Revlon One-Step Plus review
Is the Revlon One-Step Plus better than the original?
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The year was 2020 when I first tried the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer and formed a major attachment to the hair styling tool. Am I being dramatic? Yes, in the way that I am expressing my devotion, but not at all in accuracy when it comes to how much I adore the One-Step. And it’s not just me that feels this way: See the 300,000-plus Amazon reviews and our tester’s conclusion that it is, in fact, the best hair dryer brush you can buy. Based on everything stated so far, it should come as no surprise that I leaped to test the newest iteration, the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus, when it came on my radar. Below, find out if it stacks up to the beloved original.
What is the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
The Revlon One-Step Plus is a hair dryer brush, meaning it blows hot air like a hair dryer and has an oval-shaped barrel containing bristles to comb and smooth long locks. The idea is that, for $70, this one tool is all you need for a salon-like blowout, whether you desire a volumized ‘do with ends that flip out or a super-sleek straight style.
How is the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus different from the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer?
Along with a tweak to the name, the Plus features several changes that the brand cites as improvements to the following attributes of the dryer:
- Head shape: The Plus’ oval head is 2.4 inches wide and designed to create more volume. Revlon does not list the Original’s head’s width, but I measured it at about 3 inches. The oval shape is also thicker compared to the slimmer, longer original’s. The head also is detachable in the newer model to allow for easier storage.
- Handle size: The Plus has a slimmer and “sleeker” handle that claims to offer greater control over styling.
- Barrel material: The barrel on the Plus is made of “ceramic titanium tourmaline technology” that works to “give you less damage with 50% less heat exposure” as well as provide smoother glide, silkier results, and a consistent drying and styling experience. The original contained a “ceramic coating” that claimed to help “protect hair from over-styling with even heat distribution.” In addition to the barrel material, the Plus has “charcoal-infused” nylon pins and tufted bristles. The original only lists the brush as having nylon pins and tufted bristles with no mention of charcoal (though it’s not clear from the Plus’ marketing materials what the charcoal does).
- Heat settings: The new tool has an additional heat setting: medium. Revlon doesn’t elaborate as to what the medium setting provides, but the older model only contains low, high, and cool.
- Motor quality: The new iteration also has a “longer-lasting motor for 40% longer life.” The previous model did not make any claims about how long the hair dryer brush could last, so there is no way to measure if it lasts 40% longer.
How did I test the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
I tested the Plus in the same way I tested the original—running it through my clean, damp hair from roots to ends. I used the dryer several times, always with the addition of my heat-protecting styling cream, the Lolavie Glossing Detangler. I always used the original on its high setting, as this provided intense enough heat and airflow to dry and straighten my wavy-curly hair in about 20 minutes. On first use, I stuck with my usual setting while I got a feel for the other new attributes of the dryer, but I switched to medium for subsequent drying sessions to see how this new-to-the-Plus setting differed.
What’s it like to use the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
The first thing I noticed about the Plus is that it feels lighter. I was surprised to find the original Revlon listed at 1.8 pounds and the Plus as 1.79 on Walmart, but it's possible it feels lighter overall because the weight is better distributed between the handle and the head. Either way, the lighter-feeling head helped me run the brush through my hair more easily. My wrists occasionally ache from working on a laptop all day and the original tool exacerbated this in a way that the new iteration doesn’t.
In performance, the Plus is very similar to its predecessor. It dries my damp hair in as little as 20 minutes and makes it so sleek that I don’t need to follow up with a flat iron unless I want the extra assurance for long-lasting silkiness. While I had zero complaints about how smooth my hair looked after using the original Revlon, I saw even smoother, shinier results with the new model. The smaller head makes it even easier for me to rotate the wand to create volume at my roots or create a curl at the ends. The difference in performance and results is subtle and may not ring true for everyone, but after testing the dryers back to back on my hair, I can see the improvement to my finished style.
Now that I’ve used both the medium and high settings, my anecdotal assessment is that the former has the same airflow but the temperature is discernibly lower. The medium setting was sufficient for drying and straightening my hair, but the hotter temperature on the high setting smooths my hair better and faster. If you’re worried about heat damage (more on that coming) and like the medium setting, stick with it, but those with coarser or more textured hair may find the higher setting to be more efficient and effective.
What I can’t speak to is the damage one might cause versus the other. We did not test the Plus in Reviewed’s labs, as the brush doesn’t make specific enough claims that we could substantiate either way. However, we took the temperature of the original, knowing that heat damage was one of the concerns many had about this tool. In those tests, we found that the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer reached a maximum temperature range of 165°F to 175°F after running for 30 minutes (about how long it takes to dry hair). Comparatively, our Best Overall hair dryer from Bio Ionic reached a maximum temperature of 153°F after running for 30 minutes. If those readings are indicative of how the Revlon Plus performs, it’s likely no more damaging to the hair than using a regular hair dryer and a hot tool, like a straightener or curling iron that has settings up to 450°F. In this case, the surface of the Revlon’s barrel that your hair touches during the styling process would replace the hot tool.
What do I like about the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
My favorite thing about the Plus is that it gave me the stellar results I’ve come to expect from the original—and then some! The changes to weight distribution and head shape made the tool easier to run through my hair and the tweaks in material could be attributed with the shinier, sleeker results I saw. Though not drastic, I’m happy with the subtle improvements that make for an even better, more efficient tool.
What do I dislike about the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
Revlon’s claims about this tool are confusing, especially if you’re trying to decide between investing in the new model and keeping your old one. The company’s explanation of the changes it made to the product—and more importantly, how they will affect your hair—are too vague. For example, the One-Step Plus states that its motor offers a 40% longer life without contextualizing how long the One-Step’s motor claims to run. I’ve had my tool for two years and the motor still runs, so why would this “improvement” matter to me? A clearer breakdown between the two tools and clarification about the added benefits of choosing the new one over the old would make it easier for consumers to make a choice.
My only other gripe is with the price of the Plus, which retails for about $10 more than the original on the Revlon site. While Amazon frequently offers discounts as low as $35 on the original One-Step, the Plus is either available at a handful of retailers for its full $70 price or on sale for $52 at places like Amazon or Walmart. Realistically, you'll pay more than just a $10 difference for the upgrade. I’m not saying the higher Plus price isn’t worth it—I’d pay $100 or more for this godsend—I’m just not sure the improvements are enough for you to run out and upgrade your tool.
Should you buy the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus?
Until my One-Step shows signs of slowing down, I won’t replace it with the Plus. However, if you haven’t tried either tool or you’re looking to replace your original One-Step, I would spring for the Plus. In fact, I bought a Plus for my mom, as the One-Step I gave her as a gift in 2020 is on the fritz. If the claims of a longer-lasting motor are true, you may even have the tool longer, making it worth the extra cash. You may also find the Plus appealing for its medium setting, if you have fine or delicate hair that you prefer not to overheat and for which the hot setting would be overkill. Either way, if you love the look and feel of a salon-quality blowout, you need a Revlon One-Step in your life, Plus or original.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.