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Member Name: lamorna
BaByliss Straight & Shine Steam Straightener
Date: 26/11/03, updated on 10/12/03 (1422 review reads)
Advantages: Conditions, Straightens, Effective
Disadvantages: None, None, None
The cabin on our Russian river cruise was described as 'Compact. I could tolerate this inconvenience apart from one glaring omission on the part of the cabin designer. The only mirror was in the shower room-wet room-toilet above the minute hand basin. There was a shaver socket but dire warnings about using a hair drier with this socket as this could possibly fuse the power in the whole ship. Consequently I was forced to blow dry my hair in the compact cabin using a small hand mirror balanced on a tiny shelf above the only available power plug. I couldn't see a thing and had to direct the drier by instinct. This proved to be disastrous as I held the drier far too close to my hair and I smelt burning follicles more than once. However, the damage was done. Ever since then, leaving my hair to dry naturally leaves it frizzy looking and curls going every which way and completely out of control. Blow drying has proved no better as my hair feels dry and brittle no matter how careful I was. No amount of intensive conditioners has improved the look or texture of my hair. I like to have the choice of two looks. One left naturally curly and bouncy and the other sleek and straight and neither worked. What was I to do?
My past experiences as a professional hairdresser have left me very dubious about using any form of electric hair straighteners because of the direct contact with the hair. There were many instances of scorched and damaged hair. Nevertheless, I had read some glowing reports about the latest breed of steam enhanced ceramic plated hair straighteners but the cost of the most sought after brand seemed exorbitant. Lately, the online beauty forum I regularly read was full of praise for the latest BaByliss 'Straight & Shine' steam condi
ner (With extra shot of steam) with ceramic coated non-stick plates to glide ultra-smoothly through the hair. Further information revealed that the BaByliss hair product was around £30.00,a far more reasonable price than the original brand I'd read about, and indeed I bought them for £29.00 in my high street Superdrug store.
I've been through the mill with technology over the last few weeks and was immediately put off the BaByliss steam straighteners because the two closely written columns explaining how to use them looked quite formidable. As regaining any quality concerning my hair is less retrievable in case of an accident than installing a new technology into my computer I was very wary indeed. I read the instructions thoroughly as there are little felt-like wicks that have to be positioned correctly and the instructions were very explicit. My fears were allayed as the steam straighteners work very simply and efficiently. A small reservoir is filled with water and then the appliance is plugged in to the power. The ceramic plates heat up very quickly.
The steam straighteners are light and comfortable to grip and control. Simply section off dry or just slightly damp hair and, beginning from the underneath back sections, just glide the straighteners along the shaft of the hair from the root to the tip section by section. Let the sections cool before disturbing again or re-doing. I work all over my hair from the back upwards using the smoothing comb attachment which guides the Straight & Shine through my hair by holding the section of hair taut. Once done then simply slide the smoothing comb off and slide on a second attachment called a Hi-Shine. This does what it says-it polishes the hair by smoothing the cuticle to ensure as much gloss and shine as possible.
Cursed as I was with uncontrollable kinks and fly away ends the smooth and soft results are amazing. Not only does my hair look good but my hair feels
good too. A full tank of wate
r in the reservoir produces steam for about twenty five minutes. My hair is an all one length bob and thick. This Straight & Shine process takes about ten minutes and uses about half the water. My main concern was the direct contact of the heated ceramic plates onto the hair shaft and my memories of the past and resultant hair damage. It appears that the narrow ceramic plates don't clamp onto the hair as in some straightening appliances as they are non-stick but give the user maximum control to move the plates on and certainly aren't damaging my hair at all.
An extra Shot of Steam can be applied to areas of the hair that need more than one straightening run through, although BaByliss warn the user not to be over zealous with this function as excessive Shots of Steam can cause hot water to be emitted. Mmm! Scalded scalp? No thank you. The Straight & Shine can be used without steam but I won't do that as I believe the steam is a very important factor in the conditioning process. My aim was for straight hair but by using the appliance as a brush it is possible to turn the hair under to achieve a curved bob as well as reversing the brush to attain bouncy flick-ups. I am trying to imagine using these on short layered hair and wonder if the heated plates would be rather close to the scalp in order to get a grip on the hair section and perhaps proving a little uncomfortable
I shampoo and condition my hair two or three times a week. The BaByliss straight and shine effect looks well after a night's sleep and will happily go through two days without kinking up and misbehaving. Stroking my hands over my hair as I type this is a pleasure as it feels smooth, strong and weighty with no hint of frizz and dryness. There are times inbetween shampoos that an unwanted kink can appear. Don't worry. Fill the reservoir with water and straighten them out.
The usual maintenance of this electrical ap
pliance is required as in a steam iron. To prevent scaling in the reservoir use de-ionised water and they advise operating the appliance once in a while with vinegar and water to prevent the steam vents from scaling up and there is also a contactable Customer Care Line.
The BaByliss 'Straight & Shine' steam conditioning straightener (With extra shot of steam) with ceramic coated non-stick plates is a superb product. They have certainly made my life a lot easier and happier with no apparent damage. Here's hoping that 'Bad Hair Days' remain a thing of the past and no more 'Compact' cabins for me!