Product Type: Babyliss Hair Straightener
Newest Review: ... have lasted two years now and still work as if they are brand new. I used other Babyliss straighteners before which i found caught my hair ... more
Fork out for GHDs no longer!
Babyliss 2098U Elegance Straightener
Member Name: suziedre
Babyliss 2098U Elegance Straightener
Advantages: Fast, cheaper than GHDs, smooth, come with heat mat and pouch
Disadvantages: Straighteners are bad for your hair
The first pair of straighteners I ever had was the old white plastic Babyliss ones that had the little water chamber at the top. They took ages to heat up to their fullest and it would take me over half an hour just to straighten all of my hair. Then when GHDs started to become popular, I got a pair of those instead and fell in love. That first pair of GHDs went on fire, like a lot of people's did around that time (I think it was on Watchdog at the time that there was a faulty batch), but I have had my current pair since 2004.
My GHDs seem to have been getting less effective recently, and not as hot as they used to be. One of the plates is also very loose and keeps falling out while I am using them. After 8 years of almost daily use, they have served me well and I definitely got my money's worth out of them.
I can't afford to buy a new pair of GHDs so I was looking around online for a reasonably priced pair. I saw these Babyliss 2098BU Elegance straighteners on the Very website, and was intrigued by the brilliant reviews they had gotten; both on Very and the Argos website.
The usual RRP for these is £79.99 which is very expensive, but they seem to be for sale for around £39 (which is what I paid) on most websites. £39 for a pair of straighteners is a damn good price in my opinion.
They come in a black cardboard box with the Babyliss logo and a photo of the straighteners. Inside, within a clear plastic bag, is the straighteners themselves, a heatproof mat, a storage pouch, and an information/instruction leaflet.
The straighteners are a metallic pale lilac colour; fairly light and slightly longer than GHDs. The plates are mirrored. The heatproof mat is black, while the storage pouch is a pale lilac satiny material that you can wrap the straighteners up in once they have cooled down.
FEATURES AND USE
The straighteners have 3 heat settings: 180C, 200C and 230C. It's recommended that you use the lowest heat setting if you have fine/coloured hair. To use, you press a small button and wait for them to heat up. They heat up very quickly; within 30 seconds for even the hottest setting. The red light on them will stop blinking once the desired temperature has been reached.
Your hair has to be dry to use these. I guess you can use them on damp hair if you wanted to, but your hair would sizzle and end up looking frazzled.
Initially I was dubious about using these straighteners as I really didn't think anything could live up to GHDs. However, I found the slightly longer plates very convenient as you could straighten a larger section of hair each time, cutting straightening time down. The plates were lighter and felt smoother on my hair as I moved them down the length of my hair - my GHDs plates tended to clamp my hair very tightly which caused breakage on occasion.
These get extremely hot so the heatproof mat came in very useful. I couldn't rest these on my knee like I usually do as I would have burnt the legs off myself!
I have long hair that comes down past my shoulders but I was able to straighten my entire head of hair within about 10 minutes. They are quick, very hot, convenient, light... I can't see what more you'd want in a pair of straighteners. My hair felt and looked straighter and less frizzy after usage. It also didn't feel dry or frazzled.
A bonus with these is that they switch themselves off after 72 minutes. My GHDs are so old that they did not do this like some newer models. I will now no longer have the hair straightener paranoia that sees me running up and down the stairs in the morning to make sure the blasted things are switched off before I head off to work (even when I unplug them and put them in a drawer, I will STILL go and check, such is my fear of burning the house down).
I am not sure I will use the storage pouch much but it will be handy for travelling - I will be able to wrap them up in the pouch and stick them in a suitcase/overnight bag very easily.
WOULD I BUY THESE AGAIN?
In short, yes. Even if I had paid the full price of £79.99 I still would have been very pleased with these. I have to say I am surprised that a non-GHD pair of straighteners is this good. I had honestly thought I would buy these and be ultimately disappointed. They seem, in straightener terms at least, to be reasonably gentle on your hair; and their straightening ability is not in doubt. They glided through my hair and I did not have to keep straightening the same section of hair to get the desired result.
ARE THEY BETTER THAN GHDs?
I can't answer this question fairly because my current pair of GHDs are 8 years old, so obviously these brand new Babyliss straighteners are better. I have not used the newer GHD models, and therefore I cannot give a genuine comparison. What I will say is that faced with the choice of a £90 pair of new GHDs, and a £39 pair of Babyliss, it is not difficult to guess what I would go for.
Summary: Brilliant for £39 - I love them
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