Many naturals boast about the versatility of their hair and its ability to easily go from curly/wavy/kinky to straight. However, straightening natural hair has it benefits and downfalls. One of the most dreaded fears of many naturals is heat damage. For those of us who choose to occasionally straighten our hair, we probably all say the same prayer while washing our hair for the first time after straightening‐ “Please, let my hair revert and I will never straighten again…”
Well, I recently stumbled upon a new product that claims to be a no‐heat alternative to straightening natural hair. The CWK Straight Plates are being promoted via kickstarter.com, and are aimed at Curly/Wavy/Kinky ladies who want the option of straightening without the worry of heat damage.
Here is what the plates should look like:
How Does It Work?
Now, you’re probably thinking the same thing as I was‐ “how can that thing straighten my natural hair?” Well, according to the product information on Kickstarter, the plates work by pulling your hair tightly while it flattens the hair between the plates. It also states that, despite its fun design, the product should not leave any dents in the hair. The product was designed to be used without heat, however, for faster results it can also be used with a hair dryer.
CWK Straight Plates Promotional Video:
How can you try the plates?
The inventor, Kelechi Bradley, had a goal to raise $8,000 for her project. As of June 1st, her project had over 348 backers and raised over $17,000. That’s awesome! You can be one of the first people to try the plates by donating to the project on Kickstarter.com. Donation amounts range from $5 to $1000. However, product packs are sent to those who donate $25 or more.
CWK Reward Tiers:
$5 — Thank You Email
$10 — Product Samples
$25 — The Product Junkie Pack
$45 — The DIVA Pack
$60 — The Head Turner Pack
$75 — The All Star Pack
$100 — The All Star Pack…plus much more!
$250 — The All Star Pack…plus much more!
$500 — The All Star Pack…plus much more!
$1000 — The All Star Pack…plus much more!
Production for the product should begin June 15th and delivered in August/September 2014.
My Personal Thoughts:
First of all, let me say that I absolutely love seeing our black sisters going for their dreams and becoming successful. I am happy to see the creator’s project being supported and receiving the funds needed to create her product. However, I am hesistant to jump on the CWK bandwagon. As a kinky‐haired natural, the idea of achieving ‘straight’ hair without heat is fairly appealing. There are a few days where I’d like to flat iron or blow‐dry my hair for a change of pace; but I don’t, due to my fear of heat damage. I saw the name of the product and got excited. Heat‐free Straight plates? Yes! Sign me up! However, when I saw the picture of the results for kinky hair, I thought “but it looks just like a very light blow out or just stretched hair, but certainly not straight”. To be fair, in her description she says this is a stretching tool/air drying tool. But, couldn’t I just stretch my hair another (cheaper) way?
Also, in the demonstration video, she noted that she would use about 28 plates total to straighten the model’s hair. Now for my hair length and thickness, I imagine I would need way more plates that just 28. So, I am estimating that it would cost me $60 or more to purchase enough plates to straighten my entire head of hair. Being the “ cheapster” that I can be, I often find it hard to spend certain amounts of money on certain things. Sixty dollars could easily buy some groceries for the week or fill my gas tank (don’t get me started about these gas prices)! My other concern is the length of the plates versus the length of my hair. The plates come in three lengths (small, medium, and long plates). With the long plates being 10” long, I imagine that I may need plates that are a bit longer for my length, which would probably cost even more. Extra‐long length plates are to be designed in the future.
So, with all that being said, would I really try this product? Maybe. But, if I do I would prefer to wait around to see some reviews and feedback from actual users with my hair texture, before forking out over $60 for plates that are just going to give me a stretched‐hair look. Although I think the product may not work as well for my texture, I think it may work wonders for someone else; hence, I still support her efforts to create this heat‐free option for achieving straight natural hair.
CWK Straight Plates used on Kinky Hair:
What are your thoughts about this product? Would you be a backer/purchaser? Do you think the product would work for you? Share your thoughts.
About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican‐born natural currently living in Texas. I was reunited with my natural texture in January 2012 when I big chopped, after transitioning for a year and a half. I am still learning about my natural hair, and hope to share the knowledge and experiences I gain as I continue on my natural hair journey.