February 25, 2008

A hair-razing experience

Those who know me know that I have a habit of 'curling' my hair when I am totally jobless or when I want to 'set' my hair well enough after a hair-raising headbath.. So it was no surprise that I had packed away my curler from the US for use here... Having bought a us-france plug, I figured I would use my curler to soften my curls 2 mornings ago. As is customary, I plugged the curler on and left it to heat for a while.. It usually takes about 5 minutes to gather sufficient heat to make any difference when I wrap my hair around it. My first hint should've been when in 2 minutes the light indicator (which turns from red when its cold to white when its hot) popped off the curler's surface. I didn't think much of it... Instead after a few minutes, I sat down and took a very small section off the front frizzy hairs and twisted them around the curler.. I usually have to wait a minute atleast before the curls get soft enough.. But then in a few short seconds I smelt burning... A sort of singed smell... the smell of hair being burnt. In utter panic, I unplugged the curler and then unwrapped my tiny strand of hair.. or atleast tried.. Because my hair was burning and sticking to the curler.. I jerked it away and it came off in my hands. I don't think I have ever been so shocked. Still shaking from the horror of it, illogically I pulled all of my hair tight to verify that my hair wasn't just falling and that the curler was to blame. Thankfully no more hair tore loose... Mercifully my husband stashed the cursed thing away..

It was a while before I was calm enough to examine the logic behind the sequence.. When I did, it was fairly simple and as an Elecrtical Engineer I had to take all the blame. Being a US gadget the curler required just 110V. The conversion plug we'd purchased was just that - a plug and not a transformer as I had for some unfathomable reason thought... I needed a step down transformer to plug the curler in to step down from France's 220V supply to the gadget's 110V. The only other devices I had used with the plug had their own adaptors - the cell phone and the laptop. No wonder the curler heated way too fast.. it was receiving twice the power it needed. And mercifully, I didn't burn myself or anything else.. all I lost was a few strands of frizzy hair.


Priya said...

OMG!!! That must have been scary. Well, another lesson learnt. When I was in school, I was stupid enough to test a new pair of scissors by snipping a good inch off my hair. It required a whole new hair cut to rectify the damage and a more than a couple of months to get it back to normal :))

Balaji P G said...

It was not double the power but square the power :-)

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