Saturday, April 17, 2010

Straightener VS Straightener

Sorry for our absence here at Periodic Beauty Reviews, I think all three of us reached our saturation point with beauty products after this long! You should see Jeanne's epic collection of makeup and nail polishes, it is truly impressive.

I have to say, the most exciting product I've received upon request for review samples has been the H2pro Turbo Trigger Flat Iron, provided kindly by Janice McCafferty PR. You've seen my travels and travails with curly to straight hair, it's been a long process and I have been through a lot of different straighteners. I struggled with my hair, feeling like it was unprofessional when it was frizzy or curly and looked unkempt. Years (and a couple of hairstylists) later, I've somewhat come to terms with it being wavy or curly, and learned how to style it so people at work don't ask what's wrong with me because my hair is crazy. Part of this process did involve learning which tools to use and how to use them effectively, which most women know is excruciating and filled with heartbreak. Allow me to illustrate.

First, there was the Tescom Ione Hot Air Brush that I bought in Japan in 2004, maybe 2005--it's lasted me five years and while I don't know what that science is that they put inside what is essentially a differently-shaped hair dryer with a brush attached, it's made my life a lot easier. It does not, however, get my hair straight, or allow me to restyle or correct dry hair. It gives me lovely manageable waves, but it is obviously geared towards ladies with long hair who want to give themselves an easy, straight blow-dry. Having short hair in a bob as I do, it's fast and easy to use. Even my mother, whose hair is shorter, steals it from me to use. Having a round brush and blow dryer in one tool is super convenient, everybody, especially when all most hairstylists will do to my hair is insist that I MUST dry it straight with a round brush every single morning (yeah, right!).

Then, I invested in my very first flat iron. The drugstore staple millions of teenage girls know and love, the Remington Wet2Straight. I thought it was a huge splurge. My friend A., who always had lovely straight long hair with bangs, recommended I invest in a ceramic tourmaline flat iron because it was the best thing that had ever happened to her besides her husband, but I just couldn't justify the expense. I spent years trying to straighten my hair with the Wet2Straight's hand-burning metal plates that caught and pulled hairs right out of my head. Little did I know, actually flat-ironing wet hair is incredibly damaging for your hair shafts! What! Millions of teenage girls, beware!

Now, since I've used the H2pro straightener in the last few months, I've definitely noticed a difference in the smoothness, health, and ease of my hair compared to the Remington model. The ceramic plates tuck in up under the barrel of the iron, so there are no seams or catches where you'll end up pulling out and frying your own hairs (ouch). The plates are thin enough to make soft curls if you arc the straightener as you straighten, so all those ends will curl under nicely, unlike the Remington, which just gives you locks of hair that have been pressed as if under an actual hot metal iron. I've been using the H2pro on dry hair to avoid damage, as instructed by my stylist at Legar Salon here, who uses a similar ceramic tourmaline model.

I had my hair cut a few weeks ago and while we were discussing the various benefits of different hair straighteners and relaxing treatments, my stylist said, "I know it's raining out and you wanted to go for big, retro curls, but why don't we give you a super-straightened style today and see how long it is?" I went for it, and in a flash, I had STICK-STRAIGHT hair, which I can never achieve at home on my own! I looked like Mariska Hargitay walking out of there, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Using the H2pro, my hair hasn't been frizzy or frazzled, I haven't burned myself once on the plates (the things we do for beauty!) The only drawbacks I've found for the H2pro straightener are that the iron has no hinge locking mechanism, so it always sits open, making me worry some small child could reach up and grab a hot iron and burn themselves, and the temperature dial is confusing. Certainly the Remington Wet2Straight makes that easier for you, with a locking hinge and color-coded settings for heat.

The H2pro is making me learn more about my own hair, like what temperatures work best and how to actually straighten the back without looking like a mess. Even though I'm not a straighten-every-day gal, it's nice to have the option and it's even nicer when getting curly to go straight is easy with a tool like the H2pro straightener!

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