This isn’t a product review. It’s a save-the-date to the wedding of my dreams. I’m marrying the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer and I don’t care what the town clerk has to say.
This whole relationship began when Reviewed’s social media manager, Kate McCarthy, told me about a magical brush that dries your hair and styles it perfectly at the same time. Much like someone who is single and sick of being set up on fruitless blind dates, I was curious but didn’t immediately make plans to try it out. Then the internet blew up with testimonials of the Revlon dryer and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Our first date was a Saturday and I had dinner plans with friends after, so I was prepared to either talk crap or profess my infatuation, as one does after that first IRL rendezvous. As you now know, it was love.
OK, the hair dryer personification ends now. Let’s talk about why this tool is magic, and how it cut my hair styling routine in half.
What is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer and what does it claim?
As its name suggests, this tool from Revlon is designed to be a one-and-done solution for hair styling, meaning you don’t need to break out the hair dryer, round brush, and flat iron to get a professional-looking blowout at home. Every aspect of the One-Step’s design is deliberate and serves a purpose, according to Revlon. Using nylon pins and tufted bristles, the company claims the dryer helps detangle locks as you use it. With an oval-shaped barrel instead of round, the brush smooths the hair on the longer, flat side of the oval and volumizes it on the shorter, round side. It also claims that it has “Ionic Technology” that conditions, smooths, adds shine, and reduces frizz and static.
These are lofty claims, and after reading them, I expected a fast, sleek, and voluminous blowout—a tall order without going to the salon. It always seems like something has to give: You can give yourself a great blowout at home but it takes longer, or you can get your locks from soaking to dry quickly, but forfeit the smooth-yet-voluminous style you hoped for. But this dryer is a unicorn and the 30,000 (and counting) Amazon reviews and a 4.4-star rating is a great reassurance of that.
How does the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer work?
To achieve the best style, the instructions say to grab “manageable” sections of damp, detangled hair. I pinned my freshly washed and combed-through hair into a clip at the top of my head, then let down the first layer and applied my Redken heat protectant from mid-shaft to end. I repeated this same process each time before going in with the One-Step on the high setting—the instructions say to use high for coarse hair and low for fine hair, but I always use high on my medium-textured, wavy-curly hair. I ran the brush under or over each small section of hair, starting at the root and slowly gliding it down through the ends. For best results, you want to hold the brush at the roots for a few seconds to make sure they are completely dry before you continue working downward. Focusing on the root, in my experience, is the key to achieving great volume and avoiding any greasiness caused by the roots not fully drying.
How does the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer compare to a typical hair dryer?
When I use a hair dryer, I have two options: 1. Blow air at my head to get my hair dry but know that it’s going to end up a poofy mess and I’ll have to go in with a flat iron after. Or 2. Use a round brush and work section by section to dry my hair into smooth strands, but still go in with a straightener to fix errant kinks and flyaways. It feels like a lose-lose ordeal and I often dread the styling process, but I do it a couple times a week because I (sadly) don’t feel very confident with my air-dried hair.
The Revlon doesn’t require holding a hair dryer in one hand and a brush in the other, but it achieves the same results as using those two tools because it is a round brush and a steady stream of air in one. With this tool, I skipped the poofy stage of the drying process and went right from wet, limp hair to dry, straight strands. Not having to take out a flat iron after saved me at least 15 minutes, and the drying process itself only took me about 30 minutes, or about how long it usually takes to get my hair straightener-ready with a normal dryer.
Is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer damaging to hair?
One of my concerns was that the Revlon’s metal barrel, which comes into direct contact with your hair, got burning hot to the touch and I theorized that the air stream had to also be very hot in order for me to see such great results. As someone with damaged (read: bleached and often heat-styled) hair, I worried that the Revlon would be worse for my hair than a typical dryer.
To ease my concerns and give you, the reader, a better idea of how hot the Revlon gets, we placed a heat sensor among the bristles (where your hair rests as you’re using the dryer) and ran it for 30 minutes (about how long it takes to dry my hair). We recorded a maximum temperature range of 165°F to 175°F. Because our heat sensor is metal, the heat transfers faster and holds longer to it than it would to your hair, so your hair likely wouldn’t actually heat up that high. While it’s not a perfect correlation because you’d use them differently, for the sake of comparison, we ought to mention that our Best Overall hairdryer, the Bio Ionic, reached a high temperature of 153°F in a 30-minute air flow test. The conclusion we can draw from this is that the Revlon is in the same ballpark as a typical hair dryer in terms of hot air flow.
With this tool, I skipped the poofy stage of the drying process and went right from wet, limp hair to dry, straight strands.
As your hair lies directly against the surface of the Revlon’s barrel, we also took temps of the metal itself during a 30-minute run. We recorded a maximum heat range of 160°F to 165°F, which is significantly lower than even the minimum temperature on most flat irons and curling irons, both of which can heat up from 300°F to 400°F or more. This further set me at ease, knowing I could skip my flat iron entirely (and that extra 15 minutes of even hotter heat exposure) and still get the style I wanted from the Revlon alone.
Still, as with any hot tools, using the Revlon in excess is not healthy for your hair, especially if you’re not using a heat-protectant spray or cream to act as a barrier between your hair and the heat. So do yourself and your locks a favor and use one, no matter which hot appliance you use.
Does the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer do what it claims?
Absolutely. With this tool, you don’t need a straightener or curling iron to leave the house with a sleek, finished-looking style. With minimal effort, you can dry your hair from root to tip and customize your ‘do to have more or less volume and curls inward or outward at the ends. The tool feels a bit bulky to hold, as it is longer than a typical hair dryer and requires two hands to balance well, but it eliminates the juggling act of holding a dryer with a brush, which makes it overall easier to manage.
Is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer worth it?
Yes, yes, yes. Well, unless shiny, straight, soft, bouncy locks are not your thing. But for everyone else, it’s totally worth it. I’m planning to buy my own now that testing is done and I also want to buy one for my mom, who currently uses the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler, which has a similar build but features a square paddle brush at the end. Spoiler: That one doesn’t work nearly as well.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.