Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

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.

Halloween Beauty: Become an Evil Queen

We’ve reached time of year when certain Halloween trends really begin to stand out.  You’ve seen them gracing superstore ads and Pinterest costume boards over and over again – dragons, doughnuts, fairy princesses, icy princesses and superheroes both large and small (and medium-sized – lots of medium-sized superheroes out there).  But, take another look around and you’ll see a dark contender making her way to the forefront – the Evil Queen.

Halloween Look:  Evil Queen

Yes, the Evil Queen has been everywhere in the past year or so, flapping her leathery wings and threatening tiny royal infants, or perhaps painting apples a poisonous shade of red before moving into small-town suburbia to stir things up.  If you love making a show-stopping entrance at costume parties, this is the Halloween look for you.  Let us show you how:

Begin with a foundation that will give you a pale, flawless complexion, like Palladio Dual Wet and Dry Foundation.  Since this is a look that maxes out the drama, you’ll want to create a super-dramatic eye.  Femme Couture® Velvet Eye Color Quad in Velvet Mystery is just what you need.  Swipe the lightest color in the quad across your upper eyelid, browbone and the inner corner of your eye.  In the crease, apply the medium to dark shadows.  Add an upward sweep of shadow to the outer corner of each eye – something smoky and mysterious like Real Colors Singled Out Matte Eye Shadow in Purple Reign, and finish things up with a matching mascara, perhaps Ardell Ombré Lashes in Purple.

Did you know that a brow kit can double as a contouring tool?  Try a set like Femme Couture® Perfect Arch Brow Grooming Kit.  First, apply it to your brows, brushing them up into a dramatic arch.  Then, apply it along your cheekbone (just underneath to be exact), then down to your jawline in order to create the appearance of very high, very sharp cheekbones.  Adding a highlighter such as Femme Couture® Perfect Arch Brow Highlighter will increase the effect.

Evil Queen - Tips & Tools

You’re beginning to look truly malevolent!  It’s time for that poisonous, red smile. Make sure your lips are moisturized, then line them with a killer crimson – Palladio Precision Lip Liner in Candy Apple is certainly appropriate.  Now, fill them in with a matching hue, like Femme Couture® Prime Wear Diamond Color in Prismatic Poppy, and add a slick of toxic shine with Lip Luster Lip Gloss in Cherry Frost.

Evil Queen - Face

A classic Evil Queen demands a classic widow’s peak.  Luckily, you can just paint yours on.  You’ll want something that applies smoothly and precisely, so try Femme Couture® Ultra Smooth Gel Eyeliner in Black in a “V” shape underneath your hairline.  Tuck your wayward curls and bangs under a sleek headwrap, like DCNL Cotton Headwrap in Black, and get ready for the centerpiece of this look – your horns.

Don’t worry – there’s no need to shop at Twisty Goat Horns ‘R’ Us.  Instead, you’ll make use of the magic that is the Hair Stylers Petite Chignon.  Choose one that’s close to your own hair color, and cut it in half.  Now, part your hair in the middle and make two high ponytails.  They should sit very high on your head, just behind the headwrap.  Use bobby pins to attach one half of the chignon to the base of each ponytail.  Carefully wrap each ponytail around the chignon to create a horn, securing with more bobby pins as you go.  If you plan to be casting spells all night long, you can insert floral wire or a folded chenille stem through the center of each horn to add more stability.  Finally, spray your “hair horns” and the rest of your hair to help keep it in place.

Abracadabra!  You’re all set for the royal bash.  Don’t forget to glower fearsomely throughout!

What’s the most dramatic Halloween look you’ve ever tried?  Share your stories and tips with us in the comments below!

Halloween Beauty: Rock It Out

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like a princess, even on Halloween.  Your standard royals seem a bit too well-behaved, vampires too moody, cheerleaders too darn cheery, astrophysicists too serious, and even monsters strike you as goofy.  At times like these, you feel like being a little loud, adding a little extra color and having a little extra fun.  So, for this Halloween look, let’s just go ahead and Rock It Out, shall we?

Halloween Look:  Rock It Out

For hair that seriously rocks, you’ll need some serious tools.  The Gold ‘N Hot Professional Crimping Iron is perfect for adding texture, and The Big Teeze Comb gives that extra volume you’re looking for.  Hold it in place with a serious spray, like Beyond the Zone® Vamped Up Dry Texture Hairspray.

Now it’s time for fun with color!  Try a temporary color like Beyond the Zone® Colour Mousse Pink.  Because it’s a foam, it’s super-easy to use.  Apply it to sections of your hair about two inches behind your ears, covering each section from the roots to the ends.  Create a faux-hawk by sectioning small parts of hair on the sides of your head, and bobby pinning each piece back.  If you’re looking for extra dazzle, just clip a few small, sparkly barrettes on each side.

Rock It Out - Tips & Tools

Get glamorous eyes by layering Sally Girl™ Mini Baked Eye Shadows in Dark Purple, Beaming Blue and Dark Green.  Accent your top and bottom lids with Femme Couture® Eternal Color Luxurious Eyeliner in Brilliant Cobalt, and finish off with false lashes that are just slightly, awesomely over the top, like Ardell Ombré Lashes in Pink.  Think pink for the rest of your look, too – pink blush, Real Colors Hydra Lips Waterproof Gel Lip Liner in Pinup Pink, then Femme Couture® Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Fabulous Fuchsia for a rosy finish.

Rock It Out - Tips & Tools

That’s it!  You’re ready to party like a rock star, with a look that will last all night long.  Don’t forget the fingerless gloves!

Will you be rocking it out this Halloween?  Share your dress-up plans and your favorite hair and makeup tips in the comments below.

Blow Dryers 101

Most of us have a blow dryer for a while. So, when it’s time to invest in a new one – staring at the wall of choices can be intimidating. Not to worry, let’s break down what all the options and variations actually mean for your hair.

FINE & THIN HAIR Those with finer and/or thinner hair are going to want blow dryers with adjustable heat settings. WHY? The option to take heat way down or all the way to cool will help prevent damage on more delicate hair. Here are a few we are fond of,  available at Sally Beauty:

Best dryers with variable heat settings

Left to Right : Ion Anti-Frizz Ionic, Jilbere, Hot Shot Tools

THICK & COARSE HAIR For thicker and/or coarser hair you are also going to want blow dryers with adjustable heat settings as well as more powerful air flow. WHY? The opposite of fine hair – thicker hair will be able to take more heat for longer amounts of time before causing heat damage. Because there is more hair to work with, a hair dryer with stronger air flow will cut down your drying time. Here are some options :

The Best Hair Dryers for Thick Hair

Left to Right : Ion One TouchOne n’ Only, Jilbere Professional

ALL HAIR TYPES Ionic, Ceramic and Tourmaline Technologies plus a Cool Blast option. WHY? Ionic technology uses negative ions to smooth cuticles, lock in moisture and break down water droplets for faster drying time. Ceramic and Tourmaline technologies also reduce drying time and both help eliminate frizz. A Cool Blast will cool off your hair and help it set.  Try these:

Best Ionic, Tourmaline and Ceramic Hair Dryers

Lef to Right : CHI Air, CHI Elite, Ion Travel


We’ve got you. Here’s a simple guide to the verbiage you will see associated with various hair dryers…click graphic to open it full size and drag it to your desktop to save for later!

Hair Dryer Terminology

Once you’ve found the perfect dryer or two for you, you’ll want to keep them in tip top shape. Review the tip below to keep your tool functioning at optimum for as long as possible.

CLEAN YOUR FILTER! That is pretty much THE tip for hair dryer maintenance. If you don’t keep the filter clean, your dryer will overheat and die a slow or quick death. Always allow your dryer to cool completely and unplug it before performing maintenance. Some will have a removable filter. If so, remove and use a brush to gently clear away dust. If the filter is not removable, use a brush on the outside of the filter. We recommend a filter cleaning once a month to protect the motor’s life.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!