InStyler Rotating Iron Review

I’ve been nagging you all for your questions, but now it is time to finally sit down and discuss the InStyler Rotating Iron with you. I have mixed feelings about this. I tried to give it my most honest and straight forward review, and did a lot of testing. This is going to be a long review, so bare with me. It’s all for you guys! For those of you who are not all that familiar with the InStyler, you can check out their official page here:

The InStyler consists of 2 main components– the bristle brush side and the rotating cylinder side. When you clamp the InStyler down on a section of hair, the cylinder rotates and the bristles brush your hair as you move the styler down the length of each section. Only the cylinder moves. There are tons of videos on Youtube of the InStyler in action on their Youtube Channel as well as the official InStyler site.

First, I’ll just tell you a bit about my hair so you get the sense of where I’m coming from with my review. I have fine hair, but tons of it. It has a tendency to get bulky and big as it grows. It has been a couple of months since my last hair cut. My hair tends to be wavy. I can usually get a pretty good straightened look with a blow dryer, round brush, and comb. Putting more volume into my hair is not an issue for me. Usually I am trying to tame my hair rather than give it more life.

This is what my hair looks like after blow drying, but without straightening. See? Not a lot going on that needs fixing. Btw yes I’m wearing a shirt.

Now that you know what kind of hair I have and what my issues are, here is what the InStyler claims to do:

* Use less heat on your hair (less damaging).
* “Polish” the hair leaving it shiny and soft.
* Work on damp or dry hair.
* Straighten and smooth hair without removing body, add body to flat, limp hair w/ the proper technique, curl or straighten hair depending on technique.
* Cut down styling time.

I used the InStyler in 3 trials. First I used it by itself after blow drying. I played with doing flips, curls, and straightening. Then I tried the damp to dry method. Then I pitted it right against my GHD straightening iron (considered by many to be the top of the line flat iron on the market)– I did one side of my hair with the InStyler and the other side with the GHD.

So how does it stack up against its claims?

Use Less Heat on Your Hair
The InStyler claims that you use less heat on your hair because of their rotating iron design, and thus it doesn’t damage your hair. Newsflash: any kind of heat styling will cause damage to your hair. One of their little infomercial clips even has someone saying “so that’s like no damage” and they’re like “yes, yes!”. No. Lies. Anyway, there are 3 heat settings. You can use the lowest heat setting, but I found that even on my fine hair I had to pass the styler over several times, which kind of defeats the purpose, no? 
Polishes Hair Leaving it Shiny & Soft
This one kind of has me lol’ing. To me, my hair always looks shinier after I straighten it because you can simply see the shine better on a flat (straight) surface. To prove this point when I did one side of my head with the GHD and one side with the InStyler, I saw no difference. Both sides were equally shiny and almost equally soft (I’m actually going to say I think the side I did with the GHD was a tiny bit softer). Mr. Boyfriend’s first impression was that the GHD side was shinier, but he wasn’t really sure and said the difference was so subtle that he wasn’t even sure if it was just the lighting.

Damp to Dry
I am a huge skeptic of any iron that says you can use it on wet hair. When I got my first straightener the thing my stylist friend stressed to me the most is “don’t flat iron wet hair”. But I decided to take one for the team and steam iron my hair for you all to see how this damp to dry method works. Or rather, doesn’t. I let my hair air dry until it was just damp. Exactly as the directions say. I detangled it, and then went to work straightening it. What I noticed was even though I did as they said on the directions (highest appropriate heat setting, moving SLOWLY through small sections), the hair was still damp after several pass-throughs with the InStyler, and it was retaining the heat and felt terrible– frizzy, fly aways, etc. If your hair doesn’t handle humidity well (like mine), this is literally like torture for it. Even I couldn’t take any more and I just gave up. So basically, if you decide to get an InStyler, don’t do this. 

Styling and Volumizing
To put it simply, yes, these claims are completely true. It is entirely possible to straighten your hair with this tool without removing the body from your hair. It is also totally easy to add volume to your limp, flat, lifeless hair with this tool, too. However I really don’t think it is any easier than just using a flat iron. In fact, here’s a great tutorial on Youtube explaining how to get volume with a flat iron and a round brush. And here is another tutorial on how to get volume with just a flat iron. You can also make your hair look limp, flat, and lifeless with the InStyler. You can curl your hair with a flat iron, too. Basically what I’m getting at here is this is more about technique than it is which hot tool you use. I will say though that the InStyler is very easy to use!

Cuts Down on Styling Time
Depending on how difficult your hair is to style, this may help you. I suppose if the damp to dry feature worked the way it says it would on my hair it would definitely cut down my styling time, but instead I will stick to my trusty T3 dryer (or my Conair Infiniti! Guess it depends on if I feel like pink or orange…). Best to leave the drying to the dryers. Let a styler be a styler. Seriously. I went out and bought an argan oil treatment because my hair felt so gross after that experience. For me, the InStyler doesn’t really work any faster than my GHD. Not saying that either one takes much time (I don’t have very long hair anyway). The whole process of doing both sides of my head, switching to the GHD after I did the InStyler side, etc. took about 30 minutes.

More Reader Questions
Does it pull your hair? No. I was pleasantly surprised because you kinda think it would by looking at it, right? No pulling/snagging at all. You do need to detangle your hair before using, and I made sure to do that.
How long does it take to do your hair? My whole head takes about 20-30 minutes.
Does it cause frizz? Only when I used the damp to dry method. *shudder*
Does it make noise? Yes, but not a lot. It’s a lot quieter than a blow dryer, and definitely quieter than any electric razor I’ve ever used.

After – Side 1
After – Side 2

Can you tell the difference between Side 1 and Side 2? Which is which? You tell me!

Maybe. IF you have curly hair, the bristles in the InStyler may really cut down a lot of your straightening time. In the many videos I watched, the people who seemed to have the best results with this straightener are those with curly hair. The design of the InStyler seems to be most suited to that hair type.

My hair is not hard to straighten or style at all because it’s just wavy, and really doesn’t tangle at all. Ever. It’s freakishly untangled. If you aren’t worried about straightening/curling and just still looking for that magical product that is going to give you major volume and body, skip it. You can achieve the same results with the tools you probably already have.

If you don’t have a flat iron already, it will be fun for you to play with. What I’m really thinking about right now though is cost. The InStyler will run you about $100 before tax (and don’t go running to ebay, there are tons of FAKES out there, beware!). You can get a pretty darn great flat iron for about half that at your local beauty supply.

I’m not saying this is a bad product, it just may not be necessary depending on your needs. If you’re seriously hair challenged, it might be worth it for you as the InStyler does make it pretty idiot-proof! ;)

If you answered “yes, I want that!” after reading the above paragraph, I’ve got good news for you! One lucky reader is going to receive a FREE InStyler Rotating Iron! While I am not certain this tool is for everyone, I do think it has some good things to offer, and it’s free, so why not give it a shot? I would really love for the winner to review the InStyler, too. Part of what makes the beauty world so fun is how different people’s experiences with the same product are. So please only enter this giveaway if you’re willing to send me a quick review once you’ve gotten a chance to play with it. :)

To enter, post a comment on the blog! Tell me your name, your email, and a little about your hair or why you want to try the InStyler.

One (1) winner will be chosen on Saturday August 28th, so you have to get your entries in before then.
US entries only, please!

If you don’t win a free InStyler and you would like to buy one, I know Walgreens has them and they are the authentic InStyler, so try there!
Product provided by PR for consideration, and giveaway generously sponsored!


  1. Leslieandjulian says
  2. thepastyharlot says
  3. aquaheart says
  4. spifftiff88 says
  5. Erin says
  6. round brush says
  7. Amoracchius19 says
  8. Excellent review, thank you..
    Including where one can buy it locally. Making it easier to return if necessary..
    Thx again
    Gerard Cunningham; Hair Designer.. Gerard & Associates.

  9. Allen says

    Acctually i need that type of site in which i know about the healthy hair products and on this site all products are excellent and i also know about the product after reading the product discription.
    Allen last blogged..Best Shampoo For Wavy HairMy Profile

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