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A Closer Look at the New Heat-Free Straightening Tool “CWK Straight Plates”

• Jun 4, 2014

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by Tori

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:

image-345290-full

Source: kickstarter.com

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:

image-345449-full

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.

About Editorial

BGLH now sells raw and whipped shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. Purchase here: bglh-marketplace.com

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70 Comments on "A Closer Look at the New Heat-Free Straightening Tool “CWK Straight Plates”"

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lauri
Guest

I would support her kickstarter because I too do love seeing Black women gettin it and accomplishing their dreams. Would I buy it? No. I don’t mind heat on my hair as I do it sparingly and have methods that ensure little to no heat damage. It is a great idea and will benefit many. It’s just not for me. Besides I hate using flexi rods imagine how annoying having 60 plates in your head lol

Deedeemaha
Guest

Be careful guys. Research the company Kickstarter. There are some alerts out there that it is a new scam. Type in “kickstarter scam. Just on the little I read it was enough for me to hold up on donating to the company.

oohhh
Guest

Kickstarter itself is not a scam. BUT YES, there are people who can pose a legite businesses and raise money and not do right by their project.

Think of Kickstarter as a place to donate to grow businesses. You may or may not get your preorder.

Deedeemaha
Guest

Thanks so much. I do understand better. Nothing against CWK. My understanding now is that the scams were not kickstarter, but on the project end coming through.

I would like to order, but my brain is telling me to wait to the project ends, and get more feedback.
Thanks again.

Deedeemaha
Guest

If anyone know a more direct way (without going on the kickstarter website) to place an order please post it.

Love this
Guest

I know sounds like a huge headache plus I bought two packs of curlformers at $60 to stretch my hair and they work fine. Maybe she can find a popular youtuber to try this out and get people to buy that’s what happened for me with the curlformers

casey
Guest

im pretty sure it says on the website that you can connect the plates for extra long hair

KP
Guest
I think it’s great that Kelechi is putting this idea to market. Yay, female entrepreneurs! It’s a neat product that really seems like it will work for many people. That being said, the first model’s hair looks pretty straight but after seeing the second model using the plates, I think my excitement has gone down a bit. Definitely different results. Yes, I know she said results vary, but darn. 🙁 As Tori said, it would be hard to front $60 on currently untested waters. Yes, gas prices are tooooo dang high, and no one (aka politicians) is talking about the… Read more »
KP
Guest

Oops, sorry! Meant to post this to the main discussion, not as a reply.

Nana
Guest

Personally I wouldn’t buy it. It just seems like so much work and I think it’s a bit pricey. I think there is just so many different ways to stretch your hair without heat though.

Ugonna Wosu
Guest

lol, I find flat ironing to look like too much work. To each their own. I LOVE that this is an effective HEATLESS method. Hallelujah!

Hannah
Guest

Let try and remember it is a black woman and the CWK brand that has made this product before big companies come and try and steal this idea! well done to her

ChakaKhanian
Guest

Oh, the big companies will and they will garner a ton of support unfortunately.

Hop
Guest
No, I do not believe the product would give me the desired straight hair I would like for myself. I’m one of those Black women who wants it “laid” and straighter than the straight hair white women wear when I straighten it even if I proudly and beautifully wear my 4c hair most of the time (lol). With that said, that’s just a matter of marketing and she can definitely market this to women who will get a believable straight look with this product (white women) and make her money that way. I hope this BLACK INVENTOR recognizes that it… Read more »
Kan
Guest
Just placed my order! I am expecting a flat iron on low setting look, but even if I just get a blown out look, that’s more than I can acheive now.…braid outs, banding, etc never seemed to work for me as far as getting the hair to stretch out. Besides, I am more than happy to sow my measley $45 into her business. SO HAPPY to see a Black woman using her entrepreneurial skills for her community. We spend MILLIONS and MILLIONS of $$ every year on our hair, we need to see that money being poured back into our… Read more »
reese
Guest

Not sure if I would purchase but I commend the effort!
I just want to say this is a GREAT ARTICLE! I’d like to see more articles like this on BGLH. I like the current ones but this was different and a nice surprise! Kudos 🙂

Dee
Guest

I am so happy for this sister it is time we take it back. The Asian culture seems to have their hooks in this industry. I will support her.

T.
Guest

From the title of the article (A Review of the New Heat-Free Straightening Tool “CWK Straight Plates”) I was expecting a review of the actual item and how it works. Only to find that the author has never tried them. So this is more like Speculation about the New Heat-Free Straightening Tool “CWK Straight Plates”, honestly.

Lena
Guest

I dropped 45 dollars down. I think its a great idea. I won’t use it for my hair, but i know my 11 year old cousin will love this.

Anon87
Guest

I just want to support! This is OUR market, we need to take control of it.

Natalie
Guest

I will definitely contribute to her kickstarter fund. I straighten my hair with heat whenever I feel like it so I don’t need the plates myself. However, this looks like an innovative solution that would appeal to a lot of women. I spent way more than $60 on a high-quality blow dryer so the price doesn’t seem at all unreasonable to me.

I love her idea and am happy to support a black entrepreneur.

Queenie
Guest

Entrepreneurs rock! I’m so happy to see her project surpass its goals…because she did surpass her goals, I will not be backing or buying it as I use heat without problems to my hair. This idea is innovative and I can see myself reposting and retweeting on my social media sites!

jl
Guest
I give the inventor props its a good idea but I personally would not buy them. Seems like more of a hassle than just using the tension method or hair rollers. I like to roll my hair and then air dry over night. Unless you sleep standing up, its obvious you cant sleep with these plates, so the overnight air dry option is out. Also, how long would it take to dry your hair in these plates? Im guessing hours and since you cant sleep in them, you would have to walk around the house all day with these plates… Read more »
Mai
Guest

I just saw this the other day on pinterest. She gets her hair really straight just by low bunning it. I like the idea of the plates but if I can get similar/better results for free, I’m going to do it.

Plus, just due to the cost, I’d rather wait for more reviews than to just buy this first batch. In theory, this could be great but the quality of the actual plates could be lacking.

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/image-2.jpg[/img]

KP
Guest

Her hair looks pretty straight already and as if she were trying to put waves in her hair. Neat technique, though.

MsCheapy
Guest

I don’t really like super straight hair so these are perfect for me. It seems kind of like a big flat magnetic roller. Anyway, I know they will be quite expensive when they come out, so ill be on the lookout for any knock-off versions…

KP
Guest

Her hair looks pretty straight already and as if she were trying to put waves in her hair. Neat technique, though.

Napturally Nesey
Guest

it reminds me of another way to tension dry your hair

db
Guest

Recently I’ve been using curlformers to stretch my hair, and they do a very good job of reducing knots and tangles. I was actually just thinking it would be cool if they were actually straight instead of curled, to have more stretch, and this is basically what it would be like. I like the idea.

Andiegurl
Guest

Seems like an interesting product, but I personally wouldn’t purchase simply because of the hassle it seems like it would be. I would definitely have to wait for some more product demonstrations and reviews before I could make a decision. But kudos to her for being an entrepreneur. And kudos to those that have donated towards her venture.

Antoinette Stewart
Guest

Nifty idea! I would try it for my coils as long as I get movement with my hair as well !

Jorden
Guest

I don’t know about this… I can see how this would work, but on the site in the closeup picture of the product, it doesn’t look like the highest quality. It almost reminds me of the plastic hair barrettes I wore as a kid. Not to mention that my hair is a little past the middle of my back and it’s pretty pricey for the 36+ that I would need. But I’m looking forward to an actual review of the product so I can get a better idea of the product and whether or not it’s worth the price.

Jacky
Guest
I love that the idea and i think that it’s great that she created this. I once had a similar dream. I knew that if natural hair could be held in a stretched position while drying, it would stay that way so i thought of creating a heatless stretching/straightening alternative using the same material that is used to make curlformers( but it would be straight not curly ) but i never got around to doing that. I don’t think that i would buy the product just yet because there may be other cheaper ways to stretch/straighten natural hair without using… Read more »
Perla Gisselle
Guest

Meh. I personally wouldn’t try it. If I straighten my hair, I want it to be STRAIGHT. I’ll stick to the TMS by beautiful textures.

Dee
Guest

It’s a nice idea but I’m also pretty frugal and I would need a lot of plates to do my whole head. The knockoff curlformers work in a similar way for a much cheaper price tag. I’m sure others would enjoy it, especially the looser curlies out there that seem to get a more silky straightened look over the kinkier textures.

Brandice
Guest

Where can you get knockoff curlformers?

Dee
Guest

Yes, I got mine from Amazon but I bought the official curlformers hook separately. It works much better than the knockoff hook and is sturdier.

Shaniqua
Guest

Amazon has them. I believe their called magic leverage. 🙂

Rolanda
Guest

Awesome idea!Great job and good luck!

Patrice Russell
Guest

eeh idk..its seems like a lot of work and it just looks so cumbersome with all those plates you certainly can’t sleep overnight in them so if you wanna wear it to work you’d have to get up what? 4 hrs early? idk, i would donate just to help a sister out but not sure how feasible it is…

Kelcie
Guest

Hmmmm.……shrugging my shoulders over here. I am speechless. Good idea though!!!

Tanyfaye
Guest

Just do some african threading

Patricia Kayden
Guest

I donated and will receive a few plates. I love to see Black women entrepreneurs so I fully support this effort. Plus, I would love to find a way to straighten my hair without heat. I’m sure once this product comes out, BGLH will have many reviews.

Skye
Guest
I’m not at all deterred by the price (hello? I am a PJ, lol), but I am concerned that these plates may be damaging. Not that they will cause heat damage, but the quality seems like it may snag your hair in places. Not only that but sleeping on them could be damaging from the weight of your head, so wearing them to bed seems to be a no-no. So in other words, you’d have to wash your hair in the morning and wear these things all day long. In terms of practicality, that’s just not feasible for those of… Read more »
Skye
Guest
I’m not at all deterred by the price (hello? I am a PJ, lol), but I am concerned that these plates may be damaging. Not that they will cause heat damage, but the quality seems like it may snag your hair in places. Not only that but sleeping on them could be damaging from the weight of your head, so wearing them to bed seems to be a no-no. So in other words, you’d have to wash your hair in the morning and wear these things all day long. In terms of practicality, that’s just not feasible for those of… Read more »
cacey
Guest

i think that as the video showed, it would have to be used with a dryer to get flat iron results. i think that was obvious anyway. i’m game. don’t have money for it just yet, but when i start my job (thank the Lord i finally landed one! :D) i’ll save up for it and give it a go. I think it’s pretty promising.

lis
Guest

Do your thing girl…ill support her.

booblack
Guest

Ummm no.

Jacqueline
Guest
I am in the startup community. This sounds like a great idea, similar to a roller but to straighten rather than curl the hair. If Kelechi or her team is reading this, I would suggest showing a full set completed so backers can see exactly what the product would produce (i.e. will the finished style have body and movement, will the set revert quickly, is there a comparison shot between the models hair flat-ironed and the CWK Straight Plates, do you have a range of textures to demo like 4b or 3c). We all have different textures so we need… Read more »
Chandra
Guest

Well that was interesting? Not sure how I feel about the product yet? Not enough kink hair models. But I think its nice that people are thinking of less damaging ways to stretch or straighten natural hair. So good for her on the invention!

Taji
Guest
Wait…if you have to use a blow dryer to get “faster” results then its not totally heat free!! I wish her much success but I’ll just stick with a blow dryer and flat iron for “fast” results. And FYI, flat ironing your natural kink, waves etc does NOT permanently destroy your curl pattern. Pressing your hair does!!! And its all in frequency. I straighten my hair on occasions and leave it straight for about a week or two. With the RIGHT curly products my hair returned to its natural curl pattern in one day. But I’ll try the plates once… Read more »
Tamara
Guest

I appreciate the fact that a black woman created these plates but It sorta rubs me the wrong way. I personally feel like too many companies are gearing towards ways for kinky hair to be straightened. I understand AA hair can be damaged easily due to high head and its nice to have this as an option but I personally don’t like stretched, straightened kinky hair. Nothing is more gorgeous, out-spoken, vibrant, and a attention grabber than kinky hair at its best. The price people charge to convince kinky hair needs to be straightened. Hope I’m not being negative.

Shanda Smalls
Guest

Hmmm, I have a feeling you don’t dislike Napptural85’s “stretch” hair. But I could ve wrong.

Yolanda
Guest

After reading this and seeing the results, I have determined that this product will not support my hair type. When I use heat in my natural hair and step outside into the humidity of Georgia, I count it very fortunate that my straightened hair lasts at all! I tend to keep a hat with me so when, if it decides to draw up, I’m covered. So, using plates to stretch my hair would not stand a chance with me.

Tara@ECE Candles
Guest

This is a good idea. I would not have time to do this process in the morning but maybe in the evening before bed. There is no way I could sleep in these. The question is, would it look good in the morning? I think I would still go over it with a flat iron on a low heat setting.

In any case, I would donate to support another black woman entrepreneur. Good luck!

Thoughtsalike
Guest

I’m more concerned with the childs’ thinning temples honestly

CherishBomb
Guest

This is great and I’m all for supporting small businesses, but I have to be honest by saying that this can be achieved with a roller set using those jumbo curlers.

Deborah Cooper-Asberry
Guest

This seems like a great product for hair salons and stylists but not necessarily for doing your hair at home. I like the product but still dislike the idea that somehow straight hair is ‘better’ than curly, wavy or kinky. As the owner of Lodielocks Natural Styling Systems we help women (,men and children,) embrace their ‘natural’ hair! Having options is always a good idea, however, so I wish the inventor of this product much success!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Lodielockslogoheadwordscolored.JPG[/img]

Icy
Guest

If you want to really stretch your hair put small sections in curlformers. Take them out once they are dry comb out your hair then at night wrap or cornrow your hair. By the way it has work on my 4a-c hair. I dont really like hair typing so i just put 4a-c.

ChakaKhanian
Guest
Everyone has the right to spend their money however they want, but the original posting and some of the comments were a bit…typical. Before even TRYING ONE, it was so much ‘I dunno about this,etc.’ I wonder if those expensive curlformers were met with the same hesitancy. Doubt it, even though they seem difficult to use and they can get really pricey depending on the size desired because they truly skimped on providing enough in one package. I see all these reasons why this wouldn’t work, the cost, etc. Wow, well I would rather TRY them first before bad mouthing… Read more »
Kelechi Bradley
Guest
Thank you so much for your response. I truly appreciate your kind words. I didn’t realize this article published until a few days ago and the comments have been pretty interesting, but I have prepared myself for that because whenever you open yourself to public opinion… It may not always be what you want to hear, but I just try to take constructive criticism and learn from it 🙂 Funny thing is, initially I wasn’t trying to just come up with another product to sell, I designed this product because I wanted something that I could use for my hair… Read more »
D Israel
Guest
I was so excited about the title of this article and the product, I was jumping up and down. Straightening my hair without damaging heat my prayers have been answered. I love that my people are trying to do better and make ways for ourselves, however, and yes there is a however, looking at the demo video I still seen a form of heat being used while the plate was on the model’s hair whether directly or indirectly (she did sit under a dryer). So my ultimate question is can you still achieve that same stretched out look using these… Read more »
Kelechi Bradley
Guest
I would like to start off by saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU for your questions, comments, suggestions and concerns about my project. My name is Kelechi Bradley and I am the developer of the CWK Straight Plates. I have spent countless hours working on this project and I am so excited with the progress of the CWK Plates and I am so eager to get them into your hands. After a 30 day campaign, I am excited that as of today, we have raised enough money for the tooling, production and inventory. It has been my mission… Read more »
Theresa E.
Guest

seems the negative comments are not very appropriate, but for a natural girl like I that does want to do sewins as a protective style to gain healthy growth this would be EXTREMELY helpful and relieving. as far as not getting heat damage in so few areas, and thats me spending 25 dollars to support a small business and to straighten leave out for a no traumatizing experience. awsome

Veronica S.
Guest

I think this is dumb, sorry. It does leave dents. If you look at the first model, when they do the closeup, you can see at the bottom there are dents. Also, it’s just like getting rollers on you hair, which I can’t stand! Except this look even more uncomfortable. I think this is gonna come and go, just like a bunch of the “As Seen On TV” type products.

Michelle
Guest

You clearly didn’t watch the video. The inventor purposely left the bottom section of the hair curly to demonstrate the effect of the plates. Comments from the uninformed are the absolute worst.

Andrea
Guest

I bought Curlformers after looking at a lot of reviews and research. I still had to buy more packs. I will wait for reviews but I am not inclined to buy it because I have a lot of hair.

Michelle
Guest

I think this is an EXCELLENT idea!!! You’re basically giving yourself a roller set with straight rollers! I LOVE IT and you can count on my support!!! I’m always glad to see a sister with big ideas doing big things! Much success to you!

naturalintellect92
Guest
I swear half these naysayers are just sheep…let one or more popular youtuber do a tutorial on these with a good outcome and I bet you your sales will be through the roof.(Isn’t that how curlformers became popular?) This seems like a great idea! I hope your business is successful. And for those naturals who came on here just to give your soapbox speech about straightening hair.…WHY come on here in the first place if you know this article was about a straightening product?? The owner OBVIOUSLY cares about the health of natural hair since she took all of this… Read more »
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