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.
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.