I have naturally curly hair, so most people assume that it's thick. It's not. My hair is very fine and as a result, I have always had difficulty finding a good straightening method. Blowdryers seem to create more frizz than shine, and flat irons end up making my hair just that. Flat. Not to mention the burnt hair smell, limp dry looking locks and inevitable fly aways and breakage. Even my US$225 GHD did a barely satisfactory job. As a mother, I also want something that's going to be quick and easy since I don't have much time to spend on beauty routines.
Recently I saw this ad on tv for the InStyler:
Needless to say, I was intrigued. The concept works. Flat irons DO tend to burn your hair, crush it between two blazing hot irons.. that was what always made my hair end up looking so dry and lifeless. Having the brushes and the rotating cylinder 'polishing' your hair sounded like it could work.
I didn't really want to pay US$120 + S&H and get two InStylers, like you do on The Official Site so I did some research and bought one on Ebay for US$60 with free shipping. The sellers username is offbetti and apparently she is an authorised dealer of InStylers. The item came quickly and the seller is very helpful.
Ok now to the good part. When I received my InStyler I wanted to test it out straight away. Ideally, you should use it on clean, dry hair with no product in it, although if you have very fine hair they recommend using a little anti frizz product. I washed and thoroughly towel/air dried my hair.
It ended up looking like this, my natural hair texture:
So I started sectioning it off and began straightening. The thing with the InStyler is, it's tricky to always get the cylinder rotating down your hair. I've seen a few videos where the rotation is going up and it didn't seem to make a difference, but I didn't want to take chances so I just made sure it was always rotating down the hair shaft. This meant I always had to be holding it a certain way, in my left hand, which took a little getting used to.
This was my first pass, I didn't really have to go over it again and again to get it really straight. I used the medium setting as high probably would have been too much for my hair texture.
Half my head done. I noticed right away that it had more volume than when I flat iron it (yeah I know, that is still a pretty sad amount of volume.. my hair is soo fine!!).
About 15 mins after I started, I'm done.. Pretty good time, my GHD usually takes me 30 mins.
I had a few flyaways, but not nearly as many as when I've straightened my hair with flat irons or blowdryers. I just used a little smoothing product, specifically WEN Sweet Almond Mint Styling Creme. Now this is supposed to be a pre-styling product, but if you use a little, rub it between your palms and smooth over your straightened hair, it's really good for flyaways without weighing down the hair or making it sticky. I use VERY little, as my hair is fine.
I slept that night, woke up and showered (not wetting my hair) and this is how my hair looked after brushing it with a smoothing brush:
Of course, this product has it's drawbacks. The rotation of the cylinder is a little noisy (this didn't really bother me), it is easy to burn yourself with it until you get used to using it (it does come with a burn guard, although this limits the styling options so I took it off) and the big barrel makes it difficult to style bangs/fringes or short hair. I may try styling most of my hair with the InStyler and then touching up my bangs with the GHD. One thing to note, the InStyler will not leave your hair stick straight (which is good for me, since my hair is fine) it leaves it with a bit more body. So if you are going for that flat to the head, dead straight look this may not be the product for you.
Overall, I was really happy with the InStyler. It gave me a lot more body than my GHD ever has and a lot less frizz than blowdrying. I think for fine hair (as this is the only type of hair I can really comment on), this is a great tool. No burnt hair smell, as it uses a lot less heat then a flat iron. I definitely recommend this product if you are unhappy with the way flat irons leave your hair.