When I mentioned on twitter that I was going to try the Charles Worthington Straight & Smooth, Get Lippie asked me to give feedback. This is one of the first mass-market home straightening systems available on the high street, aimed specifically at non-afro-carribean hair. It costs 20 and is available only at Boots. It is not suitable for hair that has been dyed platinum or very light ash blonde, afro-carribean hair, or hair that has been dyed or permed in the last 12 weeks.
My hair is quite thick, highlighted, with a strong natural curl and a tendency to look dull due to frizz. I'm far too lazy to style it every day for work, and so I tend to appear like I've been dragged through the proverbial hedge. I wash my hair about twice a week, and usually allow it to dry naturally, only styling it using straightening irons for special occasions.
What do you get in the box? It includes the 2 tubes making up the treatment, a wide toothed comb, some gloves and a bottle of aftercare conditioner. A leaflet describes the process (with pictures!) and includes the usual instructions about carrying out patch tests.
The process is pretty simple - it took me 62 minutes in total
1. Wash your hair, DO NOT CONDITION. Comb out any knots (ow ow ow)
2. Put a towel round your shoulders, and stay in the bathroom as you're likely to flick gobbets of the lotions around the place (or maybe this is only me). Apply the straightening treatment and comb your hair to keep it detangled and straight. The guidance on the amount of goop to apply wasn't very clear, so I applied about a third to a half of the tube. So basically 20 minutes of smelling a chemical odor (like bubble perms in the 80s) and combing your hair constantly to keep it straight. Rinse out thoroughly.
3. Look in mirror and be amazed at how your hair has spontaneously knotted into giant fright wig. Apply the Conditioning Neutraliser (again, the lovely chemical smell) and comb your hair straight again for 5 minutes. At this point my arms were rebelling from combing my hair so much, it was a relief to rinse out this last treatment.
4. Blow dry your hair using a brush and aiming the hairdryer downwards. This stage was the most awkward for me, and I could have done with Charles popping round to help out. Finally, straighten to seal in the treatment.
|Immediately after treatment|
The Next Day
Usually after I've slept on my hair all my straightening effort has been undone, however, it was still as smooth and straight as when I'd gone to bed, apart from some very short hairs in my hairline.
|The day after treatment|
After the first wash
I waited 4 days before washing my hair - the minimum you can wait is 2 days. After washing, using the supplied aftercare conditioner and allowing to dry naturally, my curl has fought back! My hair now appears a little more smooth and shiny than usual, but it's no longer the wonderful, straight style that I'd had before. However, it was very quick to style using straightening irons.
So how do I feel about this product? Well the 4 days of super-straight post treatment were wonderful, but it all going wrong after the first wash was a real disappointment. I will not be buying this again.
Editors Note: Kitty has since spoken to the customer service people at Charles Worthington, and they immediately issued a full refund for the product. Great service from them there.
Incidentally, I have a box of this at home to try, and I'll be giving you a full report soon too, now I have hairdresser approval of my own...
Charles Worthington Straight and Shine is currently available from Boots for £19.99, but you get 500 Advantage points on Charles Worthington purchases at the moment, which is the equivalent of £5 off ...
The Fine Print: Kitty purchased her own product and was refunded by the Charles Worthington company when they found out it didn't work, they were not made aware at any time that a blog post was involved. No PRs harmed in the writing of this post.
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