My hair and I have never been friends. We’re way past the point of just bickering; at one point, we declared all-out war on each other. My arsenal included boar bristle brushes, round brushes, straightening irons, anti-frizz solutions, and anything Mason Pearson-made. “Just wear your hair curly!”, is something I’ve been hearing for my entire life. The thing is, I don’t have “pretty” curls. I have coarse, fine, unruly thick hair that is pin straight on the bottom and frizzy AF on top. Maintaining it in grade school was always a nightmare.
In 3rd grade, my mom took me to Chinatown in NYC to get a Japanese permanent straightening (also known as a Yuko). They process it 3 times while applying a massive amount of heat, and after 9 hours and dozens of dumplings, you’re left with permanently straight hair and a lot of breakage. The thing about having permanently straight hair is, when your regular frizzy roots start growing in, you have to sit through the whole Chinatown process all over again – and the in-between phase is not pretty. It looked like I was wearing a crown made of dark brown Brillo pads.
When I tried to wear it curly, I had to use more product than earthly imaginable, and it still looked like I had walked through a carwash. I always hear things from girls with pin-straight tresses like, “If only my hair could hold a curl! You’re so lucky!” The human condition is glaringly clear: We all want what we can’t have.
I found solace around the time I was 16, when the Brazilian Blowout was introduced to America. Since then, I’ve been getting keratin treatments (varying in strength) around every three months. I’m 29 now, so you can do the math. Most recently, my hair and I decided on an amicable cease-fire. With the help of my beloved stylist, confidante, and friend Teri Kang at Koji Toyoda Salon in West Hollywood, the last two years have been the best and longest my hair has ever looked and felt. I’m addicted to Teri’s blowouts, and my weekly venting sessions about dating DJs and Korean cooking. It’s embarrassing, but I just don’t know how to dry my own hair the way she does it.
When Dyson announced that they had a new hair tool coming out that could straighten coarse hair and mimic a professional blowout at home without damaging your strands, I was overly intrigued. I’m pretty obsessed with Dyson’s home products. I would sooner give up a collection of designer handbags than my Dyson cordless vacuum.
When I received the Dyson Airwrap, I saw it in all of its glory and leather-bound packaging. It comes with eight different attachments, and the one I was most interested in looked like a large paddle brush designed for coarse hair. I watched multiple tutorials on YouTube; most of the time, the YouTuber didn’t read the directions which clearly state that hair must be 60% dry, and the lack of necessary reading created a lot of early negative and misguided reviews, in my opinion. Directions matter, people! I read them all, and couldn’t wait to test this baby out.
A few weekends ago, I was in the desert of Joshua Tree with nary a hair salon in sight, so it was the perfect opportunity in my mind for a proper trial. After washing and conditioning my hair, I used the attachment meant for drying it to the ideal level of dampness before styling. I attached the coarse hair attachment, and much to my amazement, it worked. There are two different heat settings, two different speeds, and a cool blast option for setting your hair. My hair was finished, smooth, shiny, and straight in no more than 20 minutes. I was shook; it was just so simple. I checked everywhere for areas I may have overlooked or frizzy patches, and there just weren’t any. The amount of body I had was perfect, and my ends had a professionally finished look to them.
My hair was finished, smooth, shiny, and straight in no more than 20 minutes.
The fact that it isn’t damaging my hair like a typical blow-dryer is just an added perk. A way I also love to use the Airwrap is for a second or third day blowout. I’ll spray the front pieces of my hair or the ends with water so that they’re damp, and run the tool through my hair for a few times for a freshly polished look. This is a pricey tool, but for me, hair is everything and totally worth it. If my hair is a mess, I’m a mess.
My opinion is unanimous: The Airwrap is literally never leaving my suitcase when I’m traveling. Now, if only I could get it to recommend restaurants and give me dating advice like Teri does, I would be all set.