Pod Almighty

After a lifetime of hair woes, L’Oréal Professionnel’s new gadget has convinced Lauren Oakey to join Team Steam.

I have the hair equivalent of a shark’s mouth of multiple rowed teeth. It’s about four heads of hair on one and it has always taken a heavy hand and a harsh word to get it into any sort of leaving-the-house state. The slightest whiff of a bonfire up to two towns away will immediately attach itself to every last strand, and the act of merely stepping outside the front door in a light rain will double its overall size.

My first desperate and necessary foray into the world of the hair straightener was in 1995 and came in the form of the Babyliss Straight and Shine, a contraption that, fittingly enough, looked like one of those shark toys kids play with for a day before getting bored or breaking it. It was permanently set to ‘scorching’ and clamped together with a sound reminiscent of the reloading of a Nerf gun. The Straight and Shine snapped at bits of hair and as it dragged through my unruly mane, releasing unsatisfying spurts of steam (and fat drops of hot water – oww) via a ‘steam shot’, a small plastic refillable pod that attached to the head of the straightener.

So when fine-haired Hughes demanded I try the new L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod, a gadget previously exclusive to salons, but now launching as an at-home treatment, the mental image of me wincing as the Straight and Shine made unsteady progress through my ginger frizz came screaming back to me. I was sceptical, to say the least. But the Steampod’s game is exceptionally strong. It releases a continuous flow of steam with a lovely whooshing sound that offers the welcome bonus of setting my makeup as it goes. The attached comb spreads out my hair to evenly distribute the steam and it takes just one swipe to properly flatten it. My entire head of just-washed hair is straight in 10 minutes rather than the usual 30, and the steam makes my hair baby soft – especially when I add the Steampod heat protecting milk that reacts with the steam. My hair looks as close to professionally blowdried as I’ve ever managed myself, and when I wake up the next day IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME. In fact, one Steampod session gives me around three days of straight, glossy swishiness. My barnet has never known the like.

The pod holds a generous amount of water, enough for a couple of goes, depending on your hair type, and needs securing down with the attached suckers – it’s attached to the main cord so it tends to flip over if you don’t. Also, as much as I’d love to whisk my Steampod away to Bora Bora and ply it with Mai Tais, its stature is – to put it politely – a tad too “Husky” for packing and travel purposes. But no matter. For now, I think it’s best staying put on my dressing table to keep an eye on things as I slowly pack my other hair gadgets into my bottom drawer.

L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod, RRP £170, is sold in L’Oréal Professional Salons nationwide (click here to find your nearest salon) and at lookfantastic.com.


GIVEAWAY: L’Oréal have agreed to give away five Steampods for SHB readers. This giveaway will open for one week. To enter, please visit our forum and post in the Steampod Competition thread. Five winners will be selected at random, and due to shipping restrictions this competition will be open to UK addresses only. Our decision is final and L’Oréal reserve the right to substitute prizes of equal value. Good luck!

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  • Debra Brock

    Please enter over in our forum – forum.salihughesbeauty.com Thanks!

  • MitziDelBra

    Oh, the Straight n Shine! My first ever straighteners. Metal plates and everything! These look a world away, thank goodness.

  • Beanie O’D

    I had the Straight and Shine too, they’re still in a cupboard upstairs. They were like instruments of torture.

  • http://www.laurengracejewellery.com/ LaurenGrace

    I’d forgotten about the Straight and Shine – they were the worst!

  • Harriet Riley

    It looks beautiful too, I’ve had some crap straighteners in my time

Cuir Fellow

A unisex Givenchy fragrance gets Daniel Maier all in a leather.

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