Let’s straighten this out…

19 October 2016 | Jess Seal

If someone asked me would you rather never use your straighteners again or only eat Brussel sprouts for the rest of your life, I would always go with the latter. Not because I’m a big fan of Brussel sprouts but because I actually can’t live life without my straighteners.

I wasn’t blessed with the locks of a goddess, in fact when I wake up in the morning my hair is what can only be described as a matted mess of frizz. Before GHD’s came out, I actually had to live life in frizzy shame but since their launch in 2001 I haven’t had to worry about the return of the frizz. The 185°C temperature tames my locks and I can now walk the streets with confidence.

This morning (after giving my hair the GHD treatment) I heard on the news that 1 in 20 of all admissions at the UK burns unit for children’s burns last year involved hair straighteners. This got me thinking, hair straighteners really aren’t very safe. When you open up your beautiful box of new straighteners you will be greeted with a safety manual, which of course after reading is forgotten after a couple of days. What most manufacturers don’t greet you with is a heat mat to place the straighteners in after use and if you are provided with one, we often don’t use them. As a result, there were 392 child admissions to specialist units in the UK in 2015 for injuries that involved hair straighteners.

This is certainly bad PR for straighteners and their various manufacturers. Being responsible for 1 in 20 burns, after all, is a terrible association to have.

Now I don’t think think this issue is the manufacturers’ fault, and when it was discussed on the news I didn’t get that impression either. But what I now find myself asking is, whose fault is it?

Parents live busy lives, and accidents happen. We can all buy the heat proof matts to place our straighteners on after use but I bet after a couple of months there would be several times when you’d forget to use the mat or just simply don’t have the time.

What can the manufacturers do? They can’t turn the temperature down on their products because they simply wouldn’t do the job they’re set out to do. They can provide heat proof mats with all products but then you’re back to the consumer forgetting or simply not having time.

The short term solution is simply to be as safe as possible. Perhaps don’t use your straighteners if you’re in a rush or making sure they’re stored in a safe place when cooling down, but what’s the long term answer? Is it to stop using straighteners all together?

Luckily I don’t have to worry about my straighteners causing a danger to others because I live alone but when I do start having children I really will have to start thinking of a better solution otherwise I’ll be back to living in frizzy shame…god help us!