Techie Tuesday: National Hair Styler

This Hair Styler by the now defunct brand National is probably older than most of you, to the extent that the brand National no longer even exists and has since been replaced with Panasonic. That should be proof enough as to how old this thing is. I actually got (read: took) this from my momma’ who has had it since forever (read: for as long as I can remember).

In fact, this National Hair Styler model is so old that these 5 photos (from a discount website and e-bay) are the only ones I could find online. As you can see, the Hair Styler comes with several different attachments (mostly brush-heads) and apparently was also available in other colors besides white.

Here’s what mine looks like without any attachments.

You can’t just shove an attachment on the thing and expect it to fit. That gray button is supposed to be held down (so the gray tabs will depress) to make room for the attachment. Once you let go of the button, the tabs will pop back up and hold the attachment securely in place.

See how the brush-head is not securely attached because of the little gray tab sticking out? It can be kind of annoying sometimes when I’m in a rush and I just wanna’ shove it on and start drying my hair but it needs to be aligned just so for it to actually fit.

Aside from the gray button (to secure attachments), there’s the on and off tab which they’ve labeled as 0 and 1 (0 being “off” and 1 being “on”) and the low-high tab (heat settings). You just slide the tabs to the settings that you prefer. Personally, I always keep it on high heat which isn’t really all that high.

Here’s what it says on all sides of the Hair Styler including the specs which are AC240v~ 50-60Hz 700W. Basically, it means this thing isn’t that powerful and therefore does not get as hot as I’d like it to be. However if you happen to have fine, smooth, well-behaved hair, then the low-heat settings might just work out for you. The model number is EH7974.

I have so many issues with the filter. If my hair gets anywhere near the grated fan, this thing will straight up snap my hair! I’ll be half-asleep trying to dry my wet hair so I can go to bed when I’d be jolted wide awake by a painful snap of a single hair that had gotten too close to the filter. I quickly learned to keep the bottom of the Hair Styler pointed away from my uber-long hair, but there are a few mishaps every now and again. That said, it’s not extremely painful but obviously it’s not ideal either. Another issue I have is that once the Hair Styler heats up, if I turn it “off”, I’ll be forced into waiting for 5-10 minutes for it to cool down. Even when I turn it back “on” straight away, it still won’t work and will stay off, until I hear the “click” sound meaning it has sufficiently cooled down. Again, not ideal when you’re short on time (which is always). I have to resort to blowing into the filter in hopes that it’ll cool down faster and therefore start working again.

I have no clue where the other attachments are but this specific brush-head happens to be my absolute favorite! Sadly, even the stiff plastic bristles are no match for my tangles. As you can see, some are actually bent, which I talked about earlier (in this post – here) which is just another side-effect of my oh-so-fun tangles. The reason I’m so obsessed with this particular brush-head is because it was my first love. I’ve always wanted to learn how to style my hair or even just dry it on my own as opposed to just getting it styled at the salon or having my mom or nanny do it for me.

My first attempt was with this exact National Hair Styler trying to recreate what my mom, nanny, and the hairstylists at the salon did to my hair. So, without any attachments on, I grabbed a round boar-bristle brush in one hand and the Hair Styler in the other, and attempted to dry and style my hair, but ended up in tears (for real) because the brush had somehow gotten tangled up and stuck in my hair. I couldn’t get the brush out. I was a kid. Obviously, I had no clue what I was doing. My mom helped me get the brush out of my hair (which she clearly thought was hilarious but tried not to show it to spare me feelings) and suggested I use one of the brush-head attachments instead. My second attempt wasn’t any better because this time I used the attachment that was supposed to “curl”, which also ended up getting stuck in my hair. Keep in mind that my parents forbid me to cut my hair (aside from the usual trim at the salon to get rid of split ends and such) so I had really, really, really long hair that also happened to be textured (wavy/curly) and frizzed up if you so much as looked at it.

I went through all of the attachments gradually and came to like the one shown best. It was the simplest and had less of a chance of getting tangled in my hair. I thought if I switched it on and brushed my hair, it would automatically be straightened and less frizzy. I quickly realized there was more to it than that. For starters, I had to brush my hair in slow-mo for the Hair Styler to actually dry, straighten, and de-frizz my hair. Even if my hair looked all straight and sleek when I was done using the Hair Styler, that did not necessarily mean that it was going to stay that way (it would start to get all pouffy after 30-60 mins). I also learned to forego the attachments completely and use a large boar-bristle brush for my bangs (fringe) because none of the attachments had worked with my bangs. In fact, straightening my hair using the Hair Styler‘s mild heat settings accompanied with a round boar-bristle brush made my hair look voluminous, shiny, and healthy!

Here’s what the Hair Styler looks like with my favorite brush-head attachment, er, attached to it. I kinda’ like that it looks retro because it reminds me of old-school 80’s Anime and Manga. This thing might even possibly be from the 70’s. It looks pretty beat up, but after decades of use, signs of wear and tear is to be expected. When I was married and moved to into my husband’s family home, his mom had the exact same National Hair Styler, with the exact same brush-head attachment, with the exact same quirks (needing to cool down before working again, etc…) and admitted that she’d had it forever as well, which I thought was a funny coincidence. She used it to dry her six year old grand daughter’s long silky smooth hair after giving her a bath or shower (she was pretty much devoted to the kid). Apparently, this particular model could be found in most households in the country because it was quite popular with Kuwaiti women, way back when.

Aside from the fact that I cut my teeth on this thing, it’s also quite convenient to use. I don’t have to juggle a million and one hair tools. This thing both dries my hair and straightens it, all in one go. If I’m after super-sleek hair, all I need to do is apply some sort of hair product beforehand. If I only want to dry my hair, all I have to do is just remove the attachment, flip my hair over, and proceed to dry it. If I’m going to crimp, curl, straighten, or wave my hair using another hot tool, I’ll go ahead and straighten it beforehand using this Hair Styler (which isn’t that hot but dries, de-frizzes, and straightens my hair sufficiently) with the brush-head attachment. I’ve referenced it several times (in My Story: Hair Cut, Style, and Color Journey) but I referred to it as a Hot-Air Brush instead of Hair Styler because technically that’s the only attachment I use, if I’m going to be using an attachment at all. Basically, this thing is so handy that I wouldn’t want to ever be without it! In fact, I’ve taken it with me all over the world (New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt, Limassol, Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh, Phuket) where I had fiddle around with the sockets due to the electric plug on my Hair Styler being incompatible with the socket (depending on which part of the world I was in) which was a rude awakening. It hadn’t even occurred to me that different countries had their own system and I had just assumed that the entire world shared Kuwait’s system. In any case, it wasn’t anything a little travel adapter couldn’t solve. Regardless of all the issues, this National Hair Styler has made my life easier! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty much hopeless when it comes to hair-styling, and unless there’s a special event, I sorta’ just let it do its own thing. With the help of this Hair Styler I can always look put-together, quickly, easily, and with relatively minimal effort! I just love this thing so much!

If you are interested in purchasing the National Hair Styler, it’s now being sold as Panasonic Hair Styler, comes with several attachments including my favorite brush-head, and is quite inexpensive. Like I said, this made my life easier so I definitely recommend you purchase this for yourselves because it is sooo worth it!

One thought on “Techie Tuesday: National Hair Styler

  1. Pingback: Techie Tuesday: Braun Silk-épil Soft Perfection Epilator | LuLu ♥'s Makeup

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