I was sent the InStyler a while back to review and have been getting to grips with it since then. I like to give hair tools a really good trial because it usually takes me a bit longer than your average bear to get the hang of them properly and I like to make sure I'm giving a thorough review of the product. So here goes.
The InStyler is a rotating, heated styling and straightening tool with a polishing cylinder and opposite to that, a heated panel surrounded by four rows of bristles.
There are some great protective additions- a thermal shield that you can snap into place until the barrel has cooled down so you don't burn yourself and a heat proof bag/mat for travel and use on any surface. I particularly love that last one. I have some awful stories I could tell you about various parts of my body I've burnt by sitting on curling tongs (I know, I'm an idiot, apparently) and of course surfaces I've marked by leaving hot hair tools down on them. Doh! This is a smart and very useful extra. The InStyler also uses less heat than your average hair tool, which is also pretty remarkable as it does the job and still feels roasting.
Starting off, you plug it in and set it to one of three heat settings- the lowest (one bar) heats to 140C is ideal for thin, fine hair. The medium setting (two bars, 157C) is for thin to medium textured hair while the highest (three bars, 196C) is ideal for thick, coarse hair.
The lights flash until it's heated and you're away. It's recommended you section off your hair and start with the hair that's underneath, which I did (just not in the photo below).
When straightening, you position the InStyler with the heated barrel next to the scalp and run it down the section of your hair- the bristles sort and separate the strands of hair while the barrel polishes and straightens.
I really like it for this purpose. I never really love the effect of a traditional straightener- I feel like they flatten my hair and leave it looking a bit stiff and unnatural, especially where my side fringe is concerned. The InStyler however seems to just smooth my hair and add volume but doesn't leave me with creepily poker straight hair, like a straightener would, which is a bit too 90's for my liking. This is a life saver in the mornings, especially when I've washed my hair the night before. I usually wake up looking like I've slept with a cat on my head but I run this fella over my hair and I look a bit more pulled-together. A minute's work and I'm out the door. Good times!
My hair is not natural curly by the way, I apparently do that in my sleep..
I've also tried it out for curls. For this you once again keep the barrel towards the scalp and wrap the piece of hair around the barrel from roots to end while holding the end of the hair and preventing the bristles from closing down. This part takes a fair bit of practice to get right and if like me, you're not hugely adept at all things hair related this may prove tricky for you. Using a regular curling tongs is certainly more straight forward but you can get to grips with this with plenty of use. It's not the best option for when you're running late though. My hair tends not to hold a curl very well as it's fairly thin and it was no different with the InStyler. The curls all fell pretty fast but I will say that what I was left with was an impressively volumised head of hair so there was still a good outcome! I've tried curls a few times now with the same result but I also lent this to a friend (hi Ciara!) who loved it and found it worked perfectly for her, so this is one of those ones that you need to do your research on- if you know your hair curls well ordinarily this may be a good option for you but if like me, curls don't last well with your hair type, this may not make a difference for you.
So it's one and a half thumbs up only (not sure how that works) from me- I really like this for adding volume and straightening but I didn't love it as much when it came to curling. This is also pricey enough at €120 (HERE on the InStyler website) but the good news is that you can find it HERE on the boots.ie site for only €84.99!! That's a brilliant bargain, especially if you don't want to wait for Santa to bring it for you!
Have you tried the InStyler? What did you think? If not, is it on your wish list?