Pros: Heats in 30 seconds, auto shut-off, perfect barrel size, no heat up odors
Cons: Shorter cord, counter rest gets in the way
My curling iron was starting to act up on me, and officially diet yesterday morning when I was attempting to curl my hair. The lights worked but it simply would not heat up. I was not a happy camper, but my old Conair curling iron did last for two years so I can't complain too much.
I have medium short length hair, and a curling iron is essential for my style of haircut. Unfortunately, the 1 1/4" barrel works the best, but after going to several stores my choices were limited to one model, the Conair Instant Heat 1 1/4" Styling Iron.
This looks similar to other versions of Conair curling irons, and has a plethora of heat settings, 25 to be exact. Conair makes their curling irons in different finishes, and I have had their gold, silver and tourmaline, this one is silver.
Aside from the heat settings, this model has two additional buttons, the power off (which illuminates when activated), and a turbo button, which also illuminates. The power button is red and the turbo is green. The Turbo Boost claims to give maximum heat with the push of a button, but is not a feature I find particularly helpful since I already have this set at number 20, so it's already very hot.
If you are a gal that likes instant heat, this model may be just what you are looking for. It claims to heat up in 30 seconds, and those claims held true for me. It provides almost instant heat.
The Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron has dual voltage, so if you are taking a trip to Europe, this is designed to work both there and in the US. While the curling iron will automatically adjust to the proper voltage, you still need to use an adapter plug.
The package insert has a guide for how to use the heat settings, and suggests that numbers 1-8 (low heat) be used for delicate, thin and easy to curl hair. Numbers 9-14 (medium) are for average to thick or treated hair. Thick or wavy hair should be used with the 15-20 (medium high) setting, and the highest heat settings of 21-25 are left for hard to curl hair. The Turbo Heat increases heat by 36 degrees, and provides a "burst of heat for difficult spots".
When I looked at the package there was something that confused me. It lists "Chromium, Nickel, Copper, Nickel, and Steel". I had to read the users manual to learn that this product has what Conair calls "Multi-Layer Technology". This means the barrel is coated with all of those metals previously mentioned. The outer surface is chromium which is intended to smooth and protect the hair.
So far I have been pleased with the quality and performance of this curling iron. I like the counter rest (kick stand) because it keeps the hot barrel off of my bathroom counter, but when I swivel it back to sit flush against the plastic portion, it does not stay and sometimes gets in the way when I am curling my hair.
The clamp on the barrel is nice and tight, and it holds my hair firmly in place when curling. Initially it seems almost too tight, (and is a bit hard to slide down my hair), but it has been my experience that this loosens up with use and is not usually a problem.
I love the 1 1/4" barrel, it gives me soft curls and body, which is just what I am looking for. The thumb lever is a little farther away from the barrel than I am used to, but again it didn't take long to get used to something slightly different than I had been using. I also like the swivel feature at the end of the item, it prevents tangled cords.
The black plastic tip is 7/8" long, so there is plenty of room for my fingers to hold onto it at certain times when styling. Overall, this is a comfortable curling to hold and use.
Have you ever noticed a hot plastic odor when using a new appliance? I have had this problem with past Conair curling irons, but that did not happen this time around, which was a nice surprise. The odor from my last model took several weeks to go away, and actually gave me a headache. Kudos to Conair for solving this problem!
Some curling irons leave crimp marks on the hair, but I have not had any problems in that area. I don't necessarily follow the temperature setting guide, my hair falls into the "delicate, thin, easy to curl" category, which should be curled at the low setting. Well, my hair is delicate and thin (fine), but this setting won't begin to set my curls, so I have to use a much higher setting.
I do have one complaint, and that is the length of the cord. It measures about 5 feet long, but I had become used to using a version with a longer cord. My old Conari Ceramic Curling Iron was an additional three feet in length. I simply can't use it in the same way as I had become accustomed to.
Last, this product has an auto-off feature, meaning if it is left on accidentally (or for one hour), it will turn itself off. That gives me peace of mind, as I always used to leave the home and then wonder if I had turned off my curling iron (I used to drive my husband nuts).
The curling iron comes with a 2 year warranty. My old model actually had a 5 year warranty and only lasted two years, so I will be contacting Conair about this, but in the meantime this version will fill in nicely, and it was only $14.00, so I feel it was a good buy.