Hair Tools!

Besides occasionally blasting my locks with a blow dryer, the only other hair tools I ever use are curling irons and a straightener. And even then, if I had to put a number to it, I'd say I probably only use them maybe 3-4 times a month. It's funny, because I've always loved long hair and wanted it all my life, but now that's it's the longest it's ever been, I rarely do anything even remotely exciting with it :-/ You can't have it all, I guess!

The two hair tools I rely on when my hair needs a bit of beautification, if you will, are the Conair 1.25" curling iron and the Hana Titanium Ionic 1.5" flat iron. Although I also have a Hot Tools 2" curling iron, I typically turn to my 1.25" barrel iron when I'm looking for some bouncy curls, as the 2" barrel is best for volume.

I really only learned how to curl my hair about a year ago. Talk about late to the party, right? I started off using it the traditional way with the clamp, and slowly advanced to learning to use it without the clamp (and without self-induced neck and finger burns - yay!). Using it with the clamps tends to yields curls that are much more Shirley Temple-esque, while using it clampless will deliver more natural, wavey curls, rather than ringlet curls.

The only information I'm able to find about this curling iron is that it has 30 heat settings, but I'm not sure what the maximum temperature is, unfortunately. My hair used to be quite soft and silky (tough life, right?), but as a result, was also completely impossible to curl. Even when I got my hair professionally done for prom back in high school and the lady used what felt like an entire can of hair spray on my hair, my tight curls were reduced to mere waves that were nearly undetectable at best within the hour.

Now I'm not saying for a second that this $18 iron is going to curl even the straightest and most rebellious of hair types, because I think that part of the reason my hair curls so much better now is due to it being a bit drier and more damaged from coloring :-/ (according to my hair dresser, but it makes sense), but I do think this iron is pretty damn good for the price. 

I use it on the highest heat setting, and it takes me about 15 minutes to curl all of my hair, even at this length. I typically use it clampless nowadays, just wrapping each section of hair around the barrel with the clamp closed and holding it there for about 10 seconds, and that seems to do the trick! I let the curls cool down for a few minutes at the end, run my fingers through them to loosen them up, and spray a flexible hold hairspray all over. My curls have never lasted so long before!

Here, I curled my hair using this curling iron on Halloween :)

To be honest, I'm very much a cheap & affordable hair care and hair tools kinda girl. I've never purchased non-drugstore shampoo/conditioner/treatments before until Moroccan Oil, and my hair tools always ran for $30 or less. Especially with flat irons, I never felt the need for a "high-end" one, since my hair is basically straight anyways and really just needs perfecting if pin straight is what I'm after. Admittedly, I had also been through quite a few straight irons back when I used them more regularly in high school and college, and that may be directly due to a cost and quality relationship.

When I was offered the opportunity to review this Hana flat iron agessssss ago, I couldn't resist because I was curious. Would it really be that much better just because it costs like 7x more than my old flat irons? I was ready to be the judge of that.

The Hana Titanium Ionic Flat Iron is 1.5" wide and has titanium iron with tourmaline plates that help to protect your hair as much as is possible considering the heat being used. It has 5 heat settings ranging from 140-450° F. I typically use either the 370° F or 450° F settings. It takes about a minute or two to heat up, which I think is more than reasonable. I also like that the exterior of the plates, the side your fingers might touch when you're straightening, doesn't get too hot so I'm not afraid of burning myself. Also, unlike most of the flat irons I've used in the past, I've never experienced any tugging as I run it through the sections of hair.

Considering the length of my hair, I love the size of this. I think 1.5" is perfect because it covers more area and allows for quicker straightening sessions without being obnoxiously big and bulky like a 2" flat iron I used to own back in the day. My only qualm about the size is that it's a bit too big to be able to run through my bangs :(

I find that I rarely have to pass over a section of hair more than once and I'm able to straighten my hair in less than 5 minutes (keep in mind, my hair is basically straight to begin with but just needs perfecting), and this flat iron leaves my hair feeling really smooth and silky which I love.

Here, I straightened my hair for my birthday back in August :)

I had never heard of the brand Hana, but if my iron is any indication of the quality of their other products, I'm thoroughly impressed. The only thing I'm not impressed with is the price. This iron normally retails for $240, but is available for $180 on Great discount, but still not affordable for most people, including myself. Obviously, I love my iron and am extremely grateful I got the opportunity to try it, but I would never be able to afford it on my own. It's hard for me to say whether or not it's really worth the money, since that's really a relative term, but for someone with mostly straight and manageable hair like mine, I'd probably say no. For someone with unruly curls who has struggled with achieving smooth and straight hair from the more affordable drugstore straighteners in the past, maybe.

They do offer quite the selection of other flat irons as well, some more affordable than mine, while others not so much, in case you are interested in shopping around. (They're not affiliate links, by the way!)

What hair tools do you ladies rely on? Do you believe in "high-end" hair products or is the drugstore enough for you?

Disclaimer: The Hana flat iron was sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with Hana or Misikko, nor am I getting paid for mentioning it on my blog. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and based solely on my own experience with the product.


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