The struggle is real – the hair vs straightener struggle that is. Curly haired girls know it all too well. Spending valuable ‘getting ready’ time trying to maintain some sort of normality to an otherwise unruly head of hair. Hair straightening doesn’t take a genius to work out, but it takes the patience of a saint for someone like me whose hair slowly but surely starts to twist and turn moments after spending my best efforts trying to straighten it.
Hair straightening has come a long way since my day. Being a teen in the late 90s/early 2000s meant that poker-straight hair could only be achieved using extreme methods. Hair straighteners didn’t exist back then…or at least weren’t available to us mere mortals. Straight hair was simply achieved with a towel behind the hair and a clothing iron directly on top. Yes you read that correctly…I once straightened my hair using an iron! Of course, I knew it was an utterly ridiculous idea back then, but what could I do?! The Jennifer Aniston look was in and I was certainly too cool (or at least I thought I was) to pass up on a trend.
Thankfully beauty lovers of today need not succumb to such extremities in order to achieve a sleek mane. From Keratin treatments to steam pods, there are so many options available on the market, we’re now spoilt for choice. However, the beauty world has welcomed a revolutionary new product; which promises to surpass any hair straightening expectations without the hassle. Enter the hair straightening brush…
With so many brands jumping onto the ‘hair straightening brush’ phenomenon, it was hard to pick just one to test out. I stumbled across the Asavea range whilst browsing the pages of Amazon (typical I know). There are hundreds of brands out there, all mimicking the same design, style and concept of each other. The difference between the brushes was not apparent, except for the DAFNI, the original OG and the one which all other hair straightening brushes acquire their design concept from. The DAFNI also comes with a hefty price tag of £140. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent more money on my GHDs, but considering that I have a mini collection of GHDs at home, it seemed almost pointless to invest that much money into something which will give me the same results (here’s hoping). The point of a hair straightening brush is that it delivers the same results as a straightener with less fuss, better transportation and a more affordable price tag. With that said, I decided upon one of the dupes to test out and saved my money for more important things in life (pizza and makeup).
So what is a hair straightening brush I hear you ask. Well it’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an electronically powered hair brush; which delivers intense heat through ceramic ‘bristles’ therefore eliminating the need for a hair straightener and brush/comb. They claim to reduce hair styling time dramatically and provide you with a perfectly sleek mane without any hassle. Genius idea if I do say so myself, but definitely not original. This concept has been around for some time. Perhaps not for poker-straightening, but hot brush rollers have been around for many years promising salon-esque blow drys with minimal effort. Unfortunately they never worked for me, perhaps more suitable for someone with a shorter do.
The Asavea Straightening Brush is priced at roughly £35.00 (depending on what colour you go for). They come in a selection of black, white and baby pink. I opted for the white as I’m not a fan of baby pink. There are cheaper alternatives on the market, with prices starting from around £20.00, however, I decided to go for this one taking into consideration the positive reviews. The price point doesn’t break the bank and together with Amazon Prime, it means that you can enjoy your new tool the very next day without any delivery charges.
The brush comes complete with a travel bag, swivel cord which rotates to 360 degrees and a nifty little velcro fastener to help tie up the cord when the brush is not in use. I was a little disappointed that the box didn’t include a heat proof glove; which I think is necessary particularly when attempting the smaller baby hairs around your hairline. I purchased a separate glove from Amazon costing £4.06 so it wasn’t a big deal, but it certainly would have been a nice touch if it had been included.
The brush itself is fairly weighty. It’s heavier than a traditional GHD so it requires a bit of bicep muscle. The temperature can be adjusted much like other hair straightenerst. GHD’s traditionally operate at around 230 degrees Celsius, however the brand claims that optimal heat styling should be set at around 180 degrees to avoid hair damage. I have fairly thick hair so setting the temperature to 230 degrees on the Asavea brush seems ideal in order for it to work to its potential. The temperature is displayed on a LCD screen at the front of the brush and takes around 1 minute to reach its maximum peak.
My biggest gripe with the brush is that the operational controls are located at the side of the handle. Fairly easy in concept (there’s a button to switch it on or off, a temperature increase and a temperature decrease button). When gripping the brush, I found that my fingers would constantly get in the way and adjust the temperature or even switch the brush off completely without my knowledge. I would have preferred the buttons to be located away from the handle grip to avoid such nuisance, but I suppose there wouldn’t be anywhere else on the brush to place them.
The brush head itself feels fairly harsh against the scalp so a light hand is advised. The bristles are ceramic so definitely not soft like traditional brushes. I do appreciate the fact that the ‘bristles’ are fairly long; which means that I can run the brush against the top of my head without causing third degree burns to my scalp. If you have fairly thin hair, I would suggest, however, to avoid the scalp area completely to be safe.
Regardless of the claims, I wouldn’t forgo a brush to detangle the hair before going in with the straightener. The heated plate and bristles do run the risk of frying your hair follicles if it is left too long on the hair or gets caught in a web of knots. Detangling your hair before use will not only make the process pain-free, but will also ensure that you have a head of hair to straighten next time once you’re done.
I noticed two alarming points when using the brush for the first time. One being the smell – a hybrid of burning plastic and rubber. Not the nice kind (I actually like the smell of rubber), but the kind that leaves a horrible lingering smell on your hair. The second was the mist of smoke coming from the brush head once it was heated. I’m no stranger to hot hair tools so it didn’t really bother me much, but it can be a cause for concern for those with already damaged or brittle hair.
So the real question here is – does it actually work? Well as you can see from the results – it does! I was actually shocked myself when I saw how well the brush straightened and tamed my naturally frizzy hair. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s on par with GHDs, but it certainly gets the job done. The finish is slightly different to what you would get with a traditional straightener. Firstly, it leaves you with stupidly static hair and secondly, it gives you a little bounce and a little fluffiness that you wouldn’t get with a normal straightener. However, both are easily overcome with a smidgen of serum/hair oil on the ends of your hair.
I wasn’t expecting to like the brush in all honesty. Many of the adverts that I’ve seen demonstrate the straightening brush on already tamed hair. I didn’t feel like it would benefit me in any way, but I was so wrong! I quite liked the finish it gave my hair and the style lasted a lot longer than normal. Detangling my hair before straightening meant that my styling time was less than 5 minutes; which is excellent for thick hair like mine. I would normally section off my hair in parts when using a traditional straightener, but the brush aspect meant that I could run the tool over my hair like a traditional brush and get into the parts of my hair that are quite hard to reach with a traditional straightener. Running the brush underneath as well as on top of the hair ensures that all sides of the hair strands are covered and eliminates the possibility of frizz.
Many of the reviewers on Amazon felt that the brush tore at the hair strands therefore creating a collection of broken hair in the brush. I didn’t really experience much of this myself. As you can see from the image above, there was very little fall out and certainly no comparison to the kind of fall out I get when i use a traditional paddle brush. I will say, however, to wait until your brush is completely cool (about 10 minutes) until you go ahead and clean the brush. Sounds like an obvious statement to make, but it’s very easy to forget that you’re not using a normal hair brush (I have the burn marks to prove it).
Would I suggest this brush to anyone looking for a hair straightening technique? Yes I would. I found that the brush worked well with my difficult hair and virtually cut my styling time in half. I would say, however, that if you already have a perfectly good straightener and you’re comfortable with the process then you won’t need this straightener. I am (as we all know) a beauty hoarder and love anything gimmicky, so for me, this brush was a pleasant surprise. It won’t give you the versatility of a traditional hair straightener (curls,waves), but it does give you straight hair with a little oomph. It’s perfect for those looking to style their hair in a short space of time or for those looking for a great travel alternative. It fits snug into a toiletry bag and is perfect for on-the-go styling when you need a little refreshing. Overall, it’s a massive thumbs up from me and I will certainly be using my Asavea Straightening Brush on occasions to come.
Have you used a straightening brush? Comment below with your thoughts on them.