I have really curly hair - the kind that twists like fusilli pasta down my back; the kind that's so thick, it doesn't need a ponytail holder if it's wrapped in a knot. Growing up, I was compared to various Botticelli heroines, Shirley Temple, Felicity (Keri Russell), "The Noxema Girl" (Rebecca Gayheart), and Chelsea Clinton based solely on my ringlets, and my adamant refusal to blow-dry or flatten them. Even as an adult, my curly hair has become something of a like-it-or-not signature. (Once, Gawker wrote a rather awesome story about how I was an inept fashion reporter
, in part because I refused to go straight; one commenter on my blog insisted I wasn't human but instead "a rabbit with curls." Yes, this is what people spend their time writing on other people's blogs...)
Anyway, I really like my hair. It's thick and shiny, it always looks "done," and since I was born this way, I may as well be excited about it. But sometimes, yeah, I go for a blowout - especially in the dead of New York winter, when walking outside with wet, curly hair feels like diving head first a glacier lake.
Cue Bumble & bumble. The coif
empire with the maddening lowercase "b" released a new at-home straightening treatment. It's $45, takes about an hour to apply, and promises to keep hair sleek and straight when dry, and frizz-free after it gets wet. (They've also got a "Straight" shampoo without sulfates, which is a great cleanser for those with coarser locks.) So last weekend, I tried it.
Applying the product was really simple. After leaving it in my hair for 30 minutes, it stung a little, but nothing I wasn't used to after dying my hair red / purple / pink / grey / blonde / pink again (thanks, Bleach London!). I used a blow-dryer and comb to turn my hair into a giant puff-ball of an Afro, then flat-ironed it section by section. I did all this while watching an episode of Separated at Birth.
The result was extremely soft, extremely straight hair - the kind I normally get after a professional blowout. My hair was so straight, in fact, that I almost didn't know how to work with it - I felt like a '70s folk singer when it hung straight, and a Real Housewife
in training when I pulled it into a ponytail!
I kept it straight for five days, adding some heat from a flat iron in the morning to fix any kinks from sleeping on it overnight. Then I went curly again, and yes, it feels softer and a bit looser than before I applied the treatment.
I really liked this stuff and I will definitely use it again - especially because it cost the same as a salon blowout, but lasted much longer. But it's not a "solution" to curly hair, because it won't keep your hair flattened after you add water. For me, anyway, that's a big relief.
--FARAN KRENTCIL Get ConcenStraight at Bumble & bumble.