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The internet has no shortage of crazy-looking hair tools, from $10 headbands that give you heatless curls to fancy gadgets that can eat up the better part of your paycheque. Floating around in the sea of styling devices is Shark's newest hair tool: the acclaimed FlexStyle. Expensive (but not outlandish), promising dramatic results (but with apparent ease), and futuristic (but available for purchase now), the attention-grabbing tool certainly intrigued me, a self-proclaimed no-to-low-maintenance beauty gal. Will this tool really help me achieve those luscious Farrah Fawcett curls?
Why I Was Due For a Beauty Upgrade
Beauty has always been a somewhat difficult undertaking for me. I was a swimmer growing up and never had much time between five-minute, ice-cold morning showers and running to class to work on blow-drying my hair or applying makeup.
Today, my hair routine usually consists of showering, letting my hair air-dry, brushing it when dry then applying hair oil, and just maybe if I’m going out, haphazardly curling my hair with an iron my college roommate taught me to use. The resulting ‘do is a far cry from the frizz-free Instagram-perfect hair you see on social media, and I’ve been largely okay with that. As I get older, however, I want to start upping my beauty routine and putting effort (and sometimes cash) toward investing in myself.
Meet The FlexStyle
What Is The FlexStyle?
The Shark FlexStyle is a hair styling system that allows you to curl, volumise, smooth, and dry with different attachments based on your hair type. You can adjust the airflow and temperature to three different levels each as well as do a "cool shot". The FlexStyle has eight possible attachments that work with naturally straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair. While it gives you heaps of styling capabilities, it definitely won't replace a dryer. Instead, it provides targeted airflow for a wide array of styles and looks.
While you have the option to purchase every attachment, I really like that you can select a bundle that includes specific attachments based on your hair type.
My First Impressions Of The FlexStyler
After mostly drying my hair, I got to work. Though I learned to curl my hair with a curling wand and iron from my college roommate (god bless Maya), these autowrap curlers are a whole new ballgame. I started out by sectioning off my hair like I usually do when curling and using the Auto-Wrap Curlers. As I was starting off with my left side, I grabbed the curler marked 'L' and I easily snapped it onto the appliance, where it automatically set the heat and airflow settings.
The tricky part is actually getting the hang of using the device on your hair. You absolutely cannot just put it next to your hair and expect it to work. I highly recommend reading their provided guide, which contains a lot of good information on effectively using the FlexStyle. It recommended starting out by holding the middle of a 1/2- to 1-inch section of hair and letting the ends wrap around the curler. From there, the bottom of that strand wraps around the curler, after which you move the curler up to grab the rest of the strand. You have to be patient with the technique and not grab too much hair at once or it will mess up the curl. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it.
After doing my whole head, I really liked the curls. They were bouncy, curly and cute, and did indeed make me look like a toned-down version of Farrah Fawcett after some trial and error. Overall, it was pretty easy — it was just a matter of curling my whole giant head, aka the same problem that I encounter with a curling iron.
On another day, I tested out the oval brush to add some volume. Again, I began with rough-dried hair (achieved using a spray bottle). I followed the instructions for the oval brush, sectioning my hair, then moving down from my roots with a curling motion. (Beware, the brush is hot hot hot!) I did my whole thick head of hair in about 40 minutes, including the time it took to read the instructions. I was very impressed with the results: there was volume and zero frizz. Using the FlexStyle brush/dryer combo was way easier than when I tried to replicate what I've seen my mother do with an oval brush and hairdryer. It takes the thinking and coordination out of holding two separate tools, making it more efficient and very easy for a hair beginner to achieve nice-looking results.
Is The FlexStyle Worth It?
I really liked the FlexStyle — there are so many different uses and the ergonomic handle feels so good in your hand! But there is definitely a learning curve and it took some time to get the hang of the attachments in order to achieve my desired result. After using the FlexStyle a few times with the different attachments, I feel confident in my mastery of the device's brushes, although I'm still working on my use of the curlers.
If you curl your hair or use heat tools a lot, the FlexStyle is a good investment, as it promises to cause less damage than traditional curlers or drying tools. The number of available attachments also gives you more functionality from a single product than you'd get even from purchasing both a blow dryer and a curling iron.
For true beginners, I'd recommend starting with a curling iron or another inexpensive gadget to see how often you actually use it, then upgrading to the Shark FlexStyle once styling your hair becomes part of your routine. As a beginner beauty girly who already does my hair for events, social outings, and other occasions, the FlexStyle is definitely worth it for me, allowing me to save time and money (and saving my hair from heat damage, too!).