Panasonic Multi-styling Straightener EH-HW58, $89
WHAT It has attachments for making hair straighter or fuller, as well as three curling attachments. There are five temperature settings – the lowest at 150 deg C for damaged hair, and the highest at 200 deg C, for healthier tresses. The heating plates have a photo-ceramic coating that helps prevent coloured hair from fading. WHY I LOVE IT The straightener took about 30 seconds to reach 180 deg C. The exterior parts covering the heating plates were much wider than the plates themselves, so I felt safe holding the gadget close to my scalp without worrying about burning myself. The exterior did get warm, but it wasn’t as hot as the other two irons tested. I also liked the detailed illustrations showing novices how to section hair before styling it. THE DOWNSIDE I needed more time to style my hair as the small heating plates took slightly longer to reach the desired temperature. The power switch (a flat button) also got in the way – I accidentally switched off the straightener several times.