Q&A with Head Kandy Straightening Brush Founder, Kayla McNeill

Jamie Newman | May 11, 2016 | 11:35 AM
Photo By Head Kandy

So a ceramic iron straightener, detangling brush and anion head massager walk into a salon…No, not separately, together.

A straightener…that looks and acts like a brush? Once I saw this, I was intrigued.

The Head Kandy Hair Straightening Brush looks like a brush and is maneuvered the same way through hair, while heating up and straightening it. Simply prep hair by brushing it out with a normal brush, applying heat protectant, and straighten.

To find out more about the Head Kandy Straightening Brush, we turned to its founder, and pro-stylist, Kayla McNeill.

MODERN SALON: How did you conceptualize this product?
Kayla McNeill: I work in a professional salon and am always looking for something new in our industry. When the first ceramic straightening brush came out, I HAD to have one. Unfortunately, I fell into a price tag shock. $300 was a lot to spend on an appliance, especially one that I didn’t know how well it worked. There was no way I could market that brush in my salon to my customers. Very few would ever want to spend that kind of money on an appliance. I knew there had to be a way to lower the price tag. So I began my search. I felt that there had to be a way to produce a product similar in style, but more available to a mass consumer market. I love the concept—I really wanted to make it work. We got in touch with manufacturers and implemented styles and went through various trials and adjustments and created a salon-quality, affordable product. Ours includes a solid inner core with a high quality heating element. We developed a heat resistant glue for the brush so that tips don’t fall off and it holds the appliance together under the high heat. We also built in an automatic shut off, a US safety plug, and a locking mechanism in the keys so that there is no accidental shut off while using the appliance. I used my experience to produce a product that meets my needs and desires as a stylist.

MS: How can it help hair stylists?
KM: This brush is designed to straighten some of the most unruly hair. We participated in America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, Illinois and demonstrated our brush on many different hair types. The most amazing demonstrations were on ethnic hair. We promise a one pass straight as long as you follow our guidelines and tips. It can save so much time on individuals with extremely curly hair who want a straight finish. Our brush does not give a stick straight finish, but more of a healthy, volumized blow out finish. And, the brush itself is a great tool to use on children. The tips are anti-scald, and the brush is less frightening to a young girl than a flat iron. And, instead of pressing your hair between two hot plates, there is much less damage done to the hair.

MS: How do you prep hair before using this product?
KM: We suggest fully detangling the hair prior to use. Although the appliance looks like a brush, it does not replace your hair brush. The bristles are not made to detangle the hair. Instead, the bristles create a 360 degree heat that surrounds the hair as it is passed through. We also suggest using a heat protectant spray whenever you use any appliance. We sell our own brand of Argon Oil to customers for this reason.

MS: Besides straightening, what can the Head Kandy brush do?
KM: The brush is designed to straighten hair. But you can maneuver the brush and give yourself voluminous curls. In order to obtain this look, slowly turn the brush away from your head, while holding the ends of the piece of hair, to create tension.

I tried out a Head Kandy Straightening Brush myself. I have normal, straight/wavy hair, and lots of it. Before you use it, make sure you know what temperature to set it to. The first time I used it, I had it set at a cooler 380 degrees, and found the process to take longer than anticipated, so know your temperature. It heats up to 450 degrees (it claims it can also be used to high-heat keratin treatments), and I was told 410 degrees is the recommended temperature for subtly wavy hair like mine. The maximum temperature of 450 is recommended for thick or wavy hair on the website. My tip is to play around with the temperature until you achieve your desired look. A Head Kandy Straightening Brush may not totally replace your flat iron. I found that although it straightened my hair really well when I sectioned it off how I do with a flat iron, I had to use my flat iron afterward on my ends. That being said, it did cut down on straightening time when all was said and done.

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