Recently my husband I and I helped my sister-in-law purge and organize her stuff from storage. Most of it was odds and ends collected from her teenage and university-student years, and we tossed a lot. However, we did find a few things that were still in good condition.. and among the “junk”, we re-discovered a package of hair styling tools!

I’ve been growing my hair out for some time now, so it’s getting long.. but, despite the length, I don’t like taking long to get ready in the morning, so I often braid my hair at night when it’s still slightly damp from showering, and leave it overnight (heatless waves!). In the morning, if I’m feeling fancy I might add a braided crown around my forehead, curl a few pieces of hair in the front, and that’s it.

If I’m feeling more laid back, I’ll put it up in a ponytail, 1 or 2 braids, or a bun. Unless we’re going out somewhere special, it often takes between 5-20 minutes to do my entire hair and makeup routine. However, I do put my hair in some form of braids at least several times a week. So, when I found the “Braid Stylist” tool, I thought I would put it to good use!

Doesn’t the packaging look cute?

It still had a price sticker on it (originally 1,029 yen, but on sale for 980 yen), and although all of the information was written in Japanese, the Braid Stylist tool was made in Taiwan. The foam styling pieces also come in 2 sizes for creating thicker or thinner braids, and the packaging included a link to the website of “Comolife” (see here). However, Comolife is certainly not the only company offering products that promise to make braiding easy, and you can find similar products in other beauty stores, a shop like Walgreens (if you live in the U.S.), or online.

At first glance, my mother-in-law thought that the product was the foam that you use between your toes or fingers to paint your nails (like these)!! I can definitely see the resemblance..

I thought that using the pink foam stylist tools could make braiding even easier/neater. I mean, look at the hearts coming from the girl’s head on the cover.. doesn’t she seem happy? Doesn’t her crown of double braids look perfect? Don’t you wish you could make a French Braid without your mom or a friend’s help? (or is that just me?..)

Not convinced? Check out this video..

It looks so easy! Just move the hair from one circle to the other! A, B, C, D! Actually, the instructions sounded vaguely like algebra problems, and the foam piece included no such letters.

What you can’t see from the cute packaging is that each foam Braid Stylist tool has a strip of Velcro attached to the bottom – apparently to hold the foam in place against your head while you move your hair back and forth through the foam circles. This isn’t soft, fuzzy Velcro, but hard Velcro with tiny plastic hooks.

First, despite the Velcro being new and unused, the foam piece did not stay upright in my hair like in the video. Second, it was almost impossible to remove it after I did finally balance it upright with one hand.

I don’t know what was going on here.. =P

Have you ever put Velcro in your hair, and then tried to remove it? No, I didn’t think so. (If yes.. I really want to know your story! Haha..) If you haven’t yet had the unique experience of putting Velcro in your hair, allow me to satisfy your curiosity. OUCH. My hair became tangled, and the foam piece got thoroughly stuck.

Moving my hair between A, B, C, and D was also a challenge.. it was difficult to get my hair to go into each letter-coded foam circle in the first place, much less to move my hair back and forth between different circles. I don’t know if my hair is just too thick, or too textured or what the issue is.. but after fighting with the “Braid Smart” tool, my hair didn’t look anything like the cute photos on the package.

I will probably practice and give this “tool” one more try before tossing it, but for now the future of the pink plastic is looking grim. I really wanted to like it, but in the end it felt as gimmicky as those 90’s magic hair beading tools (see here). In the meantime, I’ll stick to braiding my hair by hand, the old-fashioned way!! (and maybe one day I’ll finally master the French braid..)

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation in return for this review, and the opinions are 100% my own.

What hair styling tools do you recommend? 

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