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Hairstyle Dictionary: Hair Tools 101

Hairstyle Dictionary: Hair Tools 101

Posted by Team John Paul Mitchell Systems on Apr 12th 2016

When it comes to styling your hair, how many styling tools do you use? Do you ever feel like your routine isn’t equipped with the right ones? Or in comparison, do you have enough tools but need some pro tips on how to use them properly? We hear you, so we put together the ultimate guide to hair styling tools. Let’s dive in!


Express Ion Dry

Whether you dry your hair for function (a rough dry before racing out the door) or style (the perfect blow-out with bounce and shine), a blow dryer is a must-have tool for everyone (men, you too). The Express Ion Dry®+ is one of our best-selling dryers for a number of reasons:

1. It’s lightweight so your arm won’t tire half-way through your blow dry.

2. It’s equipped with a powerful motor to get the job done, but isn’t noisy. It’s lovely!

3. The Express Ion Complex™ ensures healthy, shine results every time.


A smoothing iron like the Express Ion Smooth®+ is the closest thing you can get to a magic wand for your hair╌it smoothes and polishes strands (even the most coarse and textured hair) and can be used to create waves, flips and curls with a little practice. Always be sure to use the heat setting that is right for your hair type and protect strands from heat damage with a heat protectant spray.


A clipped curling iron like the Express Ion Curl® is another versatile tool that is great to have in your styling tools collection. This iron can be used to create classic curls, faux blow-outs and beachy waves.

  • Wrap hair around the barrel in alternating directions to create a classic curls look.
  • Curl from the ends of your hair with the clip for a faux blow-out.
  • Curl small sections of hair without the clip to create beachy waves.


If you think a handle-free dryer is reserved for professional stylists, think again. Resident vlogger and stylist Tally Jeans Rossi explains: "A handle-free dryer can initially seem odd to those who are using it for the first time, but it’s actually very simple! By gripping the dryer by the barrel, you get more control over the dryer and it sits comfortably in your hand, which is especially important if you’re smoothing out medium or coarse texture."

If you’re tempted to try a new dryer, we encourage you to give the handle-free dryer a shot.


Hot rollers may seem like a thing of the past, but we assure you they are not. If you dig high-volume blow-outs, but need a quicker solution for achieving this style in the morning than a dryer and round brush, a hot roller system like the Neuro® Cell is a great option. Set your hair with this high-tech hot roller system, put your makeup on, get dressed and voila! You have supermodel-inspired waves with gorgeous volume.


If you seek perfect beach waves or loose, lived-in curls, an unclipped styling iron is your best accomplice. By wrapping the hair around the barrel of the iron without the clip, you achieve natural-looking waves and curls with a uniform shape. Curling larger sections will give you the loose curl look, while smaller sections will result in beautiful beach waves.  

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An unclipped curling iron in a cone shape is your ticket to achieving natural-looking curls╌the tapered barrel replicates the pattern of natural curls. This tool is great for those who want to give the illusion of having curly hair and for curl girls who want to define their natural texture.

Your best bet for consistently great hair days is to equip your styling routine with the proper tools. So, which ones are on your must-have list now?

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