(NOTE: This is only part 1 of my review because as it turns out, using the Voloom can be a little tricky and I want to perfect it before giving my final rating. It’s going to take me some practice to get it down, so stay tuned to Voloom: Voloom II in the near future.)
If you haven’t heard of the Voloom by now, you either spend way less time on beauty forums than I do, or else you have naturally voluminous hair. Both of which are great and I envy you. Especially those with big hair. For the uninitiated, the Voloom is a new styling iron that promises to make your hair look twice as full as it does naturally and without much effort. As soon as I saw an ad for it, I knew I needed it. Even if it sucked, I needed to know if it worked. My entire life has been a quest for fuller hair, and suddenly it was dangling like a carrot in front of me.
Voloom was kind enough to send me a unit to review, and I waited with bated breath until it arrived. When it arrived after only 2 days, I was elated. I could not freaking wait to try it.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much they pack into the Voloom box. In addition to the iron you will receive a pack of hair clips, a thin brush meant to help you section off hair, and a soft storage case for all of these things. There was a note in my box saying that the brush and clips were not the sort they normally send in the boxes; I’m not sure what the difference is but I thought that was worth mentioning.
The iron was pretty much what I expected it to be, like a waffle iron for your hair, but it actually seems to be pretty durable and well made. The price tag on this puppy is $120, so I’m really glad to see that it’s of high quality. The plates of the iron are coated and there is a digital temperature readout on the handle. Nice.
Alright, on to the most important part – how it works. The first thing right off the bat that I really liked was how fast the iron heated up. The temperature window shows the iron heat up as the temp climbs, and it rises fast. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a styling iron is actually at the right temp, so it’s awesome that you can watch it adjust. For the record, here’s a before-shot of my hair (try to look past the yellowish lighting from my bathroom):
The instructions tell you to section your hair off using the comb and clips, about 1/2″ below your natural part. You’re essentially crimping an under layer of hair which will poof up the upper layer. The goal is to use the upper layer to hide the under layer. Got it? Let’s go.
The instructions suggest playing with the placement and number of crimps you do on your hair, but to start with one or two very close to your scalp. Being the good rule follower I am, I did just that. This is what it does to your hair – if you’ve never used a crimper before, it is very similar. (My search for giant hair started back in my wee childhood years, so I am quite familiar with the poofy glory of a crimping iron. From the first squeeze of the Voloom, I got the same feeling I did when I was 10 years old, crimping away.)
I managed to do my whole head in under 5 minutes. Granted, I use a straightening iron on my hair every day, so I’ve had some practice. Even still, it’s easy to use. It definitely crimps your hair in the way it is intended. I wish I took a picture of my hair after finishing with the iron before taking the clips out. The increased volume was very apparent, even if I did look crazy with just the first few inches of my hair being texturized.
But then it was the moment of truth, time to take out the clips and brush the straight layer of hair over the crimped layer. I took my hair down and brushed the top layer smooth, but two things happened: 1. the clips themselves had crimped my hair because they are really solid, tight clips; and 2. I hadn’t clipped up nearly enough hair to cover up all the texture. I looked like a hot mess.
I failed. I definitely did not look anything like the girls with smooth, voluminous hair that cover the Voloom packaging. I ran a straightener over my hair a few times to see if I could smooth out the visible crimps, but no such luck (at least we know that the crimp really holds). I’m very glad I experimented with this on my day off so I didn’t have to go out in public with my hair looking like I had a serious encounter with a teasing comb.
The next time I try the Voloom I will have to use different clips and also clip away far more hair so that it can cover up the vast amount of volume that the iron creates (and man, does it create a lot). My overall takeaway is this: I am a mere Padawan learning the ways of the Force. The Voloom is great power, and I have to learn how to control it. This may take a few tries to figure out how to make this work with my hair.
Stay tuned for Voloom: Voloom II in which I hope to have improved quite a bit and can give you a final evaluation about this new potentially awesome styling tool.