Hair straighteners

A good hair straightener will give you smooth, sleek and dead-straight hair at home, without the expense of professional styling.
 
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  • Updated:27 Nov 2007
 

03.Product profiles

These models were rated as excellent or very good by our trialists.

GHD IV Styler ghd 4.1B

GHD IV Styler ghd 4.1BPrice: $299

Rating: Excellent

Features

  • 'On' and 'ready-to-use' lights.
  • Auto switch-off (after 30 minutes without use).
  • Instructional DVD.

Good points

  • Very effective at straightening.
  • Straightening result lasted longest: more than 12 hours on average.
  • Very fast heat-up time.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Moved very smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • The most expensive in the trial.

Trialists' comments:

  • "Hair was straightened as well as a hairdresser would have done. Excellent."
  • "Went over hair smoothly, good design, long-lasting effect. Great for creating different styles."

Diva Hair Straightener THLC 05

Diva Hair Straightener THLC 05Price: $160

Rating: Very good

Features

  • Stand.
  • Carry pouch.
  • 'On' and 'ready-to-use' lights.

Good points

  • Good straightening effect, both immediately and over time, lasting 9–12 hours on average.
  • Very fast heat-up time.
  • Easy to use.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • One trialist commented that it would’ve been useful to have instructions on the accessories.

Trialists' comments

  • "Made my hair dead straight in next-to-no time!"
  • "Lightweight, slim and compact design made it very easy to use."

VS Sassoon Premiere Series Total Freedom 230 Cord/Cordless VSP2099A

VS Sassoon Premiere Series Total Freedom 230 Cord/Cordless VSP2099APrice: $120

Rating: Very good

Features

  • With wider than usual plates, it’s recommended for use on medium-long hair.
  • Can be used cordless (it heats up on a base that's plugged into a power point) or with a 3m cord.
  • Adjustable heat setting.
  • 'On' and 'ready-to-use' lights.

Good points

  • Good straightening effect, both immediately and over time, lasting 9–12 hours on average.
  • Very fast heat-up time.
  • Easy to use.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • The heaviest in the trial (560g), which one trialist thought made it "a bit heavy and unstable on the bench".

Trialists' comment

  • "It heated up quickly and you didn’t have to be right next to a power point, but because it heated up on the base, you had to [take care to] keep returning it to the base to keep the optimum temperature."

VS Sassoon Pro 230°C Straightener VS2075MPA

VS Sassoon Pro 230°C Straightener VS2075MPAPrice: $80

Rating: Very good

Features

  • Adjustable heat setting.
  • Digital temperature display.
  • Protective heat mat, which can be used as a pouch.
  • Auto switch-off (after 72 minutes without use).
  • 'On' and 'ready-to-use' lights.

Good points

  • Good straightening effect, both immediately and over time, lasting 9–12 hours on average.
  • Very fast heat-up time.
  • Easy to use.
  • Moved very smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • One trialist remarked she had to hold it in an uncomfortable manner so as not to touch and change the heat setting controls inadvertently.

Trialists' comments

  • "Hair stayed fairly straight, even after walking through light rain."
  • "The padded area on the outside of the plates means you don’t burn your head or neck." (Both VS Sassoon straighteners have this fabric coating.)

 

These models weren't rated as highly as the best models. They weren't as easy to use and/or didn't straighten hair as effectively.

Philips Tresemmé SalonShine Elite HP4669/07

Philips Tresemmé SalonShine Elite HP4669/07Price: $90

Rating: Good

Features

  • Carry pouch.
  • Adjustable heat setting.
  • Digital temperature display.
  • Auto switch-off (after 60 minutes without use).

Good points

  • Good straightening effect, both immediately and over time, lasting 9–12 hours on average.
  • Very fast heat-up time.
  • Easy to use.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • Two trialists commented that the straightener can easily be switched off inadvertently during use because of the position of the on/off switch.

Trialists' comments

  • "Didn’t make my hair dead straight, but straight enough."
  • "Left ends slightly frizzy; not a smooth finish."

Wahl Cutek Ceramic/ZA105

Wahl Cutek Ceramic/ZA105Price: $80

Rating: Good

Features

  • 'On' light.

Good points

  • Easy to use.
  • Fast heat-up time.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • Trialists had to use it three or more times on each section of hair to achieve the desired result — the better models did it in just two goes.
  • No 'ready-to-use' indicator.

Trialists' comments

  • "Lightweight, slim design was easy to manoeuvre. Straightening effect was OK, but not great."
  • "There’s nothing to indicate when it’s finished heating up and is ready for use, and no guide as to how long it’ll take to heat up."

Joh Bailey Travel Straightener JBS75

Joh Bailey Travel Straightener JBS75Price: $40

Rating: OK

Features

  • 'On' light.

Good points

  • Fast heat-up time.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • Trialists had to use it three or more times on each section of hair to achieve the desired result — the better models did it in just two goes.
  • It required more time to achieve the straightening results — 16 to 20 minutes rather than the 10 to 15 with the other models trialled.
  • The straightening result lasted a shorter time: just 5 to 8 hours on average.
  • No 'ready-to-use' indicator.

Trialists' comments

  • "With the controls on the outside, you’re less likely to burn yourself when switching it off."
  • "It’s easy to use and manoeuvre, but didn’t straighten my hair as it didn’t get hot enough." (In our lab tests it took more than two minutes to reach even a low 150ºC, much longer than most others.)

Maxim Professional Straightener HS988C

Maxim Professional Straightener HS988CPrice: $15

Rating: OK

Features

  • None.

Good points

  • Easy to use.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • Trialists had to use it three or more times on each section of hair to achieve the desired result — the better models did it in just two goes.
  • The straightening result lasted a shorter time: just 5 to 8 hours on average.
  • Trialists found its temperature wasn’t hot enough. (In our lab test it took much longer than most others to heat up — more than a minute to reach 150ºC and more than three minutes to climb up to 200ºC.)
  • No 'power on' or 'ready-to-use' indicator.

Trialists' comments

  • "Simple, nothing flash, just straightforward. It smoothed my hair, it didn’t straighten it."
  • "It didn’t work very well. My hair came out very frizzy."

Tiffany Pro Series Digital Hair Straightener HST70

Tiffany Pro Series Digital Hair Straightener HST70Price: $40

Rating: OK

Features

  • Adjustable heat settings.
  • Temperature display.

Good points

  • Good immediate straightening result, but it lasted a shorter time: just 5–8 hours on average.
  • Easy to use.
  • Moved smoothly through hair.

Bad points

  • Required more time to achieve straightening results (16 to 20 minutes rather than the 10 to 15 with the other models trialled, or three applications per section of hair, rather than two).

Trialists' comments

  • "The variable heat setting was good, but the temperature went up and down for a while before settling."
  • "For best results I needed to hold the plates together with both hands, but then it seemed to be quite rough on my hair and pulled my hair on occasion."

Living Essentials by Mistral Ceramic Hair Straightener LEHS10

Living Essentials by Mistral Ceramic Hair Straightener LEHS10Price: $18

Rating: Borderline

Features

  • 'On' indicator light.

Good points

  • None to mention.

Bad points

  • Required more time to achieve straightening results: 16 to 20 minutes rather than the 10 to 15 with the other models trialled, or three applications per section of hair, rather than two.
  • Its straightening effect lasted the shortest time: just 1 to 4 hours on average.
  • Trialists found its temperature wasn’t hot enough. (It was the slowest to heat up in our test, taking almost 4.5 minutes to reach even a low 150ºC.)
  • Didn’t move very smoothly through hair.
  • No 'ready-to-use' indicator.

Trialists' comments

  • "Because of its clumsy design [it was the only scissor-style straightener in the trial], it didn’t pull my hair through smoothly — it got caught. And it wasn’t effective at straightening at all. There was no noticeable difference in the end result."
  • "The handle can be difficult to use at times."
 

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