Hot Hair Tools: How to Tame Your Mane in Singapore's Humidity
Two years in the little red dot, and I have yet to figure out how to reduce the frizz and stop looking like a black-haired Ronald McDonald. I've done a keratin treatment, two Brazilian Blowouts and a couple of deep conditioning treatments, but the problem is the re-growth. I needed to have an arsenal of hot hair tools at home to tame the mane since I binned my amika titanium styler a few months ago. Here's my hot hair tool journey.
I owned my first pair of straighteners when I was in university, a treat to myself on my 18th birthday (side note: why are they called a pair of straighteners? There's two plates, but it's one tool...). Also, it was 2006 and this hairstyle was fashionable back then:
Not that my hair ever looked like this - Sheffield's rain often made it look like Monica from Friends, in the episode they were in Barbados.
ghd original IV styler (S$196 from ghdhair.com, unavailable on sephora.sg)
The gold standard for hot hair tools for many years, I had my ghd straighteners - the original IV styler - for years until it became less efficient and less effective at flat-ironing my hair. So I got rid of them, and instead bought...
amika titanium styler
... which I had for a few years. The plates are different to ghd's (tourmaline and titanium) and I could adjust the temperature so as not to fry my locks. But no matter how often I used this, the minute I stepped outside of air conditioning and into the heat and humidity, my hair would turn into a frizz ball. So then I dumped my amika styler (thank u, next) and bought a...
Cloud Nine Curling Wand (approx S$160 incl shipping from cultbeauty.co.uk, although it looks like the brand has now been removed from there)
... which with my thick hair, is tricky for me to use. I've yet to master the technique of achieving those soft, touchable curls and I might have burned an ear once or twice. So in the drawer it sits, only coming out on those days when I'm bored and have extra time to practice.
This one has a mineral-infused slow baked coated barrel for a healthy, natural shine, as well as temperature control (auto, low, medium and high) so you don't fry your locks.
Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (approx S$95, incl shipping from Amazon.co.uk)
Somewhere in between all of this, I kept seeing reviews online and on YouTube for the Revlon hot air blow dryer. It's fairly inexpensive compared to the rest of the hot tools on this list. It cuts down styling time because you're going through your hair with both a hairdryer and a hairbrush at the same time for that salon blowout at home.
But, it's not a hair straightener that will fight the frizz and give me that sleek and shiny hair.
dyson corrale (S$699, ouch)
So I bought this apparently amazing contraption from dyson: the corrale straightener. First, I shed a few tears at the price. Then after using it five times over a two-week period, I returned it.
Cordless is great and all that, but it needs to be charged. The battery is in the actual device, making it heavy. I nearly dropped the thing on my head once or twice, and while I would have survived, I'm not sure the device or my wallet would have. It's totally useless for travelling because there are so many elements to bring along to keep it charged - the part that you plug in has a huge and heavy power pack.
One of the only plus points: the temperature is adjustable.
So after many many years, I finally went full circle and bought...
ghd platinum+ styler (approx S$244 on sale with personalisation, excl shipping from ghdhair.com)
Firstly, don't get ripped off by Sephora SG - the same device is S$425 for some reason. I ordered mine from the ghd UK store with personalisation on sale and shipping and it cost way less and reached me in less than a week.
I was hesitant at first because I was recalling my university days of having pin straight hair - it's so not the look for 2020 (although, let's be honest, the look for 2020 is Covid-chic). And although the platinum+ heats up to a fixed 185ºC, this thing creates waves, bends and curls smoothly and easily. I'm still practicing flat-iron curls, but I know I'll get there eventually with this device.