Sarah Vine needed something to rescue her rain-ravaged hair - and fast. Enter the InStyler which delivers perfectly-polished hair in super-quick time
Hair gadgets that promise to perform miracles are ten a penny, so when the InStyler , £89.99, dropped on my desk I can’t say I was initially very excited. The idea of a brush combined with a heated roller to turn frazzled tresses into smooth, bouncy waves worthy of J-Lo seemed a little farfetched, not to mention fiddly - and besides, the thing looked like a weird hybrid of a hairbrush and a straightener.
Still, I took it home anyway, thinking that at the very least I could test it out on my daughter, whose new habit of dying her hair every shade in Superdrug means that she mostly looks like she’s just had a nasty run-in with an electric socket.
Then it rained a lot, and my own hair - which I’ve recently started wearing much longer than usual - fluffed up into a most unattractive and unruly fuzz, and since I had a dinner engagement but no time for a restorative blow-dry, I decided to give the thing a go.
I should stress from the get-go that this isn’t really one for shorter styles. But if your hair is mid-to-long and you find getting it into any kind of order arm-achingly time-consuming and dull, I’ll wager you will love this.
It took me less than five minutes to achieve what would have taken at least three times that with ordinary straighteners.
The key is the way it simultaneously brushes and curls all with one hand. This means you can easily pick up sections of hair, place them between the brush and the roller, squeeze to activate the rotation - and voila: smooth, well-behaved tresses. It also means that your hair is not sandwiched between two hot plates, which in turn gives a much more natural look as opposed to that freshly ironed one which I, for one, don’t much like. And you know how hair irons can sometimes make your hair smell a bit odd? Well, there’s none of that with this.
But most of all it’s not only easy but incredibly quick. It took me less than five minutes to achieve what would have taken at least three times that with ordinary straighteners.
If you don’t want curls, you don’t need to have them. I found it worked just as well as a way of getting lovely swishy straight hair - which on the whole is my preference. You just glide the brush down to the bottom of the section of hair and then give it flick at the end and somehow it does what hitherto only a hairdresser could manage with a great deal of fanfare and a lot of conversations about holidays.
So now instead of spending ages ineptly trying to blow-dry my own hair, I just blast it with my Dyson, pin it up until I’ve got a spare ten minutes, and then go over it with this thing.
One slight word of warning: the revolving barrel can reach temperatures of 215 degrees centigrade, so do be careful not to burn your fingers - something I managed to do a couple of times before I got the hang of it. It does come with a clip-on protective cage for the outside of the barrel, which I strongly advise you use. Otherwise, heartily recommended.