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Review: ConAir French Twist Barrette


Every once in a while I’ll get this urge to be a girl.

Usually, this happens after returning from the hairdresser, where I watched four receptionists strut around in stylish, accessorized outfits that I wouldn’t have thought of if I were a million monkeys reading a million copies of VogueWhenever their aloof demeanor cracks, I imagine it is because they just instictively realized that a band I haven’t even discovered yet, is no longer cool. I sit trapped in a swivel chair, propped in front of a mirror with a giant, black lobster bib across my chest, with nothing to watch other than their reflection. It’s like a SAW movie where that puppet guy ties me down and tortures my ego instead of my body.  The only joy I get is when one of the waifs slips down a drain in the floor, never to be seen again.

Oh but you go to the hairdresser! you say. THAT is being a girl!  

No, THAT is getting the gray I’ve had since I was 22 turned to blonde so I don’t look like a homeless woman. You don’t get girly points for maintaining a look just a notch above “homeless.”

Thanks to this girly-urge, I purchased a ConAir French Twist that promised to make putting my hair in a French Twist tres easy!  I’ve always liked that look, and thought it would be a neat thing to throw into the usual mix of ponytail and nothing.

I should have known better than to believe the hype from a company called ConAir. CONHair. They told me right there on the box that this was never going to work.  That and the fact that the theme from The Sting started playing the second I picked up the package should have tipped me off.

The model on the back that demonstrates how the product works is clearly a mutant from another planet where everyone has perfect, sentient hair that you command into place.

“Hair! French Twist! Now!  Gooood hair. Go0000ood hair. Do you want a hot oil treatment? Does my liddle-widdle hair want a hot oil treatment?”

She puts this conical barrette in her stupid, STUPID hair and then pulls it to “about an inch from the ends.” Do you know anyone whose hair is all one length, down to one inch when it is pulled behind their head? Even if you don’t have layers in your hair, once you pull it back, the pieces up front will be shorter that the ones in back from covering the distance across your skull. This is simple physics. Do physics not apply in France? That could explain the shape of Gerard Depardieu.

Naturally, half my hair fell out of the ponytail by the time I slid it to the ends, making the whole thing impossible. I tried in vain to wrap it up anyway, cursing and tucking stray strands, but to no avail. Once, I thought it MIGHT look passable and asked my husband for his opinion (something I swore I’d never do). He burst out laughing, said, “Uh, no” and left the room. He’s learned to spot the warning signs and wisely moved away.

All I have left is to ask my sister-in-law if she can do it. She can French Braid her own hair. That is like MAGIC. If she can’t do it either, then I have not failed and it is all the product’s fault.

Until then, let’s just assume it is the product’s fault.

Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.

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23 Responses

  1. Abby

    That’s why my hair is short-ish. That doesn’t mean it looks good, but rather that I can just blame it on genes and not my inability to maneuver my way though a French Twist barrette. (Then again, when I had long hair I was all about the pony tail.)

    Moral of the story? I have a haircut Friday, and if I didn’t, I might shave my head tonight. Needless to say this post touched on a nerve ;)
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    • Amy Vansant

      I wish I could do short hair. I had short hair once, when I was like 13, and had an old guy my parents knew say “Is this your son?” Short hair, DONE.

      I guess I’m what you call a “handsome woman.” I love saying that around my husband too. It makes him groan and say “Does that make me gay?” and I tell him, “no dear, THAT isn’t what makes you gay. 30 minutes of asking me which shirt I like better on you every time we go out – THAT is what makes you gay.”

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  2. Jessica

    I can’t do anything girly so don’t feel alone. I don’t wear makeup – I’ve gone through phases when I’ve tried but I would need to attend a three day workshop to learn the proper methods – and my hair…well, let’s just say I don’t spend much time on it. Either it’s in a ponytail or one of those claw clips where you pull your hair into a ponytail then twist it and wind it sort of into a bun and then cover it with the clip but strands are sticking out here and there in the back. Nothing fancy and styled, just out of my way. People have told me time and time again that I look better when I wear my hair down but I just can’t stand the time it takes to blow dry it (all of five minutes) and, on ambitious days, to flat iron it. Living in a place of constant humidity doesn’t help my thin, flat hair either. If left down and I’m hit by the humidity, I might as well have stuck my finger in a light socket. So hair up is just less maintenance and less stress. Now if I could just convince my husband that short hair would not be the end of the world I’d give that a try. But I had a bob in college and he hated it. So I keep the hair and it keeps getting put up. :-)
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    • Amy Vansant

      You can use a claw-clip-ponytail-twist-strand-sticky thing? That’s sounds pretty advanced! I don’t think I’ve ever gone out with my parents (to dinner, we don’t rage or go antiquing or anything) without my mother telling me how much better I look with my hair pulled back from my face. She will sometimes lean over and physically HOLD my hair back as IF I had a barrette, and that demonstrating it will make me go OOOOH! I’m GORGEOUS!!!

      In short, I feel your pain.

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  3. Stacey

    I was super excited about being able to do a French twist myself until I actually read the post. Oh well. At least I’ve mastered the ponytail.
    Stacey recently posted..Northern Light

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  4. Christina Lee

    Hmmm… no wonder I’m off to get my hair chopped off today :-)))))

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  5. Amy B

    I suck at hair and makeup. My makeup is the same every single day. Just heavier/lighter depending on what time of day. And by heavier, I mean an extra swipe of mascara. Have you seen the paint by numbers crap they want you to do on the back of a thing of eyeshadow? Please…

    As for hair… yeah… people who are talented enough to french braid their own hair can suck it.

    I’m a tad jealous.
    Amy B recently posted..Hoarding Tendencies

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  6. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    And what about the half-up-half-down hairdo on the box? That picture must be smaller because it’s a carved bust and they don’t want you to notice. I just tell myself that Audrey Hepburn looked fabulous in a ponytail so therefore it is an acceptable, glamorous option. And then I block out the whole natural beauty, clear skin, and lithe ballerina body aspect of Audrey Hepburn, wrap a neon green rubber band around my hair, and I’m ready for the Oscars.
    Carrie – Cannibalistic Nerd recently posted..Sometimes my “Imagination” is Staggering
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  7. Kirstie

    Check this one out: http://www.bighappiehair.com/
    I drank way too much wine one night and decided that I needed a change. I needed volume. I needed to channel Snooki from Jersey Shore. I drunkenly purchased the bump-it. Despite promising confidence and beauty, the bump-it left me looking like I had a giant brain tumor in my parietal lobe. Don’t do it.

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  8. maggie

    My hairdresser showed up at my work one day with her rabbit, and I had my usual work hair… tied in a messy bun with random curls sticking out of my head EVERYWHERE. I felt like I should apologize for making no effort to preserve the lovely things she does to my hair.
    I’m actually pretty girly. . . but also exquisitely lazy and desperately not a morning person.

    As for this product. . . looking at the instructions confused me. I’ve pulled off a french twist on a good day with an elastic and like 3 bobby pins. And I’ve never been able to repeat the feat. That contraption looks like it requires a lot more dexterity than I possess on even my best days.
    maggie recently posted..If I had three dollars for every time someone asked. . . Do Your Ears Hang Low?

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  9. Tracy

    I hear you. Last time I complained to my hairdresser about my hair breaking due to the ponytail I wear when I run, she suggested I braid it instead. I just glared at her. She clearly didn’t understand who she was talking to. I actually did try braiding my hair a couple of times, but it’s amazing how quickly I’m left with two tiny stubs of hair and one super long one.
    Tracy recently posted..A Fresh Start
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    • Amy Vansant

      I can kind of do a regular braid, but nowhere useful. Just like right on the side of my head, which is fine if you’re Pippi Longstocking…

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