Can You Get Away With Cheap & Cheerful Hair Styling Tools? (Plus Four Things You Should Always Look For)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had oodles of hair styling tools littered around my bedroom. Back when curly hair was all the rage, I embraced the diffuser and spent hours perfecting my technique in front of the mirror; when straighteners first came to be, this wavy-haired frizz fest was first on the list for her very own at-home solution. I dabbled in those portable styling tools that were powered by gas cylinders that cost almost as much as the device itself, and burnt my hair to a crisp with some overheated GHDs many a time; I was one of the first to try out the ‘pro’ hairdryers and steampods that provided professional long-lasting results and an eye watering price tag, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself out of paying over two-hundred quid for the Dyson dryer. In the last twenty years the hair industry has progressed leaps and bounds, now offering thousands of different solutions to our hair woes across a huge spectrum of price points – helping every one of us to have great hair days every day (or at least when we can bothered to wash it.) But one of the questions that crops up again and again (both from friends and readers) is whether you really need to spend a lot on your tools, or whether you can get away with playing it cheap and cheerful.

Having tried pretty much every type of tool and every brand out there, I
can honestly say the majority of the time there’s not much difference.
Many brands’ tools are actually produced in the same factories and with
the same technology, making the only differentiating factor often the
presentation and name. The majority of us don’t need a super
professional tool, but just an easy to use device that will help us tame
our manes and create the look we desire; unless you have super unruly
or afro hair, the majority of mid-range tools will be just the ticket.
Although it’s nice to invest in your beauty regime, it’s not essential –
just as it’s not necessary to spend £100 on a face cream, just because
it tells you it’s the best. Technology has progressed so much, allowing
far more advanced science and engineering to filter down to the cheaper
brands, meaning you get just a great result for a fraction of the cost. In my experience, rather than thinking you have to spend a lot it’s far wiser to look out for these four things and ensure you’re not paying over the odds for something that doesn’t add much value. 


wants to burn their hair off like those girls you see in those viral
vids, so looking for tools with temperature control is essential.
Whether it’s three or four different settings, or the ability to specify
the temperature you want, it’s a really important feature that will put
you in control and save your hair from a lot of potential damage.
Whenever you can you should turn the heat down to the minimum you can
get away with (I usually stick to 160-180 degrees on my straighteners)
to keep your style in place.


Although a lot of
‘pro’ tools look fab, they’re often super heavy because of their
hardcore motors. If you don’t want to do yourself an injury (or take up
too much of your baggage allowance when traveling,) then look for a
lightweight and space efficient tool. There was a trend a few years ago
to add weight to dryers and stylers as they were perceived to be more
effective, but thankfully that’s now been replaced with lightweight
materials and minimal add-ons – so no more arm ache from your blow-dry.


wants shinier hair right? Historically over-styling lead to dull,
brittle and static hair, but thanks to amazing new technologies our
styling tools can actually help to restore the health of each strand and
add shine simultaneously. Whether the plates are infused with keratin,
or the dryer emits nanoparticles to help neutralise frizz, there’s so
much great stuff out there at no real added cost. (These Nicky Clarke tools feature ‘ionic conditioning technology’ to help retain moisture and provide a frizz free finish.) Look for key words
like ‘shine, keratin, nanoparticles and smoothing’ and your hair will
reap the benefits.


It may spend its life hanging up on the back of your door or lying across your dressing table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to something pretty. Gone are the days when hair tools were all universally black and less than uninspiring; now there’s every design, colour and style imaginable – just look at how pretty these Nicky Clarke ‘Rose Botanicals’ ones are! Find a design you love and your morning hair sesh will be more than just routine… It’ll be a pleasure you’ll look forward to.

It’s never necessary to pay over the odds for your hair styling tools; just be a savvy shopper and find the one you love.

The Nicky Clarke Supershine Rose Botanicals Hair Dryer (£54.99) and Straightener (£89.99) are available from Boots – so look out for discounts and special offers, because you never need to pay full price on electricals!
(Right now you get £20.00 back in points with Nicky Clarke electricals.)


Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. Ray
    January 29, 2018 / 11:24 am

    That's a really pretty

  2. Kelly Prince-Wright
    January 29, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Oooh these ones are so pretty! I've had the same dryer/straightener/curler since I moved to the UK and I'm probably due an upgrade! Good to know about the heat temp too, I'm so sure I'm going to burn my hair off one of these days! xoKelly |

  3. Pam Scalfi
    January 30, 2018 / 9:54 am

    need a new pair of straighteners asap and these look good and not overly expensive. I too use them at max 180 degrees…I made the mistake of using them at 200 for a while and needless to say my hair was pretty badly damaged…Pam xo/ Pam Scalfiā™„

  4. Sophie Bird
    February 8, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    I do think that for hairbrushes it is definitely worth paying more. I have two Mason Pearson mixed bristle brushes which are fantastic. I have tried other brushes including the Wet Brush and the Tangle Teazer and they are terrible compared to a Mason Pearson. They are a huge extravagance for a hairbrush but are a lifetime investment.

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