Blow-dry and style at the same time – this is the convenience that hot air brushes give. Unlike typical hair brushes, hot air brushes have a built-in blower that lets you dry your hair while styling simultaneously. It’s one of my favorite styling tools since it’s affordable and compact enough for a travel bag. If you’re looking for the best hot air brush for thick hair, I’ve reviewed here three of my tried and tested options. I also discussed some tips and guides so you can make the most out of your purchase.
What are hot air brushes?
Many stylists dub hot air brushes as the ‘future’ of hairstyling. Why not? It’s simple but ingenious, especially for someone like me who has thick hair. Instead of blow-drying, then brushing separately, you can do both at the same time. You get to free one hand for better hair control.
Basically, hot air brushes work just like a hairdryer. The difference is that the dryer is integrated into the brush, so your hair dries as you comb, straighten or curl. It’s also more compact than hair dryers.
I can still remember the first time I styled with a hairdryer. I was 13, and it was a hot mess. It looks easy among salon stylists, but it’s more complicated and difficult when doing it on your own. Up to this time, it takes me a while to achieve the style I’m aiming for when using hairdryers and a separate brush.
But with hot air brushes, I can cut styling time by up to 50%. Sure, it has a learning curve, but it’s much easier to get used to than bulky hair dryers.
Moreover, hot air brushes can come in a paddle brush style or a rounded type. Both work well, depending on your styling method. If you are straightening, a paddle hot brush will work. However, for more styling versatility, I opt for the rounded air brush.
Benefits of hot air brushes
Are you planning to get the best hot air brush for thick hair? The following are some of the benefits that you’ll enjoy:
✔️Excellent for adding volume. If your thick hair is always weighed down, a hot air brush will add volume to it. Since it’s a brush, you can style closer to the roots. It’s an ideal tool if you want your hair to have more body and texture.
✔️Lighter than hair dryers. Personally, my arm always end up strained when styling with hair dryers. Hot air brushes prevent this from happening, thanks to its lighter build. It’s very easy to maneuver, and I no longer have to hold a separate brush with my other hand.
✔️Better temperature control. For those with brittle hair, hot air brushes are a great option. It has less heat than hair dryers, which is a big plus if your hair gets damaged fast. Hot air brushes don’t get as hot as high-heat hair dryers or flat irons.
✔️Ideal for traveling. If you’re always traveling, a hot air brush is a must-have. This 2-in-1 tool allows you to style without bringing bulky equipment. I have one hot air brush that perfectly fits in my backpack, and I can take it on my trips.
✔️Better curls. Based on my experience, I can make better curls with a hot air brush than a flat iron curler. I can only speak from experience so it can be a different case for other people. Considering that the brush has the dryer built inside, it just makes sense why it’s much easier to use for curling.
How to choose the best hot air brush for thick hair
When shopping for a hot air brush, I always consider the following tips:
Paddle vs. rotating hot air brush
Hot air brushes come in two types: a paddle brush and a rotating brush. Both are fantastic, but I have to warn you about the rotating type.
If you’re straightening and making curly tips, I highly recommend the paddle brush. It’s also my preferred hot air brush for beginners.
On the other hand, rotating hot air brushes are for more prominent curls. However, since it has a rotating motion, the curls would look tousled. It also has a steeper learning curve than paddle hot air brushes. Anyway, a little practice will go a long way here. In the end, it depends on your styling method.
Consider the barrel size
If you opted for a rotating or round brush, you should check the barrel size. For those with thick and long hair like me, a thicker barrel is ideal. Those with shorter hair should opt for thinner barrels so they can wrap their hair around it quickly.
In general, I prefer hot air brushes that are at least 1.5-inch in diameter or smaller. However, if you’re aiming for volume, look for a thicker barrel, probably up to 2 inches in diameter.
Check the bristles
The quality of the bristles is as important as the other features. Remember that the bristles are the major styling tool, so it should be durable. Make sure that the tips have a ball or any coating so it will not scrape your scalp.
Another thing you should check is the heat resistance of the bristles. Hot air brushes can still get pretty hot, and the last thing you want is a melted tool.
Also, for those with thick hair, long bristles are ideal. It will allow you to reach the roots in every glide.
Look for multiple heat levels
I always swear by hot air brushes with variable heat settings. It lets me tweak the temperature based on the style I want to achieve. Beginners who aren’t familiar with the proper heat levels can benefit from hot air brushes with presets.
The only problem I have with presets is it limits my chance to experiment. Nevertheless, it’s a good feature if you want to play it safe and if you’re afraid to damage your hair. If you can find a hot air brush with both features, it would be best to buy it.
Best Hot Air Brush for Thick Hair – Top 3 Picks
OUR TOP PICK: Revlon One-Step Hot Air Brush
If there’s one tool that’s a mainstay on my beauty kit, it would be the Revlon One-Step Hot Air Brush. This is an excellent volumizer in a single step. Also, the barrel has an oval shape for a better lift, and so you can make better curls.
Moreover, the bristles are tufted with nylon pins at each tip. I also like the temperature control that allows me to press the brush closer to my scalp without feeling too hot. The tip of the brush has plastic insulation, which comes handy whenever I have to curl.
- Delivers gorgeous volume and brilliant shine in a single step
- Unique oval brush design for smoothing the hair, while the round edges create volume....
- 3 Heat/Speed Settings + Cool Option for styling flexibility
- Safety First: The Revlon One Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer meets U.S. safety...
- Packaging may vary due to continuous product improvements
Also, I like the fact that it has ionic technology, which reduces frizz. For me, that’s more than what my money is worth.
Aside from that, it comes with airflow vents where the hot air comes from. You can adjust the heat and speed in two levels for styling versatility. Due to the amazing design of this styling tool, Allure awarded Revlon One-Step the Best of Beauty Award back in 2019.
This brush is a corded type with a swiveling cord. Just don’t use a voltage converter when plugging this because it will damage the unit. This comes with an ALCI safety plug already, so it’s safe to connect to any wall socket that matches its voltage.
- Ionic technology to reduce hair damage
- Non-detachable head
- Excellent volumizer
- It gets hotter than most hot air brushes. Observe proper caution
Conair INFINITI PRO Hot Air Spin Brush
If you’re looking for a spin hot air brush, you should consider the Conair INFINITI PRO. My favorite part about this brush its double tourmaline ceramic barrels. That means you can style with even heat and ionic technology that reduces frizz.
Moreover, this hot air brush comes with two heat and one cool setting. To adjust the setting, simply twist the switch at the bottom of the handle.
Unlike the one from Revlon, the INFINITI PRO has a detachable head. You can get the brush heads in 1.5 and 2-inch diameter, depending on the style you want to achieve. Meanwhile, the 1.5-inch brush head is ideal for making smaller curls.
- 2-inch spin air brush creates voluminous curls for full body & 1 1/2- inch spin air...
- 2 tourmaline ceramic spin air brush attachments safely dry hair and allow for curl...
- Hot Air Spin Brush rotates in both directions to volumes and shine. Use with or...
- Tangle-free antistatic bristles, 2 heat settings and cool setting for all hair types;...
- Removable filter allows easy lint cleanup and extends motor life. Kindly check the...
Removing the brush head is very easy: just press the two buttons at the top of the handle.
Although this is a spin hot air brush, you can turn off the spin feature using the cool setting. If you’re using the spin feature, you can make it rotate in both directions as you like.
Moreover, there’s a removable filter inside that catches lint, so it doesn’t get into the motor. The package also includes a brush cover to secure the unit when not in use.
- Two brush heads
- Tourmaline barrel
- Removable filter
- You can only turn off the spin feature when using the cool setting
MANLI Hot Air Brush
Another hot air brush that I swear by is the one from MANLI. This is a 5-in-1 unit that works as a brush, hairdryer, massager, curler, and straightener. The highlight of this brush is the ionic feature that reduces frizz as you blow-dry on the highest heat setting.
Moreover, it has a ceramic coating that spreads the heat evenly. It also prevents the hair from burning even if you’re using the maximum heat. Another thing that I like about this tool is it has a low-noise design.
The MANLI hot air brush is also equipped with a dual voltage function. If you’re traveling abroad, this is an indispensable feature.
- 【5 In 1 Hair Dryer Brush Unique Design】Multifunction hair dryer brush is perfect...
- 【Ionic Technology & Ceramic Coating】The Upgrade hair dryer brush released the...
- 【Noise Reduction Design】MANLI hair dryer and volumizer brush adopt advanced noise...
- 【Various Settings】The different gears and powers support and keep all hairstyles....
- 【Fashion Appearance】Very stylish design and excellent appearance, very light and...
All the controls for the airflow and temperature are in the handle. Overall, it suits almost all hair types and hairstyles. It also comes with a 360-degree swivel cord that adds more convenience when styling.
My only suggestion is for the handle to be more ergonomic. It has a smooth and rounded construction, which can be slippery for those with sweaty palms. Anyway, it’s not really a deal-breaker, considering the features of this tool.
- 5-in-1 design
- Ceramic coating
- Produces negative ions
- The handle can be more ergonomic
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will hot air brushes damage my hair?
A: Since hot air brushes are still a hot tool, you should use it in moderation to prevent hair damage. Consider applying a heat protectant before using it to straighten or curl your hair. Also, make sure that the hot air brush is designed for your hair type.
Q: Can I use hot air brushes to add volume to my hair?
A: Yes, hot air brushes are great tools for volumizing hair. You can use it as a hairdryer to lift the strands of your hair. And since it also doubles as a brush, you can style on the go. This prevents the volume from being weighed down.
Q: Is a hot air brush worth it?
A: If you’re not very comfortable using traditional hair dryers, you may find it easier to use hot air brushes. It’s a brush and blow dryer in one, so you can style with less effort. Just make sure that the unit you’ll get have a durable motor and temperature control.
Q: Are hot air brushes better than flat irons?
A: In terms of safety, hot air brushes are better than flat irons. It can straighten your hair with less damage. It’s also easier to use than flat irons in terms of styling. Still, hot air brushes have limitations that can only be done on other hot tools.
Q: How long do hot air brushes last?
A: Depending on the quality of the hot air brush, it can last for a year or two. However, cheaply made options will get damaged faster. If you’re planning to use the hot air brush often, you should invest in a tried and tested unit.
The best hot air brush for thick hair will cut off your styling time by more than half. It’s a convenient tool that’s taking the hair tool industry by storm. Besides, who wouldn’t want a tool that works as a brush and dryer at the same time? If you want to spruce up your beauty kit, you’ll never go wrong with a hot air brush.