Long before InStyler reached out to me to review their new Instyler Max, I’ve been curious about their product. It aims to replace your straightener and curling iron and give you the ability to style your hair 5 different ways. Let’s see how it measures up to its claims.
On first glance, the InStyler Max looks like a cross between a curling iron + hair straightener + hot brush. It comes in 3 colors, one of them being this great hot pink that totally matches my Panasonic Nanoe dryer 💖 The overall design is sleek and light, while still feeling very sturdy.
The InStyler Max comes with 4 different heat levels depending on your hair type. Since I have normal-fine hair, I stick to 2, occasionally 3 if I really need my style to last. It also comes with a detachable heat guard that can be on the outer part barrel, as you in the above photo. Now I don’t have to worry about burning my neck by accident! 👍
As mentioned earlier, the InStyler Max offers you 5 ways of styling your hair, depending on how you hold the tool and which direction the curler is spinning:
As you can see, with just the InStyler Max, you can curl, straighten, and even volumize your hair, theoretically rendering all your other hair styling tools moot. Of course, I tried all 5 ways, and here are my thoughts on them:
- Volume Boost – This was much needed for my fine hair, which lacks volume at the crown. I held this for about 5 seconds and it did give me some volume, though not as much as I had hoped for. I found that if you rotate the barrel forward, it gives better volume, similar to teasing with a comb.
- Straightening – If you want straight hair that still has some bounce and volume to it, you’ll be happy with the results from InStyler Max. On the other hand if you want super sleek straight hair, you’re better off with a traditional straightener.
- Flip Out – This was very easy to style as long as you make sure the barrel is rotating towards the end of your hair. If you hold your barrel vertically and parallel to your hair, you can do an outward curl similar to how salons blow dry your hair with a barrel brush!
- Flip Under – This is my favorite way of using the InStyler Max! Again, if you hold the barrel vertically you’ll create a soft inward curl, similar to what I did with hot brush.
- Soft Curls – You need to remove the heat guard before doing this style, or else you can’t wrap your hair around the barrel properly. As someone who has no hand-eye coordination whatsoever, I did a terrible job and my curls turned out pretty sloppy. For me there’s a definite learning curve with how to curl your hair, so I think I’ll stick to my curling irons for now.
If you guys remember my afternoon tea OOTD post, I styled my hair that day using InStyler Max with the volume boost + flip under + flip over techniques. It look about 15 minutes total, which is about the same time it would take me curl or straighten my hair regularly. However, the first time I attempted to use this it took much longer due to the initial learning curve. The rotating barrel takes a while to get used to, and your hair can end up frizzy if you rotate it toward your root instead of your ends!
Once I got the hang of the rotation, the end results were no longer dry or frizzy, thanks to the bristle brush and the tourmaline ceramic barrel, the . With some Bumble & Bumble Invisible Hair Oil, my hair is shiny + soft, as if I didn’t use a heat tool at all!
So can the InStyler Max replace all your heat tools? Yes, if you’re a pro with clamp-free curling irons (requires wrapping the hair around the hair manually) and you like a more natural straight look. For me, it’s definitely a step up from my hot brush, and I’ll alternate this with my hair straightener, but I’ll definitely stick to my curling iron if I want curls. However, if I want to give my hair volume and some natural body, the InStyler Max is my go-to tool.
- Ease of Use7/10
- Can be used to style your hair 5 different ways
- Sleek design that is easy to hold
- Initial learning curve to get used to the rotating iron
- Curling your hair has the steepest learning curve
- Gives natural body and volume that's similar to the results of salon blowdry
- Can replace your curling iron and straightener when you get past the learning curve
Where to Buy
Ulta – $99.99 – Free shipping + 3% cash back with Ebates
InStyler – $14.99* – Get a 30 day trial, and then return or keep the product for $119.97
Target – $100.99 – Free shipping + 5% cash back with a Target card + 2% cash back with Ebates.
- Have you tried any of the InStyler products before? If so, what are your experiences with them?
- What’s your favorite way to style your hair? If you have a holy grail tool or technique, do share!