I can remember being a little girl watching HAIRSPRAY (the one with Ricki Lake) for the first time and seeing her iron her hair straight. What's the big deal? She laid her hair on an ironing board and ironed it with a clothes iron! I couldn't believe that was real until my mother confirmed that in fact that is how women used to get their hair straight. Now back up even further to the antique contraptions women used on their hair, yikes! What you find on google search is unbelievable.
The first blow dryer was invented in 1890 and it was connected by a hose to the gas stove or if you didn't have a stove then you connected the hose to the chimney. Have you ever smelled your hair after roasting marshmallows? It wasn't until the 1970's that blow dryers were finally made with safety in mind.
The first flat iron was invented in 1912. It was made of two metal plates that rested between a hinge in the center and that you could clamp and unclamp from the hair. The design is similar to what we use now. However, fire was used to heat up the original flat iron and with no heat control you could seriously damage your hair. I'm liking the idea of the clothes iron at this point. Although the clothes iron is bulky and you have to lay your head on the ironing board, at least you can control the temperature. This brings me to my reason for wanting to talk (hair) tools.
With the earlier history lesson I gave you, one can see how evolved the hair tool industry has become. Now we have safety features, temperature control, technology. When looking for a new blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron...Check the wattage. As a consumer you do not need a lot of watts. The higher the wattage the hotter the tool. High heat is not always best. Know the fabric of your hair. Looking back on the clothes iron it has setting for silk, polyester, cotton, linen. Those settings put out different ranges of heat. You wouldn't put the iron to the Linen setting and use it on silk now would you?
Next, see what features the tool has. Tourmaline emits infrared heat and negative ions, this makes the heat much gentler on the hair during styling for a shinier and less frizzy finish. Tourmaline can also help you hair to endure much higher levels of heat without creating damage. Ceramic when heated, produces a huge amount of negative ions, enough to counteract the positive ions found in dry and damaged hair. A great benefit is that it helps distribute heat evenly. While titanium generates heat using negative ions and has heat conduction that give consistent heat, it's a better option for medium to coarse hair not prone to damage. Also, take a look at temperature control, automatic shut off, speed settings. All of these will play a huge part in the tool you choose to use.
And lastly, don't skimp on the heat protectant. Always use a heat protecting styling product before your blow dry and prior to using any irons. Your hair will thank you (and so will your stylist).