Saturday, April 6, 2013

# Post # Stylin' Saturday

Flat Iron for Wet Hair! Stylin' Saturday

On select Saturdays I post hairstyles we've tried at our house, ones we've seen online that we want to try, or hairstyling tips and tools.

Shhh...I have a sordid confession to make. I'm engaged in a torrid love affair worthy of my naughtiest erotic novel. The source of this passionate devotion: my flat iron.

 This isn't just another flat iron any more than the hero of a seductive romance tale is just another guy. This smoldering wonder is the Remington Wet 2 Straight, which has plenty of settings to heat things up and an impressive enough girth for any erotic writer--ceramic plates that are a full 2 inches wide and treated with soy hydra complex to add shine.

I should start off by saying I have a long, bloody history with trying to straighten my hair. Outside paying for a salon blowout, which still has been known to net the dreaded poofy frizz my husband calls my "big hair", my mane refused to behave. Not to mention I don't have a lot of patience for the near two-hour process of blow-drying and straightening just to get lackluster results. On one notable occasion, the night of my school reunion, I spent three hours determined to tame the beast. I finally gave up, wet my hair down, and let it have its way.

To give you a visual, here's a shot of how my hair wants to be when left to its own devices. Yep, pretty darn wavy. It's also thick, long, and coarse.  My hair and I argue regularly over who is in control. And no, this is not my natural color--I bleach it. Quite a bit. Meaning it can and will get as dry as straw on a summer day. Add to that my general lack of time and patience and one might advise me to give up this whole nonsense of straightening altogether. But hey, like many others who secretly want the greener grass over the fence, there are days when I just plain want something different.

I saw this flat iron and was intrigued by the idea that it could work on wet hair, eliminating the whole blow drying step. Reviews for the most part looked promising, as did the price: under $28. After using this modern wonder, I would have happily paid more, says the woman who is forever seeking a cheap deal.

My first time out, I decided to go for the gusto and try this on wet hair. I had recently bleached from roots to ends, so my hair was admittedly not in its best shape. I deep conditioned before trying this and finished off with a dollop of conditioning oil and a leave-in conditioner. My hair wasn't dripping when I started, but it was still fairly wet after 20 minutes up in a towel while I dressed and did my makeup. Nevertheless, my hair went from wet and curly to dry, silky, and pin-straight in a mere 40 minutes. If I begin with just slightly damp or dry hair, that time can drop to 20-30 minutes--a fair miracle considering my hair length/type.

Here's how my hair looks after straightening wet hair with the Remington:

Sorry for the weird camera angles. It's kind of tough to snap shots off my phone with my hair at this length. But hopefully you get the idea.

The only "meh" thing I can say about this product is while the wide plates are great for doing a larger volume of hair, it does make the iron heavier and trickier to manage. I find I need to change hands frequently. If I had wrist problems, I'd probably want the narrower version that is available. Also, you do have to be aware that when working with wet hair, steam escaping the vents can burn you if you aren't careful what direction they're pointing. But hey, all romantic heroes have flaws. And I'm enamored enough with this product to consider naming a future book hero after it. (As in Remington, not Wet to Straight, although that would lend a rather interesting connotation to an erotic novel.)

When I was reading reviews, I did see some complaints about this not straightening wet hair or that it damaged hair. Here are some suggestions for anyone considering this (or any wet-to-dry) iron:

1. If you're straightening wet/damp hair, you have to make sure the hair is TOTALLY dry before you stop or it will get frizzy/wavy. You'll have to run the iron through multiple times, especially at the roots where it takes longer to dry. If your hair is at all like mine, you might notice a discouraging stage where the hair seems dry, but you have a poofy, "big" result rather than silky straight. Don't give up--keep going. It just means it's not quite dry enough. It'll smooth down as you finish the job. (If need be, add another quick spritz of protectant and some oil or frizz control serum.)

2. To avoid damage, definitely use a heat protectant spray made for this purpose. I use that plus a few spritzes of Moroccan argan oil since I'm paranoid about my bleach-dried hair.

3. Even if you use all of the above, damage is still possible if you flat iron incorrectly. Don't run the iron through too slowly OR too many times in a row in the same spot. Either can burn the hair. When my hair is quite wet, I run it through at most 2-3 times before moving to another section. (Once or twice max for fine/heavily damaged hair.) I go back through sections later as needed after they cool down. Since it takes me several passes for wet hair, I don't run the iron all the way out to the ends every time. I run it through once, then focus on the roots for a bit until fairly dry. That way, I'm not applying as much heat to the ends, which take damage and split easier.

4. Make sure you aren't using too high a heat setting. Coarse hair can generally tolerate higher heat than baby fine hair, and dry hair generally needs a lower setting than wet. Also consider lower settings for color treated or otherwise damaged hair. It's better to start lower and work your way up than to scorch your hair.

5. Give hair a break so it won't break. Don't use hot tools on hair all the time; give it rest. And definitely treat it to regular deep conditioners.

If you're interesting in purchasing this straightener, I've seen at Wal-Mart and Target (where I got mine), and it's also available on Amazon (free shipping!) here:

Remington Wet2Straight

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

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