Tired of dry, undefined, winter curls? Can't seem to attain the second-day hair that all other curlies seem to be bragging about? Hate wearing hats because it ruins your style?
Well, curlies, you have a friend in Heidi Schmid, the inventor of Q-Redew, a hand-held hairstyling vapor wand created specifically to revive curls. Like many of you, she spent winters huddled indoors wishing for the humid summer months. At least then, she could use products to ward off frizz and control humidity. But in the winter, or on those days we need a little better curl shape or rejuvenating in the middle of the day or to help boost second-day curls, the product market was more than lacking in useful tools to get moisture back in to deflated curls. So she created one. Read on to hear about how she came up with the idea, how to use the product and even where you can get your hands on one!
Just to start off, tell me a little bit about Q-Redew. Where did you get the idea?
For 10 years I have followed the ladies who started the curly hair revolution, everyone from the NaturallyCurly site to Lorraine Massey. So I was doing those things myself — the low-pooing and learning to love my curls.
I have curly hair that is thick and fine. In the winter months, my problem would be that my curls were not formed enough and that they weren’t curly enough. My hair just wasn’t curly enough in the dry, winter months. In the summer, we can find lots of things for controlling high humidity and the challenges of that side of the humidity spectrum, but it was the other side of the spectrum – the low moisture, low humidity days and the dry static air – that I always had an issue with. For example, what do I do if my hair isn’t curly enough? Or, how do I promote second day hair? Or, if I’m not using heat tools, what do I do in between styling my hair? Those were always my issues. I live in Wisconsin and we have very cold and dry winters, so every year it's a big part of the year for me.
I literally had a eureka moment one day. I was having some curtains hung. It was a very cold, dreary day and the installer was using a floor standing commercial steamer to hang my curtains, and I just had this thought. I had long curly hair at the time and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I would have liked to stand safely under that thing for just a minute!” And I knew my hair would look great if I did. It would look like it was April!
"It's good for the majority of people who have curly hair and have those days where they are like, 'Ugh, I just want to start over!'"
I kept going back to that thought. What is available to me that could address teh dry, static air and "not enough curl" or "second day" curl problem? I did searches online and couldn’t find anything available. But, I did not lose track of that thought. I would come back to it in moments of need. So I decided to try and develop my own, which led to talking to a patent attorney and working on development on it. I was able to make a prototype for myself to see if it could solve my problem. And it did! So I had some curly hair friends and I decided to share it with them. They said, “Yea, this is so cool!”
Of course, the prototype was really ugly, so we wanted to get past that. And we did by hiring talented and professional design engineers and a quality manufacturer. That brings us to today.
My initial thought in enhancing and reshaping my curl changed when I realized that I could also straighten my curl by using rollers and misting it. Take the rollers out and that is my version of straight hair. So those other uses just followed my initial thoughts.
That’s great, no heat styling and multiple uses! So can you tell me a little bit about your own hair?
My hair is a type 3a. Over the years, I have straightened it, had spirals, even really short hair. The great news is that you can use the Q-Redew on any length of hair!
So would you say that the Q-Redew works best on your hair type or all hair types?
You can definitely use it on all hair types. Anyone with texture of any sort will enjoy the Q-Redew. If someone struggles with drier days or feels like their hair is flat and lifeless, they're going to enjoy the Q-Redew.
If somebody has very curly hair and is looking for ways to run away from that and flatten their hair, this tool probably wouldn’t suit them. But it's good for the majority of people who have curly hair and have those days where they say, “Ugh, I just want to start over!”
You don’t want to wash it and then wait for it to dry for hours, you just want to perk it up and refresh it. I even think that some curly women will err on the side of a little frizz to have volume, versus the curly flat hair.
Let’s get in to how this works. It is a vapor wand, you put the water in, it heats up and then you use it like a diffuser?
OK, so I know that it is just a warm mist, but a lot of the products curly women use are easily water-soluble so that we can continue co-washing. If you use this, will you have to reapply?
No, because it is a very, very fine vapor-like mist. You are applying it to your hair, and whether you apply it for 20 seconds or five minutes, you are starting your initial use with dry hair, dry to the touch, as in not wet, and the mist is so fine and warm that it leaves your hair completely dry. What I find is that it re-activates with water-soluble products. It doesn’t rinse them out; the product isn’t dripping because your hair is never wet. It will reactivate the product because you are putting the moisture back in the product as well as back into the hair.
So water-soluble products are good to go. Are there any specific products that you have found work well with it?
I follow curly girl methods and always stick with the water-soluble products. Because it is not something that you use when your hair is wet, you can continue using the products that you typically use. I may use a holding spray of some sort or a pomade after I use the Q-Redew, but I’m not applying anything pre-Q-Redew use. I think you would typically stick with the product that is a holy grail for you, that you like, then use the Q-Redew in conjunction with that.
Does this product tend to work better in the winter, or does the weather play a part at all?
It definitely plays a part. In the summer months so many people are trying to control the humidity, and this is more mist. I use the Q-Redew year round because I don’t have tons of kinky curly hair. Even in the summer months, if I spend a lot of time in the air conditioning, wear a helmet when I bike to work, or if I want to change the shape when I go out at night, I will use the Q-Redew. Then I just use my fingers to reshape my curls.And the Q-Redew is really helpful in boosting and re-activiating second-day hair, regardless of the season.
Often I’ll say "humidity" and people will run the opposite direction because we spend so much time and money trying to avoid humidity. So I approach it as warm mist for when you need it, definitely in the wintertime.
When I explain it to some people they will make the connection that it's like your skin. In the winter, your skin is drier and needs more moisture, and your hair is the same. It takes away the dryness and static. It is great for hats, or when you take out your ponytail and you have a ponytail ridge.
So to answer your question, I think it will be pulled out of the drawer more often in the wintertime, in the dry climate, but I do see a use for it year round.
With it being a warm mist, is there any damage that occurs?
No, it is not hot like a curling iron or a blow dryer. You would get no more damage than if the air had more moisture in it. You are just using tap water. You aren’t putting any heat directly on your hair like you would with a straightening iron. So, no, there is no damage to your hair. And once you own the product, there is nothing else that you need to buy.
Great! How long does it generally take? I see that it takes 30 seconds to heat up, so how long will it take someone to use it on their hair. Obviously, it will differ for different hair types and length, but is there a general rule of thumb?
It varies according to all the things you mentioned. The idea is that you are just kind of spot treating. If there are certain parts of your hair that you would like to avoid, such as the crown that might have more frizz for some people, you can.
It's really a tool for minutes. I’m thinking like three or four minutes. I would never typically use it for longer than that, because once you cross that line, you are going to feel like you are in August. It will create frizz.
You are going to applying it slowly to your hair where you need it. You don’t have to apply it to your whole head, you can just put it where you would like it to be for just a few minutes.