Do These At-Home Blowout Tools Really Work? + MORE

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Do These At-Home Blowout Tools Really Work?


Re-creating a salon blowout at home can be tricky. No matter how easy your hairstylist makes it look, it’s a whole different situation when you’re doing it yourself. The latest new hair tools promise to make it much easier to DIY a home blowout. But are they actually a guarantee of good hair days? Here’s the scoop.

First tool up is the Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($60;, an oval brush that doubles as a dryer, blowing hot or cool air. Next is The Beachwaver Co. Coast Pro Ceramic Styling Iron ($169;; it’s a flatiron with a slide-on attachment that enhances the size of the barrel, and it resembles a wand when clamped. Last is the Click ‘N Curl Blowout Brush Set ($40;, a round brush with a detachable barrel so sections of hair can dry while also setting in a roller-like shape.

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What the Pro says

Hairstylist Siobhán Quinlan, who does an average of seven blowouts a day, tested the tools on herself and her clients at the salon Art + Autonomy in New York City. Her favorite? The Click ‘N Curl, based on the volume and bounce it gave her long hair. “The effect is similar to when I set my hair with Velcro rollers, but without the extra step,” she says. However, it took five minutes longer than her typical blow-dry. The tool that proved the fastest was the Revlon dryer, which shaved five minutes off her dry time. One caveat: Quinlan says the tool—great for medium-length hair—is too large to get to the root of super-curly textures. The Beachwaver Co. Coast Pro requires you to rough-dry your hair first. “It’s easy to use if you’re used to curling your hair with a flatiron,” she says. The result is smooth strands with movement at the ends. “It’s the most universal and can be used on any hair type.”

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What we say

While there’s no magic wand that gives you a completely effortless salon blowout at home, these gadgets will help up your hair game. One editor, who has long, fine hair, reported that the Click ‘N Curl Brush Set took some getting used to but gave good lift. The Revlon brush required multiple passes to dry each section, but it was great for touching up second-day hair. She found the Beachwaver to be the most versatile, noting, “I can get loose waves or sleek hair.”

The bottom line

If you want a classic blowout, the Click ‘N Curl will help you get it. Have medium-length hair and need to smooth frizz? The Revlon dryer will be your new go-to. If you like to style after drying, go with the Beachwaver.

This Former Bikini Competitor Shared a Before-and-After Pic to Make a Powerful Point


Julie Ledbetter, once a bikini competitor, is now a fitness and body-positive blogger. She knows how tough it is to train for a competition, and in her case, it led to a scary-low body-fat percentage and a very unhealthy attitude concerning her size and shape. That’s why she decided to share a different kind of before-and-after photo with her Facebook followers.

Ledbetter posted a photo of herself taken just before a competition in 2014 and then paired it with a video showing her “after” body as it looks today. In the video and the post caption, Ledbetter explained how her pre-competition body was unhealthy and unsustainable.

“I was almost in the single digits for body fat % (not healthy), constantly cold (in the middle of JULY), always thinking about my next meal because I was in a deep caloric deficit and couldn’t miss a gym session because ‘I was ___ weeks out from my show,’” Ledbetter wrote in the caption.


She also mentioned that even though she had a super toned physique and visible six-pack, she still thought she needed to lose stomach fat.

“Talk about a WARPED brain I had,” she commented.

These days, Ledbetter is healthier, and she’s embraced a positive outlook concerning her body. Her weight has gone up, and she has more body fat. In the video, she said it might be confusing for some people to understand how her progress involved adding pounds. Yet having a maintainable body and lifestyle makes her feel better, physically and emotionally.

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Ledbetter explained that she still works out five days a week, but she’s able to take weekends off and incorporate rest days. She’s also no longer sacrificing time with friends and family in the name of “perfect” eating.

“I am at a healthy body fat %, I am not constantly thinking about my next meal or stressed when things take priority over my workouts. I am strong, content and most importantly confident of the body I have built since 2014,” she stated. “This body is something that I can confidently say I can maintain for life.”

To get our best wellness advice delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter.

Ledbetter ends the post by encouraging women not to compare their bodies to someone else’s, reminding them that most bikini competition photos are only showing an extreme highlight reel and aren’t realistic.

The original post has been viewed 6.6 million times and has racked up over 30,000 shares. Clearly, Ledbetter’s message to embrace balance is hitting a chord.

She wrapped up the video with a powerful statement: “Yes, this is my after body and I’m proud of it.”

10 Things to Know Before Your First Bikini Wax


Having wax strips placed on your skin and letting a stranger rip off some of the most sensitive hair of your body doesn’t sounds like an ideal way to spend an afternoon. But with beach season about to hit and the thought of stubble or razor burn making you cringe, you might be considering a bikini wax for the first time. 


Plenty of women say a professional wax is worth it for the super smooth results. You can tell the waxer how much or how little you want taken off, from just a tidying up to a more thorough job on top and past your thigh creases. (A bikini wax generally means neatening things down there, not a total mow job, aka a Brazilian wax.)


And honestly, the pain probably isn’t as excruciating as you think. “The anticipation is the worst part,” says Keiann Roberts, lead specialist for New York hair-removal studio Spruce & Bond. “Usually as soon as the wax is done, [clients] say it isn’t as bad as they thought it would be.” Ready to give it a go? Prepare yourself with our first-time bikini wax guide.


RELATED: 5 Skincare Tricks to Look Better in a Bikini


Make sure your hair is the right length

“Your hair should be about a quarter of an inch long—or what we say is a grain of rice,” says Roberts. If your hair is longer, waxing will be more painful. If it’s shorter, the wax won’t have enough to grab onto, so it may not come off at all or could lead to pesky ingrown hairs. If you’re not sure about the length, lean on the longer side and request that the studio trims it down for you.

Consider going when you don’t have your period

You can get a wax when you have your period. (Just make sure to use a tampon and give your waxer a heads up!) But most experts advise against it, especially if it’s your first time. Three days leading up to your period and the days of your period, most people have a lower pain threshold, so the wax could hurt more, says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in NYC and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School. 

Do your research and find a reputable salon

Of course, the salon you go to should be completely professional, sanitary, and doesn’t double dip. Word of mouth and referrals are often the best way to find the right studio. If a friend has had a good experience somewhere, chances are you will too. And if all else fails, there’s Google. When you arrive, trust your instincts. “You get that gut feeling when you walk in whether it’s a place that you feel comfortable going to or not,” says Bowe. 

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Skip the exfoliants a few days before 

Keep your skincare regime gentle in the days leading up to your wax. At most, do a very light exfoliation a couple of days before, says Roberts. Anything too harsh will irritate the skin, causing more redness and irritation after the wax.

Take a painkiller the day of your wax

Pain is the number one (and totally legit) concern most first time bikini-waxers have…

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Do These At-Home Blowout Tools Really Work?
This Former Bikini Competitor Shared a Before-and-After Pic to Make a Powerful
10 Things to Know Before Your First Bikini

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