Amika Swtich Kit Review
With technology in hair appliances constantly evolving, there is no shortage of reputable brands to choose from. Staying educated and really understanding the heat styling lingo and more importantly what this means for our hair is vital when selecting an appliance— Tourmaline or ceramic infused rods to preserve the natural moisture and shine, high yet safe heating options such as infrared and ionic components to break up the moisture molecules and deliver speed for the curling process— All needed to help keep out tresses in good shape, while we style.
Depending on the look one’s after, this determines which styling device best suited for the job. For example,for soft beachy waves, opting for a tapered curling rod gives nice movement to the hair that looks natural, and undone, yet sexy. For a retro Veronica Lake inspired do, a larger barrel iron for those deep S-shaped waves would be best to create this look. The problem isn’t that we need a variety of tools to achieve a multitude of styles but the space and inconvenience of having to purchase and store so many appliances, not to mention all those cords! ( more on how to manage those, later in this post!)
I was introduced to the brand Amika, and to be fair I was only familiar with their line of hair care and styling products not appliances, which surprised me as they seem pretty well established in the marketplace. While they do offer traditional individual styling tools, one of the cooler offerings from this company is their Switch Kit system. This system totally appealed to the Virgo-gilr that I am by its tidy, streamline design. The basic set, called the Switch kit starter set consists of a Switch kit base, a heat resistant glove and an 1” attachment styling rod, which they call the Hollywood Vixen, all for for $100. The starter kit in it self is about average price-wise, however other barrel sizes are available for an additional $30 a pop making the whole the system pretty economical. The base is dual voltage, with digital temperature controls ranging from 150˙-430˙F or 66˙-221˙C and a comfort fit handle. Each rod features a tourmaline-infused, clip free barrel (with the exception of the Supermodel Allure, a 1.5” attachment rod) infared heat and negative ions for faster, healthy styling and longer lasting curls. The four interchangeable rods are pretty much what anyone would want or need with a range from 1.5” clip barrel to 1.0-.7 taper clip free barrel.
The beauty of this system is the utter convenience of it. With one switch base, you may change up to four different styling barrels to the device to create an endless array of looks. I test drove the system on a recent commercial shoot, and found that the system was space efficient and effective, although I should add that the first half-dozen times when switching rods it was a little frustrating. Once I got the hang of it ( a little wiggling back and forth on the barrel to be removed, while depressing the two buttons that held it in place, worked a treat!) Eventually, the connectors that secure each of the rods loosened up sufficiently making it possible to change easily. The performance of each rod was very good overall. Each generated efficient heat to create a lasting curls and waves that were shiny and healthy looking. I loved the fact that there was ONLY ONE CORD to worry about. If I had my usual arsenal of hair appliances in my kit, I would have had at least five cords to deal with, which not only is a space hog but can be a potential hot-mess when it comes to organization. In any case, I love to use velcro cord ties for all my appliances and put one on the Switchbase cord right away so it was easy to pack and also helps to keep the cord from getting tangled and damaged.
I priced out what the cost would have been if I had to purchase five separate high end styling tools and worked out that this system is not only super effective but at $190. for the whole system, a super bargain too. Sephora also offers four clip free rods and Switchbase for $175. Amika Switch Base styling system is available exclusively at Sephora and Sephora.com
For those pro artists out there, Amika has something special just for you— The Titanium 5P Barrel Curler. Similar to the Switch set, the 5P includes the 16mm root lifter which is a must-have for Afro-America hair, a 19mm, a 25-18 taper,and a 32mm barrel. This Pro set is available at Loveamika.com for $220.