Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


visit to purchase

FHI Heat Curling Iron (1 1/4″) ($195.00) is really the creme de la creme of curling irons. FHI’s curling iron barrel sizes range from 3/4″ to 1 1/2″, and my girl Pursebuzz recommended I get a 1 1/4″ as a multi-tasking curling iron. This particular barrel size gets you larger curls, and without a curl styling product beforehand, gives you more beachy waves than tight curls. For those less hair savvy, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. Thus, larger barrels are more likely to give you waves than ringlets. Also, longer hair can tolerate larger barrels, because there is more hair to wrap around the barrel.

With my shorter hair style (although, it is rapidly growing out!), I do find the 1 1/4″ to be a little large at times, but I know it would be the perfect size on my previous, longer hair. You can definitely get your Victoria Secret’s full, sexy hair with it! I think I need to pick up a 3/4″ or 1″ barrel curling iron at some point, so that I switch as I need to. Another trick I picked up from Pursebuzz is to use those plastic rollers (they cost a few bucks, and you can find them at a beauty supply store or even your local drugstore). You can pick them up in different sizes, so after you’ve used the hot curling iron, wrap them up in these, to let the curl set and conform a bit more while you do your makeup.

Design: I really liked the handle design of this particular curling iron. It has a digital temperature display, and the temperature can adjust from 212 degrees to 410 degrees Farenheit. Although, mine displays in celsius, and I’m not sure if there’s a way to change it (and I’ve been too lazy to check the instructions manual!). Thicker hair needs higher temperatures in order to keep the curl, while thinner, finer hair requires less heat. To find a good heat setting, you shouldn’t have to hold the barrel in place for more than several seconds. If you find you can’t get a curl unless the iron is in place for a minute, you probably need to crank up the heat. The handle comes equipped with an up and down button for temperature, as well as the power button. Once you’ve found your desired temperature, you can then press the power button once to lock in your temperature. This is great, because I do find I occasionally bump the up or down buttons, and this way, the temperature doesn’t change. There is also a kickstand to allow you to prop up the curling iron on your countertop so the hot bits don’t come into contact with the surface, which is always helpful. I find it doesn’t heat up, as long as you don’t allow the metal to touch the barrel itself.

Time: This baby heats up in under five minutes. I would say just a minute or two, and it’s pretty much ready for me to use. I have thick hair, so I do keep the temperature of this quite high (300+).

Get the low-down on some more pros and cons!

Pros: I’m most definitely not a hair expert, but I’m trying to gain some hair knowledge! I know that excessive heat tools and products can damage your hair, so ever since I started getting into styling, I’ve been looking out for products and tools that minimize that damage. FHI’s curling iron contains a ceramic heater, which is supposed to cause less damage to your strands.

Cons: Everything about this iron is fantastic, nothing is really lacking, except when it comes to the rubber tip at the end of the barrel. When I curl my hair, I often place two fingers at the end of the barrel (where the rubber tip is) to help curl my hair around the barrel’s curvature. The problem is I find the rubber tip is pretty warm! I’m utterly confused by it, because I know it shouldn’t be conducting heat. It isn’t scalding, so I can still put my fingers around it no problem, but it’s definitely warmer than I’d like. For those who use lower heat settings, you might not notice this at all. I actually wonder if mine is dysfunctional in that aspect, because FHI advertises it as a “cool-touch tip.” So take this con as just a possibility, but it could very well be something specific to my iron.

Also, the price is obviously above and beyond some beauty addicts’ budgets. I’m not yet advocating this particular curling iron over any others, as this is only the second I’ve tried in my life (the first sucked, and it was also wickedly old!). If you love FHI’s Flat Irons (cult faves!), and you have the beauty budget to finagle it, this is a product that works well!

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6 thoughts on “FHI Heat 1 1/4″ Curling Iron for Your Multi-tasking Styling Tool

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ann Marie Annie

    HELP – YOUR OPINION: as someone who curls her hair every single day, i have been seriously debating this (only buying it on eBay instead or overstock for a lower price). I have the conair instant heat and have loved it for years but I want a REALLY hot iron. I had my hair done in a salon recently and that girl curled my hair so fast my head was spinning and when i asked why she barely had to hold the hair on the iron she explained “High, high heat” so I am wondering if you think this is the type of high heat she was describing or do salons have CRAZY HOT irons we mere mortals can never buy??

    • Therese

      I don’t know where you can purchase them in the U.S. (maybe Sally’s?), but hair salons generally use industrial strength curling and straightening irons. If you can find a salon supply shop, you should be able to find such an iron.

    • Hey Annie! I don’t think there’s any crazy hot iron. You could ask the salon approximately what temperature setting or even what curling irons they use! That should help you :)

  2. Stephanie

    Annie,
    I think that she just means eaxactly what she says, high heat. It does speed up the process but keep in mind that the higher the heat the more damage being done to your hair.

    Hope I helped (:

  3. Hey, I bought one of these over at http://www.my-hair-tools.com Received free shipping with my order and this iron just blows the conair instant heat out of the water! I suggest trying one today!

  4. Well said Stephanie, i got one from FlatIronExperts.com that works really good. But I am afraid whether the heat may spoil my hair. My hair is very soft and to be fair lifeless…I love to straighten my hair thats why bought this costly one. Can anyone suggest me a good hair care product that gives some life to my hair