Last year, I bought my third Babyliss Big Hair Rotating Styler.
The previous one had died that morning, right in the middle of blow-drying my hair, and once Terry had examined the patient and concluded that it was beyond his help, I went straight to my computer to order a replacement – the third in around 5 years.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking the Babyliss Big Hair must be a bit, well, crappy, if I’ve had to buy so many of them, aren’t you? Actually, though, the opposite is true: my repeat purchases are just testament to how much I use the damn thing. I haven’t been using it quite as often since I started curling my hair on the regular, but basically any time you see me with straight hair, this is how I styled it – which made me think it was long past due a review. (Spoiler: it’s going to be a positive one. The whole “I rushed out to buy a replacement as soon as the last one died” thing was probably a clue, huh?)
First things first: here’s what it looks like:
Now, the first thing to note here is that, despite the name, this will NOT actually give you “big hair”. I actually think it’s a bit of a shame they called it that, because I’m sure a lot of people buy it thinking it’s going to make them look like a country music star or something, only to end up disappointed, because the effect you get from this is more like a salon blow-out than anything else. So it’ll smooth your hair, and leave it looking sleek and bouncy, but it WON’T make you look like Connie Britton in Nashville, and it’s better that you know that now, before you run out and buy it. (If you know of something that WILL make my hair look like Connie Britton’s, though, I’m all ears, seriously…)
With that said, though, the Babyliss Big Hair is still my BFF, because you know when you try to blow-dry your hair at home, using just a big-barrelled brush and a hair-dryer? And then the next thing you know, your hair’s completely tangled around the brush, and the blow-dryer’s on the floor because HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU MEANT TO DO IT? I just can’t. I’ve tried, but it never, ever works for me: I just can’t seem to learn how to juggle brush and hairdryer, and because I’m way too cheap to even contemplate paying a salon to do it for me, when I blow-dry my hair at home, it always ends up looking like this:
So, poker-straight, no volume whatsoever, and the layers are kinda raggedy at the ends, creating an attractive “I cut it myself,” effect.
(I didn’t, by the way: I may be stupid, but I’m not THAT stupid. Or not any more, anyway.)
Before you go feeling sorry for me and my poor, raggedy hair, however, worry not, I have a secret weapon at hand:
(I also have a brush for a face, but don’t mind that…)
Well, OK, it’s not really a secret, obviously. It’s still just the Babyliss Big Hair, which is designed to put an end to your struggles with hairbrush and dryer, by doing it all for you. Not only does it dry your hair by blowing hot air at it, the brush on the end also rotates, so all you have to do is wrap some hair around the barrel, then let the styler do the rest. The model I have comes with two differently sized barrels: a large one for long hair, and a small one, which works on shorter hair, fringes etc. I only ever use the larger one, because my hair is a bit too long for the small one to be any use to me, but I’d imagine that if you have a shorter cut, it would come in handy.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
And here’s what I look like when I’m trying not to laugh while photographing myself drying my hair.
The styler was switched on when I took these photos, and the fact that I’m using it one-handed tells you how easy it is to use. It wasn’t always that way, though: it did take me a couple of tries to get used to it, but now I don’t even think about it, and I’m somewhat… challenged… when it comes to hair, so honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. The main trick here is to hold it firmly (You need some tension in the strand of hair you’re drying, so don’t let it sag), and gently pull the styler away from your head, before letting it roll back for just a second before pulling it away again. It sounds kinda complicated on paper, but, again, I can do it. That’s all you need to know, really: and, as you can see, I still have all my hair, so I haven’t ever got it tangled up and had to be cut free of it or anything. I HAVE gotten it tangled a couple of times (mostly when I first started using it), but nothing I haven’t been able to untangle in a couple of seconds, and I’ve yet to hurt myself with it either, although there’s still time for that.
It has two different heat settings and two different speeds, and it also rotates both clockwise and ant-clockwise, so you can change the direction with the flick of a switch. Because it blows out hot air while it rotates, you CAN use it to dry your hair from wet: I’ve only done that a couple of times, purely because the length of my hair means that it takes forever (it’s neither as hot nor as powerful as a regular blow-dryer), so I normally blow-dry my hair as usual, until it’s just slightly damp, and then go in with the Big Hair to finish it off and smooth it down. If I’m really in a hurry, meanwhile, I’ll just dry my hair completely, then run this though the layers at the top: it’s really quick to do, but it smooths and separates the layers, which makes my hair look better.
Speaking of which, here’s the result:
(My top is from Collectif, by the way, just in case anyone has a burning desire to know…)
As you can see, it’s not some kind of huge, dramatic difference, like when Clark Kent takes off his glasses, and OMGIT’SSUPERMAN, and it definitely hasn’t made my hair “big”, either, more’s the pity. It does, however, make it smoother and sleeker looking, and, I don’t know, just a bit more polished, really, I guess.
Which is why I’ll probably be buying another one in a couple of year’s time…