O's Beauty Hits and Misses
O editors test the latest new-fangled gadgets and beauty products.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the May 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
I once set a comforter on fire while styling my hair. Because I couldn't maneuver a round brush and a blow-dryer (I'm not ambidextrous or, frankly, even particularly dexterous), I'd tossed the dryer, still whirring, on the bed—just for a second. Fast-forward to an acrid smell, blaring smoke alarm, and feathers everywhere.
So when I recently came across a contraption called the Blo & Go ($30), a sort of hair-dryer harness, I thought—for the safety of my home at the very least—I should give it a shot. The device suspends the dryer so your hands are free for styling. A hard-core suction cup (a lever locks it in place) secures the adjustable arm to a flat surface, preferably a mirror; you slip the handle of your dryer through the holster and secure it with a bungee cord.
Rigging the Blo & Go to my bedroom mirror was surprisingly easy. I positioned it about 6 inches above the top of my head, so the dryer's nozzle pointed down at my hair (like any beauty editor worth her salt, I knew this vertical placement would help flatten the cuticle to make my hair look smoother).
I turned on the dryer and stood below it as if I were in the shower, but under a stream of hot air. At first, it was a thrill to be able to use two hands to work through each section of hair. But what I gained in manual dexterity, I lost in air control. Since the dryer remains static—the arm can be adjusted, but only to a certain extent, and not without a little elbow grease—I had to keep moving around to get the heat to hit exactly where I wanted it. Also, I usually blast my ends from underneath for a few seconds to get a soft curl, but I couldn't with this setup; it isn't ideal if you're trying to achieve a meticulous style or straighten really curly hair. But I'm keeping it around for days when I want to avoid arm fatigue—or potential pyrotechnics.
— Jenny Bailly