Babyliss 9000 cordless straightener review: We put the £200 tool to the test | The Independent

2021-12-23 07:22:56 By : Ms. Mandy Xiao

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Finding the straighteners for curly hair is no mean feat – could these portable plates be serious contenders?

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Thanks to their Nobel Prize-winning technology, these survive a full 30 minutes when fully charged

Straightening curly hair can be problematic. Heat needs to be hot enough to break the hydrogen bonds of each strand, but not so hot that it permanently ravages your curls. According to a recent study, temperatures of 220°C and above cause a significant change in curl pattern, leaving it unable to revert back to its original shape once washed.

However, while many of us curly girls want the option of wearing our hair curly or straight, we definitely don’t want our heated tools to underperform, so that not long after you’ve straightened it, your tresses have turned frizzy and you can see your curls slowly starting to remerge. This only leads to having to straighten them all over again, and with curly hair having a propensity to be naturally dry and more fragile, the less heat the better.

This all makes finding the perfect straightener for curls a must, but it can be a minefield. There’s the matter of what type of plates work best, those with thick, or afro-textured hair will likely favour titanium as it heats up quickly, gets pretty hot and contains negative ions to reduce static, retain moisture and leave hair looking shiny and ultra-smooth.

Ceramic plates on the other hand, are gentler on the hair, which is a plus for fragile curly manes. Some are infused with tourmaline, a mineral that contains negative ions – but generally the negative ions in titanium trump those in ceramic tools.

With ceramic’s reputation for being kinder for the hair, we wanted to see how Babyliss’s £200 9000 cordless straightener performed on our curly tresses. Because when you think about it, is a straightening iron really any good if it doesn’t work for those who need it most? Read on to discover how our curls fared.

We decided not to make things easy on this model, so rather than stretch out our curls by rough drying them with a brush pre-straightening (which tends to make the job easier), we opted first to leave each corkscrew curl intact.

For the ultimate test we straightened the curls individually by spritzing some heat protectant down the length of the curl, then pulling each curl down from the bottom while running the Babyliss 9000 down the curl to straighten. We tested the three different heat settings, and once we established which heat setting worked best for our corkscrew 3C curls, we washed and rough-dried our hair before straightening the whole lot.

Where do we start? This tool is pretty high-tech. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery which is not like your bog-standard battery – in fact, those who developed it won a Nobel Prize for their efforts. It’s this clever source of power that allows for this tool to work at full capacity for 30 minutes. If you do travel with it, rest assured, it has a safety feature that ensures it won’t ever switch on by itself, and there’s a heat-proof cover for good measure.

The plates are ceramic, and they also float! This essentially means they are somewhat flexible, allowing the user to clamp the two plates together more effectively. It heats up in a flash, and if Nobel Prize-winning science wasn’t enough, it also uses a patented micro heating matrix tech that ensures a consistent temperature throughout the styling process to prevent unnecessary heat damage.

Our initial test to establish which temperature would work best resulted in a big surprise. Having traditionally used the highest heat setting whenever possible we assumed that 160°C, and even 180°C, wouldn’t cut it, and that 200°C would be the setting of choice. But perhaps because of the superior design and the patented heating tech, 160°C was all that was required to straighten out our curls. This leads us to believe that these would work well on even curlier hair than our own.

Read more: 9 best leave-in conditioners for healthy and hydrated locks

Once we began straightening in earnest we went section by section from the nape of the neck, working our way up to the hairline. Still amazed that 160°C was all that was needed, we worked our way through each section, passing over them twice on average – paying close attention to the sections closest to the scalp and being impressed at how the curved design allowed us to get really close to the root. Despite containing a battery, the iron isn’t as heavy as expected, which helped make the process more comfortable and meant we didn’t need to take an arm rest break halfway through. Straightening curly hair can be hard work, especially if you have lots of it!

The plates glide smoothly over hair without snagging, helping to banish frizz

The plates glided smoothly over our hair with no snagging, helped banish frizz, left lengths nice and shiny and even managed to make our dry, seen-better-days ends look far less scraggly. This was thanks to the cordless nature of these irons, as curling, and flicking the ends was made easy with no wire in the way.

While a three-hour charge is meant to give 30 minutes of straightening time, and the large circular on off button lights up in various hues to indicate how much charge is left – green for fully charged, orange for 30 to 49 per cent and red for less than 30 per cent – we did find that there was a bit of a race against the clock as we needed a full charge to get the job done.

The Babyliss 900 cordless straightener is easy to use thanks to one master button that adjusts the temperature and switches it on and off. It straightened our curls with ease and hair remained straight all day (although we didn’t test in humid conditions) which gave it major points from us.

It would be ideal if the battery lasted longer, as for those with long or thick hair you might need more than 30 minutes to straighten your tresses. However, if you prefer to get professional blow-dries (don’t we all) and tend to use straightening irons for touch-ups only, you’ll likely never need more than 30 minutes.

When it came to ease of use the cordless element was a bonus as we could straighten anywhere – no socket nearby necessary – and it made curling the ends a doddle. Another big draw was the impressive way it performed on a low heat setting, and how the design enabled us to straighten from right at the very “root”.

However, there’s no denying that people with very thick hair might prefer a straightener with a wider plate, which would help reduce styling time further – despite the even heat distribution making inroads in that department.

For the latest discounts on hair tools and other beauty products, try the links below:

After more last-minute hair saviours? We tried the Ghd unplugged straightener for effortless styling on the go

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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The plates glide smoothly over hair without snagging, helping to banish frizz

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