I am hearing that it is best to spend a bit of $ on one as it really does make a difference.
I have never used one before and started my research in the past few days. I would love to hear some real life opinions and experiences with these.
Right now I’m wavering between a Sedu and a Solia brand. The cost is between $60-$75.
I have one that was originally $50, marked down 75% at Trade Secrets. I like it, but I use it infrequently. I’m lazy. It’s a Hot Tools ceramic- not the best, but fine for my level of use. I think I’ll use it today.
It makes my hair very soft and smooth- really pretty. Since my hair is wavy, I like the extreme straight look I get from it. It’s really fun; it totally changes my look. If you’re into look-changing I highly recommend getting one.
I have a cheap one that works fine - I bet I spent less than $20 on it at Target (because I’d never spend more than that on a hair iron!). To me, working is more a matter of hair prep - mine works great if I’ve put product on it first (an oily sort of defrizzer and something to keep the hold - like a little hairspray) and when my hair is properly conditioned. However, I am lucky enough to have good hair.
I have a cheap-ass one from the local wig shop and it works fine. I agree with Dangerosa - use good products on your hair and you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, I do think it is worth getting a quality flat iron if you can afford it. Mine is awkward and I can’t do much else with it other than simply straighten my hair (some of the better ones are slimmer and have rounded edges so you can use them to curl your hair as well).
Make sure you don’t get one that has metal plates, as those damage the hair more. Most of my friends who straighten their hair use ones with ceramic plates; one has one with ‘jade’ plates (I don’t know if they’re actually stone) with which she’s happy.
I’ve got this one. It works great; I use it almost every day. (Flat irons do damage hair pretty quickly, though, so I wouldn’t use it too often if you are concerned about maintaining healthy hair.)
I think whether paying up for a high-end flat iron is “worth it” depends on the type of hair you have. If yours is just kind of wavy and not prone to frizz, a $20 drugstore straightener will probably work just fine. But if, on the other hand, you have extremely curly, frizzy hair like I do, the cheap straighteners won’t do much for you. Also, like GilaB said, avoid the ones with metal plates–they’re terrible for your hair.
I had a Conair one that was fine … or so I thought until I went to get my hair trimmed at a place that does dry cuts, and so they flat-iron it before cutting. I was blown away by the amazingness of how well their iron worked. I asked if they were for sale and they said they were, for about $180. Well I decided to go check out what was available at Sally’s Beauty Supply first and discovered they have a very large selection of salon-quality flat irons and I could see by the boxes that they got a lot hotter than my Conair did. I ended up buying a Jilbère de Paris brand iron for about $50. It has titanium plates and gets much hotter than my old one did. For me, having very long very thick hair, it’s exactly what I needed. It only takes a pass or three to do what took the Conair many passes. I tried my old one out again recently and was stunned at how positively crappy it was. What a piece of junk compared to the Jilbère. I almost bought that Chi up above but thought well maybe this one [the one I did buy] would be good enough and it’s $30 cheaper, and Sally’s gives you 90 days to return. So I tried it, figuring I could return it if it sucked, but I’ve recommended it to lots of people now.
I don’t use it every day but when I do, my hair stays straight and smooth for 2-4 days.
Thanks all for the replies… Most of you have confirmed what I knew and I think I’ll spend about $70 now. Amygdala I like that site, I had been browsing there for a while and narrowed my choices down already.
Those are great replies! I flat-iron my hair most days, but use good quality product beforehand every single time. You’ll be spending some $$, but Pureology has a great smoothing system, including a clear cream I put on before I dry my hair, and a spray I apply before I flatiron. It’s saved my hair - literally. Plus, it’ll make your hair even softer & shinier. Like I said, the cost is more than the norm, but the product lasts forever too.
Everyone has their product preferences. For me personally, if I’m going to spend anywhere from $130-$180 on my hair every 7 weeks, I’m not going to use a $3 product on it. As they say; you get what you pay for. If one doesn’t have to spend that much money at the salon, congrats!
ditto on making the high-quality expenditure. i have extremely difficult and thick and wavy/frizzy hair which tends toward dryness. i was using a conair too, at which my hairdresser snorted at as she worked her big-bucks iron through my Hair From Hell telling me not to waste my time on it.
turns out she was quite right. while i did spend a small fortune on a salon-quality flatiron, i’ve found it to be more than worth the bucks spent.
just for grins, i tried the conair a few weeks ago: worthless! the non-commercial ones simply can’t approach the heat level that my hair requires in order to be straightened. what used to take two hours now takes maybe 40 minutes at most with my shoulder-length style.
i also use liberal doses of john frieda’s hair serum on damp hair before drying it, which keeps the 'do in good shape. i generally use the iron between three and four times a week, depending.
i also should add that i don’t wash my hair with shampoo very often since it is so dry - especially since i no longer smoke. what a godsend it is in more ways than one!
i usually just wet down the hair and sudse up with some high-quality conditioner, or - even better - soak my hair in a nifty product called Cholesterol (which you can get at wal-mart or any beauty supply house) then slap a plastic bag over it while i’m in the tub soaking. the combination of heat and and time go a long way to keeping my hair hydrated and in good shape. best of all, it rinses out way better than the old mayonaise gig!!
i’ve had the iron a year now without any hair problems at all.
No one HAS to spend that much money at a salon. No one has ever died because they didn’t managed to get their hair professional foiled. You are choosing to spend it there, and spend additional money on expensive products to keep it up. Which is fine. By doing so you are making the decision not to spend somewhere else - and you are saying you can afford to do it. If you are going to spend upwards of $1200 on hair, that’s $1200 a girl like Diosa doesn’t have to spend on Coach purses, or a girl like me doesn’t have to set aside to pay for expensive private colleges for my kids or cases of really expensive wine. Even Melinda Gates has to choose between donating even more money to inoculate third world children or buy expensive shoes.
When I make decisions like this - I see if I can’t get similar results with the $3 version before the $60 version. Flat irons I get perfectly acceptable results with a cheap flat iron - but I’m lucky with hair - I have a little wave to get rid of on pretty healthy hair. Mascara, I go for the Lancome counter. Sometimes, it surprises me - Clinque moisturizer at $50 a bottle does nothing for me - might as well splash a little water on my face. Olay products from Walgreens work great for me. But I spend $60 to buy a facial mask I use every few weeks because I think the effect is that much better than anything else I’ve tried.
I’m not even hating on your choices about hair care, but you were a bit overly snarky. Whatever though.
Personally, everyone raves about how great my hair looks AND tells me I spend far too much money on it. Every 7-8 weeks I get my hair cut and colored, which usually comes out to $80. I only use great conditioner, Shampoo, and products (I’ve been really into the Big Sexy Hair brand lately- like $10-$15 a bottle). My favorite thing ever would be Biosilk, which isn’t exactly a cheap product, either.
That said, I have bought expensive thermal protectant before and there is ABSOLUTELY NO difference between the $30 stuff and the $3 stuff at Sally’s (Sally’s has what they call the “Generic” brand- it’s just in white bottles and let me tell you, that stuff is EXACTLY like its more expensive, name brand counter parts). My hair is incredibly shiny, thick, healthy, and as almost no breakage. I get compliments every day on my hair, which is amazing because I tease, flat iron, curl, and blow it out almost every single day. I take good care of my hair and to do so you don’t have to spend a bunch of money on some package deal.
Can I ask what brand you are using? Because even if it is Chi’s line, it isn’t THAT expensive.
I’ll agree that there are things you really shouldn’t scrimp on: flat irons, conditioner (though I think it’s generally ok to use a cheapie one like Panteen every day if you deep condition once a week with something a bit more substantial), and hair silk (I think the cheap stuff like Frizz Ease is way heavier than say Biosilk). That said, there are certain things that REALLY don’t matter: shampoo (so long as it doesn’t strip your color, it’s fine), thermal protectant, and hairspray (cheap is fine if it does what you want).
I just noticed she said Pureology. Honestly, that stuff isn’t really that much more expensive than any regular old salon stuff, so it’s not nearly as pricey as she’s making it sound. That said, you know they sell that stuff at Costco, right? Way cheaper there or online.
And honestly, I like this stuff much, much, MUCH better than Pureology (which didn’t do much for hydrating my hair). It’s cheaper (though not by much- it’s mostly comparable in price), smells great, and that gel mask is AMAZING.
If for any reason, I hate it, I can send it back.
As far as products, I usually try to do what works well and not too ridiculously priced. Do you guys use both heat protectant creams AND sprays or is one better than the other?
I just use a little bit of spray. My general hair routine (on days I wash, obviously) is:
Mousse rubbed through the roots of damp hair. Flip over, blow dry upside down for a bit, flip back up. Then I lift up layers and spray a little root lifter. After that, I do a little bit of Biosilk through the whole shebang. Flip over again until 90% dry, then flip back up and style with a round brush. I go over the top layers with the flat iron, but before I do that, I spray the pieces I’m flattening with the protectant.
The most important thing is good conditioning. Deep condition like once a week or use a hot oil/ like treatment (I like the Henna and Placenta they sell).
Oh, and my whole hair routine maybe takes 15 minutes. I have a lot of hair, so it takes a long time to blow dry.