It wasn't quite as soft-looking and glamorous as it looked from the picture, but not like I was disappointed in the actual product once I had it in my hands.
It came with a plastic cap and an instruction manual.
The instruction manual is exclusively in Korean, so I can't read it.
I'm seriously considering taking Korean for beginners, is that weird?
Since I get so much knowledge and products for my sensitive skin from Korea, I find myself more and more wishing I knew the basics.
Once I have some more free hours in my day, I will look into it.
Anyways. The cap has a drawstring to tighten it and a zipper going all the way around it along the edge. It also has a good length cord, so you could easily sit in a chair with it plugged into a socket a bit away.
Unzipped, the structure inside looks like this.
It could be a little softer and more shape-able. It has a bit of "bucket head" effect, but I guess the heating system has to be fairly stiff.
Of course, this is where we get to the important stuff: Exactly how warm does this thing get?
I like to compare hair to skin in this situation:
Basically, once warmth starts hurting your skin, it's a sign from your nerves that you're taking damage. While you can of course recover from this, the "uncomfortable treshold" for heat is where will quickly see evidence of the destruction to your skin: Redness, swelling and eventual peeling.
You don't need to go a lot above the body's temperature, before your proteins starts to take damage.
For a very obvious example: This protein damage is how you turn a raw egg into a cooked one and you don't even have to boil the egg to cook it. As a simplified rule of thumb If heat is uncomfortable to the skin, it is because your skin is taking damage. The heat will be doing the exact same thing to your hair: Destroying the proteins.
And where your skin can heal itself and eventually recover, hair damage is forever.
So, this needed experimenting.
I was about to just plug it in itself and observere and measure, but I figured why not compare it to my old heating "system" with the self heating pads?
The self heating pads gets uncomfortably hot, too hot to touch for more than a few seconds, so I always have a hat under them to "buffer" and distribute the heat. And then a hat on top of, to keep the heat in.
For both "systems", I would need cling wrap and possibly also a bandage to keep dripping down. I will exclude the weight of those, since it will be the same for both.
First and easiest test: The heating cap weighs 145 gram excluding the cable.
Two heating pads with two warm hats: 445 gram.
300 gram difference. That's a lot!
It's also important because the pads add a poorly distributed weight for my head and neck. Do a deep treatment with these for some hours and I begin to feel uncomfortable and unfocused. This is of course very undesirable, because I would really love to do this while I'm in front of a computer. Often I find myself having to go on the couch to get support for my head during deep treatments. But then I'm stuck in a half propped up position that's neither comfortable or something I'm capable of doing serious work on my laptop in.
The cap should be light enough to sit upright with and the cable is long enough to reach the outlet under the table. Now for an effect-test...
Of course it would be too troublesome and not directly comparable if I had done two separate deep conditioning sessions, so I decided for a simulated deep conditioning.
The heating pads: I put both pads inside both warm hats and try to keep it as closed as possible.
The heating cap: I pulled the draw string as tight as possible.
Of course when I measured the temperatures, the termometer(s) are in more direct contact with the heat source than if I had been doing a hair treatment.
But as I have described before: The highest possible temperature is very important, because I don't want to damage my hair.
Just a few seconds after I activated the pads, I ran into the first problem: The termometer only measures up to 43 degrees celsius, because it's a standard, household body termometer. Crap!
So I went hunting in the kitchen to find our cooking termometer. That one of course only measures in the 55-100 bracket, since that's all it needs to do.
So my measurements are not as precise as I wanted them to be...
Measurements in celsius
5 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: Above 43 C, below 55 C
10 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: Above 43 C, below 55 C
Both are in the process of heating up.
15 minutes: Pad: 57 C. Cap: 58 C
30 minutes: Pad: 57 C. Cap: 67 C
45 minutes: Pad: 57 C. Cap: 58 C
1 hour: Pad: 55 C. Cap: 55 C
One hour in and the pad is slowly losing the heat.
The cap however seems to heat and cool in cycles. When I measure and then remeasure a few minutes later I get different results. I'm interested in the highest and lowest result. The 67 C result is slightly worrying!
1 hour 15 minutes: Pad: 55 C. Cap: 58 C
1 hour 30 minutes: Pad: 55 C. Cap: 67 C
1 hour 45 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: 63 C
2 hours: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: Above 43 C, below 55 C
The pads continue to lose heat and the cap gets another slightly worrying 67 C result. I will definitely need a hat underneath to distribute and "buffer" the heat. This of course adds some extra weight for the treatment, which I'm not interested in. But the weight of a hat is more well distributed than two pads.
2 hours 15 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: 58 C
2 hours 30 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: 58 C
2 hours 45 minutes: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: 63 C
3 hours: Pad: Above 43 C, below 55 C. Cap: 63 C
At first sight it would appear that the cap has stabilized a bit more in the heating cycles, but I think it's just a coincidence that I got those exact numbers. Measured one or two minutes later might have given an entirely different result.
3 hours 15 minutes: Pad: 41,9 C. Cap: 70 C
3 hours 30 minutes: Pad: 41,0 C. Cap: 70 C
3 hours 45 minutes: Pad: 39,7 C. Cap: 58 C
4 hours: Pad: 36,4 C. Cap: 63 C
The pads are finally down at a temperature where the body termometer can measure it.
The cap however seemed to get hotter and hotter?
4 hours in and I decided to stop the experiment. It's very rare I deep condition for longer than this, because it's quite irritating and keeps me from doing what I want to. Highest and lowest temperatures
I'm going to exclude the first 10 minutes where both the cap and the pads needed time to heat up.
Heating pads: Highest temperature was 57 C and after that, it decreased slowly.
Heating cap: Highest temperature was 70 C and the lowest was below 55.
The heating cap definitely doesn't require additional insulation on the outside to keep the heat in!
The heating cap is a good tool and better for head and neck because of the lower weight.
But it will definitely need a hat underneath to distribute and "buffer" the heat. Just like with the pads. This shouldn't be too uncomfortable because it's a more evenly distributed weight.