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These days everybody and their golden retriever has a Revlon hair-dryer brush—the cult-classic drugstore hair dryer that makes it possible to give yourself a convincing blowout at home without attending a 1,600-hour cosmetology program. It’s an Amazon number one beauty best seller, it’s enjoyed both a Today-show segment and viral TikTok status, and its price rarely goes above $60.
But long before the Revlon renaissance of the past two years, the One-Step Hair Dryer became a logical extension of my right arm. Like Sweeney Todd, but with Lana Del Rey hair (or so I whisper to myself over the sound of my blow-dry brush).
My hair is fine and curly. Whether air-dried or maintained through a 13-step process, it looks like a quintessential “before” makeover photo. In the ’80s, it would have been considered “good hair.” Instead, the last 20 years of my life have been mainly devoted to crushing my hair between two sizzling plates of ceramic and simply burning it into a straight line. Tragically, this is bad for your hair.
Prior to discovering the Revlon hair-dryer brush, when I tried to give myself a blowout using a normal blow-dryer, I looked like Miss Piggy falling out of a taxi. It is an activity for a professional athlete, not a regular person. It did not matter how many beautiful YouTubers patiently directed me to “separate your hair into small sections and use a boar-bristle brush.” Antigravity hair chunks would simply climb into the sky around my head, as I maimed myself with a giant round brush and blasted burning air in my face.
My hair and I tried for a new start in college. The summer before my first year, I stalked my assigned roommate on Facebook before orientation week, gasping at her perfect, glossy, honey-blond hair that fell around her shoulders like a master’s fingers falling onto a piano. I imagined sleeping four feet away from The Most Popular Girl in High School for the first year of my adult life, while playing with my hair, which on my wedding day will not look as good as hers.
But defying all logic and reason, my roommate was nice. And she introduced me to one of her hair secrets: the Revlon One-Step.
Revlon Hair-Dryer Brush Tutorials
She showed me, patiently, how to wait until your hair is mostly dry—so it saves time and minimizes damage—to wrap sections around the brush and gently pull it through. Even though her hair air-dried like a model’s, she used the Revlon One-Step sometimes when she was in a rush. And she let me use it whenever I wanted to, which turned out to be every time I washed my hair.