Hair Care

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

I’m a bit of a tomboy, thanks to my dad who made me assist him in home improvement projects. When I was eight, I remember putting together a speaker fashioned out of plywood, egg cartons and my sister’s old dress…I can’t recall if I was punished for cutting up her dress. All I remember is how excited I was when the darn thing actually produced a decent sound. So it really peeves me when I’m in a hardware store or home improvement center and I hear comments that power tools are supposedly the sole domain of men.

The popularity of home makeover reality TV is slowly shedding this skewed image with shows starring female carpenters and handymen…or handywomen as this case may be. The stereotype still persists, and a new line of female friendly tools have recently entered the market, trying to capture the dollars of fans of programs like Trading Spaces. These power tools have squishy pink handles and come in cutesy cases…apparently to appeal to our delicate sensibilities. But what many fail to realize is that most women have been wielding a monster power tool way before they hit puberty, probably several times a week. This device spews serious heat and is all of 1,875 watts of power…I’m talking about the hairdryer.

We know how to use a hairdryer, it’s a pretty straight forward appliance … turn on, heat hair till dry, turn off. But all that heat and wattage can cause some serious damage, especially since we’ve been using it for years. We try to protect our fragile locks with thermal shampoos, penetrating conditioners, hair masks … the list is endless. Another approach to treating our hair kindly is preventing it from being fried in the first place. That’s the stance of Brookstone (www.Brookstone.com) with their Ionic Hair Dryer.

I was given an Ionic Hair Dryer a couple of years ago at Christmas. It didn’t seem like a very exciting present when I un-wrapped it and I was a little skeptical about the benefits of charged ions bombarding my hair. I’ve since grown very attached to my hairdryer, and I take it with me when I travel…I find the little hairdryers in hotel bathrooms extremely annoying. Conveniently, Brookstone’s Ionic Hair Dryer is true dual voltage, which allows for use around the world in both the high and low settings. Most dual voltage hairdryers only work in one setting in the 250v mode. It also folds and comes in a drawstring travel pouch.

Perhaps it’s my hair type but I really did feel an improvement after I started using the Ionic Hair Dryer. According to Brookstone, our hair is saturated with harmful positively charged ions from the environment, and conventional hairdryers rough up the hair’s cuticle. The Ionic Hair Dryer produces negative ions, which counteract all these harmful effects, leaving hair smooth and strong. My thin hair has a slight wave and tends to frizz, but after I started using my new power tool, it’s never a problem getting my hair frizz-free and razor straight. There are two settings and the cool shot button is great for setting my style. The cool option is also very handy for drying a home-manicure!

If you’re still a little apprehensive about the hype of ions, Brookstone has a Commercial Hair Dryer with 1,600 watts. This is lower than conventional hairdryers, so it’s much healthier for your hair. The professional grade AC motor in this hair dryer delivers a focused stream of high velocity air so it doesn’t compromise on drying time. It has three temperature settings and two speeds, as well as a cool shot button.

Now as I remember helping my dad around the house, he used the hair dryer many times…peeling old wallpaper, defrosting the deep freezer, shrinking insulation film on the basement windows, heating a nail before driving it into a plaster wall to prevent cracking…I guess he thought of the hair dryer as a power tool too!

Ionic Travel Hair Dryer and Studio Commercial Hair Dryer available online at http://www.Brookstone.com

and the following locations:

West 57th
20 W. 57Th Street
New York, NY 10019
212-245-1405

Rockefeller Center
16 West 50Th Street
New York, NY 10020
212-262-3237

Manhattan Mall
901 Sixth Avenue; Space 168
New York, NY 10001
212-947-2144

Seaport Marketplace
18 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
212-344-8108

All NYC area airports

Originally published August 2004
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