This was the first expensive hair tool I owned right out of high school in 2002 or 2003 and I received it as a Xmas gift from my sister-in-law. A week ago....11 or 12 years later it finally died on me :( I loved this hair straightener and remember whenever I would use my friends straighteners I wished I was using mine. My BFF also loved my straightener and I thought for Xmas I would buy her a "better" more expensive one (ULTRA Chi) and hers ended up dying after 10 months!!! Since I was on the market for a new straightener I thought I'd read reviews and try a new one out, but I knew I had to stay faithful to the HAI....my new one is ordered and on the way!!!! I will forever be loyal to this brand straightener if the next one lasts half as long as the original.
My first real love of the hair appliance kind. I love, love, love this thing and I've had it since 2003. I still remember... it was my first ever eBay purchase and I panicked because I'd hit "pay" twice (by accident.. or was it anxiety?) and thought I'd committed to 2 of them. Not that it would have been a bad thing... I'm a twin and I actually have a "thing" about twos, but it was not my intention and the seller was a gem and fixed the problem, probably realizing I was another "newbie"... and took pity on me, haha!
So yes, I adore thing thing. Having long hair, the 1 1/4" plates seemed like a smarter choice than 1" and after trying a 1", I do prefer a 1 1/4". It still does bangs, flips, curls, whatever you want. I love that the plates are floating (they aren't fixed, but they gently rock a bit when you press on them) so they "fit" together better. Mind you, these fit together "dead perfectly". (Excuse the bad English...). One end of the plates doesn't touch while the other end is still "open". I love how well this is made. The edges are nicely rounded so those flips and curls are easy and I've never had this snag my hair. Having blonde hair also meant I preferred a variable heat setting since blonde hair is more fragile than darker hair. Owning a CHI with no temp. control was just out of the question. Results are always shiny smooth hair. Don't forget to use heat protectant!
The following comments are in regards to how well it's made and some care tips:
This thing is hardy! I dropped it in the sink (you know how those stupid bathroom cupboard knobs can catch the cord and pull it from your grip?? It was either catch a hot iron with my bare hands or... you know the rest!) Well, one of the plates fell out and was hanging by wires! I thought it was finished, but the plates still worked! I eventually discovered a glue that worked on cooking pots & pans, car parts, etc...and lo and behold, flat irons! IF you ever have a casualty where the plate falls out of your flatiron but it still works, get yourself to a hardware store and ask for this glue called "JB Weld". It will not only glue your iron back together, but it withstands up to 550 degrees F. (You're welcome!) It might smell a little the first few times you warm it up again but it does go away over time.
So yes, I still use this 11 year old iron! Even after owning a T3 Flat iron that died out of the blue for no good reason... after the warranty of course, and even though I still have an FHI Platform (which is also very good), this one is still my baby.
Some words on cleaning. I find the best way to keep it clean is to clean it after every use. I typically let it cool a little and while it's till warm, I wipe with a damp towel. I always use a heat protectant and as you know, stuff builds up on the plates. if it's hardened on and the iron is cold, I'll use a paper towel dampened with alcohol and add sprinkle of baking soda which should gently help scrub the baked on gunk without damaging the coating on the plates. (Don't, however, use alcohol to clean the rest of the iron, unless you don't mind removing the logo/letting. I found that out the hard way. A spritz of Windex on a paper towel helps clean hair product off the rest of the iron without removing the lettering.)
Definitely one of the best investments I've ever made. :)
I bought this flat iron at my hairdresser's salon about 9 years ago. I thought 90$ was alot but this one measured out far better than other brands that my friends had. I loved the fact that I could use it on damp hair and it did not smell or leave my hair stringy afterwards. After 9 years of no problems, I dropped it while it was still hot and the bottom plate partially detached. I know they are more expensive now but I am using a cheaper one from Sally's until I purchase a new one.
I bought the Hai about 2 yrs ago after my beloved 5 yr old Chi Turbo broke. I opted to buy the this iron instead of another Turbo because it had the same features--fast heating and adjustable temperature--that I liked about my trusty old Chi only it was less $$$ and convertible (turbo has a velvet cover).
I believed the Hai was a good iron bc back when I was in hair school most people usually advocated getting the Chi or the Hai and they were the 2 irons that always got passed around cuz everyone was always borrowing them. This is because both of these irons could be relied upon to heat up quick, and no matter what you'd just done to your client's hair you could still make it look all shiny and silky (plus when you have the choice between the Hai, the Chi, or some other crap brand you never heard of which one you gonna choose?).
The reason I'm giving it only 3 sticks is because I dunno if they changed the design or their materials or what, but the Hai that I bought from Folica.com (surely it wasn't counterfit?) was a piece of shit that I regretted buying for 2 long years! And at least some part of its crappyness was NOT due to some fluke of production.
First of all, I dunno if there was something wrong with my Hai's plates or if it was its heating element (more likely it was the heating element) or what, but it was NEVER able to heat up hot enough to straighten my hair to silky smoothness like the Chi (and other irons like it) did. No idea why mine sucked so bad, but its possible this was just a fluke--indeed I remember the other Hais that i've used before as being just as good as the Chi but that was years ago....
Second of all: the cord! Omg was it always like this?! How did I not notice?! The cord is truly awful: it was--and still is--so freaking stiff that it actually made it difficult to use! Like there is no bendability or give to this cord so I was constantly fighting it--and the tangled mess it was always trying to become--whenever I wanted to use the iron. And to be clear, this has nothing to do with user default--like I have NEVER stored a flatiron with its cord wrapped around it and wouldn't even try to for obvious reasons. Even if I wanted to do that I couldn't bc the cord is just so stiff that i couldn't even gather it up. This made the iron a MAJOR pain in the ass to store and to use.
I was so excited to buy this hair iron. I had heard such great things. I went down to the beauty supply store and splurged like crazy to get this iron. I brought it home and after using it every other day for about 2 weeks it completely burned out. It wouldn't turn back on. I took it down to the store and they told me I need to ship it to the head quarters and get another one. So I did just that and I got a brand new one delivered to my house a few days later and the same thing happened! it wouldn't turn back on after I had straightened only hair my hair. I was so upset, because when it actually worked it was a great iron. I eventually gave up and turned to Chi and I love it, it does the same job as the Hai.
I looove HAI flat irons. My mom bought me my first one ten years ago when I was still in high school. Well, now I'm 25 and my hai finally died. I can't believe it lasted that long!! It still kind of works but when I plug it in the outlet, the light to turn it on flickers so it's not completely reliable anymore. This is by far the best flat iron I have ever used though. I have very thick, long blonde hair. It does not pull my hair or fry it. I always use a heat protectant spray before I use it though. I have tried my friends CHI and it doesn't even come close to the HAI! Plus, HAI's are cheaper than CHI. You can get them really cheap on beautybasicsupply.com. I just ordered my second HAI for only $54 plus I got free shipping and a free thermal mat. I got the 1 1/4" classic pro this time around. Don't fall into the CHI hype. They are cheap and break usually after a year or so. So if you want soft, silky hair that lasts til your next shampoo then buy a HAI. It will def last you a looong time!
my HG iron! i am currently using the CHI which doesnt glide as good as my HAI and doesnt give as much shine, Hai also has heat settings which chi doesnt. DEFINITELY worth the price. im waiting for my Chi to stop working to get me another HAI :}
Edit on 05/06/12: This flat iron is the equivalent of a drugstore flat iron. Over time it made my hair look lifeless and fried. And, it broke after 2 years! I won't buy another HAI flat iron again.
Edit on 03/17/11: I still like this flat iron, but I don't love it anymore. It dried out my hair over time and it doesn't heat up as much as it did before. For the price I paid, I expected a lot more.
I LOVE this flat iron! It used to take me forever to do my hair, but with this, 5 minutes max and I'm done. I love that it doesn't make my hair stick straight or take the body away from my hair. Its great. I've used to infamous Chi, and I like this better. Great deal, and I hope it lasts forever!
I expected more from this since I paid about $80. Unfortunately, it does not glide through my hair like many other reviewers have experienced. It snags in the middle of a lock of hair, making me have to tug it slightly, resulting in flat-iron kinks (not attractive). Plus, when I try to iron my bangs, it also doesn't glide and ends up awkwardly sticking up in all directions. Eh. Better than my cheapie $20 Revlon but still not worth $80... this one is going back. P.S. My hair is very fine, thick, naturally blonde highlighted blonder, and half-wavy.
I had never heard of this brand before, and I originally went to the salon to buy a T3.
The stylist showed me this one, because I have really long hair she reommended the 1 1/4 inch model. It has the same warranty as the T3, only a little less expensive.
I LOVE this. I usually curl my hair after drying it, and then let it do what it wants for the next couple of days before I wash it again, and this definately makes sure the curls stay!
It doesnt leave my hair frizzy, which used to be big problem for me when I would straighten my hair, not with this one! I'm SO glad she recommended this!