How To Use a Hot Brush - Tips and Step-by-Step Video Tutorials

Could hot styling brushes be the ultimate hair hack? These hybrid tools combine a hairbrush with a blow dryer and/or a flat iron, promising easy and no-fuss styling. Thanks to new technologies, rocking beautifully styled hair every day is (almost) as easy as running a brush through your strands. However, it’s important to know how to properly style your hair with a hot air brush. Here’s how to use a hot air brush correctly:

  • Wash and condition your hair
  • Towel dry and/or air dry your hair 80% of the way
  • Apply a heat protectant product
  • Divide your hair into four sections: crown, right side, left side, and back
  • Turn on the brush and glide through each section SLOWLY from roots to tips
  • Finish with hairspray

It really is that simple! The key is to work with damp hair and use the best products and techniques for YOUR unique hair goals. Read on to discover how to use a hot brush to create a wide variety of looks.


Index

FAQs
  1. What is a hot brush for?
  2. How do you use a hot hair brush?
  3. How do you dry your hair with a hot brush?
  4. Do hot air brushes really work?
  5. Can you use hot air brush on dry hair?
  6. Can you use a heated brush on wet hair?
  7. Are heated brushes bad for your hair?
How-Tos
  1. How to use a hot brush
  2. How to use a hot brush to curl hair
  3. How to use a hot brush to straighten hair
  4. How to use a hot brush for volume
  5. How to use a hot air brush on short hair

FAQs

What is a hot brush for?

A hot brush reduces your styling time by allowing you to smooth, volumize, dry, and straighten your hair in one step! This versatile, easy-to-use tool combines a hairbrush with a flat iron or blow dryer (or both!).

Just choose your desired setting and brush slowly through dry or damp hair. The hairbrush bristles help control and guide your hair, while the heated plates or hot airflow smooth and polish the hair’s cuticle. It’s the perfect way to get sleek, shiny hair with less time and effort-- no need to juggle a brush in one hand and a heat tool in the other!

NOTE: A hot brush does not have the drying power of a regular blow dryer, so it should NOT be used on wet hair. Make sure to air dry or blow dry your hair at least 80% of the way before picking up your hot brush. Hot brushes are great for taming frizz and touching-up hair between blowouts.

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How do you use a hot hair brush?

Whether you’re an at-home hairstyling pro or a total novice, using a hot brush is easy! Just follow these simple steps to use a hot air brush:


  • Start with damp hair. Make sure your hair is at least 80% dry before using your hot brush. This will minimize heat damage and ensure your hair gets fully dry when you style it (which means less frizz).
  • Heat protection. To quote Sam Villa, “Product is not an option, it’s a necessity!” Prep your strands with a blowout product designed for your hair type.
  • Section and clip. For optimal styling results, divide your hair into 4-5 sections and secure them with clips. Working in sections helps you avoid brushing through the same hair multiple times. (For quick touch-ups, feel free to skip this step.)
  • Brush it out! Plug in your hot brush and let it heat up to your desired temperature. Working in small sections, brush SLOWLY through the hair from roots to tips. For extra volume, lift each section up and away from your head as you glide the brush down the hair.
  • (Optional) Curl your ends. For curled ends, opt for a round hot brush instead of a hot air paddle brush. After brushing through to the ends of the hair, wrap the hair back around the barrel and roll the brush up towards your roots. Hold the brush in place for 5-10 seconds, then press the “cool” button and wait a few more seconds to allow the curl to cool before releasing it.
  • Finish with product. Lock in volume and shine with a lightweight hairspray and apply serum to your ends if needed.

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How do you dry your hair with a hot brush?

A hot brush allows you to get sleek, polished hair at home-- without juggling a heavy blow dryer in one hand and a round brush in the other! Just follow these simple steps to dry your hair with a hot brush:


Step #1: Pick the right heated brush. Hot brushes come in both paddle brush and round brush shapes. Paddle brushes are best for straightening and smoothing hair, while round brushes can be used to create straight hair or curls. Make sure to choose a heated brush with hot airflow that works on damp hair.

Step #2: Wash and condition your hair. A volumizing shampoo and conditioner are recommended if your hair tends to fall flat. Don’t skimp on the conditioner-- it’s essential for sealing moisture in your hair and reducing heat damage!

Step #3: Towel-dry and/or air-dry 80% of the way. Wring your hair out in the shower, then use a soft cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to thoroughly towel-dry your hair. If possible, let your hair air dry at least 80% of the way.

Step #4: Plug in your styler and let it heat up. Remember that thin, fine hair requires less heat, while very thick or coarse hair may need a higher temperature.

Step #5: Prep your hair with products. Apply a heat protectant spray or mousse that’s appropriate for your hair type.

Step #6: Section and clip up your hair. Divide your hair into four sections: crown, left side, right side, and back. Secure each section in place with clips.

Step #7: Dry and style hair. Beginning with the back section, brush through narrow pieces of hair from roots to tips. For maximum volume, place the brush close to the roots and lift the hair up and out as you glide through the hair. Pull the brush all the way through the hair for straight ends, or wrap the ends around the barrel of the round brush to create curls. Repeat this process with the side sections, then dry and style the top section.

Step #8: Finish with hairspray. Use a light volumizing product to avoid weighing down your hair. For thick, extra-dry or curly hair, apply a few drops of argan oil to your ends.

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Do hot air brushes really work?

Hot air brushes might sound too good to be true. Can you really dry, straighten and style your hair just by brushing it? The answer is YES-- hot air brushes actually work! These ultra-versatile styling tools combine a hairbrush with a flat iron and/or blow dryer, making them perfect for travel, busy mornings, or quick hair touch-ups.


Keep in mind that a hot air brush lacks the powerful airflow of a regular blow dryer, so it shouldn’t be used for a full blowout on wet hair. Here are a few great ways to use your hot air brush:


  • Add polish to air-dried hair. To get that salon-fresh look with minimal heat damage, apply a smoothing product to wet hair and let your hair air dry 80% of the way. Then turn on the hot air brush and glide through your hair for beautiful softness and shine.
  • Pump up the volume in limp hair. Are your second- or third-day strands looking a little flat? Use your hot air brush to boost the volume in minutes.
  • Curl or straighten your hair. Use a round hot air brush to shape and style your hair, instead of a curling wand or flat iron. You’ll get the same look with less heat damage.

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Can you use hot air brush on dry hair?

For best results, it’s recommended to use a hot air brush on damp hair. This is because damp hair is more malleable and easier to style than dry hair. Also, applying hot airflow from a blow dryer or hot air brush can dehydrate and damage dry hair.


If you plan to use your hot styling brush on dry hair, look for a thermal straightening brush or a combination brush with ceramic plates. This will work like a flat iron to smooth and polish dry hair, but with less styling time and less heat damage. And don’t forget the heat protectant spray!

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Can you use a heated brush on wet hair?

There are a few things to consider when it comes to using a heated brush on wet hair. Thermal straightening brushes with ceramic plates are similar to flat irons-- they should NEVER be used on wet hair. Applying heated plates to fragile wet hair can cause over-heating, shatter the cuticle and ruin your hair.

But what about heated brushes that use hot airflow to dry and style hair? Hot air stylers are finishing tools and are not intended for a full blowout on wet hair. These tools don’t have the drying power of a regular blow dryer.

If your hair is wet and you want to style it with your hot air brush, rough-dry it 80% of the way with your blow dryer (or let it air-dry until just damp). Then use your hot air brush to finish the look, volumize and shape your hair. Heated brushes are also perfect for touch ups in-between blowouts.

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Are heated brushes bad for your hair?

While any form of heat styling can damage your hair, heated brushes are one of the safest styling tools out there. Heated brushes create minimal damage because they use less direct heat than curling irons or hair straighteners. Instead of holding your hair against a hot surface (the barrel of a curling iron or the ceramic plates of a flat iron), heated brushes are designed to glide smoothly through hair. Heat is applied through the base of the hairbrush and/or the bristles. This reduces the risk of hot spots, dryness and straw-like ends.

If your hair is color-treated or heat-damaged, look for an ionic heated brush that allows you to cut back on styling time. Ionic technology neutralizes static, infuses moisture and polishes your hair’s cuticle for brilliant, healthy shine.

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How Tos

How to use a hot brush

Hot air brushes are designed to make styling your hair easy and fast-- but that doesn’t mean you should just grab your hot air styler and start brushing away!

Think about finishing your hair with a hot brush as a “mini” blowout. For optimal results, use the same products and section your hair as you would for a full at-home blow dry. To get beautifully sleek hair with less heat damage, follow these simple steps to dry your hair with a hot brush:

Step #1: Start with damp hair. Make sure your hair is at least 80% dry before using your hot brush. This will minimize heat damage and ensure your hair gets fully dry when you style it (which means less frizz later on).

Step #2: Heat defend. To quote Sam Villa, “Product is not an option, it’s a necessity!” Prep your strands with a blowout product designed for your hair type.

Step #3: Section and clip. For optimal styling results, divide your hair into 4-5 sections and secure them with clips. Working in sections helps you avoid brushing through the same hair multiple times. (For quick touch-ups, feel free to skip this step.)

Step #4: Brush it out! Plug in your hot brush and let it heat up to your desired temperature. Working in small sections, brush SLOWLY through the hair from roots to tips. For extra volume, lift each section up and away from your head as you glide the brush down the hair.

Step #5 (Optional): Curl your ends. For curled ends, opt for a round hot brush instead of a hot air paddle brush. After brushing through to the ends of the hair, wrap the hair back around the barrel and roll the brush up towards your roots. Hold the brush in place for 5-10 seconds, then press the “cool” button and wait a few more seconds to allow the curl to cool before releasing it.

Step #6: Finish with product. Lock in volume and shine with a lightweight hairspray and apply serum to your ends if needed.

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How to use a hot brush to curl hair

Did you know that you can use a hot brush to curl your hair? When you’re short on time but want a curly or wavy style, a hot air brush is your best friend! Here’s how to dry and curl your hair with just ONE tool:

Step #1: Wash and condition your hair. If your curls tend to fall flat, consider using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to give you that extra UMPH.

Step #2: Wait until your hair is 80% dry to start styling. A hot brush lacks the drying power of a full sized blow dryer, so it’s essential to start with DAMP (not wet) hair. Squeeze excess water out of your hair in the shower and pat your hair dry with a soft cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel. Then let your locks air-dry until just damp.

Step #3: Heat protection. Prep your hair with a heat-protectant product that’s made for your hair type.

Step #4: Section your hair. Divide your hair into three horizontal sections: the crown section (the top of your head), the center section (the hair around your ear level), and the lower section. Secure each section in place with clips.

Step #5: Go curl crazy! Beginning with the lower section, separate a small piece of hair and place the ends over the barrel of the round brush. As you apply hot airflow, twirl the brush away from your face and spin the hair around the barrel. When you reach your roots, hold the brush in place for 15-20 seconds. If your hot brush has a “cool” button, apply cool airflow for 5-10 seconds to seal the cuticle. Release the curl and repeat with the rest of the section. Then move on to the center section, and finally the hair at the crown.

Step #6: Polish and shine. Apply a shine-boosting hairspray to help your curls hold for longer and smooth out any stray hairs.

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How to use a hot brush to straighten hair

Getting sleek, silky-smooth hair might be as simple as changing up your hairbrush! A hot brush uses heated ceramic plates and/or hot airflow to relax the molecular bonds that make hair curly and flatten the hair’s cuticle. It’s super easy to use, and less damaging than a traditional flat iron.

Here’s how to use a hot brush to straighten your hair:

Step #1: Start with clean, dry, detangled hair. If your hot brush uses ceramic plates, you should make sure your hair is fully dry, as you would before flat ironing. If your brush uses hot airflow, it’s OK to start with damp hair.

Step #2: Heat protection. While straightening hair with a hot brush is less damaging than using a flat iron, any level of heat can dehydrate and damage your hair. Always prep your hair with a heat protectant product that’s appropriate for your hair type.

Step #3: Section your hair. Separate the hair at the crown of your head and secure it in place with a clip or elastic.

Step #4: Straighten your hair. Beginning with the lower section of hair, pick up a small piece of hair and place the hot brush underneath near the roots. Glide the brush slowly through the hair, lifting it up and away from the face to create more volume. Repeat this process as you work your way around your head.

Step #5: Style the hair at your crown. Secure the lower section of hair with a clip, and release the upper section of hair from the clip or elastic. Part your hair and glide the brush through the upper layers of your hair. Remember to lift the brush up at the roots as you guide the brush through your hair.

Step #6: Finish the look. Release the lower section from its clip and check your hair for any frizz or flyaway strands. Finish with a non-greasy shine spray (for fine to wavy hair) or a nourishing hair oil (for thick or curly tresses).

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How to use a hot brush for volume

Hot air brushes are great tools for adding lift and body to all hair types. For gorgeous, eye-catching volume, use volumizing products and be sure to lift the brush up and out as you dry your hair! Here’s how to use a hot brush for volume:

Step #1: Wash and condition your hair. Big, bouncy hair starts with the products you use in the shower! Reach for a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. If your hair tends to be limp or flat, use conditioner only on your ends.

Step #2: Towel dry and comb through your tresses.

Step #3: Pick the right heat protectant. Apply a volumizing mousse to your hair, working from back to front.

Step #4: Rough dry 80% of the way. Take the nozzle off your blow dryer, flip your head upside down, and rough dry your hair until it’s just damp.

Step #5: Section and clip up your hair. Divide your hair into four sections: crown, left side, right side, and back. Secure each section in place with clips.

Step #6: Lift, twirl and curl. Starting with the lower section, place the barrel of your hot brush underneath a small piece of hair close to the roots. Turn on the hot airflow and slowly roll the brush up and away from your face while twirling the hair around the barrel.

For straight ends, pull the brush all the way through the hair. For beveled ends, curl the tips of the hair around the brush and hold them in place for 5-10 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the lower section, then move on to the side sections.

Step #7: Style the hair at your crown. For maximum volume, lift the hair on your crown straight up and back (away from your face) as you twirl the brush.

Step #8: Pick the right finishing product. Hairspray is key, but avoid heavy oils and creams that could squash your gorgeous volume! Instead, look for a lightweight, non-greasy setting spray to boost longevity and shine.

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How to use a hot air brush on short hair

If you have short hair, consider upgrading your hairstyling routine with a hot air brush. This easy-to-use tool allows you to dry, shape and style your tresses in less time, thus reducing the damaging effects of heat styling.

Wondering which hot air brush is best for short hair? Look for a styler with a small barrel that you can place right up against your roots for tons of lift. Then follow these quick and simple steps to use a hot air brush on short hair:

Step #1: Wash and condition your hair. To pump up the volume, go for a lightweight volumizing shampoo and conditioner.

Step #2: Air dry. Squeeze out excess water, comb through your strands and let your hair air dry most of the way.

Step #3: Heat protection. Apply a blow dry primer, such as a volumizing mousse, to defend against breakage and add some structure to short hair.

Step #4: Section your hair. Divide your hair into four sections (left, right, crown, and back). Secure each section with a small clip.

Step #5: Dry, shape and style. Unclip one section of hair at a time, starting with the back section. Place the barrel of your hot brush underneath the hair at the roots, as close to your scalp as possible. Lift the hot air brush up and twirl the hair away from your face while applying hot airflow. Brush slowly through each piece of hair from roots to tips. Continue this process with the left, right and crown sections.

Step #6: Lock in your look with a soft hold hairspray, or use a texturizing product to define your ends.

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Summary

If you want to add volume and polish to your hair, but you’re not into spending hours in front of the mirror, a hot styling brush could be a total game changer for your look. If you can brush your hair, you can style your hair with a hot brush!

Remember that hot brushes come in different varieties-- thermal straightening brushes work like flat irons on dry hair, hot air stylers work like low-airflow blow dryers on damp hair, and combination brushes can do both. Choosing the right tool and prepping your hair with heat protectant will help you achieve healthy and beautiful hair in less time!

Whether you want to streamline your hairstyling routine or just freshen up your tresses between blowouts, an all-in-one hot brush is a worthwhile investment to get sleek and silky hair.

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