition by locking in the hair’s own natural moisture. Read “no damage”. Anytime you can keep the natural moisture in you hair, it’s a good thing. It keeps your hair shiny and in better condition.

Nano Titanium is also an exceptionally smooth surface for flat irons and curling irons so they will glide down your hair without pulling, tugging or breaking your delicate hair (I love that). The BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Straightener yields the maximum amount of far-infrared heat that  penetrates the hair from the inside out to straighten gently, without causing damage (I love that too).

Not only is Nano Titanium is a great new material for flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers, you’ll be impressed with the results you see after one use. The latest technological advances always catch my eye and I expect to be seeing a lot more products with this innovative material in the future. It really is one of the superior materials in hair appliances I’ve seen.

To see more Nano Titanium products visit our BaByliss section.
-CurlyBelle

What’s so great about Ionic Technology?

Question:
What’s so great about negative ions? – EVERYONE asks this one!

CHI Original Ceramic 1Answer:
Great question! For this answer we looked at one of the most ionic irons out there: The CHI Original flat iron. According to CHI – they are like the godfather of flat irons, so they know what they’re talking about – negative ions are very important in the hair straightening, or better yet, the hair smoothing process.

Everyone’s hair carries a positive electrical charge that is caused by dryness. Over time, this positive charge increases, and as your hair becomes drier, more hair cuticles open, creating ‘ragged’ unhealthy looking (and feeling) hair that is difficult to style, and let’s be honest, looks like it has seen better days. Enter the flat iron, or even the hair dryer that creates negative ions.

When the flat iron or hair dryer is heated, negative ions are created. The negative ions created by the appliance cancel out the positive hair charges, and while you glide down your hair with the iron, or blow dry, you smooth down those ragged open hair cuticles. That’s why I said hair smoothing instead of hair straightening. If you use your flat iron to create curls it will still smooth down the hair cuticles allowing them to lay flat and frizz free, but still enable it to curl. Nice! Remember, flat irons aren’t just for straightening anymore.

Smoothing down the hair cuticles will seal in your hair’s own natural oils and moisture. This is very important to the health and look of your hair. An increase in natural oil creates healthier, more vibrant looking hair that is also more manageable and full of shine (instead of dry and dull locks). This will also explain why your highlights look brighter when you use your flat iron too.

So in the flat iron world, nothing is more positive than tons of negative (ionic) activity!

-CurlyBelle

FHI, a Fabulously Hip Iron

FHI
Meet FHI, creator of a hair straightener with a mission – to smooth and style your hair with a killer combination of ahead-of-its time ceramic technology and an automatic heat sense recovery system that absolutely rocks.

FHI Heat Technique 1.25Did you know?
Most flat irons lose styling power as the temperature decreases with each glide of the plates against your hair. Think about it, the temperature of your hair will cool down the hot iron every time you go over a section. The speed in which the iron can get back to the desired temperature is called recovery time. FHI has got that beat.
 

Automatic Recovery All FHI flat irons are specially equipped with an Automatic Heat Sense Recovery System that quickly reheats the plates to your desired temperature, giving you an even distribution of heat for silky, shiny hair with every glide. That’s pretty smart. 

Meet the FHI Heat Technique Series
All FHI Technique series irons feature Tourmaline-infused ceramic plates and use the most technologically advanced PTC ceramic heaters. FHI has been able to deliver the industry’s top PTC heaters by partnering with the world’s largest and most advanced heater manufacturer. FHI is also the pioneer in ceramic tourmaline technology, so you know they understand how important it is for us to get our smooth styles. Shown above: FHI Heat Technique 1.25″ Flat Iron.

 It Works on Damaged Hair! Yes I said damaged…The FHI Ceramic Tourmaline irons excel when used on dry, coarse, and damaged hair. Really? Yes! Usually you hear about how you shouldn’t use a flat iron if your hair is damaged – at the very least use a heat protectant – FHI is perfect for you. The negative ions emitted from the FHI flat irons help neutralize positive ions found on damaged hair, allowing the hair to lay flatter and smoother. How lucky for us they came along.  

FHI Heat Technique 1.75Props for FHI

The FHI 1” Technique was the first original Ceramic flat iron to be designed and manufactured. They get major props for being so hip and on the cutting edge at the time. You hear about ceramic-this and ceramic-that. But really, what’s the deal with ceramic? Shown: FHI Heat Technique 1.75″ Flat Iron.

What’s so great about Ceramic? A Lot!
When heated, Ceramic produces negative ions which seal the cuticle and repel humidity, leaving hair shiny. Some ‘other’ flat irons utilize aluminum plates with ceramic coating, and there isn’t always enough ceramic to produce the necessary ions to smooth the hair’s cuticle. FHI believes the more ceramic, the more infrared heat, the more infrared heat, the more even the distribution of heat and temperature control. Even heat equals smoother, shiny hair.

How nice! FHI should stand for Fabulously Hip Iron!

-StraightBelle