I’ve used two other hair straighteners; one from Conair for a long time, and another more expensive one from a local salon (both pale in comparison to the Elite Professional Series iron). I wanted a flat iron that would straighten my hair and also de-frizz and de-poof my hair for longer than a few hours. I bought the FHI Heat Elite Professional Series (EPS) Black Diamond one inch flat iron about 4 years ago. It came in a heat resistant bag with mat attached. It is advertised as a hair straightener for hair salon professionals (which I am not) with a 12 foot long swivel cord, sleep mode, auto shutoff and color coded temperature controls with a wide range from 266 to 450°F (210 to 170°C) and upgraded motor to withstand the heavy use of a salon enivronment. The iron goes into sleep mode after a few minutes of siting on a counter. Once you pick it back up for use, it heats up quickly. The plates are made from a triple layer process of scratch resistent ceramic and black diamond plates that produce 25% more moisture locking ions. It has floating beveled plates to create waves or curls as well (I’ve not used the iron for this). It has a proprietary Nano-Fuzeion technology, far infrared heat and low electromagnetic field that prevent damage to hair. Nano-Fuzeion technology combines nano silver, nano titanium and nano titanium oxide particles that elimate bacteria and toxins, chemical buildup and static within the hair cuticle while making hair shiny and soft. Infrared heat has a longer wavelength and heats the hair from the inside out which relaxes and softens the hair. The hair is heated evenly reducing the time the heat needs to be on the hair. I think that heating the hair from the inside out would be less damaging for the hair. With other heat sources the heat would be concentrated on the cuticle, the most fragile and easiest damaged part of the hair.
This flat iron reaches its highest temperature of 450°F in 50 seconds (I timed my iron and this is after 4 years of use; it may have heated up quicker brand new) and has color coded temperature zones for different hair types.
Course and thick hair – red – 410°F to 450°F (210°C to 232°C)
Wavy, curly and permed hair – blue – 356°F to 392°F (180°C to 200°C)
Fine or normal hair – green – 266°F to 338°F (130°C to 170°C)
I have wavy/curly hair that is frizzy, poofy and dry. I have some greying hair that is dry and coarse. I have colored-treated and highlighted hair (though I don’t get it colored or even cut very often – perhaps once or twice a year), and I am trying to grow the color out to start again.
I straighten my hair about once a week, first using a leave in conditioner from Belegenza and heat protectant spray from Pureology, and wash my hair about every 3 days, using Batiste dry shampoo between washings. When straightening I use a temperature between 200 to 220°C. I section off the hair and usually make one pass (sometimes two on very frizzy sections) on each section with the straightener. With other brands I’ve used, I’d need 3 or 4 passes, which is more damaging to the hair.
The two photos on the left are of the back and side of my hair naturally air dried. It clearly looks frizzy, curly/wavy, dry and the color doesn’t show very well. The only product I used in my hair was a leave-in conditioner and heat protectant spray. The after photos show the hair in a couple different sections. The EPS straightener works very well in taking out the frizz and straightening, and my hair feels much softer. Even the grey strands are straightened. I feel like the hair could be a bit shinier than the end result in the larger photor, but in looking at the sectioned hair underneath, it is shinier than the outer layer, probably indicating some damage to the top layer of hair. In looking at the ends of the hair, I am clearly in need of a cut.
My hair will stay straight until the next wash unless there is rain. It does, however, get get a bit more poof after day 36 hours.
My husband borrows my straightener to straighten his wavy beard, and it works well. My sister has borrowed my straightener as well. She has straight hair, but not a sleek straight – it’s a bit poofy. She colors her hair using boxed dyes every couple months as she gets bored with her hair – she’s gone from brown to bleached blond to black to purple and everything in between, and has very dry and damaged hair. She has a straightener from Sally Beauty (she couldn’t remember the brand) and I had texted and asked her how she liked the EPS compared to her straightener.
The EPS definitely made her hair sleek straight, shiny and soft.
I’ll be using this flat iron for a long time and my next flat iron purchase would definitely be one from FHI Brands.