We tried a $42 vs. $120 brush straightener on curly hair to see how much you should spend


Following is a transcript of the video.

Nico Reyes: Today we're gonna be testing out three of the best brush straighteners for curly hair, ranging from $42 to $120. For me, a good brush straightener is one that actually straightens well without damaging my hair too much and can maneuver easily through all these curls.

The first brush straightener that I'm gonna be trying out is this one from a brand called Glamfields. I found this on Amazon. It's $42. The reason why I chose it was because I saw it on a list of Cosmo's favorite brush straighteners. It said that it's really good for people with thick hair. It gets super hot, which I think helps when straightening hair that's not already straight, and it has ion-coated bristles, which help with frizz. That all sounds good to me. To protect my hair from all of the heat damage that's about to happen, I'm gonna be using this IGK hydrating hair balm and their smoothing spray with every single straightener that I try out. Because these brush straighteners aren't actually meant to be used as hair brushes, I'm gonna brush out my hair one more time before we get started. I'm gonna suffocate myself in my own hair. Brushing my dry hair is, like, the most off-putting feeling you could imagine. Like wet socks. Like, it just doesn't feel right. I look like Mia before she got her makeover. Let's just do pass one. See how it goes. I'm scared of all the smoke that's about to come off of this thing. Oh, no! Oh! It's doing it, I see it happening. It's working. Oh, my God, look. I look like one of those 2000s girls. This is, like, the hard part. I'm trying to get as close to my root as possible, but I'm scared to, like, burn myself, obviously. I'm not comfortable with hot-heat hair tools. So, let me just try to get as close as I can. It's working really well. But the only problem I'm having is really getting the ends as straight as they can be. Because obviously there's nothing holding the hair there, I just kind of have to leave my hair in the brush, I guess. This is so cool! I feel like I'm not loving how my ends look, but I'm having a hard time telling if that's because I need a haircut and my ends are just not their best at the moment, or if this is just harder to straighten the ends. This actually turned out a lot better than I was expecting it to. This is one of the best outcomes I've ever had with, like, a heat tool in terms of straightening. There are definitely some areas that still feel a little bit bumpy, like they need a little bit of extra work. But for the most part, it straightened my hair, and I think it looks pretty good.


The next brush straightener that I'm gonna be trying out is this ginormous one from Revlon. This is the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. This is $59, but it goes on sale literally all the time. I think people are gonna be so mad at me for using this. It's technically more of a hair dryer. It blows out the air instead of actually heating itself up. The reason that I actually included this one in this test is because when I was researching what brush straighteners to use in this video, this one actually popped up quite a bit. So, it says to use this on damp hair. So I'm gonna wet my hair a bit first, put in my heat protectants, and then we'll figure out if this thing is actually worth the 60 bucks. Oh, my God. [straightener roaring] It's so loud. Oh, God, OK. Oh, and it smells like plastic again. OK, I'm gonna go on the highest setting. [straightener roaring] Oh, my God! That gets hot so fast. And I'm just gonna, like... [straightener roaring] I think it's happening. I feel like it's just happening a lot slower than yesterday, obviously because my hair has to be, like, a little damp to use this, versus yesterday where my hair was already totally dry, it just had to be straightened out, but I think my hair feels really, really soft. I think this is working out really, really nicely. Yeah, I feel like it's even easier to do the back of my head, which is literally my worst enemy, because I can't tell what's going on back there. I'm obviously not a professional at this. I never straighten my own hair, but this makes it pretty easy for me to do everything back here and feel like something is actually straightening the hair. I look like Tracy Turnblad on this side, but someone else on this side. The one-step hairdryer and volumizer actually worked pretty well in the beginning. I was really, really impressed. My hair does feel soft, and it does feel shiny, but I don't feel it looks the best. Like, I'm having a hard time saying it's 100% straight right now, which isn't good. Also, I feel like it's more frizzy. Like, I understand it's meant to volumize, but there's a difference between volume and frizz, and I feel like my hair just looks frizzy.

Today is my last day trying out brush straighteners, and we are going to be trying the $120 Amika Polished Perfection straightening brush. This is version two. I think there was a version one, but we're trying version two. And when I was googling brush straighteners, this one kept popping up all over the place. People seem to really like this one, specifically people with thicker or more curly hair, so I'm hoping, fingers crossed, that it only does good things for me today. I think I'm gonna stick to 410 as my temperature. That seemed to work pretty well with the first straightener that I used. Like, it works quickly, it straightens really, really fast, so that seems like a safe bet for my hair type. Oop, it's hot already. OK, it's been, like, two minutes, and it's really, really hot. So I guess let's just start. Ope! I did not like that sizzling noise at all. It is frying my ends. I hear it going ssssss, like a frickin' patty on a grill. That is so weird. [sizzling] You hear that, right? I feel like nothing's happening. It's just, like, kind of straightening, but not even. Like, this doesn't look good to me. And this is, what, how many passes have I just done? 10 at least? I'll go a little slower, but then it smokes and it freaks me out! See? Oh, my God! No, I'm scared. It's smoking so much. And barely curling at all. I mean, barely straightening at all. I'm frazzled. It doesn't feel good, it doesn't feel soft. [sighs] Do I have to do my whole head? This has really good reviews, and a lot of people like this one. Why isn't it working for me? This thing is, like, at best OK so far. My hair looks not good. It is straightening to some extent, but this is, like, not as impressive as I thought it would be, plus it is literally cooking my hair right now. Like, it just smells like burnt hair, and it's making me scared. I look like Ugly Betty. I look like America Ferrera in "Ugly Betty." My hair is so frizzy right now. Like, I can't even believe it. Like... this looks like I barely did anything. Meanwhile, I sat here for maybe, like, 40, 45 minutes just trying to get it as straight as possible. It's just really disappointing because it's such a popular brush and everyone likes it so much, it has good reviews, and it's $120! Like, this is bad. I don't like it.

Luckily, my hair has survived this week of trying out brush straighteners. The worst one, shockingly, is the most expensive one that I tried. The $120 Amika brush was not good. My hair looked really frizzy and not straightened enough for me to ever recommend it to anyone. The best, though, was our cheapest option. I think the Glamfields one is so good at smoothing the hair. It made the hair super shiny. Although there were some areas that definitely needed a bit more work, this one was definitely the best at straightening my hair. I think that I would recommend the Glamfields one to anybody with my hair type or curlier because it really does get the job done without having to do too many passes on your hair.