Better than the Chi. Doesn't burn the hair. Really, really good. Recommended 100%
Best straightener ever!! It is the only one that still leaves a little bit of body in my hair, so I don't have completely flat, lifeless strands. The detachable combs give you greater control and that makes the difference between taking 20 minutes or 45 minutes (I have very thick, wiry hair). You can also easily hold the ends closed as you glide down your hair, which gives you added tension so you don't have to go over the same sections more than once. I tried the CHI models for a short while and found them to be far too hot (gave me limp hair) and too difficult to control.
I bought this product in May 2002 for $125 (including S&H) to combat Florida humidity, and this is the best damn straightening iron I have ever owned. My hair is naturally wavy (not the good kind, the nasty kind), and this makes my hair stay stick straight in the most humid climates. I'm embarrassed to admit I went through not one, but TWO Helen of Troy irons prior to this purchase which broke apart despite careful handling. I have used my Sapphire EVERY DAY for the past 6 years. Granted, I do take very good care of it (no dropping it on the floor, slamming it down, etc.), and the iron, comb, and cord are intact and in EXCELLENT condition. I have also heard excellent things about the CHI, but lucky for me, my Sapphire has lasted so long and has not warranted the investigation into the purchase of another iron. I can't emphasize enough what a great investment this iron has been for me. You will not be disappointed.
I have been using this straightener since high school/college. It was all the rage then, and for good reason. It is the best straightener I have ever used, although I must say that I have not used many because this has been such a great tool. It was my first one and I have never felt the need to buy another. The 2 1/4-in plates are perfect for thicker, wavier/curlier hair and although it is a bit heavy, I feel that a good iron should be. Those thin, lightweight ones from the drugstore don't look like they can do much, and the newer, more expensive ones are overrated and overpriced. It has never fried my hair and creates a nice smooth, shiny finish, not that fried and dried look. Mine is about 5 years old and going strong. Definitely an investment you will not regret.
I travel for my work quite a bit, and the flat iron I'm reviewing is a dual-voltage model (2.25 inch). The iron really flattens my hair and gives it an even, shiny appearance. It also doesn't seem to dry my hair out as much as other flat irons (I use a thermal hair protector beforehand). The iron itself is too wide for my liking, however, and I found it difficult to search for a smaller model. That being said, I highly recommend it.
The Solano Sapphire Straightener is the one I have had the most luck with. I bought one about 6 years ago, and it was the first time I could get my hair looking so silky and straight. I love the way the "comb/teeth" part grasp the hair so that you can really get a good grasp on the hair and get it smooth. I have nothing but praise for this device. However, after a lot of use (and letting it fall on the floor one too many times), some of the "teeth" eventually broke off. I thought maybe I would try one of the newer product on the market, so tried a chi, a helen of troy, and the most disappointing of all, the t3 wet/dry version. Ugh. None of them measured up to my Solano Sapphire. I actually started using my broken teeth one over any of the new ones and it STILL did a better job than any of those.
I got this straightener 3 years ago and it's still working well. Before that, I used cheap drugstore straighteners that were never hot enough to do much for my long, thick wavy hair (and I have a lot of it). Thanks to the Solano, I can now wear my hair down whenever I want, takes me a little over half an hour to straighten it after blowdrying (which is kinda long but the results are worth it).
I've had this iron for a long time. I also have the CHI, but I prefer my blue Solano. The CHI I own has too small plates, and I get tired with it. This iron has perfect sized plates, so I can straighten quicker. My hair is naturally straight, but not stick straight. Whenever it gets poofy, I straighten it. It does a great job, but lately I've been noticing that my hair gets frizzy again. Maybe it's the styling product I use. I haven't noticed the difference between the damage caused by my irons- they all fry hair to some extent or another. In a couple of months, I'll have split ends. I try not to iron too much. I don't see what's heavy or cumbersome about it. I straighten my own hair fine, and I don't need to iron my roots either. But I am curious to try another iron out there. Whenever this one quits working, I might buy another one.
The best, hands down, IMO. I've had mine for years and last year decided to try a ceramic Sedu - it went back to Folica the following week. I also purchased a HAI Convertable off eBay for the ceramic plates and smaller plate surface, but find I rarely, if ever, even use that one. For me, there is a TON to be said for the "clamping/scissor" style of the Solano Sapphire that really does seem to grip the hair better, thus resulting in quicker straightening. I also believe the comb edge has a lot to do with the way it grips and straightens. I believe my next purchase will be the Sapphire with the smaller plates - this is truly the king of kings when it comes to flat irons.
I have the 1 1/4 size flat iron and I've used it for years. I like it b/c it does a wonderful job straightening my coarse, thick, kinky (but not curly) hair. The plates get incredibly hot and my hair is instantly straight. However, since the ceramic irons have come out, I'm wondering if the metals plates are too damaging. I also dislike the fact that it is sort of clunky compared to the sleeker new models. The funny thing is that when I bring my flat iron on trips, my friends always rave out it (most of them have the Chi Iron). They ask where they can find it and claim that it does the best job acheiving that pin straight look.