Wednesday, September 19, 2012

REVIEW #15: MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron

Disclaimer: While I used temperatures of 360 to 380 F on my hair, I am in no way suggesting that others will not suffer heat damage in that range.  My hair is thick, dense, AND very kinky (except for some fine strands in the back), all of which allow it to undergo this level of heat exposure with no noticeable heat damage.  Learn what temperature range works for YOUR hair.  Here are a couple of blogs that discuss safe ranges of heat usage:

1. http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2009/05/straightening-factshow-hot-is-too-hot.html
2. http://confessionsofablogvixen.com/2011/07/how-to-prevent-heat-damage-when-flat-ironing-natural-hair/


In the midst of straightening.
Purpose: To straighten very curly hair.  Also perfect for Brazilian Keratin Treatments.

Number of trials: 1 (straightened hair was then worn for two full weeks)

How I used it:
Hair was prepoo-ed, washed, conditioned, sealed, and then air-dried in 10 big twists.   Heat protectant was then applied as hair was flat ironed section by section.  The sections were as big as 1 inch by 2-3 inches, some smaller, but none bigger than that.  Only 1-2 passes were used.  The straightener was set to a temperature of 380 degrees Fahrenheit.  (I later tried 360 degrees, which achieved the same level of straightening.)

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THE REVIEW:

I was given this product to review and, to give you my honest opinion, this product is really good for the price.  If you have been following me for a while, then you know that I am a big fan of the GHD iron (the gold professional), which I purchased for $200+ a while ago.  Well, the MK-I Halo is the first straightener that I have used that comes close to the GHD.  What's more? It is priced for almost 45% less!  The MK-I Halo straightens just as well (1-2 passes, minimal effort) but leaves the hair with more volume.  This may be a good thing for those who want straight, voluminous hair.  I am by no means talking about the "frizzy, dry, stiff" kind of volume either;  I am talking about straight, sleek hair that is voluminous.  When I use the GHD, I notice that I lose a lot of the natural bulk in my hair, and I have a more flat look, which I actually like, but others may not.  Voluminous or flat, when it comes to the actual straightening, the two tools are fairly comparable.

Other than the actual straightening, what I like about this tool is that it has an adjustable digital temperature setting, which ranges from 140 to 450 F.  This is ideal for those who want to monitor the temperature they are applying to their strands.  In the future, I would like to use a setting of 300 F just to cut down on my heat exposure, and this tool will allow for that.  The GHD, on the other hand, does not have an adjustable temperature setting; according to the company website, the gold professional iron ranges from 347 to 365 F.

Now for the question of whether the style held up.  Yes, the style held up really well for the full two weeks with minimal reversion.  In my experience, the GHD does slightly better at withholding reversion than the MK-I Halo, though the latter is still pretty good.  Again, the difference between the performances of the two tools is minimal.

What are some other nice features of the MK-I Halo?  It heats up really fast (within seconds, it seems).  It automatically shuts off after the straightener has been on for 30 minutes.  This is a protective feature that comes in handy if you accidentally leave the room or house with the tool still on.  I also received a heat shield pouch, which comes in handy for storing and transporting the straightener.

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PROS: straightens well and effortlessly; leaves the hair looking sleek and voluminous; reasonably priced; digital temperature setting; heats up within seconds; automatic shut off for protection; locks in moisture and does not dry the hair; heat shield storage and transportation pouch
CONS: none really; if you're like me and prefer straight hair that is flat over voluminous, then that might be considered a small con.

RATING: Overall, I give the MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron 4.5 out of 5 stars based on what it accomplishes given the price alone.  It comes close to GHD, but I like the GHD slightly better. However, when it comes to cost, you can spend almost $100 less for the comparable MK-I Halo.  Also, again, you can use less heat with this straightener!

If you are interested in purchasing this tool or other products from Onei, use the "HHB40" code (for 40% off) at www.oneibeauty.com.

This product is ideal for those who:
- have dense, curly/coily/kinky hair
- want the super straight, sleek look for a reasonable price
- want a quality straightener with a temperature setting


Finito.  Put in two big twists for waves.  Note the gloss, shine, and straightness after flat ironing.

FOLLOWING PHOTOS ARE FOR COMPARISON:

Back in 2010 with a name-brand $50 flat iron.  Note the textured, stiff look after straightening.  Similar technique but different flat iron.  I would again get a textured, stiff look with a $60 more heavily-popular flat iron.

After the GHD.  Note the sleek, straight tresses.  Similar results are achieved with the MK-Halo, which is almost 45-50% cheaper.

GHD on the left.  MK-I Halo on the right.  Virtually no visible difference, but prior to achieving the waves, my hair is less voluminous with the GHD.
MK-I Halo on the left.  GHD on the right.  Note the digital screen on the MK-I Halo.
What I am working with when it comes to straightening.  The closest I can get to my natural texture shot.  This is after washing a twistout that was not separated (hence the clumping).  My hair shrinks down to about 2-3 inches.

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yea, I was pretty impressed with how straight it got. I would've never thought it possible without a relaxer. :o)

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  2. Okay wow, so how long have you been flat ironing your natural hair and how often do you do it to keep you natural hair healthy. I am going to look for this flat iron because I do want sleek but full hair. Thanks for highlighting your journey regarding this.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chan. I flat-ironed about 3-4 times(?) this summer, which is a lot. I just wanted to really enjoy my length after spending 97% of my time in twits over the 4.5 years. If I were to develop a "healthy" heat regimen, I'd probably flat iron 3-4 times a year.

      You're welcome! This particular flat iron is available at: www.oneibeauty.com.

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