Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Growing my hair and hot air brushes


I am growing my hair. 


Most of my adult life I had a similar haircut. It would be chin length bob that would periodically grow longer and then, inevitably, end up being chopped when I got to the point of not being able to deal with the maintenance any more.  

I tried it curled and blond...

My (failed) MM attempt

Or darker and straight...

with a bit of red...
I thought I will never go longer because it gets out of hand quickly

au naturel
 
But while visiting my mother I discovered some help. My mother has naturally curly hair, not frizzy/wavy like me but fully curly.  She also owns all kinds of beauty and grooming products plus a dazzling array of cosmetics.  She is definitely not a minimalist here, I think she just likes to try different things for fun. Among them I found a hot air brush set with all kinds of attachments. I used it while visiting and I loved it so much, I was determined to find one for myself.

I have tried three hot air brushes and I thought I would pass some comments to you, in case you are considering them.  And of course, I would love if you could share your own opinions and experiences.

 Conair Hot Air Brush

This set includes 3 attachments so it seemed like a good value.  it would be nice for travel because it is all in one. My hair is thick and it takes at least 30 minutes to dry, even with quite powerful blow dryers. I think it general, it is recommended that you partially dry before using hot air brush but not as much as with straighteners (or hot barrel curlers).  

The dryer it is not powerful enough for me so it would actualy lengthen the drying time.  The bigger brush is the right size for me but the bristles are sparse and very stiff and it did not grip hair properly. The smaller brush is much better but it is a little bit too small for my hair length. This may be better set for someone with shorter hair and definitely not ideal if you have long hair. Also, it is nice to have different attachments, but they sometimes came unlocked, which is annoying. It also gets pretty hot and you have to watch as not to burn yourself.  My hair did came out smooth and nice.  Since I don't wash my hair everyday, more like every other day or every three days, I was able to touch it up on they days I did not wash it and it was really helpful.

Overall, I realized that if I kept this set, I would only use it with the small brush and I need something a little bigger in diameter.  But the set does a good job and it was definitely and improvement from using regular round brushes and good for second day touch ups.

John Frieda Hot Air Brush

John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Unit
Buy from Amazon
This is just a single brush, no other attachments and it is not rotating. It is not very powerful so I don;t think it would work as a blowdryer substitute, unless you have relatively thin hair that dries quickly. You can order it in 1 inch or 1.5 inch size.  I ordered 1.5 inch. The size is perfect for my hair and there is no fussing with changing or falling off attachments. I actually liked the fact that it does not get too hot. It was easier to work with it and put my hair around it without burning my ears or fingers. It probably does less damage to your hair as well. 

It also works great for touch ups.  It is comfortable to hold and I like its simplicity. My only concern is that it may not be powerful enough.


Infiniti Pro by Conair Spin Air Rotating Styler

buy from Amazon

This is the the top rated Hot Air Brush. The biggest difference between the other two I tried is that it rotates.  It is also huge.  I don't think this would work on short hair at all. But if your hair is at least chin length, you should be fine.  It will also give you a lot of volume, so if you are after volume this is perfect. It is not a concern for me, as I actually have my hair significantly thinned to reduce the volume. 

Now, the rotating function.  I was a little scared of it at first but it would not tangle your hair.  It does take a little bit of getting used to.  On my first try my hair immediately curled up (instead of under),  tight around the brush.  You can turn the rotating function off if you get overwhelmed but it is its main selling point.  One thing I would say, don't give up after the first try.  I was frustrated at first but it really is easy if you give it a little time. What I had to get used to is that the brush spins in both directions for curling under or up, depending on which button you press.  However, it took me couple of minutes to realize that the direction that creates the under spinning motion is different depending on how you hold your brush.  So instead of the right button you have to hold the left one or vice versa.  Once I got that, it became easy.   

It is a powerful brush and the hair came out very smooth and similar to the look you get at the hair salon.  The only drawback to me is the size, especially if you have shorter hair or want to bring it while traveling.       

***

I decided to keep the Infiniti Pro but I am thinking of getting a smaller diameter brush as well. Maybe I should get John Frieda 1 inch brush?  Overall, I really like hot air brushes in general.  To me, they are so much easier to use that the regular round brush and the blowdryer and get better results. I also believe in ionic function, I think it does make a difference in smoothness of my hair.  And I have been sold this expensive leave-in conditioner by my stylist. 

At first I thought I was a total fool to pay so much for a conditioner, but I swear, my hair has never been smoother and shinier.  I currently use Nexxus Color Assure shampoo and conditioner and I find my color staying fresh for a little longer.

Another thing that has helped me with growing my hair was my bangs.  I find my hair easier to maintain with the bangs.  I know many people would say the opposite, but for me, it eliminates some of the volume in front and pushes the hair away from my face.  Plus, my bangs grow so quickly,  it is easy to push them to the sides to create more of side swept look, even if they are now cut as full blunt bangs.




***
That's all folks!

Do you own a hot air brush?

What do you use to style your hair?

29 comments:

  1. I used to have a hot air brush (I believe it was Conair) that I used every single day until it died. I loved that thing. I didn't replace it because I could get a similar effect by just using a round brush and my blowdryer and wanted to save some money. But now that I'm remembering how efficient and convenient it was, I'm starting to want another! I like the look of the John Frieda version...their stuff is so great.

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    1. I think those hot air brushes are a genius. I can;t believe how I lived without them. I love the John Frieda brush, simple and easy. I think I may get the 1 inch brush.

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  2. I love your hair long and curly like that au natural! For years I had my hair really short and looking at photos I realised how unflattering it was. My jaw was too square for the cut I had and my hair too thick, it just look mumsy and boomphy. My hair is too long now but is so much easier. I keep thinking I am so low maintenance but in fact I have it straightened (Brazilian) highlighted every four ! weeks and I use all the Brazilian expensive shampoos. I am my own nightmare.

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    1. I used to have a very short hair because my ex husband loved it. But I never felt like myself, I hated it. I also want to thing of myself as low maintenance but nope, not a chance. I have reconciled myself with it. Why not?

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  3. Hi, ajc, I have an elderly Clairol drying brush with comb attachments. If it stops working I will never be able to go without a hat.

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    1. oh no fred, we need to find you a replacement. Even if hats can be very cute.

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  4. I've never tried one of these, maybe I should. I have been growing out my layers and now my hair is shoulder length, almost one length, I want to see if I can grow it long again. I discovered a curling iron that I can use quite easily so that is helping me style my hair, I have no talent when it comes to these things. I think you have great hair, if I didn't have such a giant cowlick I would copy you and get some bangs.

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    1. Dani, your hair is beautiful. And if I had a hairline like yours, I would never had bangs.

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  5. Your natural curl is wonderful. I use the Instyler, it's amazing.

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    1. Tabitha, i wanted to save money but judging from your hair, the Instyler is worth every penny. I may just get it after all. Sigh.

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  6. I just had to stop in and say that I love the photo of your hair curly! It's gorgeous. I don't style my hair, it's a ponytail every day for me. If I do have to style, I blow dry upside down and throw in some hot rollers. But then, I have stick straight hair! I didn't even know these hot air brushes existed, seems like a great idea! Good luck growing out your hair.

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    1. Thank you J.Crew JD! Of course I envy you straight hair. We always want what do don't have. Ponytails are a great benefit of having longer hair. They are just so easy and you still look done.

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  7. Wow, what a stunner you are in the last photo! It's the smile that really makes you shine IMO.

    I like your natural waves. I have naturally curly hair but here in Calgary where it is so dry it has relaxed quite a bit to just wavy now. I can only wash it every few days and then let it air dry, which can be a total pain in the winter. I have a cut that works with the natural waves so there is zero styling required. If it gets unruly I just put it in an updo. I used to have all kinds of electric styling tools. It was a huge relief to eliminate that step altogether.

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    1. Thank you xoxo. I always wanted to have a hair style which will work with my hair texture but I am a control freak when it comes to hair. I hate the unpredictability of waves and curls. I get a lot of compliments on my natural hair but I am never convinced for some reason. Maybe I do need to relax and accept it.

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  8. let me say - I am with the others - last photo is stunning and I like the curls, too!

    I don;t think I have tried one of these brushes for years - now I am intrigued to do so!

    I should spend more time on my hair, but I don't - I just shampoo it every third day, put a lot of expensive product in it and then never touch it again. as in never. I would like no bangs at all - right now it is layered, which is nice in some ways, bad in others and Dani - I have two bloody cowlicks!!

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    1. Wenders perhaps cowlicks are a sign of effervescence? Trying to find the positive. As a child I cut mine right to the scalp, I found it so irritating and my true self would probably do the same today!

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    2. I love your cowlicks. I think my problems is that I have to touch. Like I said to xoxo, I cannot stand lack of control. Humidity is my mortal enemy.
      But I love how you all can have natural waves and curls. I need to give it a try.

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  9. You look stunning in that last picture! Tell your mom all her "high maintenance" is worth the effort... She's gorgeous! (Yes, I lurk around these parts) ;)
    I used to straighten my wavy/curly unmanageable hair for many many years, until finally I decided to embrace nature (and dramatically cut my getting ready time) and now I love it. it took a whole for my hair to adjust and regain its curl pattern, but it is much more manageable now. My secret, I don't wash it every day with shampoo, rather, I "lather up" with conditioner. Makes such a difference! It may look greasy for the first few days, but it soon bounces back. You look gorgeous with curls, and Wendy and I need some company, right WMM?

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    1. I just talk to my mom and passed all the compliments. She laughed but I am sure she was pleased, thank you.
      I should try and embrace my natural texture. I think I am reasonable about my body image and such. But I admit, I still hope I can somehow have a hair like Tabitha...

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  10. love the curls!! you look fab in the last picture for sure.

    right now my hair is like a mane. i've gone from short to long and back, so as long as you're armed with patience then this objective will be reached! thanks for these reviews - have always been interested in hot air brushes!

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    1. I am trying to be patient. My stylist is great and I asked him if he thinks I can have longer hair. 'Why not' he said. Hmmm, that gives me hope. Patience is not my strong suit, so we shall see.

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  11. I agree that the last photo is beautiful and you look so happy and have a gorgeous wave in your hair the photo at the beach. I can't blow dry my hair, no talent in that area at all. It just gets frizzy and wavy moments after I'm done drying it. I started doing the same hair care method as Anthro Blogger several months ago. I use Deva Curl products which also includes a special way of handling "delicate" curls to encourage them. I even found a Deva Curl hair cutter and between the way she cuts curls and the curl care techniques, my hair finally has healthy, wavy, loose curls. Your hair looks great no matter how you style it. It will be fun to watch you grow it longer.

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    1. I am scared to try just the conditioner, I am convince my hair will look like a greasy mess. But on the other hands it sounds appealing to be able to skip the step. I also have to check out those other Deva products.

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  12. My hair is probably of a quite similar thickness/texture to yours, from looking at all the pics. For the last several years I've had it cut in layers and falling to just below shoulder length, where it is heavy enough to air-dry into waves. I no longer do anything with it unless it is going to be freezing out and then I dry it straight. But I also highlight my hair and find that the waviness disguises roots outgrowth in a way that drying it straight does not. Your hair looks great the way you do it -- I am intrigued by the notion of bangs. I imagine that if I had them they would get curly/kinky/frizzed immediately, but it is interesting to see that that might not be the case.

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    1. Hi Michelle, it is true that wavy/curly hair disguise the roots much better than straight hair, that's definitely one of the benefits. With the bangs I think you have to style them with the help of some hot tools, otherwise they do get kinky and frizzed, that's one of the problems, it is hard to just straighten your bangs but with longer hair i think you can have straight bangs and then waves.

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