Could this 1 turban tame your frizzy hair for ever
21:47 GMT, 13 June 2012
Lydia Slater trying out a Poundland hair turban
Searching for something simple to tame my wild mane of flyaway brunette hair is a quest I have been on for most of my adult life.
I’ve tried straighteners and serums to try to control my hair. I’ve washed my locks in everything from raw eggs (for shine), to mashed avocados (for moisture) and beer (for strength).
For a brief period, I tried not washing my hair at all in the vain hope that it would become ‘self-cleaning’ — of course it did not.
I’ve even attempted to sleep with my head wrapped in clingfilm to ensure maximum effectiveness from my hair masks.
In short, my hair probably costs me about 1,500 a year, including regular blow-dries — yet I still emerge from the house most mornings wearing a shaggy mop on top of my head.
But the solution to my problems, it seems, is simpler than anything I have tried — and it only costs 1.
The Allura microfibre hair wrap is found at bargain chain Poundland, and it makes no grand claims for itself apart from convenience.
It is meant to be used to put your hair up and out of the way in the morning while applying make-up, or for keeping wet hair covered after swimming.
But message boards on the internet have been ringing with praise. ‘It has made so much difference to the condition of my hair,’ raves one poster.
‘Leaving my hair to dry in it for a while just makes my hair so much softer.’
Another asserts that it leaves her hair ‘bouncy and shiny’.
Several insist that it cuts down noticeably on drying time — and, because of this, their hair becomes far less frizzy and damaged by the hot air and brushing involved in blow-drying.
The verdict: Lydia's hair is visibly glossier after using the turban
And it seems women are snapping them up. According to Poundland’s trading director David Coxon, the shop sells a quarter of a million of the things every year.
‘It has always been a very popular item with our customers. I don’t think they can believe it’s just 1,’ he says. (Indeed, John Lewis sell a similar one for 7.25.)
So perhaps it was no wonder that when I headed off to my nearest Poundland, it was to find that the miraculous hair turban had sold out. I finally tracked one down to a shop in Oxford and bore it home in triumph.
‘It looks like a Smurf’s hat,’ commented my eight-year-old daughter disparagingly when I unwrapped it. A long white hood, it has a button on one side and a corresponding loop on the tail.
Just tip your hair forward into the hood, twist the material up and over your head and secure the loop over the button.
Eagerly, I washed my hair, secured it into the hood and let the towel start to work its magic. Immediately, I noticed the turban was much easier to wear than my normal bathroom towel.
It didn’t weigh my head down uncomfortably, it didn’t unravel, and it stayed tidily perched on my head as I loaded the dishwasher, fed the cat and tidied up the kitchen.
After ten minutes, I unwrapped the turban and gazed into the mirror. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting to see — Madonna’s perfectly-groomed waves tumbling to my shoulders perhaps Instead, my hair was still wet, tangled and, frankly, pretty much the same as usual.
Feeling disappointed, I donned the headgear again and, this time, left it on for 40 minutes. When I removed it, I found my hair was noticeably dryer than it would have been using an ordinary towel.
Even professionally, my hair normally takes three-quarters of an hour to dry. This time, I managed to blow-dry it myself in half an hour. And cutting down on the time that you spend blow-drying your hair (which damages it) has got to be a good thing.
The result certainly suggested so. My hair was glossy, full of body and the frizzy bits that normally emerge from my crown tamed.
And it seems there is sound science behind the microfibre towel effects. Because the fibres are so much smaller than cotton ones, their surface area is larger, enabling it to absorb more water, so your hair dries more quickly.
Even celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward — who tends to the Duchess of Cambridge’s tresses — agrees that a microfibre towel has advantages. ‘It’s more absorbent,’ he says. ‘And, as you’re not rubbing the hair as you would with a normal towel, it’s not getting damaged so it feels softer.’
‘However, I think it’s better just to blot-dry your hair gently and then blow-dry it from wet to achieve a long-lasting style.’
Personally, I wouldn’t say I’ve come to the end of my quest for effortlessly great hair. But using the Allura hair wrap is a small step in the right direction.
And at just 1, I can’t really afford not to use it.