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Maxiglide: This Infomercial Thing is The Holy Grail of Flatirons

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Many people say they love curly hair. In my experience, these tend to be people who don't have it. I hate curly hair. Not other people's. Just my own. It's not the wavy bouncy hair you see in commercials, but rather tight frizzy curls. Curls that my mother could never get a comb through. Curls, that if left to air-dry, macramé themselves into a plant hanger. Curls that one of my gay male friends once described as, "Looking kind of like Weird Al Yankovic's." (I have yet to forgive him).

For years, I couldn't find a straightening iron that was powerful enough to take on my stubborn tresses. I spent a fortune buying irons in beauty supply stores, eventually turning my bottom dresser drawer into a grave yard jammed with the carcasses of discarded appliances. And I have allergies, so getting my hair chemically straightened has never been an option, not even in the days before Brazilian treatments started coating women's hair with toxins similar to those used to embalm corpses.

Sure, when I'd spring for a professional blow out, with someone who really knew what they were doing, my hair would be straight and smooth for a few days, but if I did it myself, I ended up looking like Saturday Night Live's vintage character, Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Then one day, my friend Pam informed me that a friend of hers had been a model in an infomercial for a new straightening iron, which she claimed, "really worked." It was called the Maxiglide, and it used steam to straighten hair—much like clothing irons steam the wrinkles out of clothing.

This struck me as odd, since humidity is normally every curly girl's worst enemy, but Pam had recently bought her own Maxiglide, and already swore by it. Still, Pam's hair was fairly straight compared to mine, so just because it worked on her, didn't mean it would on me. But, in my never-ending quest for the Holy Grail of straight hair, I had to give it a try.

Pam did a test run on a couple of locks of my hair, worked!

Was this a fluke? I had to try it for myself! So I rushed home, went online and ordered my own Maxiglide. When it arrived, I filled its little steam container with distilled water, and started straightening my hair. Clamp-pull-steam. Clamp-pull-steam. My long, tight, frizzy curls began to morph into smooth shiny tresses. Forty minutes later, I had completely straight hair!

I immediately went online and ordered five more Maxiglides. I had to look towards the future—what if some day they stopped making them? But happily, it's years later, and they're still available. I've been using those Maxiglides, and their more streamlined descendants, ever since.

Please share with us, what straightening iron you love. We're always open to tips, because a good straightening iron is hard to find.
· Maxiglide Express, $60 at
· All Hair Week posts [Racked]