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You Straight-Up Need The Shu Uemura Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil

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Now that it’s freezing cold in New York City (as in only a polar bear is comfortable outside), even the thought of wash-and-go hairstyles makes us shiver in fright. But however necessary, blow-drying strands can feel incredibly time-consuming — especially in the morning when we’re rushing to get ready and head to work. In the last two years, several hairstyling products have been released that promise to offer heat styling protection while also reducing the total drying time — among them the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer (one of my favorites) and the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Blow Dry It Quick Dry Primer Spray (another excellent choice) — but none of the offerings on the market (at least the handful that I’ve tried) can rival the groundbreaking new Shu Uemura Art of Hair Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil ($39 at ShuUemuraArtofHair-USA.com).

Part of what makes this product so unique is that it nourishes and smooths strands thanks to the black cumin oil in the formula. Usage of this ingredient has been traced back to the reign of King Tut in ancient Egypt, and historians claim that both Nefertiti and Cleopatra applied the oil to their hair and skin. Black cumin oil — which is extracted from the dark, crescent-shaped seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant — is known to be a potent effective hair growth stimulator, likely the result of its unique composition, which includes 15 amino acids; vitamins B1, B2, and B3; folic acid; zinc and copper; and fatty acids (84% of them Omega 3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 acids). The oil’s chemical composition, then, helps to nourish, strengthen, and polish hair, plus its lightweight, fast-absorbing nature makes it an ideal alternative to heavier, nut-based oils that can sometimes weigh hair down.

As someone with hair that’s often uncooperative, I approach all products that promise to speed up the hairstyling process with a healthy dose of skepticism — after all, it’s one thing to dry hair that’s naturally thick and straight, but tackling porous, tangle-prone, frizzy, curly hair is an entirely different proposition. That said, I was floored by how easy it was to dry my hair when I used the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil  — and by how expedient the process was. It typically takes me 30 minutes to blow dry my hair to the point where I’m comfortable that all the frizzy and kinky strands along my hairline have been smoothed out (this is often the most vile part of the process) and that my hair is straight and polished but still bouncy. When using the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Straightforward, then, I made sure to time how long it took me to finish blow-drying my hair. The first time I used the product, I managed to straighten my hair in just 20 minutes. By the second time, I had cut down the total styling time to 18 minutes. In time, I managed to get my blow-drying time down to a solid 15 minutes — that’s literally half the time it usually takes me!

Ideally, you want to use the product on damp and clean strands after detangling (while the Straightforward oil does detangle strands a bit if you’re prone to major tangles, I’d suggest applying a leave-in conditioner and combing those out before moving on to the drying stage). Next, you want to divide your hair into sections and spray each section of hair with the oil, before then drying it, moving from one section to the next. The bottle has a spray nozzle that dispenses a very fine mist that won’t leave the sections of hair looking or feeling greasy and, once applied, you can then comb the product through strands for an even distribution. It’s important that you delve right into the blow-drying process without rough-drying strands first. This may take some getting used to, but if you think about it, rough-drying is simply a way to accelerate the blow-drying process, and so it’s redundant to do so when you have a styling aide that accomplishes this feat (and does so even better!).

In my experience, you can use a round boar bristle brush, a cushioned oval brush, or a paddle brush and, regardless of which you use, you’ll easily achieve an easy a straight ‘do. That said, if you have curly hair like me, a round brush will definitely help!

Now, the one caveat here: the Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil is best suited for achieving minimalist, simple, straight hairstyles rather than ‘dos involving curls and waves. You can decide how straight you want strands to be, whether you want them to have a hint of bounce and movement or whether you desire pin-straight strands that look like they’ve been flat ironed. Once you begin drying your mane, you’ll be floored by how well the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil delivers the “straight” referenced in its name. It’s like venturing along an expressway to Sleek Strand City.

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