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Later on last year, I was beginning to get fed up of the inconvenience of my mains operated hair straighteners and wanted to try something different for going away on holiday or other occasions where I could not access mains power. After much hinting, I received these babyliss cordless straighteners as a Christmas gift.
The first thing I noticed about them was just how small and light they really were. The ceramic plates are around an inch and a half in diameter and about 4 inches long, which is ample for quick fixes to my hair when out and about. The main body of the straighteners houses the gas cartridge which is what powers them instead of mains electricity.
These straighteners can be used in the way you would normally use hair styling appliances, however actually switching them on can be a bit of a struggle if you have never used gas cartage powered appliances before. First of all, you have to turn the switch that starts letting the fuel out of the cartridge, then you must ignite it so to speak using another switch at the side of the device. I find it tricky to know when the fuel has ignited which can be irritating as you then end up wasting a lot of it.
This version of the babyliss straighteners doesn't have a temperature control, so if you wanted to give your hair a break from high temperatures, you are basically stuck. On the plus side though, the top temperature is 215˚C which is as good as any mains operated straightener. The time taken for them to heat up is reasonable too, taking less than 30 seconds whenever I have used them. This also adds to the convenience of the product.
In my experience, the smaller type gas cartridges that these straighteners use seem to last a long time, needing replacing once a year if straightening your hair once or twice a week. Currently, you can purchase them from the same type of shop that sell the straighteners and some chemists, such as Boots. Obviously, the price varies from retailer to retailer, but on average you can buy a pack of two cartridges for £7.00. Even though this is an extra cost, for the price of the straighteners and the infrequency of replacing the gas cartridges, it works out as good value for money.
When I first got round to using them, I was rather surprised with the strong hold they had on my hair when clamped in place. This took some getting used to, but I saw it as an advantage as it meant that my hair was being straightened more thoroughly, thus taking less time.
For those of you reading this thinking 'these must be damaging to your hair' I quite agree to some extent. However, the plates on these straighteners are ceramic instead of metallic which make them a lot less damaging to the hair and I would always recommend using a heat protection spray when sing any heated hair styler anyway.
After using these for about 2 weeks, I haven't noticed the usual damage to my hair, but for a comparison to other products I would have to use them over a longer time period.
I was rather disappointed with the lack of accessories in the box with these particular straighteners. All that arrived with mine was the guarantee and a plastic cover to protect the plates, but for the money I suppose I could hardly expect.
As I received these as a gift, I am not completely sure of the price, but you can purchase them from eBay for around £20. I think this is excellent value for money as I doubt you can find other good quality straighteners for such a low cost.
I would recommend this product to anyone who travels a lot or doesn't straighten their hair everyday, as they might become damaging after repeated use.