How A $20 Hair Straightener Changed The Way I Look At Beauty Products

I straighten my hair every day, and I have for years now. Even though my hair is naturally straight for the most part, I’m super particular about ironing out the slight kinks and waves that I wake up with in the morning. My hair is color treated, so I need to be super careful about overdoing it when it comes to damaging my hair.

I have a close relationship with the hairdressers at my salon at home – I’ve been going there basically since I was born. I bounce back and forth between 2 or 3 hairdressers at the salon I go to, and they all know my hair history, which makes appointments a breeze. I value their knowledge, and almost always consult one of them before making a beauty purchase.

A few years ago, probably when I was in middle school, I asked my hairdresser which straightener I should buy. She recommended the Chi, which was super expensive at the time since it was relatively new. She assured me that it would be worth the money since it has ceramic plates that minimize stress and damage on your hair. Plus, they’re an investment; they won’t burn out in a few months like so many of the straighteners I was buying were. Let’s just say it didn’t take much to convince me…

I had my Chi straightener for maybe two years, and I loved it. It was way nicer than any other straightener I had ever used. I was hooked. Unfortunately, I accidentally dropped it one day and it snapped in half. RIP Chi.

After my overwhelmingly positive experience with my Chi, (minus me dropping it), I never once considered going back to any sort of “cheap” straightener… Until my $100 imitation Chi straightener stopped getting hot a few weeks ago. While it wasn’t a Chi, it was almost as expensive as one, and worked just as well. This time around, I didn’t have an extra $100-150 laying around, so I decided I would have to do something I never thought I would again: buy a cheap straightener.


I ended up buying a Remington Diamond Ceramic Chine 1” straightener from Target for $20. I found it hard to believe that something so inexpensive would work, so I kept my receipt handy just in case I needed to return it. After one use, I crumbled up the receipt and threw it away. There was no way I was going to return this straightener. Not only does it get hot in 30 seconds (something that all of my previous straighteners claimed to do, but never actually did), but it also leaves my hair soft and shiny. Plus, it has ceramic plates just like the Chi, so I really don’t feel like I’m putting any kind of added stress on my hair. Add in the straightener’s ability to also curl, and you’ve got yourself a steal.

Looking back, I spent so many years being a hair straightener snob, and it was such a waste of money. Obviously Chi dominates in the beauty world; people know and trust a product by Chi just because of the status associated with it. It’s salon quality, and the price tag reflects that. Unfortunately, being a full-blown adult now with bills to pay, I can’t afford to dish out over $100 for a straightener that may or may not last a long time, depending on the circumstances. Spending $20 makes a lot more sense financially, and even if it only lasts me a year, it’s worth it in my book (especially since my high-end straighteners only lasted 2-3 years max).

If I had the money at the time, I probably would have bought another expensive hair straightener. To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t. I’m not by any means undermining the power of a Chi or any other expensive straightener, but I do think that other options may be just as good depending on your hair type. For example, my hair is thin and pretty straight to begin with, so I probably don’t need a top-of-the-line straightener, whereas someone with super curly, thick hair might. I may have never come to this realization had I not given a cheaper straightener a shot.

The beauty industry is extremely competitive, and brands with an established presence and following (much like Chi) will continue to dominate. However, I think it’s important that you don’t limit your options based on what society considers “best in class.” I had a great experience with Chi products, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever have a positive experience with another brand of straightener again.

Do your research and examine all of your options to figure out which product works best for you. Don’t buy a product just because the beauty industry tells you to.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s