Most women consider an excellent day one in which they are pampered at the salon. From shampoo and conditioning to cut and style, being pampered is a glorious feeling. Not quite so glorious, however, is the bill at the end of the session. While a salon-quality straightening or blow-out is lovely, nothing quite compares to the affordability of completing these services at home. Although straightening may seem a straightforward task to complete without a professional, using the right tool is paramount; a high-quality flat iron will add luster and shine to tresses, while a low quality tool will burn and damage hair.
BaByliss Pro Ultra-Thin Straightener
The BaByliss Pro is a flat iron designed for speed and convenience. The wand is titanium-plated, meaning it becomes hot quickly and holds heat well, and does not snag or burn strands. Titanium interacts with hair positively, adding shine to tresses, and providing a smooth texture. This particular iron is excellent for travel or for small spaces, as it is (as its name reveals) ultra-thin, making storage and traveling simple and quick. This particular model can reach up to 450 degrees, making the straightening process quick and painless, with no need for multiple swipes across each grouping of your mane.
Users with frizzy, thick, curly hair were particularly appreciative of this product, due mostly to its ability to glide seamlessly along unruly locks, creating smooth and enviable strands. Customers found the adjustable heat settings and portability as worthy of praise as the results, and generally expressed contentment with their purchase. Users with fine hair were not as likely to rave over the product’s effectiveness, but are unlikely to need to high heat levels and smoothing effect of titanium.
Although the majority of users were pleased with the BaByliss Pro, some experienced some trouble when purchasing from third party sellers. While most were able to return counterfeit items, it is important to make purchases of this brand through authorized sellers alone; purchasing from a third party could results in receiving a fake item. Actual use is rarely critiqued, but some did find the 9’ length of cord difficult to store away.
Izutech Flat Iron
Izutech’s contribution to the industry comes equipped with large plates, both in width and height, cutting down on styling time. The iron possesses heat control settings ranging from 250-450 degrees, and has a 9’ long cord with a swivel joint. The plates of Izutech’s model are also titanium, and therefore are able to both hold high heat and avoid pulling, tangling, and breaking hair. It is also equipped with a one year warranty, and is designed to imbue hair with a healthy sheen and texture.
A significant portion of Izutech’s customers are referred to the brand by their hairstylist, making it quite a contender right out of the gate. Again, most users were women with thick, curly, coarse hair, and were searching for a product to quickly and efficiently straighten their locks. Most found this in the Izutech. Women also found the product capable of fighting frizz brought on by humidity; many found that using the straightener in the morning resulted in smooth hair all day long, despite heat and humidity. Most were also impressed by the size of the plates, as this cut hair styling time by as much as half.
The greatest complaint was regarding the flat iron’s outer casing. While users agreed across the board that the iron developed and maintained heat well, some found the outer casing too hot to the touch during use, resulting in the need for a glove or other heat-resistant implement to effectively utilize the tool. Although this was not a problem for some, others found it too great a hassle, and were able to return the product without difficulty.
CHI is a brand often considered synonymous with quality hairstyling. CHI’s model is unique, in that it offers titanium-infused ceramic plates, offering the best of both worlds in terms of flat iron ease-of-use and the degree of damage done to hair. CHI-brand straighteners are frequently used by stylists, as they offer styling tools as well as products designed to accompany those tools, including heat protectants. This is a trusted brand, and has a long history of use in the styling industry. Finally, CHI brand possesses numerous color and pattern choices, making it ideal for men and women seeking an option with more personality.
Women expressed extreme satisfaction with CHI’s offerings. This particular model is equipped with more comprehensive controls (boasting a digital screen), and a heat-up time of less than one minute, according to current users. This model is, again, praised by women with “difficult” hair, as it offers a means of creating smooth, silky, straight hair out of even the most stubborn curly and coarse tresses. Most consider this straightener a professional-grade styling tool, and see it last for years of consistent use. The plates were described as “slippery”, as locks are able to glide effortlessly through the plates, preventing snags and breakage. Women with fine hair also expressed contentment with the iron, as it did not do undue damage to already-fine, slippery hair.
While complaints were low, some customers were unfortunate enough to receive a defective product. Of these, the most common complain came regarding the iron’s heat; defective units were unable to heat properly, making styling impossible. Fortunately, these customers were able to return their unusable products for a full refund, and reported no further difficulties.
HSI Professional Flat Iron
HSI’s flat iron is unlike the others listed above, in that it relies entirely upon ceramic plates for its power. As its name suggests, the product is intended for professional use, but may also be used for personal use—and may, indeed, be a worthy investment for women with a difficult-to-tame mane. A high-powered tool, the HSI heats to 450 degrees in a matter of seconds, and is equipped with an automatic off function, reducing the risk of fire or shorting if it is left unattended. Like the CHI, it has a digital temperature control, making it easier to make an exact science of the desired temperature.
Users agree, across the board, that this is a professional-grade styling implement. It can be used on fine or coarse hair alike, and is regarded as the ideal size and weight for easy, quick styling. Some parents even feel comfortable using it on their children’s hair, as it does not dry or damage hair. Users also found it extremely easy to use for curling, as it does not snag or break hair. Users were also pleased with its equipment, as it comes with a heat glove and a bottle of argan oil. Finally, customers expressed satisfaction with the speed of heating, as it heats and cools in less than one minute.
Although most customers were pleased with their purchase, some found their products defective. Again, though, all customers were able to return their purchase without trouble, and either received a new, functioning product or received money back without question.
Onassis Style Professional Iron
The Onassis professional iron is set apart from its peers in warranty alone; Onassis provides customers with a 10-year warranty, called a “no questions asked” manufacturer’s warranty. It, too, has ceramic plates, and is designed to function in a professional setting. This means that it heats and cools quickly and efficiently, and can take years of steady use without breaking or wearing down. It comes in numerous colors and designs, making it a great choice for a professional (or daily-use amateur) in need of something with more flair than a standard flat iron. Finally, it has an automatic shut-off programmed in to avoid potential fire hazards if left unattended.
The majority of users were pleased with their purchase, as the Onassis is a high-quality tool that is both affordable and effective. Most users were women with coarse, thick manes, though some were women with fine, difficult-to-style tresses. The greatest asset, as identified by users, is the quick heating and even distribution; the iron is not only able to reach its highest heat in a matter of seconds, but heats thoroughly and evenly from the beginning.
Although numerous users were pleased with Onassis’ product, some received defective products that broke within a matter of months. Fortunately, due to the above-mentioned warranty, customers were able to return flawed tools for a full refund, or for a replacement.
So Many Options…Some Continued Guidance
There are five different straighteners discussed above, each of them equipped with different features and with a different audience in mind. When choosing the iron that is right for you, consider the following points:
- Price will play a significant role in your purchase.
- How frequently you iron your hair and how much muscle is required to do so are important considerations as well.
- Life span. While some lower-end tools are able to last for as many as ten years, if you need a long-lasting tool, a professional model will best suit your needs.
If you are seeking a professional tool, a professional model is a must. If you are an amateur, but use your flat iron on a daily basis, it may be wise to also consider a professional tool to meet your needs. If you use flat irons only a few days per week, however, the price points attached to professional irons may be somewhat prohibitive and unnecessary. In these cases, the BaByliss or Izutech straighteners will likely best suit your needs.