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11 June 2011

Flat Irons? [More:]So .. now that it's hot and humid, my hair does just what it pleases no matter what I tell it I want with a blow drier. It curls up in the wrong way. It insists on being wavy when I want it straight.

Does anyone use a flat iron? I want to get one and I see some for $17.99 and some for $129.00. What's the difference? Anyone have any recommendations or advice?

My sister is all about flat irons and says the expensive ones are way better--they work faster or something. She has a Chi, I think. I have a cheapie one that I got for like 25 and it does the job, but it does take a while (have to go over the same section a few times before it's straight, and my hair is only wavy) so I hardly ever use it. Of course, I'm not really into hair that takes time to do, so I'd hardly ever use it anyway, but maybe it'd be less of a hassle with an expensive one--I just haven[t wanted to spend the money to find out.
posted by leesh 11 June | 12:05
I had a Chi that I bought from Amazon. It was good while it lasted. You want a flat iron that gets hot so you will only have to make one pass per section of hair. I also hear ceramic plates are good are supposedly apt to do less damage to hair. The Chi died on me quickly. I didn't use it that often and it didn't last for more than three months. I also fried a section of my hair. I was super careful not to make repeated passes and I used heat protectant spray beforehand but I still fried it. I was probably doing it wrong. So now I hate flat irons and will never use one again. The only time a flat iron touches my hair is when I get it done at the hairdressers. Any kind of heat is going to damage your hair. It's not worth it for me. I know you didn't ask for this advice. Sorry, if I'm going on. Have you tried Loreal EverSleek shampoo and conditioner? It makes my hair so straight and frizz-free. Almost too straight.

If you get a flatiron I would choose one by Babyliss or GHD. They get good reviews. Good luck.
posted by LoriFLA 11 June | 13:04
I use one every now and then...I think it's a CHI. Check the reviews on Amazon.

Personally, I usually can't be bothered. If you're going to go with waves instead, I recommend the Deva Curl products for natural wave without frizz.
posted by JoanArkham 11 June | 13:16
Have you tried an ionic hot air brush? I have fine, slightly wavy hair that tends to go frizzy at the first hint of moisture. I have an older version of this Revlon 1200w Hot Air Styler. It is really excellent - powerful enough to dry your hair but with a brilliant lifting and straightening effect that provides a really smooth volume. This is much more effective than a normal dryer and hairbrush. I'm pretty sceptical about the "ionic" stuff, but this does seem to work.
I regularly travel with mine and I find it takes the place of three other devices (dryer, blowdrying brush, and straightener). This version has two sizes of metal-barrel brush that are just perfect for my mid-length, layered hair. The bristle brushes on this model seem to tangle less and so damage my hair less than plastic brushes. It's a little noisy, but I can live with that. I got a second one to keep at work - it has saved my image (and improved my mood) on numerous bad hair days!
posted by Susurration 11 June | 14:12
Just remembered to add: you need to use the high setting to dry your hair and the low setting to style and remove frizz. If you use the high setting to style, it blows too strongly to really smooth the hair. I keep the ionic setting on all the time. At less than $20, it's worth a try.
posted by Susurration 11 June | 14:17
Susurration, I used to have one of those brushes. They are neat. They are less damaging than flat irons. I don't know what happened to mine. hmmm.

After I saw this hot air brush the other day, I want it so badly
. I love that the brush is big.
posted by LoriFLA 11 June | 14:50
OK this is all very helpful, thank you. I might try the hot brush. But several years ago I was trying a curling iron that was also a brush. Know what I mean? It had very firm plastic brush spikes. I tried making nice curls but I really don't know what I'm doing. It got badly tangled up near my head. I tried to get it out and couldn't. I made it worse.

Before I really started panicking I called my girlfriend Betsy to come over. I laid on the couch with my head in her lap for about half an hour while she painstakingly got the curling iron brush out of my head. Isn't that a great friend?

So I've become more careful with hair products. Thank you for all the excellent advice!
posted by Kangaroo 11 June | 17:03
I have also tangled my hair in one of those hot air rolling brushes. The one I linked to supposedly takes a while to get the hang of.

That is a nice friend, kangaroo. Once I got my hair stuck in a frosting cap and my friend, who also happened to be a hairdresser, came over and helped me get it out. She had to cut some of my hair because it was stuck so badly and ended up giving me the cutest haircut.
posted by LoriFLA 11 June | 17:59
Yeah, I totally know what you mean about your hair getting tangled. I used to have a hot air brush like the one that LoriFLA linked. It had quite long, thick bristles. My newer one (and the one I linked to) has a largeish metal barrel with short, less dense bristles sticking out of it. I found the combination of the metal barrel and the short bristles much easier to manage - I have really tangly hair, but it doesn't get caught any more. Plus the metal barrel helps to smooth and shine the hair, which is neat. I can even wrap my hair around the barrel a couple of times if I want to get more lift in the top layer -- and it slides off easily. It has a 1.5" brush, so it's pretty good for straightening.
I noticed a few of these with "spin" brushes, but I can't see the point. Looking at the reviews, they break easily and untangling the brush isn't a problem anyway with this design. It doesn't seem worth an extra $20 or so for the spinning brush ...
posted by Susurration 12 June | 01:04
Chi chi chi chi.
mine has been going strong for 2+ yrs and it works great and quickly. I had borrowed. My sister's conair one for a while before that and it suckedd in comparison, having to go over spots more than once and not holding the sttraightness. With the chi I can get it done on the first pass and also use it to curl the ends under or whatever I want.
posted by rmless2 12 June | 01:09
I have a Conair flat iron that was probably $30 at Target and I think I've had it for about five years or so. It has ceramic plates and is 2" wide. I prefer the wider ones because my hair is longer. When I had shorter hair, a 1" wide was fine. One thing I always look for is an auto-shut off feature, because I will leave it on by accident from time to time. This one also gets SUPER SUPER hot, so I don't usually have to go over sections more than once. Taking smaller sections also helps with that too.
posted by youngergirl44 13 June | 11:24
Happy Birthday kkokkodalk! || I am in Liverpool