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My hair is quite frankly ridiculous. In its natural state it is a hideous mass of kinks, frizz, corkscrew curls and un-uniform waves and there is no way in heaven that I would step outside of my own front door without giving it some serious treatment which is why, earlier this year, I was struck with unparalleled fear when my much loved straighteners packed up without warning one morning ten minutes before the school run. Once I had composed myself, I made a plan. Abandon walking – take the car. Wear a hat and head straight to the back door of Argos. Wait until there was no one around, dip in, make my purchase and straight home to play with my new toy. Mission complete!
Before I left home, a quick scan on Argos online led me to exactly what I wanted. Toni & Guy Hair Straighteners Model No TGST2985UK were on offer, reduced from £50 to £23 which was well within my budget and as they appeared to have all of the features I needed, they were my product of choice.
The first thing that I noticed on unwrapping them was how light they were compared to my old ones and also how sleek they look. The straighteners are black plastic with a high gloss finish, with polished chrome details that make them look classy and smart. The straighteners are digital so there are three small buttons on the outside and a digital display so you can have them at the desired heat setting.
The electrical cord is a massive 3m long which I think is generous and fantastic – especially in my house which only has one plug per room until we renovate! The cord is attached on a swivel plate which allows extra movement whilst styling; I am pretty sure that my last set packed up because the cord became worn at the entrance point to the appliance so I am confident that this problem will not affect this set. The cord also has a handy hole at the top so the straighteners can be hung up whilst cooling which, again, I think is a great idea and a lovely feature that fits in with the quality of the set.
Using the straighteners
In order to operate the straighteners, you obviously have to plug them in (240v, 3 pin plug just for clarification). On doing so you hear two short beeps which indicate that there is power going to the appliance. You have to hold the on button for a second to power up the straighteners and the display lights up blue; now you can set the temperature to whatever you want, it initially starts at 80 degrees and you press the “up” button which goes up 10 degrees at a time until you reach the desired temperature. I find this a bit of a faff to do every time I want to use them as I always use the same temperature and I would like it if I could set it permanently. I always go straight to 230 degrees, as I know that I need the most heat possible for my unruly locks and they take exactly one minute to heat up to this temperature which I am more than happy with. You should always use straighteners at a temperature to suit your hair, as mine is thick and coarse I max up the heat but if you are fine and thin it is best to work your way up slowly so as not to burn your hair. I always use a heat protection spray to keep damage to a minimum and I have not noticed these straighteners causing any more damage that I already had.
One major flaw with this product is the location of the control pad. It is exactly where you hold the appliance and on more than one occasion I have found mid-styling that I have switched them off or changed the temperature. There is a function to lock the pad (by pressing the on button twice quickly) but this is not completely fool proof as you are obviously squeezing the appliance constantly which is the nature of straighteners. I do not see why the buttons couldn’t have been put on the inside – it would have made them a lot more user friendly.
Barely any pressure is needed in order to operate these straighteners – with my old ones, I often found that my hand hurt towards the end of styling, but nothing like that with these, they are a breeze to use. The slim barrel of the straighteners is shaped to allow either straightening or curling (rounded at the edges)– I only ever use mine for straightening as I do everything imaginable to avoid curls and they work exceptionally well in my opinion. At 230 degrees they hold my style for as long as I have experienced using GHD’s so I am happy with that; My hair does stay poker straight for a good hour without using any other styling products, but by the end of the day the curls have invariably made a comeback but I am yet to find a product or appliance that is capable of keeping me straight for any longer!
The plates of the straighteners have a ceramic coating so they are kinder to your hair. I committed the cardinal sin of jamming mine onto the radiator whilst cooling as it was the only place I could think of where I wouldn’t leave a burn mark and the metal scratched the plates slightly so I would not recommend putting them in contact with any metal. The 25mm wide plates are “floating” so they hold the hair evenly and there is no dragging effect whilst in use. Even though the appliance gets very hot, it is possible to touch the barrel of the product without burning which makes them pleasant to use as I am not afraid of burning my scalp or face.
There is an automatic sleep mode on this appliance, so if it accidently left on, after sixty minutes they will switch off automatically which I think is a great idea – I have had many a worried day at work in the past wondering if I have switched mine off.
An unexpected bonus of these straighteners is that they come with a pouch which is heat proof and rolls out flat to create a heat proof mat. The pouch is black suede effect on the outside and is held together as a pouch with two chrome press studs. The pouch looks quite classy and not massively unlike a suede clutch bag! Once laid out flat the mat has two compartments – one to hold the appliance in and the other for the plug -it is not recommended that the wire is wrapped around the plug as it could cause damage so popping it in the pouch keeps everything neat and tidy. A short leaflet in the box informs you of all of the safety precautions that should be utilised whilst using the product – not near water, not for commercial use, keep away from children... (mostly common sense) and it also comes with a two year guarantee which I think is fairly generous.
Toni & Guy Toni and Guy Professional Signature Hair Straighteners (model number TGST2985UK) are available at most good electrical retailers, department stores and on the internet. Prices vary from £23 upwards so it is definitely worth shopping around. Overall I am more than happy with my emergency purchase, and I would have probably been happy to pay a bit more as I think that is a stylish and lovely product to use. It is a shame about the placement of the control panel and unfortunately it is going to lose a star for this, but overall this is a product that I would recommend.
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Toni & Guy TGST2985UK
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Great review - I think you covered everything I needed to know and made me laugh (again!). The straighteners look really cute too. Oh, and I think you and I might have pretty much exactly the same type of hair in our natural state because you just described mine!x