We must be entering the golden age of hair styling tools because there seems to be lots of new gadgets out there to try. I recently received the InStyler Max Rotating Iron to test.
The InStyler is sort of a flat iron and curling iron in one. You can get straight hair or you can use the barrel to make waves and curls.
It’s rather unusual looking: it has a round barrel on one side and it has a curved rather than flat smoothing plate that’s surrounded by bristles on the edges of the curved plate. The device is black tourmaline ceramic, and the bristles are “ionic” to help prevent frizz. There are two different barrel sizes (3/4″ and 1/1/4″) to choose from when you buy it, and I received the larger size for my thick, coarse hair. The barrel rotates as you move the device sloooooowly through your hair. It is supposed to rotate toward the end of your hair for maximum body and shine. The barrel can rotate in either direction, what InStyler calls “motorized auto-rotation”. The manual says to quickly close the device twice (double-click) to reverse the direction of the barrel’s rotation, but frankly, I haven’t needed to do that yet.
The device has a power button at the bottom that you press to turn on. It heats up in 30 seconds, definitely faster than my flat iron. The power button controls the four heat settings. It starts out on the highest setting, 425 degrees, and if you continue to press the power button, the temperature goes down to level 3 (383 degrees) , 2 (315 degrees) and 1 (285 degrees). I’ve been using level 3 or 4 for my thick, coarse hair and if you have fine or thin hair, you’d use level 1 or 2. I love that the InStyler comes with a special fabric pad to place on the countertop underneath the hot InStyler so it doesn’t burn the surface.
I use the InStyler as if I were using a brush, i.e. the flat side with the curved plate and bristles against my head. That way I can get to the roots to start my straightening. My method seems to be the way the video shows how to hold it, but the manual seems to say to hold it the other way. I don’t care, for me, “brush” side against my head is easier. The bristles grip my hair as I slowly pull it through. I did try using it the other way – the way that the manual recommends – with the barrel against my head but that’s a no-no for me. The barrel is very hot, too hot for me to use so close to my scalp, even though they include a Thermal Guard to clip onto the barrel to keep it away from the scalp. IMHO, the round shape doesn’t allow it to get close to the scalp so my roots are straightened. I may not be following the directions completely (or maybe I am??), but my method works better for me.
I think it’s worth it to watch this short video to see it in action:
The InStyler does a great job straightening my hair. Here’s a photo of me after the first time I used it. I think I’ve gotten better with more use.
I’d say the InStyler takes about the same amount of time as my flat iron, maybe a couple of minutes longer. The InStyler is a bit heavier and wider than my skinny flat iron, but that’s not an impediment.
What about my hair? My hair has more body than when I use the flat iron. And it’s nice and shiny. Although I turn my hair under when I use the Instyler, on the second or third day (I only wash my hair every 4 days), my hair flips up instead of staying turned under, but I like my hair with a flip from time to time so this is great for me!
I don’t curl my hair very often especially in the hot, humid summer weather, so I haven’t gotten around to trying to make curls. I’ll wait till the winter holidays for that one. But I like that I have the option to use this one device to curl as well as straighten. There’s a “cool tip” that clips onto the tip that you can grasp when manipulating the barrel to wrap the hair around it to make curls.
One of the key benefits of the InStyler, besides its versatility, is that because it doesn’t have two flat hot plates, my hair doesn’t get crushed or as fried or damaged as with the flat iron. Also, the rotation of the barrel gives it more body rather than a plain, flat as a pancake look.
I think the InStyler is a pretty nifty device. Take a look at this quick video that does a good job at showing all the features of the InStyler.
InStyler Max comes in pink, purple or black in the 1/1/4″ size but only in black for the 3/4″ size. I like my black one! It is sold on the InStyler website, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Macy’s. The price on the website appears to be priced at $119.97 if you pay for it all at once, though they have a 30 day trial for $14.99 and extended payment option. Right now, on the InStyler website they are offering a buy one, get one free offer that seems like a great deal to me. Think ahead to the holidays. Nice gift idea!
Have you tried the InStyler Max yet? Would it be something that interests you?