Rusk RSK686/RSK732 Str8 Iron Review

“Take baby steps to hair straightening perfection”

 

There was absolutely no way that I was going to get through writing a review for the Rusk RSK732 Professional Str8 Titanium-Infused Ceramic Flat Iron without succumbing to a bit of word play with the word ‘Rusk’ so I’m getting it out of the way early. With a rusk being an iconic baby finger food that was very popular a generation ago, will the Rusk RSK732 Professional Str8 Titanium-Infused Ceramic Flat Iron become a famous straightener of our time, with the next generation reminiscing on just how good it was ‘way back when’?

Smooth Operator

Much is made in the world of Straighteners marketing hype about plates and, of course, as the main attraction, so there should be. The latest buzz is all about titanium, with this Rusk model being ‘infused, with titanium. So should you enthuse about the titanium infuse?

My hair is increasingly dry as I get older and due to damage and breakage, unless I use a straightening iron on it, I literally look like the proverbial bag of spanners. To put it simply, I need a bit of a miracle when it comes to my straighteners.

The Rusk gave me good results. In fact, the first time I used it on a portion of hair at the side that has a habit of flicking it, I had to do a double take. It was amazing. But. When I used it on more layered sections that admittedly need the split ends trimming, it struggled to do anything with the ends – and I am meaning anything. Now I have admitted that my hair needs split ends sorting, but other straighteners have made a better job than these. Maybe for hair that is in a much better state than mind would produce a much better result and indeed, if you check out other reviews, a fair few users truly do enthuse about the infuse, but I’m just left a bit neutral I’m afraid.

Hello Gel-lo

When people think about gel in connection with hair, they instantly think of the styling product, and if you’re of a more mature age, may even think of cheap plastic pots filled with transparent green slime. But the Rusk RSK732 Professional Str8 Titanium-Infused Ceramic Flat Iron is having none of that 1980’s stuff, as gel here refers to sol-gel technology. But what actually is sol-gel technology? Well to put it bluntly, I have absolutely no idea, but what I do know is that the idea is that it makes it easier for your hair to pull through the straightening plates.

Now call me a cynic, but as we have come so far in terms of technological advancements in straightening irons that actually I now expect any pair of straighteners to come with this as standard. In fact, I don’t expect it to be touted as a feature that I should be getting excited about. It’s as if unless it is listed as a feature, I should expect my hair to get tangled in the straightener as if that’s the norm. Let’s be honest, when we are ironing clothes do we expect the iron to get a little stuck and create a burn mark as if that’s just how it is? NO!!! That being said, yes, my hair did go through the plates smoothly – as it should – it’s a straightening iron.

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy

I am a girl who appreciates the simpler things in life (you should meet my husband) and electronic gadgets that are easy to use please me. Not only am I busy, very busy, but also my mind has been a little frazzled from years of strong meds. This isn’t an excuse for my lack of ability to work out complicated things, but just a fact. So I like my straightening irons to be easy to use and deliver superlative results. For me, this is where the Rusk RSK732 starts to impress.

The buttons are easy to use and the super, duper digital display means you know what temperature you’re at – I’m a real fan of a digital display as it makes me feel all hi-tech so I’m loving this element of the Rusk. Other people have moaned about the fact that the temperature resets each time you switch it on but I expect this. When I get in my car I don’t expect it to turn left as I turned left into my drive. When I put my oven on I put the temperature on again. I just don’t see the problem.

Could a pair of straighteners cause you to have a meltdown?

Well hopefully not, but the Rusk RSK732’s have no automatic shut-off – dramatic pause – I can actually hear a stony silence from the readers of this review. Yes, we all now kinda expect straighteners to come with this feature, and even though we are highly unlikely to need it, the fact that it isn’t there does make me feel a little nervous. In fact, it’s one of those things that I will be worrying so much about leaving the straighteners on, that I will accidentally leave them on even though usually I am meticulous about these kind of things. It’s a bizarre fact, but then I do think it is bizarre in this age of technology for a manufacturer to leave this feature out. It annoys me – deeply.

So you will probably now be able to confidently guess what one of the cons of these straighteners is, but here’s the rest too.

PROS – nice looking straighteners with a professional vibe, digital display is a hi-tech winner for me, hair glides through the plates really well

CONS – NO AUTO SHUT-OFF!!!, average straightening results on damaged hair

So do I actually like the Rusk RSK732 Professional Str8 Titanium-Infused Ceramic Flat Iron? Well actually yes – the review probably makes things sound a bit more negative than they were when using the straighteners. But I wouldn’t buy them – sorry, they just weren’t for me.

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Solia Tourmaline Ion Flat Iron Review

“Color by numbers”

Think back to your childhood days – using a pencil to do dot to dot, spending hours on jigsaw puzzles only to find 1 piece missing, making Lego bricks into very random looking houses and of course, the simple but very effective and enjoyable pastime of coloring in. As a child, bright colors go a long way in terms of stimulating the senses, and as there’s no rule that says it can’t be the same when you’re an adult, is it time to ditch the black and silver and go bold and vibrant with the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron?

A tour of the tourmaline

In terms of plates on straightening irons, tourmaline is definitely the new kid on the block. Full of ions that counteract the negative elements of the hair’s structure, the science is proving to be a success in terms of great-looking hair. If like me you like to break the rules, you will love the Solia Tourmaline flat iron. It’s time for tourmaline to have its own fashion makeover as if your choice of the purchase is the black pair of irons, the plate comes in a wondrous electric blue.

Yes, I know it’s all about performance, but I’m loving this attention to detail. And talking of performance, panic not, as the tourmaline plates are a one-pass wonder. Honestly, with one pass, my hair was straight, shiny, and looked full of health. Ta da! This is a really impressive result and I would go so far as to say superior compared to the result I have had with some other straightening irons. Could it be that intelligence and good looks can come in the same package?

A real rollercoaster of heat options

Having variable heat controls that actually deliver significantly different variants is one of the most sought-after features with a straightening iron. Just as thicker hair craves the extreme heat of the mid-400s, thinner hair would run away and hide from anything other than a temperature in the mid-300s or lower. The Solia Tourmaline flat iron has an admirable heat control that gives real options for real hair. This is a straightening iron that wants to please and wants to be everyone’s styling best pal.

On my thick, drier and damaged hair, I felt confident that the higher heat wasn’t going to result in increased damage. This gave me the confidence to style away to my heart’s content.

Handy handling

I like my straighteners to make life easy for me in every way. This means that I like them to be easy to hold as this means it is easy to style. Many straightening irons forfeit ergonomic structure over straightening capability, but I’m a firm believer that the two should go hand in hand. It may be that as I am someone with dexterity issues I take the issue of easy handling a bit too seriously but, whether I’m on a bit of a personal campaign or not, I think that if you can hold your straighteners in a good position, then you should be able to straighten, flick and curl like a salon professional.

The Solia Tourmaline flat iron also has beveled edges. As well as sounding pretty impressive, the idea here is that functionality is improved. Don’t be tempted to see this as a minor feature, as you will certainly see a positive difference if you come to use them yourself. The shape just fits your hand like a glove and the process has obviously had some thought into it and I like that. Thanks Solia!

I can sing a rainbow

Anything that spreads a little happiness in the world is fine by me and when colors are as bright and cheery as these, smiles can’t help but follow. As well as the sort of expected black, although this is styled so well that even that looks amazing, the straightener also comes in pink, purple and red. The colors are not metallic but nicely bold and vivid so manage to get the right balance of contemporary but eye-catching. It’s a real wow from me and I actually would be ecstatically happy with any one of the color choices.

DAS what?

D.A.S, or in other words Dynamic Alignment System, is a new one on me but I absolutely see the logic. The idea is that the plates close together in perfect harmony. This means the hair is kept in the absolute optimum position for styling and your result will be more even and straight. As much as I like my straightening irons to be the proud owners of fancy sounding features, my only issue with this is that surely ALL straightening irons should have plates that close exactly? Does it really need to have fancy sounding words for something that in reality should be standard? I’m not so sure that the Dynamic Alignment System is as impressive as Solia hope it will sound, but this doesn’t detract from the straightener’s solid performance so I’ll move on to the PROs and CONs.

On to the PROs and CONs.

PROS – gorgeous looking straightening irons that come in a selection of colors that combine the contemporary look with class, superior straightening results with impressive variable temperature control, straightening irons that are really comfortable to handle without needing to sell themselves as ergonomic

CONS – Dynamic Alignment System seems less of an impressive feature and more of a standard feature that has been worded to sound better than it is. Is it just a bit of a marketing ploy?

As you can clearly tell from the positives versus the negatives, there is little about the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron to really dislike. I am totally won over by how these look but I do believe that the performance is more than a match for the wow from the bright colors. If you are looking for a straightener that is an all-round winner, then it’s time to consider whether you should have the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron in your life.

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Remington Wet 2 Straight Review

“Wet 2, well…err…kinda straight?”

I’m a suspicious kind of person. Yes, it’s my natural personality but also years of purchasing experience have made me ‘buyer-beware’. I have grown used to marketeering along with all the hype that comes with it. In other words, just because a product says it will do something, I don’t always truly believe that will be the case. So, with this is mind, I admit that I approached reviewing the Remington Wet 2 Straight with a bit of cynical trepidation. Could it really make my hair go from wet to straight? Really, really?

Ooh, I love a vent!

The Remington Wet 2 Straight comes with steam vents. These are not, as the name may suggest, something to help calm when your hair won’t style properly, but the idea is that they are drying the hair whilst the plates do their job of straightening. Think of it like someone drying the dishes while you’re still washing up. In other words, there are two things happening at once here, with the sincere intention of saving you time and making your life just that little bit easier. Unfortunately, however, my experience of such multi-functioning gadgets has not been wholly positive.

I remember the washer-dryer where the washer unit failed and so I couldn’t dry, and the TV/DVD player where, as soon as the DVD got stuck, the TV gave up also. When it comes to my gadgets, I’m a one purpose kind of gal, and the Remington Wet 2 Straight has done nothing to dispel that feeling. Yes, it dried my hair, but the straightened look was left a little frizzy at the end. In fact, I had to get out my go-to straightening iron to rectify the finished look, so saved no time whatsoever. Not impressed. Admittedly, my hair is thick (very thick) with damage and split ends, but I’ve had much better straightening results from even the cheapest of straightening irons.

Not the finest looking apple on the tree

The Remington Wet 2 Straight comes at a cheaper price point than many of its competitors. And it shows in the way it looks. For me, I don’t see that a cheaper cost equates to naff looks, but that is certainly the case here. The Wet 2 Straight logo, in an old-fashioned font, is overly large, and the numerical ‘2’ instead of its written equivalent is a little elementary school for my liking. Since when did abbreviated text talk become the next contemporary thing when it came to electrical gadget design? Grrr.

Dodgy signage aside, the Remington Wet 2 Straight just looks inferior – inferior as the materials that it’s made with look cheap, and inferior as in everything just looks a little small. I can’t put my finger on it – actually I can put my finger on it as opposed to my hand, as they just don’t seem to be as wide or as long as other straighteners I have reviewed. When it comes to comfortable handling of your straightening irons, size matters.

Ceramic…ish

Much is made nowadays of what straightening plates are made of. Are they titanium? Tourmaline-infused? Sugar-coated, frosted with a cherry on top? Or maybe just plain old ceramic? Well actually, plain old ceramic is known to give a smooth glide, adding health and shine. But as the plates of the Remington Wet 2 Straight are only ceramic-coated (so only ceramic ish), then it means that the results are only ish too. So the hair goes through the plates ish, the final result looks straight ish, and the hair looks shiny ish. But I’m a vain old goat, and always want maximum value for my hard-earned dollar. So ish simply isn’t good enough. Why did Remington not just go the whole ceramic hog? I understand that companies work to tight budgets, but customer perception of a product takes precedence.

Aha! A plus point.

Thank goodness for the auto shut-off feature! Not all is lost. The auto shut-off feature is one of those things that people don’t think they need, and may well never use, but if it isn’t there, it just makes you feel a little nervous. What if I forget to turn my straighteners off? Will I fry the dog? Will my straighteners embed into the wooden flooring? A bit like that annoying little sister that keeps borrowing your clothes, but who if she left home you’d be lost without. I believe that every set of straightening irons in the world should have an auto shut-off feature. The fact that the Remington Wet 2 Straight comes with this has made me feel that not all is lost when it comes to this brand, but with the pros and cons list looming, I still feel that these straightening irons would have to do a lot of work to leave me even slightly impressed.

PROs – the wet to straight feature would be an excellent idea if only it produced wearable results; auto shut-off feature

CONs – a cheaper-looking model with results that match; drying and straightening at the same time just didn’t work on my thick, frizzy hair; cheaper price point equates to poorer performance.

At the end of this review, I admit to feeling a little heavy-hearted. I am sure that if I bought a pair of Remington straightening irons and a Remington hairdryer, I would get better results. So I am left wondering why bother trying to bring the two together if it doesn’t work well enough. I can understand it’s a time saver on paper, but sadly the reality is very different indeed. In fact, it probably ended up taking me an extra 20 minutes by having to get my preferred brand of straighteners back out to go over the results the Remington had left me with.

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Remington S5500 Digital Hair Straightener Review

“Do I like these enough to buy the company?”

 

For those of you old enough to remember, Remington became quite famous in the 1970’s 1980’s for his men’s shavers that contained the quote “I liked it so much, I bought the company.” But as well as me using it as a witty way of starting this review, the point I’m also trying to make is that Remington were known then as a premium brand synonymous with quality goods – can we say the same for the Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener?

Purple Rain

It’s not often that I feel I need to start a review by mentioning the color but I am doing so here as it’s probably my favorite thing about these straightening irons. The purple is definitely ‘bang on trend’ and not tacky or forced. In fact it is almost somewhat understated and that makes it look kinda classy. As my teen daughter is always saying, “that looks so Tumblr”, and if you leave these out to cool, they look almost ornamental. I normally prefer the black, salon professional look so my love for these purple beauties has taken me back a bit, but it is definitely love – well done Remington. But now to performance …

MMM bop

Well it’s ‘MMM bop’ but without the ‘Ba Duba Dop’ for me. There’s a UK saying that goes “all fur coat and no knickers” and the Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener reminds me of that. The straighteners look all fantastic, but underneath that showy purple exterior a just a bit lack lustre. Sure they have all the features that a lot of the more expensive straightening irons have, like floating plates, but it’s less float and more, well, nothing actually. Of course these irons straighten as when you add high heat to hair and capture between two plates that is pretty much inevitable, but the results are not salon standard at all. But in the Remington’s defence, neither is the price tag which is almost like buying a couple of rolls of candy, so you can’t expect it to be amazing surely?

Long and slow wins the race

In order to get good enough results, I found that it was better to go really slow with your passes. The ceramic plates are fairly long and I sort of thought that by giving the heat enough time to work its straightening magic, it would counteract the Remington’s relatively weak performance. So if you’re on a budget, these straighteners can definitely do the job they are designed for, but allow yourself a lot longer to style your hair, and I do mean like double the usual time.

I’m going digital, di-digital, just watch me

Well if Justin Bieber can sing about digital, I can very definitely write about. Again, my apologies for my personality being a bit shallow when it comes to things like me liking the color purple for my straighteners, but in a similar vein, I love a digital display. I am totally aware that they do not have a direct impact on performance, other than if they are wholly accurate they will give you an excellent indicator of the temperature of the plates but I love them anyway. But assuming they are accurate, the advantage of a digital display is actually helps with a few things. Firstly, it means you can adjust the temperature depending on what your hair type is which minimizes damage.

Thinner hair is likely to need lower temperature and thicker a higher temperature. And it also helps with versatility, especially if you change your look from straight to curls and vice versa. When you find a temperature that works for you, simply file it into your memory bank then you know exactly what to aim for with the digital display next time which makes life just that little bit easier. And the digital display means that you get to your preferred heat quicker without having to ‘guess’ where you’re at. So it’s actually a useful as well as nifty bit of kit.

It all hinges on the hinge

Sometimes the smallest of details that would usually pass you by as being insignificant can make a big difference. Such is the Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener’s hinge lock. Being able to keep your straighteners, well, straight, is a huge bonus to me, especially for storing and when on the move. The hinge lock keeps them compact when not in use and that’s a feature I truly love.

Shut-off a your face Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener

What’s a matter you, hey? Gotta no respect? Well maybe you’ll respect the Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straightener’s a whole lot more when you find out that they have an auto-shut off feature. Whether you are prone to extreme or even minimal forgetfulness, this feature is always reassuring to have. These straighteners will shut off after an hour, so assuming you trust the technology, your house won’t burn down. Well not from the straighteners anyway…

So with a mixed bag of my opinions here, just what do I think are the major PROS and CONS?

PROS – love the contemporary purple color that is a touch of class as well as youthful vibrance, the digital display is a really useful addition and helps with your styling regime, the hinge lock rocks!

CONS – The Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straighteners are just not the best on performance, they take time to get a good result and not many of us have that on our hands

So in conclusion, I would sum the Remington S5500 Digital Anti-Static Ceramic Hair Straighteners up as saying they are a budget performance at a budget price, but for some that is enough. It’s just that as my hair as fairly thick, these are not really straighteners that are up to that job. If your hair is fine, then they may well be.

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Onei MK-I Halo Flat Iron Review

“Carnival time if you are a ‘Brazilian’”

The Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron is different than the majority of other straightening iron reviews I have done as it is actually states that it is for use on hair that has had the Brazilian Keratin treatment done on it. Now for those of you who are not regular salon goers or are simply not aware, the Brazilian Keratin treatment is a bit like a perm in reverse – in other words it makes hair straight for a period of around 3 months.

Unlike other treatments that rely on chemicals to change the hair’s structure, The ‘Brazilian Blowout’ uses keratin to restore the hair to a state of health, shine and vitality which naturally looks straighter. Easy to manage and with frizz minimized, hair is soft, frizz-free, manageable and just like you’ve stepped out of the salon.

So with this fantastic treatment seemingly answering everyone’s straightening prayers, why should we need the Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron too?

The heat is on

Straighteners that heat up quick are a big plus for me – I’m a bit manic in my life, and work to the ethos that if you are awake and breathing, then use that time effectively. There is a whole psychological back-drop to why I am the way I am and I won’t waste the review space boring you with it, but suffice to say that I don’t want to waste any amount of time waiting for my straightening irons to heat up – it’s irritating at least, and while I’m tapping my fingers on the dressing table waiting for the straightener heat to crank up, I could have emptied the dishwasher.

The Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron gets rid of the problem for me and nowadays I think this kind of heating up time should be a standard feature. It is that important.

How low can you go?

Much is made of high heat when it comes to straighteners but not so much about low heat. If your hair is fine or prone to snapping, low heat can be a real bonus. The Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron goes as low as 140 degrees and this may well be how it earns its reputation as being a good straightener for the Brazilian treatment.

I’m no hair expert (just someone who wants my hair to look as if it’s been styled daily by an expert) but I’m thinking that a hair treatment that restores health, shine and vitality does not then want to be dried out by high heat, as well as hair that has had a straightening effect treatment would not need as much heat to get a good effect as you would on curly hair – simple. But any way you look at it, low heat is a much appreciated extra, although no good for my frizzy, thick mop.

As pretty as a picture

As I keep saying, and I’m sorry if I get boring, I like my straighteners to look nice. My reasoning behind this is as you need to leave your straightening irons out after use to cool, they do end up being ‘part of the furniture’ and adding to the décor. So as such, it is great if they look as if they are part of your bedroom ‘vibe’.

The Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron comes in a white-silver that manages to maintain the professional look despite not being matte black, although it hedges its bets a bit by having some black on the top too, but this is for grip and to prevent burning hands. I really love the different look as Onei haven’t decided to go all bling and choose metallic pink or purple to make them stand out.

Digitise your life

What also adds to the look is the side digital display although, of course, this is far more than a pretty addition. The heat controls being near it make it really easy to adjust as you are styling. This is reassuring as if I feel things are getting a little heated I want action to be taken straight away, not a few seconds later when my hair has been frazzled. I feel it is important to also say that the controls were easy for me to use. I have dexterity issues so this was a much appreciated design feature and made me fall in love with the Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron just that little bit more.

Last but totally not least

So I’ve gone on about a few nifty features but what about the actual results? I’ve considered having a Brazilian blowout but haven’t due to the ongoing cost and actually more so, finding the time. So I am looking at the Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron as an ongoing straightener just as any other. Firstly, the plates went through my hair very smoothly. This is a plus point by itself, but actually the results made me smile too. I actually got great looking hair at 400 degrees where as I normally need 450. For me this is a positive as I am getting superior results without being at the maximum temperature so in theory I still have a bit of heat leeway. However, this could also suggest that the straighteners heat is a bit higher than the display suggests so it’s a bit of a ‘styler beware’ warning too.

So to PROS and CONS

PROS – The low heat may not work on my thick hair but for others it is great to at last have an option that minimizes hair damage, very quick heat up time and I love the heat control position on the straightening irons, nice looking stylers that don’t go down the usual matte black or metallic bling route.
CONS – the heat seems to be a little high for the stated temperature, these are an expensive straightening iron
Looking at cost as a con, I actually do feel they are worth the higher than average price tag, but looking around the internet, and currently it is easy to get these at a much discounted cost. This makes them extremely brilliant value for money!

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Karmin G3 Salon Professional Review

“Karma, Karma, Karma Karmin”

 

Of we all love a good 1980’s classic, almost as much as we love a good play on words, so if the song lyrics of Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’ are true, do the Karmin G3 Salon Professional straighteners ‘Come and Go’? Are they like a chameleon by changing temperature all the time and creating inconsistent heat spots? And is it true to say that ‘ev’ry day is like survival’ or are these straightening irons simply a styling gadget that you can’t live without.

Well let’s crack on and see…

What a passion for fashion

Straighteners that look good, perform better – well actually of course not, but there is a mind-boggling kind of thinking that we assume items will perform better if they look good.

Well lucky for the Karmin it’s a darn fine looking thang, with all that black and textured detailing. If I didn’t know better, I would say that this set of straighteners had been designed to look like one Karmin’s competitors who are famous for their amazing results. But that’s just me being a cynic (even though they do REALLY look like this brand of straightener from a distance). However, moving on from that, the Karmin G3 looks like a quality item with a sleek, classy facade and as it is touted as a salon professional piece of kit, it also looks the part. I’m happy. In fact I’m even tempted to put the box on display.

Send your hair to the dry cleaners

Well of course not literally, but you know when you send your favorite clothing to the dry cleaning store and it comes back looking even better than when it was new? Well this is what it was like for me when I took my hair to the Karmin G3 store, speaking metaphorically of course! My hair has been damaged from years of applying hair dye (I started coloring when I was 13), taking some serious medication and an admittedly poor diet (I’m a painfully fussy eater). Add to this the fact that it’s thick and straight, and even my preferred pair of ‘go-to’ straighteners can’t make my hair look amazing. So I was actually surprised at the results I got here. Karmin sell these straighteners as salon professional and they live up to the hype. Search other reviews and it’s a similar story, so surely we can’t all be wrong?

Hooray, Hooray, it’s a holi-, holiday

I’m no international jet setter, but I work hard and do like that iconic annual vacation. I’ve tried taking travel straighteners that, apart from taking about 30 minutes of hard work to get a result that means that you don’t need to wear a bag on your head, are a bit like playing Barbie in my 40’s. And I’ve horror of horrors, even tried to go without – that was the holiday where my hair was tied up in a ponytail EVERY day and EVERY night.

But I’ll tell you what I want (what I really, really want) is to be able to take my own, fully-functioning and all singing and dancing straighteners with me. Simple. That’s all I ask. And I don’t think it’s a big ask to look and feel nice when you’re on vacation. So the fact that the Karmin G3 has a dual voltage setting means more to me than some other features. And the other advantage of this that isn’t often mentioned is that straightener’s costs can vary the world over.

For example, buy the Karmin G3 in the UK and you’re it’s highly probable that you’ll pay a comparative fortune than you would in the U.S. Of course if you live in the US, this is great, but what if you want to treat your best friend since birth a pair and they don’t live in the U.S.? Yes, I know it’s not an everyday situation that we will all appreciate, but actually what it says to me also is that Karmin are a company that cares enough to want to keep their customers happy, wherever they are, and that to me also means they will want everything about the straightener to be bang on.

Locomotor Mortis!

Now let’s get down to the magic behind these great results. ‘Locomotor Mortis’ in the world of Harry Potter actually is a totally irrelevant to this article curse that locks the legs of your opponent, but the Karmin G3’s magic comes courtesy of firstly, the fact that they have tourmaline covered plates which balance out the negative and positive ions present in the hair, restoring it to a neutral state which allows it to be healthy naturally. And the micro-porous technology and infrared heat means that the hair retains its moisture and looks shiny, glossy, full of vitality, and all because it actually is.

With straighteners having a reputation for drying the hair out and creating heat damage, it seems like technological advances are reversing that school of thought well and truly. So in Harry Potter terms, the straighteners ‘Impervius!’ – they repel water and encourage moisture to stay in the hair where it belongs. ‘Repairo!’ will help to repair any former damage that’s been done to the hair. And last but not least, ‘Rictumsempra!’ – ahh, maybe not that one – it means to tickle the opponent…

So is the Karmin G3 worth the premium price point?

PROS – does what it says on the tin by creating a professional salon finish with relative ease, nice looking piece of kit that looks like a serious piece of kit with even the packaging having a superior look, helps to keep the hair in good condition without the drying out that is often associated with straightening.

CONS – There’s been a few reports of intermittent power issues with the model (this is an issue with many straightener brands), be aware that Karmin’s claims of the product causing no damage to the hair is maybe a bit too bold as all styling products can cause some damage even if it is minimal

But weighing everything up, the Karmin G3 has messed with my mind, as I’m now thinking these may be better than my favorite brand…decisions, decisions…

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GHD Platinum Styler Review

“The platinum standard”

We all know the marketing hype now – anything labeled gold is THE BEST, nothing can be better! But then something better does come along. No need to panic, as there’s still platinum! Yes, luckily for products everywhere, platinum is now hugely popular in the jewelery world, and offers a step above the former ultimate goal, gold.

So if the GHD gold stylers were ACE, are the platinum ones that much better again?

Lengthy process

There was a time when an 8ft cord on a straightener was almost unthinkable. Surely it was too long? Others thought all their straightening dreams had come true, and when it comes to use in a professional salon, 8ft was a huge advantage as you could straighten, flick and curl AND get round the client’s head and chair at the same time – WOOHOO!

So hold your breath – the GHD Platinum styler comes with a mahoosive 9ft cord! And it swivels! This makes styling so much easier and you feel a master of styling control, even as an amateur. I doubt cords could get longer than this without becoming a major trip hazard or strangulation risk, but 9ft feels like perfection so straightening companies take note – forget cord length envy and stop at 9ft.

Make a wish

Now as a child, getting the wishbone out of a cooked chicken was a moment of great excitement – if I got the best bit of the bone would I be rich, marry a prince, be famous? Of course, if straighteners had been invented way back then, I would have wished for GHDs with a wishbone hinge. The difference this one seemingly innocent improvement makes feels huge – plates feel and are perfectly aligned and the hair just never snags. This means perfect results at the first time of asking and definitely feels like a GHD upgrade. Even when curling, there’s no slipping these straighteners so you get the curl or wave you want with seemingly little effort.

The GHD lullaby

‘Go to sleep, my little straighteners, go to sleep my beautiful straighteners….’. No, I haven’t lost the plot – yet – but the lullaby use is all to demonstrate the GHD platinum’s sleep mode. So if the straighteners aren’t used for a while, they have a little snooze, but then are ready to spring back into immediate action when lifted again. And if you have a total brain block and leave the room or house with no intention of an imminent return, they also have an auto shut off facility after 30 minutes. Unlike some other straightening units that promise similar, GHD’s superlative reputation means that I absolutely 110% trust the technology.

1, 2, 3 – easy as a,b,c

OK, well for the Jackson 5 it was the alphabet first, but the snappy sub heading is actually all about the tri-zone technology. Yes it sounds super jazzy and as a marketing ploy will have committed GHD fans along with potential converts drooling, but of course words are just words if they subsequently don’t deliver. What it actually refers to is the 3 sensors in each plate that ensure an optimum styling temperature without damaging the hair. The idea in essence is that instead of just preventing style and heat damage to the hair, the technology actually actively protects the hair and helps improve its condition. Adding shine, minimising frizz and flyaway means you get salon look hair and I was definitely impressed. My hair can look a little dull and damaged but the GHD platinum improved its look for sure.

Too hot to handle?

To get great results, straightening irons need to be hot. There’s no way getting round that fact – it has to be. With so many tales of woe, burnt hands, heads, arms, carpets etc, anything that minimises the potential for injury as far from being a gimmick.

Firstly, the GHD Platinum Styler has a plate guard that means if it’s placed on a surface when on, the surface is protected. Phew!

We’ve already mentioned the sleep mode and auto switch off but there’s also the cool, aerogel insulation on the outer body that means handling is comfy without fear of burn. This helps you feel confident when holding and styling and so produces better results.

Beauty but not the Beast

GHD are an iconic brand and are easily recognizable. Each new version that comes out uses the same design looks but with a minimal twist so that it is both recognizable but different, if that makes sense!

The GHD Platinum Styler oozes quality and sophistication and shows other people who see your choice that you are not willing to compromise on superior styling results. These truly look like a professional piece of kit and that undoubtedly adds to the GHDs appeal.
Again, I have reviewed GHDs and find myself struggling to find negatives. Will any appear in my PROS and CONS list?
PROS – 9 foot swivel cord is a real advantage and feels like styling freedom, wishbone hinge is ingenious and effective, overall look is a real touch of class
CONS – literally NONE!
Yes, there you have it, I actually cannot think of any single negative. Can these be improved upon? At the moment, no, but I am absolutely aware that some new technology will hit the market and knock us sideways as that’s what technological advancements are designed to do.

But until that day, these are A-MAZING.Simple.

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HSI Professional Tourmaline Flat Iron Review

“Everything’s fine and dandy”

 

Straighteners and their reviews have a definite tendency to love thick and coarse hair – it’s a reviewer’s dream. Will the plates be big enough? Will it straighten in one go? Will that thick mass be transformed into poker straight hair? But what about those with thinner hair? Does everyone just assume their hair will straighten easily or just naturally be straight as a result of it being thin?

Slim Jim

Thinned hair people of the hair unite and shout ‘hoorah’! Here at last is a straightener that doesn’t just like thin hair, it LOVES it! Why? Well, it just kinda does – thin hair can get a bit ‘lost’ in straightening plates with a tendency to get caught or end up with a defined angular kink, but the HSI makes the job a breeze. It holds the hair so the heat can do its business, for want of a better expression, so the result is amazingly straight hair.

But as good as the HSI is for straight hair, it’s not such a superstar for the opposite. Yes, thick, coarse hair is straight…but not STRAIGHT. Well I suppose you can’t have everything in life.

Switch on, heat, WOW!

The gold standard that all straighteners seemingly try to achieve is instant heat. And when we mean instant, we are talking switch on and KAPPOW – Bang, bosh, ready to go! Many brands of straightener try to achieve this, yet many fail, and I’m even talking on the major big player brands too. The HSI heats in record time – it does – blink, look at your phone, shout the boyfriend, whatever you can do in a few seconds and by the time you’ve done it, the straighteners are hot, hot, hot. This is great news within the home environment, but also a real bonus for the professional hair stylist for whom time is money.

Ergonomically fab

Ergonomic is a word much banded about in marketing to a whole mixed bag of products. But here ergonomic is very important, as it means that using the straighteners is more comfortable. I don’t want to make it seem like using straighteners is a very hard job, but let’s be honest, it can be a little tricky as you are having to reach in order to get to the back of your head. We’ve all struggled to get the same results all over the hair as well as seen people who have obviously ‘missed a bit’. So the HSI’s ergonomic design IS important and IS appreciated. I am someone who does have dexterity issues so I know when a straightener is easier to use, and this one is. I especially love the texture on the straightener body that not only looks absolutely stunning in design, but also gives the hand grip when holding the irons. This gave me added confidence to really use the straighteners in a more rough and tumble way than I have with others and I even managed to flick and curl like a pro and that has not happened before. This was a huge plus point.

Temperature’s Rising

The HIS comes with adjustable temperature dial so you can control how hot you want things to get. I’m not always convinced of these things and they always make me think they are more of a marketing tactic than an actual advantage to the straightening process, but then my hair is thick so I always like things as hot as hot can be. The dial is a little flimsy and I was worried I would knock it in use as has happened with other straighteners but in all fairness to the HSI I actually didn’t.

And on the point of temperature, I feel I should mention that some users have reported inconsistent temperature on the plates (the ‘hot-spots’). This can cause a problem with inconsistent styling results and the fact styling takes longer as you have to go back over certain areas.

We all love a freebie

Now I’m a total sucker for something for nothing. In fact, a bit of a marketers dream as it can sway my ultimate purchasing decision. Mine came with a travel bag, heat glove and trial size of Argan Oil so all in all a really useful and relevant set of items to include. I’ve always thought a heat glove was pointless but in the interests of review fairness actually I used it and whether it helped protect my hand or not, what it did do is give me the confidence to use the straightener in a more ‘hard-core’ manner with no worries that I would singe my skin. It’s amazing how you can suddenly need something that you are convinced that you didn’t!

Of course the travel bag is a real bonus and the Argan Oil is ideal for straightening hair so thanks HSI.

Time for the PROS and CONS list.

PROS – Hoorah! At last a straightener that is the bees-knees for thinner hair, great little set of extra items that you will use and appreciate, ergonomic design is a real bonus as well as looking amazing

CONS – BOO! These straighteners are not as dynamic on thick, coarse hair, there is no auto shut-off facility, inconsistent heat has been reported on the plates

Weighing things up, the positives are so good that the negatives are worth putting to one side and if your hair is a bit on the thin side, give these a go!

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Hot Tools Pink Titanium Digital Salon Review

“Hot Pink Straighteners to make you blush”

What is it about buying a pair of straighteners that makes it such a mammoth task? The search to find the holy grail of straightening perfection is seemingly one that is set to last for ever…..or is it?

“You shoot me down but I won’t fall – I am Titanium”

So Sia and David Guetta got themselves a huge hit record along with the royalties that go with it, but is Titanium such a hit when it comes to straightening plates? Glide was pretty even and there was no snagging or tell-tale flyaway due to inconsistent heat patches, so on this point alone the PINKTITANIUM is a winner. My hair can show split ends and ‘flare-out’ even after straightening, but with these my hair still had the desired straightened look at the end of the day. Shine was also enhanced, again quite an achievement as my hair can dry out and start to resemble a hay bale.

“I got the right temperature to shelter you from the storm”

Sean Paul thought he had the temperature right, but has the PINKTITANIUM got it licked? With heat settings going up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, these straighteners have a fair bit of power behind them, but where they perhaps have the advantage over others is that the digital display allows you to see exactly what temperature you’re at. But as great as this is, it’s fair to say it is hard to actually trust what it says. Yes, I’m a little paranoid, but it does seem like a bit of a gimmick to give it the edge over competing irons. In reality, a switch that says low, medium and high will give you the same straightening results. But if I’m to be honest I was sucked right in and loved being able to not only read the temperature in all its LED glory, but also to be able to adjust it. It felt like I was in control of my hair straightening destiny, and it’s a feeling I kinda liked. Be aware that whilst you can lock the temperature in place (I know – amazing!), it is also easy to accidentally knock it off. You have been warned!

“Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH! (Daylight come and he wan’ go home)”

The ‘Banana Boat Song’ may be very traditional, but the length of that cord is definitely of the moment, with the current trend being for longer cords that give you the flexibility to get to all those awkward head spaces with ease, as well as having an appeal to professional hair stylists who need to maneuver around a styling chair. Unlike some other competing straighteners with lengthy cords, this one didn’t get itself in a tangle and this was a real bonus.

“You are beautiful, no matter what they say, Words can’t bring you down”

I agree with Christina Aguilera’s sentiments I really do, but I’m struggling. This is a bit of a contentious issue if, like me, you like your possessions to have a classy look, but these just aren’t doing it for me looks wise. The metallic pink strip, button and branding are great if you’re Barbie, but not everyone born of the feminine gender loves pink. Furthermore, as far as I’m aware, straightening irons can be used by men also. But then that’s just my personal opinion. And I have to say it, that ‘HOT’ button branding is just ‘NOT HOT’ for my taste. It’s just a little tacky and cheap but don’t let this deter you from buying a straightener that really works!

“Whoah, the girl I love, she got long black wavy hair, I do declare!”

Led Zeppelin talked about the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as well as the lyrics above, and when it comes to curls and waves, the PINKTITANIUM is a real performer. The rounded edges to the plates mean that it has the flick licked, whether you like it flicked under, or flicked out. Many straighteners struggle to perfect poker straight straightening, wavy waves and curly curls, but not this pair of straightening irons. This is one of the most overwhelming positives of the PINKTITANIUM and if you are looking for versatility when it comes to different hair styling options, then you may well have arrived at the end point of your search.

“Oh it’s a Safety Dance, Well it’s a Safety Dance”

Very reassuring is the fact that it has an auto shut-off feature…after 10 hours…

So the dog has heat exhaustion, your bedroom wallpaper is blackened and there’s a charcoaled outline of the straighteners in your carpet…then they turn off. Really? It seems like a misprint, but in the spirit of turning a negative into a positive, I assume that such a claim could only be made if the manufacturer was mega confident that their product would NEVER overheat. That makes these straighteners mega safe – sorted!

So to summarize, here’s the main PROs and main CONS.

PROS: Versatile as good at straightening and curling, impressive cord, Titanium plates rock

CONS: Record-breaking auto-shut off time of 10 hours, cheaper looking, temperature controls easily knocked.
So would these straighteners make you blush with pride or out of shame? Well on balance they’re good – very good. I have a real issue with the look but the world would be a sad place if we all liked the same thing so as performance is really where it’s at, these are definitely a pair of straighteners that are worth purchasing.

 

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Bio Ionic Onepass Review

“The OnePass passes the test first time!”

Oh what joy when you get a straightener that doesn’t just have a name that makes it ideal for review puns, but also seems to deliver on all the extravagant promises made in the marketing blurb.
Acclaimed as the straightener of the future, or at the very least the straightener of the present, will the OnePass pass the testing process?

Blinded by science

Now I’m all for long, interesting sounding words that make a product sound exciting, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, actually all that matters is that the darn thing does what it says it will. So whilst ‘Nanolonic Mineral Cushion plates’ and ‘Silicone Speed Strips’ sound amazing, do they actually make a huge difference to the way your hair looks?

The Nanolonic Mineral Cushion Plates deliver what a lot of other straightening irons do nowadays – they balance the negative and positive ions in the hair make-up out, so encouraging the hair to do exactly what nature intended it to. The resultant optimum state means that hair is naturally moist, less frizzy and more healthy-looking, and that’s before the straightening irons actually do what they are employed to do. So add to this an enviable sleekness, sheen and shine, and it is clear to see why these straightening irons are attracting such positive reviews.

The Silicone Speed Strips take alliteration to a whole new level and apart from being marketing genius, are designed to cut the straightening process in half – yes, in half. I pretty much agree, although it is hard to make it a concrete fact as we all do things different, want differing results, have different textures and thicknesses of hair etc. But I see the point.

 

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Turn up the heat

And staying with the theme of speed, the OnePass has a hugely impressive 5 second heat up. No more switching it on and taking a quick trip to the bathroom, this bad boy has no time to hang around – it has a job to do! Again, I pretty much agree that the heat is instant, but personally, I still think optimum results come from patience, but maybe I’m just stuck in my ways.

There is also a temperature control lock. This may sound like something you would never, ever use, but many straighteners designs mean that the temperature can be easily knocked, meaning zero to frazzled hair in the blink of an eye – not good.

Hallelujah!

Hold your breath, it’s coming…..YES, here is a straightener that can almost, and I mean almost, straighten up to the roots without frying your skull. This is due to cleverly designed rounded end plates. I don’t think straighteners will ever get right up to the top due to the possibility of a costly trip to the emergency room, but we are nearly there!

A skipping rope of a cord

Whilst the trend in straightener reviews is to bemoan the longer length cord due to its twistability, tangledom and whip marks to the arms, actually this cord minimises all of those annoyances yet is longer. It may sound a bit like a riddle, but it is actually fact. A whole 9ft of cord means you can straighten your hair AND dance the Lambada at the same time, or better still, have the ability to see the back of your hair in a mirror without fear of strangulation. Result! By the way, please don’t be tempted to use your straighteners cord as a skipping rope….seriously don’t!

Here’s looking at you, blue

I’m a firm believer in investing in items that as well as performing brilliantly, look the part also. The Bio Ionic OnePass Irons look every piece worthy of their higher than average price tag, with a sleekness of design combined with an entrancing blue set of plates. The look is definitely quality, and the feel is as heavy as you would expect. If I had to go to a negative, the weight may feel too heavy for some, especially those with dexterity issues, and despite the weight, there have been reports of the straighteners being dropped and cracking, indicating that the exterior maybe looks better than it is in reality.

One-stop shop

Intentionally last and certainly not least is the claim that ‘one-pass’ is all it takes for superior straightening results. I like the claim. I do. I really do. But. The trouble with claims is that one size doesn’t fit all. In other words, you may not be an expert hair styler, your hair may have curls and ridges or layers, and so you may buy these and be disappointed if what it says then doesn’t happen for you. Very definitely, they glide smoothly through, impressively so, and the first time results were deeply gratifying, but just be aware that companies make statements in order to sell, and that doesn’t make the claims fact.
It seems like there’s a whole lot of positives here and relatively few negatives, so let me summarize what are the main pros and cons in my opinion.
PROS – love the contemporary, quality look of these straighteners’

The longer cord is a useful feature and not a nuisance

The plates get as close as is safe to the roots
CONS – The hype is maybe hard to live up to.

It is hard to get best results first time as it says
And actually that is it – I am struggling to find another negative.

I’m not saying that the Bio Ionic OnePass Iron is the best set of straighteners ever, but they are pretty darn close at this time.

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