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Introducing “Is It Really Worth The Hype?” — a collection of reviews on the most raved-about products on the internet, brought to you by HuffPost Finds.
The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Brush has become the stuff of legend. At first, it was whispered about in office bathrooms, discussed in Instagram DMs and confined to the corners of beauty tutorial YouTube.
Although it has been around since 2016, the Revlon One-Step shot to fame at the end of 2019. Searches for the product surged during the last-minute holiday shopping rush as word of a miracle air brush that could take the burden out of blowing out your hair at home spread. Publications like Vox’s The Goods, Hearst’s Best Products and, well, us, featuring it in holiday gift guides and think pieces.
Since then, this hot-air brush has racked up a collective 30,000+ reviews across the internet, including about 26,000 on Amazon alone. Converted shoppers have also congregated in the comments sections of Walmart, Target and Ulta.
The brush normally retails for $60 but has been on sale for as low as $35 and is available in five colors.
So, why the heck is the Revlon One-Step air brush suddenly so popular? The clunky hair-brush-had-a-baby-with-a-blow-dryer gadget isn’t exactly a groundbreaking invention. In fact, products that both dry and style hair have been around since at least the ’70s, when the Clairol Pretty Power “hairbrush styling dryer” and the Sears Styler/Dryer were popular. Dyson also released the Dyson Airwrap in 2018 — but for a jaw-dropping price tag of up to $550.
“This biblical hot air brush has racked up a collective 30,000+ reviews across the internet from converted shoppers congregating in the comments of sites like Amazon and Walmart.”
Budget-conscious beauty lovers eager to get an at-home blowout without breaking the bank turned to the Revlon One-Step instead. It now has a cult following thanks to its ability to detangle, dry and volumize hair in a fraction of the time it takes to finesse a blow-dryer and round brush.
Is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Brush really, truly worth the hype? Three members of HuffPost Finds — all with very different hair types and beauty routines — decided to try it out for themselves to see if actually lives up to the hype.
Keep reading for their hot brush hot takes.
Ambar, The One Who’s Trying To Catch Zs, Not Frizz
I’m one of the unfortunate souls whose hair gets really oily after a day or two of not washing. When it’s a bad hair day and I’m feeling super lazy, I just pull it all back with a headband. I have to wash my hair almost every other day, which is, admittedly, super annoying. My hair is curly, unruly and takes a while to air-dry.
In the winter, I blow-dry my hair every time I wash it. A couple of years ago, I bought one of the cheapest (but well-reviewed) blow-dryers I could find on Amazon (it’s currently out of stock), and I’ve been using ever since. I have a love-hate relationship with it — especially when it leaves me with frizz I can’t comb through.
After a half-hour shower and another half-hour lounging around in a towel waiting for my hair to dry out, I don’t necessarily want to spend another 20 minutes or more blow-drying my hair.
I heard a lot of buzz about the Revlon brush and snagged it about a month ago when it was on sale at Walmart. I watched some YouTube tutorials and found that lots of people recommended using the brush on its lowest setting, which is how I used it the first time. While my hair was straighter, it didn’t have any volume — and it still took 20 minutes to completely dry.
Since then, I’ve been using the One-Step on its highest setting and finally figured out how to twirl the brush so that my hair gets more bounce. It takes me about 10 minutes now to dry and style my hair. Before using the brush, I put a dab of OGX Argan Oil and spritz some OGX Thermal Spray in my hair. The two products give my hair a smoother and shinier look.
I gave into the hype and was not disappointed. What I love about the brush is that it doesn’t leave me with pin-straight hair. If you have curly hair like me, the brush might be an option for when you want your hair to be smooth on top with waves at the end.
Brittany, The One Who’s High-Maintenance About Her Hair
I typically wash my hair in the evenings, let it air-dry before bed and wake up with clean, dry hair. On weekdays, I run a curling iron over a few sections of my hair before leaving home in the morning. (I think I am one of the few people who prefers a curling iron over a curling wand, but, in the words of my hair stylist, if you’ve already “mastered the clamp,” why make the switch?)
My hair will hold any shape, especially a day or two after a wash. If I curl it, it’ll stay curled. If I straighten it, it will still be straight days later. I almost always prefer to wear my hair waved rather than straight.
I’m probably not the target audience for the Revlon One-Step, because I don’t mind taking the time to do my hair in the mornings and I don’t really like straight-dried blowouts. But I borrowed a Revlon One-Step to try it out for myself.
After washing my hair with my beloved Olaplex No. 4 shampoo and Olaplex No. 5 conditioner (being a bottle blonde is not low-maintenance, after all), I gave the One-Step a go. I watched a quick tutorial online on how to hold the brush and section the hair while using it. I found it intuitive and easy to use, probably due to the years of mastering a curling iron.
I divided my hair into three sections, and held the brush “under” the hair to give it the volume you’d expect from a blowout. When I reached the crown, I dried the hair from the back and moved forward until I reached my bangs (still going under the hair). This gave the strands that frame my face a lot of volume. I used a few dabs of Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil on the final look to smooth it out.
In the end, it took 20 minutes to go from a completely wet head of hair to a dried, smoothed, styled and volumized look.
The One-Step is fast, convenient and will give a professional blowout a run for its money. I liked how fast it dried my hair, but the only look you can easily achieve with the One-Step is straight-dried blowout. For that reason, the Blow Dry Brush probably isn’t for everyone.
In the end, I’d recommend the One-Step to folks who need to be out of the house in the morning in as little time as possible. I probably wouldn’t buy the One-Step at its full $60 price, but I’d consider buying it when it’s on sale next. In the meantime, I’ll stick with air-drying and my trusty curling iron.
Danielle, The One Who Couldn’t Care Less About Styling Her Hair
I have low-maintenance, straight hair that naturally air-dries flat and smooth — so much so that it won’t hold a curl unless I crisp it with a curling iron. The extent of my hair care routine is washing it twice a week with Drybar’s On The Rocks Shampoo and Southern Belle Conditioner, then detangling it with a wide-tooth comb and letting it air-dry.
I haven’t owned a real blow-dryer in five years. I just haven’t felt the need to replace the travel-sized ConAir blow-dryer I somehow acquired in high school, especially when I only blow-dry my hair roughly twice a year for special occasions.
After a job change and a move, I now have time to shower in the mornings, but I face the dilemma of not wanting to walk outside with wet hair. I went to Amazon to find a blow-dryer — nothing fancy, just something I could use to quickly dry my hair twice a week — when I stumbled upon the Revlon One-Step. I’d seen it on Instagram, heard some of the hype and was instantly sold by the more than 20,000 reviewers claiming it changed their lives. If it was good enough for them, it was certainly good enough for my low-maintenance (read: lazy) hair care routine.
I was surprised at how big the One-Step was in person. It was retro-looking in comparison to some of the other hair tools I’ve seen. I washed my hair, towel-dried it and let it air-dry for about 15 minutes while I got ready.
Twisting the handle to the high setting, I ran the brush under large sections of my damp hair, then pulled the brush to the ends in curling motion. It was awkward at first because of how big the brush was, but eventually I got the hang of it. It was easier than the times I tried to use a regular blow-dryer and round brush in tandem, and my arms never got tired.
My hair was dry in five minutes and had a noticeable amount of volume and shine — a pretty good hair day in my book. I wish it had a smaller barrel size so I could create more volume from the base of my roots, but I know I shouldn’t expect the same results of a traditional blow-dryer blowout.
This is a great option for someone who wants a quick and easy way to dry their hair and do simple styling.