Straight talk: Are these flat irons worth the moolah?
I wake up on the wrong side of bed most mornings, with wild hair a matter of course. So imagine how thrilled I was to be loaned a state-of-the-art straightener to review! Would I finally be able to tame my mane?
Two things make the Dyson Corrale obviously different from other flat irons.
First, it features micro-hinged plates, which flex to “corral” the tress within the heated area. As well as preventing flyaways, corralling is intended to distribute heat and tension evenly. Dyson claims that other straighteners don’t secure the hair between the plates, so you need to pass over it several times to catch strands that have escaped. But excess heat weakens hair and leaves it looking dull. With the Corrale, the idea is that you won’t need to iron the same section repeatedly.
Do other straighteners really cause hair to splay, though? They do if your technique’s poor. If you know what you’re doing, not so much.
Second, the Corrale has a lithium-ion battery and can be used cord-free. That’s convenient but there’s a trade-off: the battery is heavy. The Corrale weighs 566g, compared to 269g for my 13-year-old GHD. Unless you’ve got guns of steel, your arms will start to burn.
The battery takes 70 minutes to charge fully but gave me less than half an hour of use. If you have long hair, that might not be enough. You could plug the Corrale in, but the magnetic charging cable detaches at the slightest bump.
Dyson also claims to have solved the problem of temperature variations. Although many other straighteners have two or three settings, Dyson says those ordinary heating elements are affected by power fluctuation. In contrast, the Corrale’s Intelligent Heat Control technology is claimed to deliver “precise, accurate heat”.
I also asked a friend for her opinion:
“My hair is easy to straighten and takes just a few moments with a $69 Remington.
“With my small hands and weak wrists, I found the Corrale cumbersome and heavy. I wouldn’t take it on holiday as the cord, the docking station and the irons would weigh me down.
“Also, it’s curved, so I couldn’t rest it on a flat surface and had to put it back in the charger while I got the next bit of hair ready.
“I generally felt it was over-engineered for my requirements.”
In terms of styling performance, the only issue I had was that the Corrale was too bulky to style my roots. I didn’t think it gave a substantially sleeker, smoother or glossier finish than my GHD.
What I really needed was a hairdresser’s opinion, so I asked my stylist, Frankie, and her colleagues to use the Corrale for a few days at their salon. The long and the short of it? They won’t be ditching their usual irons anytime soon.
So, is the Dyson Corrale worth the money? Other top-of-the-range straighteners cost less than $400, so it’s hard to justify nearly twice that for a cord-free straightener that needs to be plugged in to get the job done.
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The Corrale was loaned to the writer by Dyson.