The Blonde Wand from Pravana claims to lighten your hair seven levels in just seconds, which begs the question: does it work? And is it safe?
Pravana has been a hair color staple for decades, but it most noted for their Vivid Brights collection: a variety of bright, pastel-hued hair color that creates the rainbow hair of your dreams. I first learned about the brand when I tested out their Perfect Blonde line, which includes purple-toned shampoo and conditioner, a once-a-week mask, and a spray toner that rids your blond of any stitch of brassiness. (Just be careful not to go overboard, because the products work almost too well, which can leave you looking almost gray.)
That said, they came to me with The Blonde Wand, a new tool launching in October. The idea is this: instead of using a dryer to heat an entire head of hair, you use the "wand," as they call it, to heat up sections at a time. Candidly, it looks just like a flat iron, but celebrity colorist Justin Anderson explained otherwise. "It looks like one, but it isn't," said Anderson. "It doesn't actually clamp on to the foil, so it's not locking onto the actual foil. There is a space between it, so it glides over the foil." And according to Pravana's public relations manager, Alanna Joy Littlepage, it doesn't get as hot as traditional flat irons, either. "The plates do not touch, separated by one-eighth inch at the closest point, allowing the plates to hover over the hair, distributing heat evenly, without singeing the hair with sweltering temperatures," said Littlepage.
Other things to note: this is a professional tool. So unless you're licensed, you're not going to be able to pick one up. It's meant to help professional stylists achieve multidimensional highlights at a faster pace, hopefully making their business more lucrative. And you still need bleach and developer for this, too. The biggest misconception the general public has (based on people I've discussed this with) is that you run the wand over the hair and instantly change the color, which isn't the case. You apply bleach and developer with foils, and then run the wand over. The heat speeds up the lightening process. Pravana sells the wand along with their high lightener in a kit, and caution professionals against using other bleach products with the wand. "Other lighteners on the market were not developed for this use, so damage to the hair as well as swelling, dripping, etc. is possible. It can greatly affect the integrity of the hair and results of the service," said Littlepage.
Here's my take: if you're going to a professional who uses this, I can see it being an excellent way to customize your look. Sitting under a dryer isn't fun, and since I like my face-framing pieces to be lighter than the rest my hair, I like the idea that the bleach isn't sitting on my hair for a long period of time, and that my entire head of hair isn't overexposed to heat, either. That said, I'd do my research when it comes to finding someone who uses this tool. Do some digging: how long have they been using it? Do they have any before and after photos? It's imperative that your colorist uses it properly to avoid any mishaps.
Check out the video and let us know your thoughts. Colorists, will you invest? And clients, are you eager to get this done to your hair? Let us know in the comments!
Editorial note: In an earlier edition of this post, we specified the wand could be used with any bleach product, which has since been changed.