My induction into the world of fancy hair straighteners came via Chi — via my mom, via her hairdresser who would order them at wholesale price and sell them to her without a markup. It vanquished my natural waves that puberty had just triggered, and to a 15-year-old in flat-iron-obsessed 2005 who had absolutely zero real-world problems, this was a godsend. When it died days before I left for college, I panicked and cried. (Again, absolutely zero real-world problems.) My mom managed to secure a GhD model right before I left that served me well for several years.
When my most recent fancy straightener, one I swiped from work when the brand sent it to an editor who no longer worked here, died this past May, I waffled on buying the same one. But I didn’t give much thought to throwing this Remington Pro straightener in my Amazon Prime Now cart in August, along with toilet paper and aluminum foil; with more than 1,500 positive reviews at the time bolstered by “before” and “after” pictures of women with all types of hair, plus a just-under-$20 price tag, I figured the risk was worth it.
In case the mere existence of this article doesn’t make this point clear, this purchase was so, so worth it. There were more than 4,700 reviews as of this writing, and 71 percent of them were five-star (and they didn’t look sketchy to me). This thing heats up and straightens quickly — I usually do my whole head in just under 10 minutes, and touch-ups over the following two to six days are done in seconds. I’ve had to assure co-workers more than once that, no, I didn’t get a blowout that morning. And if it dies on me sooner than I’d like, I won’t stress about the finances of ordering another one (it’s less than the dry shampoo that allows me to not wash my hair for up to six days).
I recommended this straightener to my coolest friend recently, and she opted to spend an extra $10 to get it in black, of course (mine’s purple) — nearly a 50 percent markup. Note that prices can fluctuate: I bought mine for $17-something, and when I was writing this article, it was $19.97; the last time I checked, it was $14.95. Whatever you pay, it’s still a fraction of what a fancy model costs, or right around what 15-year-old me would have been able to afford. And it was delivered to my door faster than I could have gotten a Drybar appointment at three times the price.
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