It may seem a bit crazy to think that if you add more water and less heat to your hair, and then try to flat iron it straight, you’ll get good results, but that’s just how the Coolway system (SRP $139.90)works. This unique flat iron (plus products) keeps your hair from being over-heated, literally, The iron won’t go upwards of 299 degrees (most scorch your hair upwards of 400 degrees if you let them) and it has an AutoSense feature that finds the ideal setting for your hair so you don’t get too much heat, or too little heat.
You start by shampooing your hair and then using two Coolway products, first the Coolway Boost (or a good conditioner) and then the Coolway Transform spray mist before before blow drying and then using the Style and Seal AutoSense Flat iron. An internal scanner actually measures your hair’s moisture content and the humidity in the air to determine the lowest temperature that will work for styling—at least for that day. Then, once the ideal temperature has been determined, you style your hair as you would do, normally. By the way, the sytem is safe and effective for all hair types,e ven hair extensions.
It seems simple, but there is plenty of chemistry and technology behind it. You have to pump about 20 pumps of the Transform onto your hair, to help it boost your hair’s natural water content so that the flat iron can do its work. If you don’t use the product, the iron can’t function properly. The product contains key ingredients of silk protein (strengthens); red algae extract, fermented corn, silicone, and castor seed oil (hydrate) and smells lightly fruity (but the scent doesn’t stick around for long, luckily). I felt the directions could have been a bit more detailed, but basically, you add the products, then blow dry your hair until it is about 90% moisture-free. Using the patented AutoSense Styler, you want until you see “auto sense” in the lighted window, then clamp the flat iron to your hair, smoothing over one piece of your hair (the longest) about 3-4 times until the iron beeps. When it beeps, the temperature displayed is your ideal styling temperature. However, if you continue to use the system, this temperature supposedly continues to drop. Obviously, at some point, it can’t or you wouldn’t have any heat with which to style your hair. But the ideal temperature will change depending upon your hair and the day and how often you use it.
The first thing you really need to do when you are using something new, is to read the directions carefully. I did, but somehow I spaced when I washed my hair, and didn’t use the boost instead of my conditioner. Fortunately, I used Pureology’s Hydrate conditioner, and it’s really good (the instructions tell you to use a good conditioner if not using the Boost). Then I used the Mist, and then used my blow dryer. At this point, I began to wonder…since my blow dryer is something akin to a blast furnace, I’m already endangering my hair with high heat to dry it because I have very thick hair that takes a lot of heat and time to dry. But not having to damage it even further with a high heat flat iron, is definitely a plus. So I used the Coolway styler as directed, and my first heat number came up as 288. That is much lower than the heat setting I’d normally use, but when I slid my already frizzing strands through the flat iron, they smoothed out without a struggle. There was none of the smoke or sizzle I usually get when my hair is still slightly damp, which means that the flat iron wasn’t leaching all the moisture out of the hair. Score! My hair felt soft and shiny, perhaps in part to the Pureology products I like to use but maybe also because of the Coolway mist.
The instructions for Coolway say that if you use the products and the Coolway about five times: ”your styling results will last for days.” This is a direct quote. I assume it means that if you use the products and the Style and Seal Flat Iron for long enough, your hair is coated with the products and so your hair will stay more humidity resistant for longer, but I can’t really quantify this because it’s been pouring for days, and my hair just loves to frizz. It looks good, and the iron certainly works well at lower heat, but as to whether or not my hair stays smoother longer, I can’t really tell. I wash my hair just about every other day, anyway. If you have used Coolway and can share your results here, please do!
In Summary: The idea of temporarily increasing the porosity of hair, allowing more water to penetrate each strand deeper and faster, using peptides and fermented corn to offer extreme hydration and smooth the hair shaft, repairing damaged protein and strengthening the hair, plus using a tool a lower heat to smooth the hair, is a novel one. Having to use two products isn’t onerous, although it might be for anyone who is a true minimalist. And the price isn’t terribly high considering the cost of other straightening systems and treatments. If you like cool new things (and I mean that literally as well as figuratively) and you want to protect your hair, it’s a worthy investment. No wonder Allure gave it several awards! It is novel and it’s good, and if you want to start 2014 being good to your hair, Coolway is a cool way to do it!
Coolway has a three year warranty and is available at www.coolwayhair.com and on ulta.com