My hair tends to be kind of wild, almost curly, mostly frizzy, and bleached to heck and back. At worst, if left alone, it will resemble that of an ‘80s hair band back-up dancer. At best, when I’ve spent the time needed to do a Pinterest inspired blowout, it’s almost passable as somewhat healthy and professional. I’m very lazy so doing much of anything with my hair is a pretty low priority. I have eternally yearned for the sleek and easy looks that tend to sprout naturally from other folks’ heads.
I am very much not interested in spending a lot of time or money on my hair though. Although I owned a hot iron, it took me about four months to actually use it after purchasing it. Even now, I would only use it sparingly as my hairstylist was quick to point out that heat only further destroyed my fried hairs.
My Journey to Hair Perfection Began in Glamorous Los Angeles, California
When I visited my sister in L.A., I had a life-changing opportunity. My last morning there, I took a shower and then dried my hair while using the limited amount of hair products that I packed for the trip. As I put the hair dryer away, a hair tool lay there on the shelf, looking inconspicuous, but super intriguing. I decided that I had nothing to lose and would spend a few minutes exploring this device that looked like a hybrid of a round brush and a wand.
I had no clue what it was or how to use it. But from my hours of pursuing the perfection of a home blowout, I had a bit of an idea of how a round brush would work on my medium length hair. After about 15 minutes of messing around, my hair had texture and volume but felt smooth all around. THIS WAS AMAZING!
What Is This Magical Tool?
I got on a red-eye plane that night and tried to sleep a lot in all sorts of uncomfortable ways. I didn’t really think about what was going on with my luscious locks, but by the time I landed in Michigan in the morning and had a chance to settle in at my in-laws’ house, I was astonished to look in the mirror and see my hair looking exactly as it had the morning before. IT WAS A MIRACLE!
I was sleep deprived and absolutely enamored with this new tool. I needed one. When I looked it up on Amazon, I had a moment of sticker shock as I am not one to spend much on beauty supplies. On average, the Calista Tools Fusion Hair Styler, aka The Perfecter, costs around a hundred dollars. But, my hair had never looked better! (Trust me: these pics may not be great, but my hair was at least 173% better than usual.)
An Affordable Alternative to the Perfecter
In my Michigan wanderings – see erinbrains.com to get the full scoop on why I was there – I ended up at Meijer and spent a solid 30+ minutes in the hair accessory aisle to compare what they had to The Perfecter. I couldn’t wait to budget for something like this – I needed it immediately. Amazon was a great tool to figure out which competitors may come close to making my hair the object of perfection it was destined to be.
I went with the Infiniti Pro Tourmaline Hot Curl Brush by Conair. This beauty had 5 heat settings, was in my price range, and was actually available right then and there. This was very important as I could not ever spend another day being as frizzy as I had been before.
I spent the next few days experimenting with the new hair tool I owned. I watched video upon video of people using The Perfecter to see what kinds of styles it was capable of and what the pitfalls were. But no matter how I ended up putting that wand of magical heat through my hair, it never failed to make it look so much better than ever before.
Upon returning home, my step-mom graciously gave me one of the 5 Perfecters she kept at different locations around the country since she travels a lot. This was a great opportunity to set the two tools up side by side for a comparison!
The Perfecter vs. The Competitor: FIGHT!
To make sure that I was giving each tool a fair chance, I started with freshly cleaned hair. I added my usual OGX Coconut Oil and a little bit of purple leave-in conditioner by Not Your Mother. I let my hair air dry, which takes a stupidly long time as my hair is really thick despite my very severe undercut.
Once I looked like I belonged in a hair band, I put the Infiniti Pro Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Hot Brush to work.
It took almost exactly 10 minutes to achieve a look that was aimed at smoothness with a hint of movement towards the bottom of the hair. I used the second to lowest setting to try to keep from damaging my already far-gone hair even further.
To keep this a controlled comparison, I waited a few days. And then, when I washed my hair again, I went through the hassle of letting it dry naturally with the same products. Now it was time to see what the Calista Tools Perfecter Fusion Hair Styler Hot Air Brush had to offer when it came head to head with the competitor.
It took about 12 minutes to achieve a similar style with The Perfecter. I was using the lowest temperature, as it only has two, and have since found that my hair responds better to the higher heat.
Both tools ended up giving me a hairstyle that was smooth and touchable, but more importantly, it was quick and easy.
Side by Side Comparison
There are pros and cons of each tool.
The Conair Infiniti Pro
- Affordably priced
- Has a funny tag that warns you about burning your eyeballs
- 5 heat settings
- Swirly thingamajiggy so the cord doesn’t get tangled
- Longer tines keep heat from your head
- Longer barrel, which means fewer tangles in your hairs as you pull it through
- RED TINES OF DEATH! It’s easy to burn yourself if you’re clumsy like me.
- Annoying zip tie style cord containment
- No product specific hair styling infomercials
- No extras included with purchase
- It’s got a cool name that is pretty darn accurate
- You can full on grasp it in your fist and it will not burn you or your loved ones (great for small children and very clumsy people)
- Swirly thingamajiggy so the cord doesn’t get tangled
- A nice Velcro strap to contain the cord
- If you buy it new, it comes with extras
- The price is about four times more than the Infiniti Pro
- No funny tags
- Shorter barrel with more long tines means more tangles
- Only 2 heat settings
Ultimately, I went with The Perfecter since it fits my needs better. The Conair would burn me when I got distracted (I am VERY clumsy), and I was in constant fear my young child might accidentally touch the wrong side of this device. Having the ease of wrapping up the cord and Velcroing it together was an added bonus in The Perfecter’s favor.
If you don’t have my tendencies towards accidental self-harm and don’t have young children to worry about, the Infiniti Pro Conair is a great and affordable option. It’s multitude of heat settings and different materials that it’s made of might make it a more flexible fit for different hair types and lengths.
What Do Professional Barbers Have to Say?
When I cornered AO, my hairstylist/barber, to talk about heat and hair, she gave us some details about how these kinds of tools compare to the classic heat styling techniques of old. Both tools claim an ability to do “ionic” things to the hair. AO didn’t pretend to have an advanced degree in science but didn’t stop me from comparing it to the same kind of “removing toxins” mumbo jumbo that other snake oil commercials claim.
When it came to the actual physical action on the hair, she explained that many ways of smoothing hair, such as doing a blowout or using a hot iron, rely on heating it up and stretching it out. This can weaken the hair. Neither of the heat brushes I tested requires the same kind of stretching that blowouts and hot irons do.
Hot Brushes Keep Heat on the Hair for a Shorter Time
Another factor that made our hairstyling tools superior to these other techniques is the amount of time the heat is actually kept on the hair. Classic curling irons, flat irons, and curling wands require you to keep the heat on the hair for a significant amount of time to achieve the look you’re aiming for. Compared to these traditional methods, The Perfecter is much quicker.
All in all, while AO remained dodgy about backing tools she hasn’t had the opportunity to fully explore, I have fallen in love. I love the way my hair looks and feels and I don’t have to use half of the product I was using before to achieve defined curls or beachy waves. Most importantly, I am saving at least 20 minutes each morning on getting my hair looking way better than it looks on its own.
Do you have experience with these products? What do you think? Do you use something better? Share below!