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To buy for: the straightening brush that’s as good as a blow dry

April 28th 2018 / Sarah Vine Google+ Sarah Vine / 0 comment

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Her husband says it's like sleeping with a yeti, but for the first time ever Sarah Vine is enjoying long hair. The frizz that comes with it? Not so much. But this tool really works

After years of keeping my hair short, I have of late taken to wearing it long. It now reaches just past my shoulders. Very little of it is my own, of course. As regular readers will know, I suffer from extensive hair loss which began in my teens and has got progressively worse throughout the years.

Growing it was never an option - indeed, I had to keep it as short as possible to disguise the thinning. But where once long hair was literally the stuff of my dreams, now thanks to hair loss specialist Lucinda Ellery and her amazing team of technicians, it’s actually a possibility.

The result: I’m having a sort of hair midlife crisis, in which I am compensating for all those years of short crops by having lovely, long Kate Middleton-style locks. I don't care if my children think I’m ridiculous (they do) and my husband says it's like sleeping with a yeti. I’ve always, ALWAYS longed to have long hair and now I’ve got it I’m jolly well going to enjoy it.

Actually, I’m surprised how much easier it is than short hair. For a start, it hides my hairline, which is low and square and unflatteringly masculine (I was once advised to have it threaded by a beauty therapist, which I did: possibly the most painful thing I have ever done, including childbirth).

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Secondly, it doesn't have to be trimmed every three weeks (my hair may be sparse but that doesn’t stop what little I do possess growing like a weed). Thirdly, if I’m having a bad hair day, I can just put it up and forget about it, which is certainly not the case with short hair. And lastly, it’s been jolly handy in the recent inclement weather, keeping my head nice and warm.

There is only one drawback: frizz. Back when I had no hair, I used to seethe internally at women who moaned about frizz, thinking if only I had hair I wouldn't care what it did. But now I can see things a little more from their point of view, I understand the frustrations. I also understand the obsession with blow dries: a good one makes all the difference.

In the case of my barnet, which is a mixture of home-grown and third-party acquired, a good blow dry helps preserve the condition of the hair - which is chemically treated and coloured - and stops it from getting matted or tangled.

Life being what it is, though, I inevitably end up washing it myself at least once a week, with frizzoidal results. It seems no matter how much conditioner or serum I pump into the stuff, once dry it swells up like straw. The only option then is to straighten it. This works up to a point - literally, the point where my arms can’t reach around the back of my bead. Result: Hampstead at the front, hedgerow at the back.

So I started looking for alternatives. My first purchase was one of those hairdryer brushes, designed to dry while it styles. Very helpful in terms of speed when drying - but ultimately the results are no more long lasting than a normal hair dryer.

The real breakthrough has come in the shape of my Dafni. Invented by a woman (of course - no man would ever get the need for this kind of thing), this is a cross between a styling brush and hair straighteners. Instead of the traditional ceramic plates you have ceramic bristles, and instead of having to do all that tedious clipping and sectioning you can just run the thing through dry hair like a normal brush and hey presto, straw turns to silk.

MORE GLOSS: Best quick fixes for frizzy hair

It really is the most no-nonsense, zero-effort solution to frizzy locks you can imagine. It comes in a full size, £99 (including a rose gold limited edition Dafni £125 exclusive to John Lewis), and a travel size, the Dafni Go, £99.95. I have the travel one just because I like to keep it in my handbag (in truth they could do with inventing a really weeny one, ideally one that you can plug into a phone charger).

At £99 ,it may seem like quite an investment at first, but it will save you a fortune in blow dries in the long run, and unlike straighteners, it won't damage your hair.

We've picked the Dafni as one of our 26 most useful products for summer. Buy the Dafni, £99, here and let us know what you think.

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