Friday, February 28, 2014

Power Tools for a Red Carpet Look

As Oscar gowns have become more formal, so too has the hair that accompanies them. Gone are the days when actresses would walk the red carpet with their locks tucked under a crocheted cap (Ali MacGraw, 1971), raked into an outlandish Bob Mackie headdress (Cher, 1986) or casually combed (Michelle Pfeiffer, 1990). On Sunday, viewers will see a parade of stylized looks, like Reese Witherspoon’s Veronica Lake waves at the ceremony last year and Emma Watson’s stern bun at the most recent Golden Globes.

And now, thanks to a new generation of hot tools, more women are attempting to create these looks at home.
From left: Harry Josh Pro Tools dryer, Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret, InStyler Wet to Dry hair styler and CHI Touch Dryer.

Erika Angela, a model and actress in her early 30s, said she used to spend more than an hour, using four tools (a flatiron, blow dryer, curling iron and round brush) to style her long, dark brown locks, which are straight at the roots but frizzy at the ends. But her routine got a reboot this year, she said, when she started using the InStyler Wet to Dry styler ($130). The tool, which has a rotating hot barrel and brush, can straighten or curl wet hair.

“I don’t have to carry around so much stuff for my hair anymore, and I’ve also saved hours of time every week,” said Ms. Angela, who lives in Los Angeles. “It’s completely changed my approach to my hair.” 

The Wet to Dry is one of several new appliances changing the way hair is styled in salons and at home, like blow dryers with LCD screens that customize styling to hair type, devices that simultaneously dry and style hair, and automatic curling machines. They are a long way from the simple round brush that was standard equipment a generation ago. 

According to Virginia Lee, a senior research analyst at Euromonitor, the market research firm based in London, the number of hair styling appliances sold globally was close to 209 million in 2012, up from 190 million in 2007. Ms. Lee said this is thanks in part to the rise of how-to videos on YouTube. “Manufacturers are realizing that women are trying to create salon looks at home and are coming up with products to help,” Ms. Lee said.


 Hair News Network
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