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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.

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

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jl
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 »
Queenie

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!

Natalie

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.

Anon87

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

Lena

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.

T.

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.

Dee

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.

reese

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 🙂

Kan
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 »
Hop
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 »
Hannah

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

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

Nana

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

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!

casey

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

KP
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

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

lauri

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

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

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

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

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

Love this

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

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