Monday, May 16, 2011

Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron from Misikko.com

This review has been a loooooong time in the making. I didn't intend it to be that way. The first time this was going to be posted, the flat iron broke- the very day I was going to post my review! So, ever since, I've been waiting to see if the replacement would hold out or break... So far, so good, so here's my review.

This iron was offered to me to try by Misikko.com. I don't know if you remember me talking about it or not, but last spring my Solia flat iron broke- one of the plates fell out of the frame! I flat iron my hair almost every day and I couldn't go on trying to use my Solia with the plate hanging off from a wire, so their email asking if I would do review of the Hana iron was such a blessing.

I have given the Hana Elite 1" iron a very thorough testing and here are my observations.

Actually, it was more than one iron. I had originally received this Hana iron to review:

It's a Hana Elite 1" flat iron with 100% Ceramic Tourmaline-infused plates. It has a tapered/beveled edge to the plates that I really liked. All other flat irons I've used have rounded edges. What I liked about the less smooth beveled edge is that it provided a little resistance when pulling the iron through the hair and it kept the plates from pinching on one spot and grabbing or breaking strands of hair. I got good results from this iron after testing it for 30 days... But about two weeks later it completely stopped working.

I hadn't done anything different. I plugged it in, the light came on, I stepped away for a minute and when I came back to it, it was off. It wouldn't light up or heat anymore. I contacted Misikko about it (I was actually working on the finishing touches of my original review when it broke!) and they said that it may have just shorted out and offered to replace my broken unit, no hassle at all. They sent out a replacement and I had a new iron within a week. If that's any indication of their normal customer service practices, I'm impressed. They were helpful and responsive.

Check out the way Misikko packages their orders:
There's a big purple ribbon and a rose, the box is cushioned with beautiful soap roses and they included a silicone heat mat, a Misikko flat iron case/mat (I believe the heat mats are included with the purchase of the iron) and some little cute items like an emery board, a bottle of hand sanitizer and an LA Colors lipgloss. Small touches but they make such a huge impact. The care and effort that went into packing this is evident. It was such a happy experience opening this box. I have to praise them for that. They make you feel appreciated.

So! Now I had to scrap my old review and test out this new model. The previous one I received was an old model and isn't available anymore.

This new Hana Elite 1" iron has the smooth rounded edge on the plates, unlike the first one.



The plates are extremely slick and smooth. Like the original, these plates are 100% ceramic and are infused with ionic Tourmaline particles. Is that what the little sparkles are on the plates? They're quite pretty to look at. Makes me think of nail polish, like ManGlaze The Death Tar or Zoya Raven.

Here are the features of the Hana Elite:

  • 100% Solid Ceramic Plates Never Peel or Degrade
  • Tourmaline infused into the heating elements for maximum thermal protection
  • Large Integrated Ceramic Heaters with Full Plate Coverage for the Most Consistent, Conditioning Far Infrared Heat Possible
  • Ceramic is naturally hygienic, protects color & retards fading
  • Unique black ceramic plates won't discolor with use of products or hair dyes
  • Adjustable Temperature Dial - 5 Settings from 140-450° F for All Hair Types
  • Flash Heats in Seconds with Instant Compensation for Heat Loss
  • Safe to use on Damp to Dry Hair
  • Beveled Edges mean Easy Curled, Flipped, Spiked or Straight Styles
  • Ergonomic Handle Design with No-Slip Grip
  • Smooth Grooves Keep Hair Strands Separate and Snag-Free
  • Sleek luxury matte finish
  • Tangle-Free Salon Quality Cord Swivels 360°; Convenient Hanging Loop
  • Energy Efficient at 38 Watts
  • Independent On/Off Switch
  • Includes Luxe Heat Proof Storage Pouch, Heat Proof Silicone Mat, & Special Edition Tin Case
  • Two Year Warranty

This listing specifies beveled edges on the plates- the older model had them but the newer model has smooth rounded edges.

It has multiple heat settings and goes all the way up to 450 degrees. That's hardcore. There's a red light above the ON switch there, and it lights up when the iron is switched on. The light is solid when the iron is heating and flashes when the iron has reached temperature. A neat feature of this is that it blinks at different frequencies for the different temperature settings. It blinks at a lower speed at the lower temperatures and gradually blinks faster as you turn up the heat.

It takes about a minute to reach temperature, a little bit longer if you have it set on 450. I keep the temperature in the 300 range for my hair. The iron retains temperature well, but if your hair is a little damp when you use this it may need to reheat a few seconds in between passes.

A little about my hair:
I have fine, thin hair. You know how the hairstylists always say, "Oh, your hair is fine but you have a lot of it!" Yeah, not me. I have baby hair. It has a tendency to go flat. My texture is naturally wavy but I prefer a straighter look and that's why I flat iron. It's also very long and color treated, so split ends are an issue for me.

Since my first Hana met such an untimely demise, I made sure to use this one daily for three months just to be absolutely positive it wasn't going to break. So far, it's still going strong! What a relief.

Before using this, I use a hair serum (usually BioSilk Silk Therapy or Fekkai Glossing Creme) to help protect my hair and add some shine and I blow dry until my hair is fully dry. I only straighten my bangs and the front sections of my hair because blow drying straightens the rest.

The Hana iron quickly and easily flattens the kinks in my hair and adds a lot of shine. I usually never need more than one pass over a section to completely straighten it. The iron retains enough heat to do my whole head without having to pause to reheat.

It's absolutely perfect for my bangs- it gives them enough lift to keep them from being flat on my forehead. I've also experimented using it on the ends of my hair to flip them in or out and it works well for that also.

You're supposed to be able to use this iron to create curls or waves, but I haven't been successful with that. I tried wrapping my hair around it and pulling it through my hair, but all I ended up with were weird kinks that were hard to iron out.

Over the few months I've been using the Hana, I haven't noticed any increase in split ends, dryness, color fading or other changes in the condition of my hair. As far as I can tell, it hasn't caused any damage. I do recommend using something to protect your hair from the heat while using this. My iron came with a bottle of Hana protective serum, which is a thin, silicone-heavy serum, but any kind will do.

Compared to other irons I've used, the Hana Elite seems like a much better quality. The design with independent power and temperature setting is only seen with nicer irons. The plates are perfectly smooth and glide well through the hair with minimum pinching. The adjustable temperature setting is an excellent feature, and the fact that the temperature goes all the way from 140 to 450(!!!) means that it can be used on all hair textures. None of the flat irons I've used have ever gone that high.

Nicky Clarke Hana Elite, hottest you can get.

Despite the high temperatures that this iron reaches, the outside stays pretty cool. Cool enough not to burn myself on it. The smooth matte black plastic is also easy to clean and doesn't tend to look dirty as quickly as a shiny one. You know, all that speckly phantom hairspray residue that tends to end up on things in the bathroom? Doesn't show up much on this, but when it does you can easily wipe it with a slightly damp cloth and it'll look good as new.

Overall, I really liked this iron. I have used a few brands from low-end to high-end and this one belongs up at the top. It heats fast and stays hot, has an independent on/off switch and an adjustable temperature setting, plus an extra long swivel cord which can really come in handy. The tourmaline plates are smooth as glass and make my hair very shiny. And, after several months of using it daily, my hair isn't any more damaged than it was before I started using it.

There are a few downsides, though. For one, it doesn't seem to have an auto safety shutoff feature. A lot of heat appliances have a safety feature that shuts them off after being on for 30 minutes. I'm one of those people who constantly worries that I left the house flat iron on, and that safety feature gives me a little reassurance. I always make sure to turn off and unplug my heat tools when I'm done using them, but sometimes I just can't remember and I'd like that extra peace of mind.

And, of course, there's the fact that my first iron broke after about a month and a half with no warning. I still don't know what caused it and I've been really worried this new one would quit working on me, too. It's been several more months now and it's still fine, so I'm sure it was just a fluke or a defect, but still. I couldn't in good conscience review an item that broke and not mention the possibility. Caveat emptor and stuff. Though, the Hana iron does have a two year warranty AND Misikko was very quick to replace my broken iron with absolutely no hassle.

The final downside is the price! This iron retails for $360, but is almost always on sale from $150-$250-ish. Yes, the iron is one of the best I've ever used, but $360 is a huge chunk of change. Personally, I would not pay $360 for any hair tool, regardless of how amazing it is. $150 is pretty much my limit, both for budgetary and conscience reasons. The results I get from the iron are great and the feature set, design and packaging are pretty much perfect, but I do think $360 is an insane price to pay. You can usually get this on sale plus a discount code from Misikko to bring the price back down to earth, though.

This iron is available from Misikko.com. It comes with a two year warranty and free same day shipping. Misikko frequently offers discount codes and giveaways, so be sure to check their Twitter and Facebook pages for specials before ordering anything.

(This was sent to me for review.)


6 comments:

  1. Haha, you made me laugh when you said the plates reminded you of nail polish. I'm like that, too - I'll see something and think of a particular nail-polish colour.

    Wow, yeah, the retail price on this flat iron is too heavy for my budget. Good to hear that it goes on sale often though.

    I'm in love with my 1.5-inch Sedu flat iron. I used to have a CHI years ago, but the Sedu is so much better - it actually makes my hair look healthier and smoother instead of just straightened like the CHI.
    - Mary

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  2. Thanks for this review! I'm looking into a new flatiron (although I do have the fine-hair-but-lots-of-it of which you speak) and the packaging here just kills me.
    Also, I think my current flatiron cost, like, $15. Hm...

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  3. That's so funny - I was thinking of Vince and then I saw your photo!

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  4. Thank you for posting this review! I was looking at this flat iron on their site & wanted to see an honest review of it outside their website -- and by someone with fine hair as well. I ordered mine last night. :)

    I love your blog & always look forward to seeing new reviews & swatches.

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  5. Hi. I have long straight hair,fine but a lot of it. I've been looking for reviews with a objective view. I want to invest in a good quality straightener but especially want one for creating waves and curls. Do you know of such a one or is the best option to get a straightener and curling iron seperately? And also is the wide plates more an advantage with long curly hair than long straight hair?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi. I have long straight hair,fine but a lot of it. I've been looking for reviews with a objective view. I want to invest in a good quality straightener but especially want one for creating waves and curls. Do you know of such a one or is the best option to get a straightener and curling iron seperately? And also is the wide plates more an advantage with long curly hair than long straight hair?

    ReplyDelete

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