The follicle-taming tool requires no heat, batteries, or a time-intensive process.

By Hana Hong
August 20, 2020
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My straight, super-fine hair has never really been the kind that suffers from post-shower frizz, but the bane of my strands’ existence comes after my hair dries. My once flat hair hovers around my head like Einstein’s. Couple that with cold winter weather—and my mane becomes a science project that even my favorite chemistry teacher couldn’t solve.

Alas, static hair happens to the best of us, and no matter how often we douse our strands in potent hair masks and concentrated hair oils, escaping static electricity seems like an impossible task. In case you don’t know the reason behind this annoying styling conundrum, here’s a quick science lesson: Static electricity is created when two unlike objects rub against each other and cause electrons from one object to be transferred to the other. On a surface that doesn't conduct electricity well (like dry hair), the opposing charges cause your strands to repel from each other like a magnet. 

So what’s an electron-charged girl to do? Sure, there are some tactics you can implement to static-proof your hair, like drying your hair with a hair towel and keeping a couple dryer sheets on hand. You can also turn to the classic go-to method of splashing some water on the ends of your strands. However, most of these will only be a temporary fix—and one brush-through will probably revert your strands back to static central.

Another downside of having very fine (and long) hair is how easily tangled it gets, which means I need to brush my hair pretty frequently if I want to look, well, groomed. And as someone with color-treated hair who needs to take a shower every day to feel alive (I know, I know, it’s terrible), my strands get pretty thirsty. When I first came across the concept of an anti-static hairbrush, my first thoughts were if I would finally stop having to decide between looking groomed or looking like a lightning strike victim. Figuring that at the very worst, it would allow me to detangle my hair, I decided to give it a go.

forbabs.com

Truthfully, I didn’t have high expectations about the static, but I could instantly tell the difference between it and my regular brush. A few strokes on dry hair would normally leave my hair floating around horizontally, but my strands remained obediently vertical at my sides. In short, it worked.

Here’s how it works: The brush basically takes the old-school hack of dryer sheets, which have positively charged ingredients to kill static, and implements it into a brush. It comes with a fabric layer coated with a conditioning formula that, like dryer sheets, are released by heat and movement. When gently rubbed over your hair, they bond loosely to its negatively charged surface, neutralizing the charge and acting as a lubricant to smooth static and frizzy hair. The material is placed between the bristles and can be very easily removed—and replaced—by popping open the frame of the brush. 

“I have always struggled with hair static, especially during travel,” explains ForBabs founder and X-Static inventor, Annette Crone. “When I heard about the old-school hack of using dryer sheets to tame static, I knew there had to be a better way. Working with a local chemist, we came up with a proprietary blend of conditioning ingredients that are good for your hair and tame static and frizz too.”

You should be able to use one static sheet about five times, depending on your hair. Once the sheet runs out, you simply tear it off for a fresh one underneath. One brush head contains 12 anti-static sheets, and you can replace it with another head once that runs out. 

The starter brush ($28; forbabs.com ) comes pre-loaded with a dozen anti-static sheets (which translates to around 60 uses), and you can get individual refill packs as you need ($19 for two heads; forbabs.com ) on the brand's site. The refills might get a bit pricey, but it's especially worthwhile in colder, drier months since it serves a purpose that other hair tools and products can’t (that is, without piling on additional heat damage or product buildup).

I will say that I don’t think it will necessarily replace the standard brush you use on the daily, especially if you have a particular hair type that works better with boar bristles or pick combs. Everyone needs to find the right brush for their hair type, but I’d definitely recommend using it in tandem with your detangling brush to snuff lingering electricity without stiffening your strands with hairspray. Plus, it’s a far more effective—and chicer—alternative to the laundry room staple.

To buy: $28; forbabs.com