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Revlon One Step review: Smooth and bouncy hair in minutes

Lise Smith
4 Jun 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT

Revlon’s brilliantly designed One Step allows you to step up your styling and deliver a salon-style blowdry at home

Pros 
Combines a brush and blowdryer in one
Ceramic barrel leaves hair smooth and shiny
Styles hair simply and quickly
Cons 
A little bulky to hold
Only two heat settings
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The Revlon One Step is one of the best-known hot brush products on the market. Designed to deliver salon-style results at home, no matter how little expertise you may have with heat styling, the One Step has garnered a devoted following on ASOS (where it regularly sells out), Amazon and Instagram for its super-fast smoothing and volumising power.

In a year where hairdresser’s appointments have become vanishingly rare, the One Step has come into its own as an all-in-one drying and styling tool that delivers surprisingly professional-looking results. Could this innovative hot brush remove the need to ever book a blowdry again?

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Revlon One Step review: What you need to know

Revlon’s own marketing describes the One Step as bringing together “the power of a dryer and a volume of a styler”, and that’s an effective summary. This 2-in-1 product blows hot air through vents in the side of a ceramic-coated brush, drying and styling hair at the same time. The ceramic coating distributes heat evenly so there are no hot-spots to damage hair, and the clever oval-shaped design means that you can use the longer sides to smooth hair into a straighter finish, or introduce curl by twisting hair over the shorter sides.

The One Step has two combined heat/airspeed settings – the higher setting being more suitable for thicker or curlier hair, and the lower setting for finer hair. There’s also a cool setting to set your finished hairstyle. The brush uses a combination of two different bristles: nylon, to cut through tangles, and boar, to give a sleek, smooth finish. Like many hot tools, the One Step includes ionic technology – negative ions are discharged as the tool works to flatten the cuticle and seal in moisture, leaving hair hydrated and glossy.

Blowdrying and heat-styling hair will always introduce an element of damage, but by reducing the total time spent styling and including hydrating ionic technology, the One Step aims to reduce heat damage and promote hair health as well as giving hair a salon-worthy blowdry finish.

Revlon One Step: Price and competition

Hot brushes are a growing part of the hair and beauty market, and there are a number of tools that serve similar functions. If price is no object, Dyson’s ultra-premium Airwrap (£400) gives great results by wrapping the hair onto one of its interchangeable barrels. By using air instead of hot plates, the Airwrap minimises heat damage for healthier hair, and with its barrels of different sizes you can achieve a range of styles from gentle volume and lift to full-on barrel curls. You’d have to use your Airwrap quite a few times to save money versus regular salon appointments, however.

Electrical beauty brand Babyliss has a couple of competitors in the hot brush market: the volumising Big Hair brush (£45); and the soft-bristled Hydra Fusion Air Styler (£60) with ionic technology for a glossy finish. Both feature rotating brushes to take the work out of styling. Because the barrels on each are circular rather than oval, the curl finish tends to be a little rounder than the One Step’s, but both are excellent alternatives if you’re happy with a bit more curl.

If, on the other hand, you’re after a straighter finish, the GHD Glide (£140) is currently the hot brush to beat for a glassy-straight finish. The Glide uses a ceramic plate rather than hot air to heat and style the hair, and as such is designed for use on dry hair rather than wet, so while it’s a handy tool for straightening locks and reducing frizz, it’s not a 2-in-1 drying and styling product like the One Step or other air brushes on this list.

Revlon does also have a Titanium-coated edition (£80) which replaces the ceramic-coated barrel with heat-distributing titanium and adds an attractive crimson colour option. Finally, for the budget-conscious, the Remington Hydra Luxe styler (£40) is a good alternative to the One Step with its similar ceramic oval-shaped brush.

READ NEXT: Best hair straighteners

Revlon One Step review: Design and key features

The One Step’s design is simplicity itself. It’s a moderately large round brush with a 3-metre power cord, and a single switch controls combined heat and airflow. Using the product couldn’t be simpler: plug in at the mains, set the switch to your selected heat setting, and off you go. Section the hair, start near the roots, and gently pull the One Step through the hair to create tension as it dries, just as your hairdresser would with a round brush and hair-dryer, but all in one tool and in one hand.

As the brush barrel has an elliptical shape, you can spread hair over the longer curved side to get a smoother, straighter finish (as you would with a paddle brush), or alternatively twist hair over the shorter curved edge for a rounder curl. The two different kinds of bristle work very effectively together, too. The nylon bristles cut through tangles to separate the strands, ready for the boar bristles to smooth over the cuticle as they pass over for a sleek and shiny finish.

The oval-shaped barrel is also ceramic-coated, which helps distribute heat evenly over the tool so there are no damaging hot spots. The tool does heat up quite a bit during use, however, so it’s best not to touch it. Sensibly, the end of the brush has a cool tip to help avoid accidental damage when manoeuvring the tool around the hair.

Finally, Revlon’s ionic technology charges the airflow with negative ions to help lock in moisture, reduce frizz, and leave hair looking healthy and glossy. In our tests we certainly found that hair was left looking and feeling soft and shiny, without the “crispness” that heat styling can sometimes produce, especially at the ends of the hair.

One minor drawback is there are only two heat settings plus the cool blast. The single switch is certainly neat and simple, but it’s not possible to mix and match heat and air speed to your preference. Bear in mind that the hot setting is fairly fierce, and definitely best kept for thick-textured hair.

Revlon One Step review: What it’s like to use

The One Step is extremely intuitive to use – simply brush it steadily through damp hair, allowing time for the jets of hot air to do their work, and simultaneously roll the hair in the direction you like. The whole process feels effortless, and takes just minutes. Our shoulder-length curly hair was left in big and bouncy waves after just over ten minutes of drying.

There are how-to guides on the internet if you want the very best results, but we found these unnecessary: the tool is so simple to use that it really doesn’t require instructions beyond picking it up and turning it on.

To avoid passing the tool through the hair multiple times, it’s best to towel- or air-dry hair to around 80% dry before using the One Step, then section and spritz with a heat protector spray to avoid damage from the heated barrel. One thing that saves time with the tool is you won’t need to brush or detangle hair first (unless it’s very tangled) as the two sets of bristles do that effectively.

The One Step does feel slightly bulky in the hand, and the large size of the brush makes getting to the roots something of a trial – the key here is to divide the hair into smaller sections and flip the hair away from its usual direction. The ends curled under beautifully with minimal effort, and the whole process really did feel amazingly easy given the quality of the results. It gives a long-lasting effect, too – hair that we washed and styled in the morning was still looking great that evening, and even into the next day.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best heat protection sprays

Revlon One Step review: Verdict

The Revlon One Step does exactly what it promises to do. In fact, the only real downsides are that the bulk of the tool makes it slightly difficult to reach certain areas of the hair, particularly the roots, and we’d like the ability to set temperature and speed settings independently.

The quality of the results more than makes up for these minor quibbles, however. The One Step takes the effort out of heat styling, and gives you a salon-style blowdry with minimal effort. Spend a little time with it, and you can achieve a bouncy, voluminous and glossy finish, in a fraction of the time of a hairdryer plus brush at home, and at a fraction of the cost and effort involved in a salon booking.

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