The ultimate convenience for serious-minded straighteners, but not without its foibles
Sleek and relatively light
Excellent safety features
Smooth straightening and curling
Lengthy charging time
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How did it take so long for the Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener to come into our lives? Here we are walking around with tiny supercomputers in our pockets, paying for our shopping by waving one plastic rectangle in front of another, and yet the best hair straighteners are still laden with cables and plugs.
Well, mostly anyway. With one notable exception, the Babyliss 9000 is one of the only cordless straighteners to offer the performance of a high-end styling iron in a handy wire-free form. Want to know how it measures up to its plugged-in pals? Read on to find out more.
Our Beauty Expert’s Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener review
RRP: £200 Weight: 810g Cord Length: 1m Warranty: 2 years Charging time: Three hours for 30 minutes use Added extras: UK and EU adaptors, roll-up heat mat, silicone sleeve, storage case
Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener design and first impressions
The Babyliss 900 Cordless looks exactly how you’d expect a hair straightener to look, except (dun, dun dun) it doesn't have a cord – which is naturally the first thing you notice. Other than that the only other things to note about its appearance are that it’s sleek and black (bar a little rose gold) with slimline plates. It feels nice to hold and satisfyingly premium.
On picking it up, we were initially struck by the fact that it is heavier than your average flat iron. The extra weight is noticeable, but not to the extent that you need to exert any extra effort into holding it, and definitely not so much that it’ll leave you with one bulging bicep from styling straight hair. And really, the slight heaviness feels like a fair trade-off for the nimbleness and freedom of movement that going cord-free affords you.
Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener technology
The Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener has it all going on, tech-wise. You might expect a reduction in performance in exchange for going wire-free, but this really doesn’t scrimp on hair smoothing and caring benefits.
Running the show is the lithium-ion, high-performance battery that Wikipedia tells us won its developers a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 – must be a good thing. It’s the same kind of rechargeable battery that you’d find in your phone, tablet, laptop, or vaping device.
There’s good news for anyone who likes to be in control of the temperature of their irons, as there are three heat settings to choose from: 160°C, 180°C, and 200°C. These are ceramic straighteners, and the plates boast something called a micro heating matrix, which essentially ensures a consistent temperature through the styling process. So the irons heat up very quickly and evenly across the plates, recover any heat lost during straightening swiftly and maintain your chosen temperature right to the end of that 30 minutes cordless usage time. The plates are also floating, meaning they have a bit of give so won’t clamp and frazzle your hair with split ends if you accidentally get a bit heavy-handed. If you haven’t used a styler with floating plates before you might worry that they feel a bit wobbly when pressed together, but that’s their exact aim.
As well as doing away with the wire, the Babyliss 9000 cordless straightener also has a distinct lack of buttons and switches. Everything is controlled via one large circular button at the base of the styler. It flashes with various colors to show how much charge the device has left; red for less than 30%, orange for 30-49%, and so on until a solid green ring indicates 100% battery life. This circle is also the temperature adjuster and the on button, which you press for a reassuringly long two seconds and are greeted by a loud ‘ding-ding’ alert. This will be music to the ears of anyone worried about it accidentally turning itself on in their bag, although other safety features like the case and silicone sleeve would also prevent this from being much of an issue.
How well does the Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener perform?
As these are cordless straighteners we're talking about, before you get to using the Babyliss 900 Cordless straighteners, you need to give them time to charge via the snazzy magnetic lead. It’s not a case of a quick ten minutes using your best hairdryer in the meantime and they're good to go – they need a full three hours in exchange for 30 minutes of styling time. You can use them with less charge (the colored light on the button will give you an indication of how much time you’ve got left) but it’s obviously ideal to start with the max. You can use the stylers when they’re plugged in and charging, like a normal styler, but the short cord isn’t designed with this in mind and does defeat the object of splashing out on one of the best cordless hair straighteners in the first place.
Once you’ve got the green light, the high-tech plates zip up to 160°C (the default temperature) in a few seconds and can be toggled up to the two higher heat options in a similar matter of moments. A single pass was enough to make smooth, glossy sheets of my air-dried flyaway mane, but (thanks to my fine hair) that is the case with most straighteners. Our naturally curly and thick-haired Beauty Editor with her naturally curly hairstyle required higher heat settings and a little more tension for a similar effect but was still impressed at how well they performed for a cordless straightener. There is the occasional clicking sound to be heard from the device, which we can only assume were the floating plates adjusting to our hair thickness. It’s noticeable, but not irritating or a hindrance – especially as you can feel the hair isn’t snagging or dragging. Overall, we’d say it was a very smooth ride.
Where we found that the Babyliss 9000 really comes into its own is when learning how to curl hair with a straightener. If (like us) you find it hard to get a knack for the technique, let us assure you that it is a thousand times easier when you’re not tangled in a web of wires. With those gliding plates and a lack of cord, we were able to make a much better go of twisting and turning the iron to form waves and curls. If you have very straight hair and your curls normally drop during the day (requiring a touch-up by mid-afternoon) then this portable tool will come in very handy.
When the Babyliss 9000 has been left unused for five minutes the styler dials itself down to 120°C. Give it another five and it switches off entirely. This, plus the stylish little roll-up heat mat and various cases, help alleviate any worries about singeing carpets or handbags, particularly if hot tools tend to make you a little bit paranoid anyway (guilty).
What’s not so good about the Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener?
The fact that the Babyliss 9000 can be used on the go is a huge pro, as it’s not always possible, practical, or polite to plug in your straightener. The problem is that as the battery time is relatively short, you do need to keep on top of charging to ensure you’ve not run it flat by the time you’ve got to the last section of hair. You could of course carry the charger with you too, but again that defeats the object of how lightweight and portable this tool is.
The other thing to keep in mind is that although the magnetic charging connector at the base of the straightener feels fun and futuristic, it does have an annoying tendency to unattach itself. We found that we kept accidentally knocking it out of place, and losing precious charging time in the process.
Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener: Our verdict
If you’re the kind of person that checks the weather forecast based not on what they might wear, but the kind of hair day they might expect to have, then this is a must-try. The Babyliss 9000 makes it easy to give unruly hair a subtle spruce anywhere from your car to the work loos without drawing attention to yourself or the need to use a plug. For this reason, they really are some of the best straighteners for curly hair and best hair straighteners for thick hair - as well as the best cordless straighteners we've tried.
They’re also incredibly useful for travelling, if the plug sockets in your house are nowhere near the best mirrors, or if you want to style your hair while keeping one eye on something else (the TV, your children). If any of the above applies then the cost and charging time trade-off could be well worth it. If you’re only a sporadic straightener who doesn’t tend to touch their hair throughout the day, possibly not, but the overall performance really is up there to rival the best.
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As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.
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