Continuing with the heat theme…
What are the Best Heat Tools for Gray Hair?
For this post, I dug deep looking for tools that meet the unique needs of gray hair.
- The best rated Straight Irons, Dryers, and Hot Air Brushes,
- Tools with heat control,
- Heat tools that don’t get too hot,
- Designed to be safe for more delicate hair,
- My thoughts on Dyson Hair Care
I tested several of the bestselling heat tools with temperature controls, these are my honest reviews of these products.
As I test new products I will update this post:
Last update 12.27.2022
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Click any product name I mention and the link will take you to the product page for purchase.
Temperature Criteria for Gray Hair Safe Heat Tools:
As discussed in my previous post on Heat Damage, around 230°F tools start to get too hot for hair.
Ideally, you want your heat tools to stay between 203°F and 365°F to keep your silver hair from discoloring.
You want temperature-regulating sensors to help keep the temperature you set.
Controls for at least cool shot, low, medium, and high are great, if you can see the temperature setting or reading, even better.
To prevent heat damage on your gray hair:
Using a combination of these will ensure your brightest silvers continue to shine.
- Always PUT IN a heat protective product. I have my best recommendations here > Heat Damage on Gray Hair
- REMOVE as much moisture as possible before drying and styling; either, using a microfiber towel, and/or air-drying before beginning styling.
- Use the LOWEST HEAT possible to achieve your style.
- When using a hair dryer, keep the dryer moving and keep it at least six inches from your hair.
- When using irons, use the lowest setting possible and make as few passes over the hair as you can.
- Less is More the less you expose your hair to heat the better. Find the right heat protectant and tools so you can achieve longer lasting styles that can last several days.
For all of my heat tool testing, I used SEEN Blow Out Creme as my heat protectant. I have more heat protectant recommendations in the first part of this post > Heat Damage on Gray Hair.
Reasons to Get New Heat Tools:
Before we begin, you can check your current tools for how hot they get with a simple Heat Check. An inexpensive tool could save you from buying all new equipment you don’t need; I used a basic high-heat infrared thermometer. Alternatively, you can put a plain white piece of printer paper in your curling or flat iron…paper burns at the same temperature as hair…450°F.
If any of your heat tools are going to the extreme, it might be time for new ones.
If any of your flat irons are chipping, it is time to replace them; those chips can damage your hair.
If your tools are more than ten years old, I’d also say time for the recycling bin. New technology is being added all the time to protect our hair.
My BEST Recommendations for Gray Hair Safe Heat Tools:
I personally tested several products that are the favorites with silver sisters and in the curly hair community. These are my personal opinions on the these products based on preventing heat damage to your beautiful silvers.
Before You Grab Your Hair Dyer:
Start with your towel. It will help you avoid too much time with the heat tool and the right towel can help prevent frizz.
Friction is one of the number one causes of cuticle damage; it starts with your towel choice and not rubbing your hair vigorously.
Friction causes FRIZZ!
- This towel is like drying your hair with silk.
- The no loop design prevents roughing up the cuticle.
- Less Frizz
- Less Air-dry Time
- Less Heat-dry Time
- Get the pink one, the black transfers dye enough to worry me for white hair
- It would be awesome if they made a white one because of this.
The Best Hair Dryers for Gray Hair:
I think the best hair dryer is any hair dryer that you can CONTROL the heat, you especially want one that has low, medium, high, and cool-shot, even better if it has multiple blowing speeds. If you have curly hair or you don’t use a round brush to dry your hair, you can always use a diffuser.
The best practice is the lowest heat possible and furthest distance away from your hair you can to achieve your style.
This is my most recommended version of blow-drying.
- Diffuser attached,
- Lowest heat and blower setting possible (this doesn’t mean no heat).
- Hold the dryer at least six inches away from your hair,
- Keep the heat moving,
- Start at the roots and work your way down,
- The diffuser also helps by not blowing and causing friction.
Check out Mel’s Video here for her hover diffusing tutorial even if you don’t have curls the advice is great.
Highly Recommended Dryers and Accessories:
Curlsmith De-Frizzion Dryer with XXL Diffuser on Curly Silver Hair
Check out the YouTube review for all my thoughts on the Curlsmith Dryer.
- Heat Settings:
- Low ≈ 76°F
- Medium ≈ 113°F
- High ≈ 155°F
- Cool Shot
- Speeds: Low and High
- 9 ft. cord
- 8 inch diameter diffuser
Shark HyperAIR Blow Dryer
I also have checked out and tested the new Shark Hair Dryer, it does not get my stamp of approval for silver hair because it gets extremely hot. The diffuser is amazing, but I would love to see them lower the temperatures to a safer range.
- Heat Settings:
- Low ≈ 145°F – 150°F
- Medium ≈ 185°F – 190°F
- High ≈ 215°F – 220°F
- 6.5 inch diameter adjustable bowl diffuser
What is the best flat iron for gray hair?
The direct contact with your hair makes this the one heat tool I think you should invest in the best. It is worth it.
Know your plates. I had no idea until I started this post what the difference was between plates. I hope this helps you find the best plates for your hair type and protecting your silvers.
Using the wrong plates can make your hair frizzy and eventually damage your hair.
- Tourmaline-coated: a crushed crystal coating, over any type of plate. When heated, tourmaline emits negative ions, which reduces static and frizz.
- Ceramic-coated plates: coating made of clay, they are more gentle on any fragile hair type. Best suited for fine to normal and thin to normal hair types.
- Titanium plates: metal plates, best suited for coarse and thicker hair types. Titanium plates get VERY hot, so use with caution. Avoid if you already have damaged hair.
Overall, if you want to play it safe, stick to tourmaline coated ceramic.
The Best Flat Irons for Gray Hair:
#1 is the Dyson Corrale™
Personally, I would buy this if I flat ironed more than once a year. I promise you though, the more I researched this topic the more I fell in love with the science and technology behind Dyson Hair Care. I know they are top end of the budget for anyone, but how many of us have spent 100’s of dollars seeing our stylist for advice and chasing products to fix our damaged hair!
Dyson Corrale Features:
- Tourmaline edged complex manganese copper alloy plates.
- Three temperature settings: 330°F, 365°F, and 410°F.
- Regulates the temperature 100 times per second keeping your desired temperature.
- Flexing plates that allow for less passes, less heat time, and 50% less damage.
@Sephora: Dyson Corrale™ Hair Straightener
@Dyson: Corrale™ Hair Straightener
#2 is the ghd Platinum+ Ceramic Flat Iron
- More moderately priced than Dyson
- Ceramic floating plates
- Controlled heat setting of 365ºF (not my favorite idea since you cannot turn it down)
- Monitors heat 250x per second
- 9 foot cord
- Very well priced.
- Tourmaline Ceramic plates
- 30 heat settings with highest temp of 455ºF
- Auto shut-off
- Comes in two plates sizes
I’d measure the heat and find that temp below 365ºF, just to be on the safe side.
While researching flat irons THE NUMBER ONE recommended flat iron I saw was the HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline. These were my results.
I returned it for several reasons:
- It got extremely hot on the backside of the plates, which worried me for how hot it was getting the actual plates.
- It took me 20 minutes to find a safe temperature.
- I was going over the same section repeatedly to get it straight.
- You can see in the photo the section of hair it just wouldn’t get straight, and my hair straightens very easily.
I don’t know if I got a faulty one or what, but not what I expected for all the hype.
Curling Iron Options:
I did not test any curling irons but I have two of the INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR curling irons they work well and have multiple heat control settings.
Hot Air Brushes for Gray Hair:
Next up was my favorite part of this product testing…hot air brushes. These magical one and done tools seem to be the most recommended heat tools out there in the silver hair communities. I ordered both the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer & Hot Air Brush and the Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete.
- Three settings, cool, low and high
- I measured 140°F with a meat thermometer laying in the bristles on low heat.
- 20 minutes to 95% dry on LOW.
- Highest rated and most recommended hot air brush, hands down.
- Price is very reasonable at $40-$50
- It does work, it dries, straightens, and curls the ends all in one tool.
- Cool and high are really loud…annoyingly loud
- There was a LOT of hair left in it making me concerned with breakage and snapping
- The plate under the bristles does get really hot, so keep it moving.
- The handle is large, and with arm and neck issues, I had to take some frequent breaks.
- 6 ft cord, could use a couple more feet with long hair
Warnings and what made me send it back:
- Always use on low heat, it gets really hot on high.
- It grabbed my hair, I had to turn it off, and cut it out of my hair twice… NOT GOOD!! I do have really fine hair so this may not be an issue if you have coarser hair.
You can see though where it grabbed my hair, in the photo, and there was no getting it out.
I was so excited by how well this worked and equally disappointed for its shortcomings.
My Honest First Impression Review: T3 AireBrush Duo Interchangeable Hot Air Blow Dry Brush
I really liked how well this device controls heat, it worked well but the handle was an issue for me. I highly recommend it if you have silver hair it gets my stamp of approval.
- 5 Heat settings plus cool shot
- 3 blower speeds
- 2 interchangable brush heads
- Very quite compared to other hot air devices I have tried.
- Ceramic surface
- Frizz fighting ion generator
- Long cord 9 feet with swivel to prevent twisting the cord
- The shape of the handle was difficult for me to use with grip issues.
Available at Amazon.com: T3 AireBrush Duo Interchangeable Hot Air Blow Dry Brush
Get the rest of the details in my video review:
1st Edition Dyson Airwrap™ Styler Volume and Shape
- Backed by a crew of scientists who considered every detail, especially where heat damage was concerned.
- Temperature Settings: Low, Medium, High and Cool Shot.
- Air Flow Temperature measurement: On medium heat, I measured at around 118°F. As promised by Dyson, on high it hovered under 150°F mostly staying around 140°F
- 6 Tools in One: This set can replace round brush blow outs, a small hair dryer, two curling iron sizes, and two hot air bushes.
- Cord Length: 8.5 ft
- It checks and self-regulates the temperature 40 times per second. For silver hair that’s like an insurance plan against yellowing from heat damage.
- The max temperature output is 302°F, but because you are constantly moving the device, I don’t think your hair would reach that temperature.
- Negative charged ions control static in your hair.
- There was absolutely no tangling, snagging, pulling, snapping, and there was very little hair in the brush, especially compared to the Revlon One-Step Hot Air Brush.
- The technology behind this is amazing. As stated by Dyson, “The Dyson Airwrap™ styler harnesses an aerodynamic phenomenon called the Coanda effect. It curves air to attract and wrap hair to the barrel. Styling with air, not extreme heat.”
- You get two curling barrels for this reason; one goes in one direction and the other goes in the other direction. (To see which direction it is going to curl your hair, hold the barrel up next to your head, and look at the arrows on the barrel in the mirror… if you style curls away from your face the arrow should be pointing away from your face and vice versa.)
- It dries and styles at the same time, which is a bonus on time. Dry/Style Time: My hair was around 90% dry in 15 minutes on medium heat with the soft bristle brush.
- My styled hair lasted for three days, which is longer than my naturally curly style lasts. I could have gone four days, but it got windy here.
- Once you get the hang of it, it is actually really fun and easy to use.
- The learning curve with the curling barrels is a thing. However, a few tutorials on the Dyson website and YouTube and I had it in no time.
- I really dislike the Pre-Styling Dryer attachment and it seemed like it would be a relatively simple solution to offer a diffuser version. Hint-hint Dyson, if you are reading this.
The worst part about this was I FELL IN LOVE and I had the wrong set for my long hair. I ordered the standard length barrels without knowing there were long barrels. Dyson said, “Try it as much as you want and then send it back, within 30 days.” So I did, I got a full refund, and then I waited a year for the long barrel set to be back in stock.
UPDATED SINCE THE NEW AIRWRAP CAME OUT JUNE 2022 I really did love this tool the first edition, and I couldn’t wait for it to be back in stock. I am terrible with styling my hair, aside from my natural curls, and this felt like I could safely do “something else” with my hair. When I got the new version, the tools did not function nearly as well (in my opinion) one wouldn’t even attach properly to the dryer wand. Sadly, I had to return it, again. The tech is still excellent, just not a tool for me, however, it still gets my stamp of approval for a silver hair safe tool.
Price: $599 + Tax for the Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete
@Sephora Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete
Shark FlexStyle Air Drying & Styling System
I tested the new Shark Flex Style, it does not get my stamp of approval for silver hair because it gets extremely hot. And I feel like the brush tools are too stiff for delicate silver hair, they caused severe breakage just in my testing.
- Heat Settings:
- Low ≈ 150°F – 160°F
- Medium ≈ 160°F – 190°F
- High ≈ 215°F – 250°F
- Smaller adjustable bowl diffuser than the dryer diffuser
- The blow out nozzle was holding 180°F and extremely hot to the touch.
You can check out my full review on YouTube:
I hope you found this post educational and helpful.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.
As always it is about so much more than the hair.
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