- I got a keratin treatment a month and a half ago to smooth out my hair, so my roots are starting to show and my hair doesn’t look as sleek or uniform.
- I’d been struggling to style my hair — flatirons made my hair too flat, and juggling a blow dryer and round brush was far too complicated for me.
- I started using the Drybar Brush Crush ($145), a styling tool that blends the benefits of a flatiron and paddle brush, and I’ve managed to achieve a smooth, straight look in under 25 minutes.
- If you’re someone who is looking to cut down on styling time to smooth out kinks, waves, and curls without needing to juggle multiple tools, then this is a great option to try.
- Now through August 4, you can get the Drybar Get Brushin’ & Crushin’ Set for only $165 (a $238 value) — which is only $20 more than just the brush itself — during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
I recently got a keratin hair treatment which basically coats my hair with protein and other chemicals to relax and smooth my naturally voluminous, curly hair.
It was a decision I’d made after 26 years of slowly uncovering my eyes in front of the mirror to see how my unpredictable curls dried — which can take up to two hours. As for styling, it’d take 40 minutes to flatiron my hair, 50 minutes for a blowout, and a reasonable six hours to make my hair look somewhat passable without heat. It’s a process that includes mixing argan oil, coconut oil, and a leave-in conditioner into my hair and then twisting it into a bun to air dry.
While not permanent, a keratin treatment can last anywhere from three to five months depending on how well you take care of your hair. I got my hair done about a month and a half ago, so it still dries fairly frizz-free and uniform, but my roots are starting to grow out and I can get some rather unpredictable kinks throughout my hair.
I don’t like to flatiron my hair since the result ends up being pretty flat, and I’ve never been able to juggle tools for a blowout. When I had the opportunity to try the Drybar Brush Crush ($145), a styling tool that works like a flatiron and paddle brush, I thought it’d be an easy way to style my "new" hair, or at least help me fix the unwanted kinks that I knew would inevitably come around.
You can get the Drybar Get Brushin’ & Crushin’ Set for only $165 during the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — which is only $20 more than just the brush itself. The set includes the Brush Crush, two duckbill clips, detangling spray, heat protectant spray, dry shampoo, texturizer, and samples of Drybar’s shampoo and conditioner, so you’ll have everything you’ll need to get started.
How to use the brush
The brush can be used on all hair types, and basically looks like a paddle brush but with a plate that heats up and smooths hair as you brush. You can only use this on dry hair, so make sure you air dry or blow dry first.
The temperature goes up to a maximum of 450°F, but lower heat should be used on fine or damaged hair. Regardless of your hair type, you should always use a heat protectant to help keep your hair healthy and strong.
I was curious to see how the Brush Crush worked on freshly-washed hair and day-old hair that needed new life, so I spent several days playing around with the tool. I originally set the temperature to 400°F, but quickly realized I could crank it up all the way for my medium-to-thick hair type. I had already prepped my hair with the Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler, which smelled amazing and made my hair feel really soft, as well as the Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Spray. Both products come with the kit.
On one half of my head, I brushed through my hair like I would with a normal brush. On the other side, I took small sections of my hair and went through each like I would with a flat iron. The difference was obvious — a smooth, uniform wave versus totally straight hair. Honestly, I’d wear my hair both ways, but if I’m going to apply heat to my hair, I’m going all in, so I sectioned off the rest of my hair and brushed through again.
Proof that what once was a mess of waves and kinks became smooth and straight.
And the best part is that it took me maybe 20 to 25 minutes. My hair was the smoothest it’s ever looked, but with volume and movement, and without needing to juggle tools or strain my wrists.
I was curious to see if the texture would change if I styled second-day hair, so the next day, I used the Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo to help get rid of oil buildup before brushing my hair. Compared to some drugstore brands I’ve used, this one smelled pretty good and didn’t leave my hair with an overwhelmingly straw-like feeling either. After using the Brush Crush, my second-day hair didn’t feel as light and smooth as it did the first day, but my hair certainly didn’t look like it hadn’t been washed in 36 hours (see above photo on the right).
Cons to consider
As much as I really love this brush, there are a couple of things that make this tool slightly challenging to use.
Unlike a flatiron plate which gets hot right to the very edge, the Brush Crush only heats in the center. It makes sense so you don’t burn yourself, but it also makes getting those tiny hairs by your part, ears, or back of the neck difficult. As you can see from the pictures, I had some flyaways that I couldn’t tame with the brush alone.
In addition, since it looks like a hair brush, your natural inclination is to just run the brush through your hair. But from my experience, it’s best to hold a section of your hair taut and then slowly brush through each piece a few times. It’s definitely going to take you more than a few minutes this way, but the tool is easy to use so I didn’t personally mind.
I’m definitely going to keep the Brush Crush in my hair routine — it gave me six hours of my life back. Six. hours.
If you’re like me and have been looking to cut down on styling time to eliminate kinks, waves, and curls without needing to juggle multiple tools, then this is a great option to try — especially if you get it during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale as a complete set with accessories and styling products.
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