The One Straightening Brush That Actually Works On My Curls

I'm a firm believer in the "try everything at least once" rule. I've gone blonde on a whim (and dyed it back five months later), will slather just about any serum on my face (much to my dermatologist's dismay), and I've even gotten a few unplanned tattoos (sorry, mom). But one thing I've always approached with major side eye is the too-good-to-be-true straightening brush.
My curl pattern is a thick 3B and getting it straight has never been a one-step process. Since I was a child, my mom used a blowdryer with a comb attachment because a round brush or roller set barely got the job done. Then, she always followed up by passing a flatiron through tiny sections of my hair to get it silky soft.
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Since then, I've straightened my natural hair on my own for years, which means I've spent a lot of time and cash on finding the right hot tools. I've discovered blowdryers, flatirons, and curling irons that get the job done without excessive damage. But, as idyllic as they sound, I've found most straightening brushes to be a scam. Rather than delivering shiny, stick-straight hair with a pass of the wand, as they promise, they usually leave my curls looking clumpy, straight-ish at best, and feeling like stiff wire.
So, when Drybar's Brush Crush passed my desk, I didn't expect much. But the second I plugged it in, I knew this one was different. Most brushes don't do a great job at heating up, but this shot to 450 degrees in a little over a minute. I worked a heat protectant through my dry hair (this is not meant to be used on wet hair) and ran the bristles over my head in medium sections. About 40 minutes later, my hair was practically stick straight from mid-shaft to ends, though my roots still looked slightly crimped from sleeping in cornrows.
To get the silk-pressed look I usually opt for, I did have to follow up close to my roots with a flatiron (the paddle brush is too large to get really close to my scalp). On days I'm wearing my hair up, though, the brush alone gets it straight enough to style into a voluminous bun or half-up top knot. People with looser curls or waves could get away with forfeiting the flatiron altogether, and use this solo for touch-ups.
While I can still confidently say that nothing will ever replace the magic of my comb attachment and flatiron (it's the ultimate dynamic duo), Brush Crush definitely helped iron out my beef with straightening brushes.
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