Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

DIY Style File: Every Day Sleek & Sophisticated Look

Sleek and Sophisticated Tutorial

We’re back with installation #2 of our DIY Style File series! This look is all about timelessness and versatility. You can effortlessly take it to the office, the PTA meeting or girls night.

The signature piece here is the straight and low pony. The secret: use a flat iron to straighten hair and a smoothing hairspray like Beyond The Zone Smooth Criminal. This way, when you pull hair back into the low-slung ponytail, you’re not fighting with any natural waves or bumps.


Because your hair is pulled back and away from the face, your eyes and lips will be on center stage. Have fun with that!

Line your eyes with Femme Couture Liquid Eye Liner in Black and finish out with a small wing corners. Apply Ardell Natural Lashes once the liner is completely dry. Tip: Use tweezers to apply for more precise placement. Check back next week for the full eye makeup tutorial!


You’ll want to add a hint of color and shine to your lips. It’s okay to go a bit bolder in color choice with these Femme Couture Shiny Color Crayons. They’re like a cross between a gloss and a stain, so the color won’t be over-the-top. Bonus: they’re also extra moisturizing.



And for a twist on safe basic beige nails, add slanted black tips. So simple and such a quick way to dress up your everyday look without a lot of effort.



Specialty Tools 101

Have you ever seen an unusual looking tool on the shelves at Sally Beauty and thought…what IS that? And…what greatness will it do to my hair?! We’ve got your answers. Check out the specialty tools below and all the pro styles they will help you access.

Curl Machine
Curl Machine

CURL! This is a neat tool. You place the barrel over a section of hair near your scalp, the tool draws in the length of the section, beeps when time is up and when released – a perfect curl! Pictured above is the BeLissPro Curl Genius Professional Curl Machine. Click the link to the product page to watch a video of this tool in action.



WAVE! The Ion Titanium Pro Triple Barrel Waver will give your hair waves as you draw it down each hair section. These irons come in different sizes – smaller barrels = smaller waves or vice-versa. 

Bubble Wand
Bubble Wand

TOUSLED! A bubble wand will deliver a tousled curl look. Wrap a section of hair around wand while keeping light tension between wand and hair. Pictured is the Hot Shot Tools Black Pearl Bubble Wand.

Spiral Iron
Spiral Iron

SPIRALS! Similar idea to the bubble wand above, the Ion Titanium Pro Spiral Iron will give you more of a spiral curl. This is also a no-clip tool – you wrap the hair around the barrel then release. It comes with a heat protective glove.


Crimping Iron
Crimping Iron

CRIMP! Everyone’s favorite 80′s throwback style – the crimping iron. Sally Beauty carries the Gold ‘N Hot Professional Crimping Iron. Unlike most tools which you pull over / through hair or wrap hair around, to crimp –  start at the top of a section near your scalp, press and hold (just a few seconds), then move the crimper down that same section and press and hold again until you reach the bottom of that hair section. You can just crimp one area of your hair for an accent or your whole head!


Tapered Wand
Tapered Wand

CURL VARIETY! A Tapered wand allows you to choose your own adventure. Another clip less tool, you wrap a section of hair around the barrel. For tighter curls, wrap hair closer to the small tip. For larger curls, use the base. For a tapered curl that goes from wide to tight, utilize the whole wand as you wrap the section. Watch the video on the Plugged In Tourmaline Cone Curling product page to learn more.


We hope you have fun experimenting with these fun, easy-to-use specialty hair tools! See the entire line of Specialty Tools available at

Blow Dryer Tips & Tricks

Tricks for Using a Blow Dryer

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Point dryer at hair and wait for it to dry…but, no. Here are some tips and tricks to get the best blow dry.

Review our Blow Dry 101 post to find the best dryer for your hair. There are many shapes, wattages, features and construction materials to choose from.

A large, flat brush with vents will dry hair much faster. A round brush will aid in styling. Stay away from metal in the brushes you use while blow drying. This will only create more heat and excessive heat = damage.

A little product on damp hair can make all the difference in a blow out. Sally Beauty sells a wide array of heat protectants.

Section out hair so each section gets dry without hitting already dry sections. This will prevent heat damage on the already-dry areas and allow for more styling control.

Constantly keep the dryer in motion. Stopping in one spot may overheat and damage your hair.

To get volume, flip all hair over your head to one side and blow the roots, then flip all hair to opposite side and blow that side’s roots. When styling with your dryer, pull hair taut but not too tight. Pulling your brush up at the roots will add volume, pulling down will create a sleek, close-to-the-head look.

Start with medium heat and moderate air flow to pre-dry (you can pre-dry just using your hands and no brush) then switch to higher heat and introduce a hair brush for the finish. Especially if you are using your dryer to manipulate your hair into a style (EX : flipping up the ends, creating a wave). Higher heat while styling will help your hair set better.

Help your hair cool down with the cool blast on your dryer then let hair rest until completely cool before messing with it again (if you are dissatisfied with how the style came out!). The hair will settle as it cools and take on a slightly different texture and appearance.

Curling Iron 101

The different styles of curling irons available these days are plentiful! We tested a few and put together some curling iron basics. Welcome to your Sally Beauty Curling Iron 101 lesson.

Mostly, what we are looking at to get a certain style of curl is:


As a ground rule, the smaller the barrel, the smaller the curl. As you work your way up in size, the larger the curl. We played with these three to test out the curl factor.

Variety of Curling Irons at Sally Beauty Supply

Left to Right : Hot Shot 2″ Ceramic, CHI Elite 1″ Ceramic, Plugged In 3/8″

The results were pretty much what we expected! The very large barrel was more of a smoothing, slight wave (left), the medium barrel gave a soft, flowy curl (center) and the very tiny barrel created a tight, screw curl when pulled out straight down (right).

Different curling iron curls

Just like in our Blow Dryer 101 post, what the curling iron is made of will affect the heat level, amount of smoothing and alleviate damage to hair.

Curling Irons will be constructed of a combination of the following materials :

  • Teflon – ensures that hair slides around the iron smoothly and product isn’t as likely to build up on the barrel.
  • Ceramic – gentle, even heat which helps to minimize dryness and breakage from heat styling.
  • Tourmaline – finely ground precious gem oozing with negative ions which help to smooth and defrizz hair.
  • Metals (i.e., gold, aluminum) – used for curling iron barrels due to their heat conducive qualities.
  • Titanium – notoriously strong but lightweight metal, perfect for hand tools of many descriptions.

With the three we tried, our favorite was the CHI Elite Ceramic Curling Iron (center curl above). The curls came out beautifully and we loved the digital temperature read out.

CHI Elite Ceramic Curling Iron

Browse the full selection of curling irons available at your local Sally Beauty Supply or in our online shop!

Flat Irons 101

The Best Flat Iron Selection

We’ve covered what to look for in a dryer with our Blow Dryer 101 and curling irons in our Curling Iron 101 and now, Flat Irons get their turn! In addition to the construction materials and temperature settings mentioned in the other 101′s, plate size is also an important consideration when choosing the perfect flat iron for your hair. Let’s get started…


You want to choose a plate size based on the length of your hair.
SHORT HAIR Go for a smaller plate – less than 1″
MEDIUM LENGTH to SHOULDER LENGTH You will do best with 1″ to  1¼”
LONG HAIR For longer hair, you can get away with the widest plates at 1½” to 2″


Like blow dryers and curling irons, most tools come with variable heat settings.
Having the flexibility to change the temperature is definitely an advantage.
However, fixed or non-adjustable temperature flat irons can work just fine on normal, healthy hair. Not all of us have that, though.

If your hair needs a gentle touch, use an iron at low temperature – as low as 250 degrees, to avoid damage.

Chemically treated hair should be considered fragile, so the same guideline as above.

Thick, coarse hair is stronger so you can get away with temps over 350 degrees.

Depending on your range of normal and if your hair is chemical free – you may find anywhere from 300-400 degrees works for you. It’s always better to err on the side of lower temp and turn it up, as necessary. You may find that you’ve been using too high a temperature, causing more potential damage, unnecessarily!

Regardless of your hair type – use your best judgement. If you ever feel like the iron is getting your hair too hot or smell any type of burning scent, stop using that temperature immediately! And NEVER EVER use a hot iron on wet hair. That is basically boiling your hair from the outside and will certainly cause damage.


Almost all flat irons these days contain ceramic. Generally, ceramic is combined with a strong metal such as aluminum or titanium to create the flat iron plate. Additionally, various nano technologies may be present – which means super fine particles have been infused into the plate. Titanium, silver and tourmaline are common nano technologies. Depending on your hair type and the quality of iron – the nano technology will aid in straightening, shine and preventing heat damage.

We grabbed a CHI Elite Shimmer Black 1″ Flat Iron - an iron which will work with most hair types. Elizabeth tested it on her long, normal-to-thick hair. Her hair is not chemically treated and is in average condition. She set the temp to 350 degrees and used no products to see how the flat iron did on its own. The results were impressive.

BEFORE flat iron test

CHI Flat Iron from Sally Beauty
AFTER flat iron test

A shiny, smooth head of hair is something every woman needs now and again. Using these 101 guidelines, choose the iron that’s best for your hair. Sally Beauty has an extensive collection from to choose from.