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The Best Heated Hair Tools For Spring And Beyond

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

I take pride in my transparency when I write these articles, so I would be doing a disservice to myself if I didn’t tell you I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump recently. I normally have many ideas for my next article; at a campus as lively and beautiful as UCSB, there is inspiration everywhere. 

However, last week was different. Slouched over my computer, idealess, I despised the blinking cursor on my screen more every minute. Discouraged by my lack of creativity, and feeling mocked by an inanimate cursor, I decided to go on a walk. As I exited my building, a girl tapped me on the shoulder and complimented my hair. This was not just any compliment though — she told me my hair looked glamorous. Glamorous!

During the last decade, I’ve spent considerable time perfecting how I curl my hair, specifically concerning what I use to curl it. Still, it’s one of those things I do so frequently it’s robotic, choreographed even. Before I could process the word glamorous, the girl asked me what products I used. I gave her a brief description of my heat protectant and curling iron, but I quickly realized I was more passionate about the topic of heated hair tools than I thought. 

I grew up watching beauty gurus on YouTube and currently am a collegiate cheerleader, so I’ve learned a lot about heated tools and hair over the years. I decided to compile a list of the best heated tools (and products to go alongside them) partly because I am passionate about a good hair day, but mostly because of that complimentary stranger. 

We often marginalize our knowledge about a subject, especially during a creativity drought, until we are reminded of our awesomeness by someone kind. So, “glamorous girl,” this article is for you. 

The Heat Protectant 

Arguably the most important product in your hair routine when using heated tools, heat protectant deserves a spot on this list of holy grails. For those of you thinking, “Does that stuff even work?” I would like to remind you that it might not solve all of your life problems, but it does provide a protective layer against excessive heat on your hair. 

I use two heat protectants — one for when I straighten my hair, and one for when I curl it. 

I use the Not Your Mother’s 10-in-1 Hair Perfector when I straighten my hair because it provides heat protection while adding shine and fighting frizz. I’ve found it works especially well when you do a hairstyle that does not require hairspray, so I use it on straight hair. When I curl my hair, however, I always use the CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray. This product has the sole purpose of protecting against heat, so it works well in combination with hairspray. 

The Curling Iron

I wanted to include a few curling irons in this list to provide options, but truthfully I only use one, and I believe it’s the best. I guess I’m just trying to bring minimalism back.

The Wrap Party Curling and Styling Wand from DryBar is genuinely my favorite hair tool ever. The wand itself is engineered with ionic technology that seals the hair cuticle for less frizz, while infrared technology heats hair from the inside out. 

The barrel itself is non-slip and reverse-tapered, which allows for complete control when curling, and produces perfectly round, even curls. The price point of this wand is steep, but I can confirm it’s worth every dollar! 

The Flat Iron

This list would not be complete without at least one product from Hot Tools, as they’ve set the standard for heated tools for as long as I’ve been alive. 

The Hot Tools Wide Plate 1¼” Digital Salon Flat Iron has saved me hours of styling. I have very thick, generally frizzy hair, and even with this iron on a medium heat setting I only need to straighten each section of my hair once. Hot Tools flat irons all boast the brand’s patented Nano Ceramic Micro-Shine ® styling surface, smoothing hair and increasing shine while straightening it.

The Hairspray 

Styling hair with heated tools is a two-to-three-step process; heat protectant should be used first, then the heated tool, then hairspray if necessary. Because each of these steps holds equal value in the styling process, the type of hairspray used is just as important as the heated tool. 

The best hairspray for you will depend on how long you need your hairstyle to stay in for, and how “touchable” you want your hair to be. 

For example, I love got2b’s Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray for cheerleading, but I will never use it for day-to-day purposes, as it’s the closest thing to actual glue you can put in your hair. On an average day, when I want my curls to stay intact for 12-24 hours, I use Paul Mitchell’s Firm Style Freeze and Shine Super Spray. Besides being a quality hairspray that doesn’t leave my hair feeling sticky or crunchy, this hairspray, as well as all of Paul Mitchell’s products, are cruelty-free and made from sustainable packaging. Cheers to that!

Although I wrote this article specifically for “glamorous girl,” I hope everyone can benefit from these products. I went through the wringer to learn these tips, but if the information gained from my struggles improves at least one of your lives, I’d gladly do it again.

Ally Jobe

UCSB '27

Ally is a first year Sociology major at UC Santa Barbara, where she finds particular joy in running, reading poetry, and admiring the sunset. She is elated to be a part of such an amazing group of writers, and she hopes, above all, that her work brightens your day.