In the same vein that Die Hard and Mean Girls are considered holiday movies for their respective mega-fans, hot tools have a very special place in the gifting season for beauty lovers. They’re some of the most festive and fun gifts with their flashing lights and gilded hardware, impressive and innovative tech, and often expansive bundle options.
We’ve curated some of our favorites to gift to your loved ones. Year-round, team Allure extensively tests heat-stylers — singeing our strands for the sake of research — to bring you our recommendations for the best-performing products. Our findings: flatirons that create glassy, pin-straight styles, wavers and curling wands for beach waves and full-bodied curls, high-speed blow-dryer brushes, and more. Some of these tools have even gotten a holiday makeover with special-edition colors and product add-ons that make for the perfect gift set.
So read on for some way “grool” holiday gifts — ones that will make your most beauty-obsessed friend hug and kiss you (even when you’re not under the mistletoe).
Waving and Curling Wands
A good waving or curling wand can make the difference between burnt, limp hairstyles and healthy, bouncy hair looks. Our picks for three stand-out curling wands are functional, but also gorgeous to look at on your vanity. The Kristin Ess Soft Wave Pivoting Wand does exactly as it says: It bends at the gilded fissure above its temperature-setting buttons — shifting into an L-shaped tool. In its bent position, the tool is easier to wield, allowing you to reach behind your head with ease. It creates flowing waves without any bicep burn, which is genius.
Similarly, the Beachwaver S1 Dual Voltage White Rotating Curling Iron makes creating curls a breeze. Decide which direction you want your hair to curl (I prefer my curls facing away from my face) and press its button. The barrel rotates, wrapping the section of hair you’re working with around it.
Finally, the T3 Whirl Trio is a favorite among Allure staffers. It comes with barrels of different sizes (1-inch, 1.5-inch, and a tapered option) to give you the bouncing curls and waves you desire. (My go-to is the tapered attachment, which creates lived-in waves.) It’s the ultimate starter set for those who love a traditional curling wand.
If your loved one loves a good flatiron, consider these two from GHD and L’Oreál. The GHD Unplugged Styler straightens hair for glassy, soft strands, while being travel-friendly. The L’Oréal Professional Steampod Flat Iron uses steam and a built-in comb to create a sleek style — and the tool is bundled with some heat-protecting and shine-enhancing products from Kérastase.
Our waver picks this year might seem like a blast from the past, but note these aren’t like the crimpers or rollers of the past. Trademark Beauty Babe Waves X creates cool, high-shine, party-ready S-waves in less than 20 minutes, while the Conair Big Curls and Waves Hair Setter creates full-bodied Hollywood waves and flips.
Our picks for hair dryer gifts take blow-drying to the next level. The Hot Tools One-Step Hair Dryer dries, smooths, and adds shine in just one styling session. The Amika Double Agent dries and straightens — and is commerce writer Jennifer Hussein’s go-to for a speedy styling session. She calls it “seriously impressive” as it gives her pin-straight hair in under 10 minutes, when her hair typically takes 30 to 40 minutes to straighten it.