Cheap versus Expensive Flat Irons
The Difference Between Professional and Budget Flat Irons
I’m not gonna lie to you: I’m a total snob when it comes to the cheap versus expensive hair straightener debate. And, when you think about it, that stands to reason. I’m a stylist and I have the opportunity to use the best salon quality flat irons – I really know the difference in results between a high quality and a cheap set of straighteners! That being said, I do believe that there are good cheap flat irons on the market.
In this article, I’d like to compare salon quality flat irons with the best cheap flat irons to help you decide whether to splash out on a professional set or to save your cash and buy a cheap flat iron.
Saving in the Short Term or the Long Run?
Buying a high quality flat iron can seem like a massive expense at the time, but in the long run it will actually work out better than buying a flat iron cheap. If you choose a professional model, not only will you have the technology and materials for a professional styling result, you’ll also have something that’s built to last.
For example, I own a Bio Ionic OnePass Iron.I love it (almost) as much as I love my husband and it gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. I’ve had it for nearly six years and use it every day. And it’s still going strong! These irons currently retail for around $200. So by the time you’ve bought 5 Remington models for $20 that lasted a year each, you’ve actually saved money by buying the professional straighteners. It’s a no-brainer.
What are You Made of?
When it comes to straightening, the material is everything. Modern quality flat irons incorporate high quality materials like ceramic, tourmaline and titanium into their design. Ceramic is known for its ability to heat evenly so that you don’t get damaging “hot spots” when you’re straightening. Tourmaline is a finely crushed gemstone crystal that is infused with the ceramic to make it easier to pass through the hair and straighten in one go. Titanium is the latest and greatest in flat iron technology and is the best known conductor of the negative ions that fight frizz.
If you find a cheap ceramic flat iron check carefully that the plates are solid ceramic and not just ceramic coated as this can make a huge difference to both the health of your hair and the result you achieve.
The best cheap ceramic flat iron which is solid, not coated, that I have found is the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron.It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me because, although you can buy it for under $40, it has solid ceramic plates with a tourmaline coating and even comes with a free heat protectant product.
On the same note, if you find a cheap titanium flat iron, you need to ask a few questions. Look out for imitations and make sure that you’re buying from a trusted brand. A thin coating of titanium on the plates is enough to claim that you’ve got “titanium plates”. I hate to admit it, but there are some rip off artists out there.
Is it Hot in Here?
Temperature is really important when it comes to the effectiveness of flat irons. The best quality flat irons are able to reach high temperatures, distribute heat evenly, and leave your hair straight and shiny after just one pass through a section. Because of their higher grade materials, professional irons tend to be able to reach hotter temperatures faster and maintain a consistent temperature throughout your styling session.
The Best on a Budget
Okay, if you’ve got this far and you’ve still got your heart set on buying a budget model, nothing I say will change your mind. And, if you only use your straighteners for the occasional night out, I’ll concede that a budget model might be your best bet. So, I’ll give you my recommendation on the best cheap flat iron.
The Remington S5500 Digital Hair Straightener can be purchased for under $20 and gets 3 stars from me because reviewers think it is the best flat iron cheap budgets can reach to. It has a few neat features like the digital temperature readout and the floating plates. The S5500 actually has quite a large faithful following and reviewers also confirm that it’s the best cheap flat iron for black hair and the best cheap flat iron for natural hair. This model does emit an odd burning smell which worries me.
Splash Out for Quality
The thing with professional straightening irons is that they are designed to do an effective job of straightening and to last for a long time, not just for a quick $20 sale. When you splash out and buy the best professional flat iron, you’ll be buying a model that does a really effective job and lasts for ages. Features like solid ceramic plates (not just ceramic coating) infused with crushed tourmaline crystals make professional straighteners miles better than budget ones. Trust me, I know.
Look Out for Sales and get Quality for Cheap
If you desperately want the quality of salon hair straighteners but don’t have the cash to spend, your best bet it to keep your eyes peeled for a really good sale on a good quality flat iron. For example, while I was writing this, I flicked over to Amazon.com and was lucky enough to find a chi flat iron cheap. The CHI Original Flat Iron Hair Straightener Ceramic Hairstyling Iron Color: Black Size: 1 Inch was on sale for just $89.99 – only a fraction more than you’d pay for a Conair! Sound too good to be true? Why not head on over there and see if the sale’s still on?
By the way, if you’re tempted to add that chi flat iron for cheap to your shopping trolley, I’ll just let you know that I think it’s an awesome professional flat iron and give it a 4 out of 5 star rating (and I’m pretty fussy about my flat irons!). Actually, I think I’ll add another star just because of this unbelievable deal.
Finding cheap professional flat irons is not impossible, you just need to have the patience to wait around for a good deal. That way you get the best of both worlds: long lasting professional styling on a budget!
Is that Crystal (Preferably Tourmaline!) Clear?
A cheap good flat iron is not impossible, as long as you know what you’re looking for and you don’t expect professional results from a budget model (champagne tastes on a beer budget?). I’m a big believer in the fact that splashing out on high quality flat irons will actually save you money in the long run. But, if you’re a little impatient and want to start enjoying straight, glossy locks right away, why not use your eagle eye and search Amazon.com for a deal to die for? After all, what girl doesn’t love a damn good sale?
So, will you choose to “save” on a budget model, splash out for professional, or wait patiently for a sale so you can buy that cheap chi flat iron?
I know what I’d choose. But, hey, like I said, I’m a total snob!