Reviewed in The Globe and Mail

Globe & Mail

POSTED ON 27/07/06


It’s amazing how some of us can grow up lacking the most basic skills. Hair straightening, for example. You might have attempted it once when you were 20 with a cheap drugstore flatiron and ended up with fried, flyaway ends. No wonder you never tried it again: You wanted Joan Jett and you got Cyndi Lauper.

It’s time to give it another go. With the humidity off the charts and tempers — and hair — fraying, it’s more important than ever to know how to smooth things over.

The key is to go upscale. The new ceramic styling iron with X-heat technology from salon brand KQC retails for $299. That is pricey when compared with the Conair range, but it can be found for less than $200 on-line and, remember, this is something you will use every day, unlike, say, that lime green Diane von Furstenberg top that goes with exactly one skirt.


Like most hair straighteners today, the KQC X-Heat has ceramic plates that heat more evenly and produce less damage-causing friction than the old metal ones. It also incorporates crystals of the gemstone tourmaline, which are said to generate negative ions (the same thing your air cleaner produces to reduce static electricity), thus reducing frizz and preserving moisture.

Even the heat it uses sounds impressive: “far infrared,” a deep-penetrating heat that is the latest trend in wellness products. The benefit is that it takes less time to heat the hair and make it behave the way you want it to — a good thing both for your tresses and your schedule.

The straightener is easy to use, even for a newbie; it features a long swivel cord and heats up quickly. Once you start, you won’t want to stop (it’s shocking how addictive a grooming trick can be). And there does seem to be something to the claim of moisture retention, as even ultrafine hair feels soft after straightening.

We have friends who have bought straighteners for less than $100 that they swear by. But beauty products are like magic spells: You have to believe in them yourself. This KQC is my new magic wand.