Curly hair girl

Associate editor Sarah St. Lifer as a child with Shirley Temple curls. Courtesy Photo

Growing up, adults would fawn over my curly hair. Comparisons to Shirley Temple were thrown around. You would think I would be flattered, but when you're in third grade and the pretty girls have straight, blond hair, you tend to feel otherwise.

It would take my mother two hours to straighten my hair. Over the years, I've whittled down the entire routine to half that. And while I count my blessings for the texture and thickness of my hair, it often looks unkempt and messy without styling.

So when a bottle of Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Blow Dry Perfector popped up on my desk, I knew I needed to give it a try. The product offers an easier blow dry with less frizz. The two-step process starts with a 20-minute Smooth-It Serum, which smelled like a perm. Gross.

But after 20 minutes (YouTube reviews of black women trying the product recommend the serum sit for 30 minutes) I washed with warm water and applied the Heat-Activated Perfect-It Cream. Garnier claims, "with natural rice oil, the [cream will] seal in lasting smoothness and conditioning, and to create a weightless, humidity-resistant barrier to frizz."

The anticipation was killing me. I quickly flipped my mane, and started to blow dry. Surprisingly, while blow drying with a round brush, my strands didn't snag -- no knots -- that's a miracle!

After about 30 to 40 minutes, I noticed that my curls had straightened out much smoother than before, and I didn't have to spend as much time with my flat iron. My hair felt healthy and looked sleek.

The following day, I worked out on the elliptical machine. I was nervous that the salt in my sweat would defuse the chemicals like the Keratin treatment. I hit the showers with Paul Mitchell shampoo and Terax conditioner, and blow-dried my hair per usual. Same scenario as the evening before, zero to few knots and little use of the straightener. I was relieved.

The third evening, I let my hair air dry. My hair snapped back to its usual mangled mess. I was sad that the curls hadn't diffused entirely.

straight hair garnier fructis sleek and shine blow dry perfector

Sarah's hair (Days 1-3) while trying Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Blow Dry Perfector. Courtesy Photos

I continued to blow dry my hair throughout the week. As the evenings progressed, I needed to use my straightening iron more and more. By the final shampoo, I noticed my straightening routine was back to normal -- 30 minutes blow drying and 30 minutes ironing.

Overall, the product lived up to its promise for the first few shampoos. After that, it was business as usual. Perhaps I needed to let the Smooth-It Serum sit for longer, or apply more Heat-Activated Perfect-It Cream.

With a price tag of $11.99 and available at Ulta, Walgreens and most drugstores, it's worth giving a try.