Find the best straightener for your locks

March 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
We always want what we can't have. And that is especially true when it comes to hairstyles. So, understandably, hair-straightening is such big business. In fact, sales of straightening irons topped more than $85 million last year. But which iron is the best?ABC7 and Consumer Reports teamed up to test nine straightening irons ranging in price from $18 to $160.

To see how well they perform, testers used tresses of naturally curly hair and counted how many times each iron took to become curl-free. Several panelists also tried them out on everything from very curly hair to relatively straight hair.

The "Bed Head Light Me Up" wasn't a panel favorite.

"I find that the Bed Head straightener didn't really straighten my hair very well," said panelist Melissa Valentino.

"I tried. I kept doing it multiple times, and nothing was happening," said Mary Palumbo, another panelist.

Some of the straighteners also pulled the panelists' hair.

Panelists said a straightener that got hot very fast and took very little effort would be their tool of choice. A straightener from Conair fit the bill. It has a retractable comb and LED temperature display. It is called the Infiniti Nano Silver Steam Straightener. But at $100, it is a splurge.

If you want a great bargain, ShopSmart recommends the Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic. It rated excellent and costs just $30.

"It performed the best out of all the straighteners I used. I only had to go over my hair about one or two times," said Valentino.

The Revlon straightener also had an automatic shutoff, which gives you peace of mind.

When styling at home, you should always remember that those irons can get up to 400 degrees, and you could burn yourself if you pick one up near the plates. Always grab the iron by the handle.


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