Review: HSI Flat Iron (Best Professional Styling Tool Under $40?)

Haven’t we all been been burned, psychologically and physically, in the past, with the use of various flat iron tools?

With HSI’s Ceramic Professional Hair Straightener, a salon-quality hair tool sold for under $50 that comes with a portable travel pouch and argan oil hair treatment, this is by far the best hot tool device I have ever tried- and offers a great deal of heat protection for those seeking to avoid damage.

In researching reviews online following a crash with an iron (upwards of $200) that the manufacturer refused to replace, I was in search of a less expensive product that would offer maximum benefits with a lower initial risk.

The item that continually popped up as Amazon’s bestselling product in the entire category, with glowing 5 star reviews and thousands of positive ratings, was HSI’s Flat Iron Hair Straightener.

Designed to be suitable for all hair types (straight, curly, unruly, coiled, color-treated), and complete with tourmaline-infused ceramic plates to reduce frizz and evenly distribute heat (ranging from 140-450 degrees F), it saves time on straightening out the locks, to create the most polished finish, and it actually works!

This review will cover some main product features and specs, some positives and negatives to bear in mind prior to purchase, and a final verdict, to help you make a more informed choice prior to purchase.

Review: HSI Flat Iron (Best Professional Styling Tool Under $40?) 1

Review: HSI Flat Iron

HSI’s Professional Flat Iron is a compact ceramic glider iron that comes with an argan oil hair treatment, heat protecting glove, and pouch (designed to be travel friendly for on the go use).

It heats up within seconds and has different heat settings that range from 140 to 450 degrees F, though it is generally advisable to use lower or medium heat settings to protect the hair as much as possible (unless you are on the go and in a pinch, in need of a very fast style).

I was amazed by the results, especially in comparison to other much more expensive competitor products on the market I have tried in the category, as following use the hair is left soft, straightened, and free of damage and frizz.

With that said, with the use of any heat styling tool, a protective heat spray is always a good idea (with the purchase of this product you can also get a discount on the protective heat spray from the same manufacturer, however I cannot review this product as I used a different spray).

It is suitable for all hair types- so those with unruly, frizzy, wavy, curly, African-American, and coiled hair need not be afraid, as this product works for all different styles, and is also safe and suitable for color-treated hair.

I have not had any issues or manufacturing products with the device to date (and a warranty is also included in this event), but the main benefit and feature I have noticed is it excels in performance in comparison to products sold for hundreds of dollars.

Additionally, the product offers great multi-use benefits, as you can also use it to wave or curl the hair (instructional videos with step by step guides are available if you have never done this before). So this product also eliminated the need for a cheaper hair curling iron I had been using prior that was causing hair damage and breakage.

Especially for novices, I would recommend using the heat protecting glove, starting on lower heat settings, and watching instructional videos prior to use- as if the product does touch the skin it can result in painful burning.

Ultimately, this has become my new go-to hair hot tool, suitable for polished daytime looks and work, and perfect for evenings out, whether you are using it for tousled waves or a shiny and sleek straight style.

If you’re comparison shopping and looking for other hair products for a sleek and shiny finish, we recommend checking out our articles on Pureology’s Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner and Bumble and Bumble’s Hair Oil.

If you’re looking for a sleek and shine finish overall, we also recommend checking out our Stitch Fix review for all of the latest sharp trends in fashion!

HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron model Waves
Image Credit: HSI, tousled waves

HSI Flat Iron Specs:

You will notice there are a few different options and generations for this device, but I opted for the least expensive HSI Flat Iron Generation 1 device after reading through many reviews that explained it worked just as well and upgraded versions offered very few added benefits (including at best extended plates). If desired, you can opt to buy the heat protecting spray the same manufacturer sells along with the purchase, but you can also use any of your choosing (as there are less expensive versions on the market that tend to work just as well).

Here are the HSI Flat Iron Gen 1 Specs:

  • 110/220 worldwide dual voltage
  • 1 year product warranty upon any malfunction
  • Heat ranges from 140°F up to 450°F within seconds
  • 360° swivel cord for increased flexibility when styling your hair
  • Eight micro-sensors with HeatBalance technology are used to evenly distribute heat
  • 1 inch plate length (wide enough for any hair length and also suitable for bangs)
  • Tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, generating negative ions and allowing smaller water molecules to penetrate into the hair shaft to reduce frizz and static
  • Floating plates: allows you to flip, curl or straighten your hair – all with the same device
  • Product is designed to protect from heat and be suitable for salon or at-home use
  • Ceramic Material
  • Black on black color
  • 1.35 pounds
  • No batteries included or needed for product function
HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Product
Image Credit: HSI

HSI Flat Iron Generations:

If you review the list of available irons at different sizes and price points you may have some understandable initial confusion regarding which to select. It is very important to note that the product specs between the first and third generation are by and large the exact same, with the main difference being longer plates (on the third generation device).

With that said, I would highly recommend opting for the HSI flat iron first generation and least expensive option listed, as you are not likely to get further benefits with pricier listings. They contain the same output voltage, plate materials, and heat ranges, and function in the exact same way.

This excludes the Titanium LCD product, which has higher heat functions, true solid titanium tourmaline plates and advanced infrared heat technology (which may be slightly more protective for the hair, especially for those with regular color treatments, keratin treatments, or more advanced concerns).

While the traditional product is extremely compact for travel and can fit easily into the included pouch, there are also “mini” versions of the products available (one with an accompanying travel set). Here are the specs for the HSI flat iron “minis:”

  • Ceramic Tourmaline, 18-25MM 3/4-1 inches
  • Infrared technology to lock in styles, moisture, and curls (if desired)
  • 1000 watts with turbo technology
HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron product Image
Image Credit: HSI

HSI Flat Iron: Positives and Negatives

While in comparison to price, this is likely the best flat iron device I have tried to date and I can definitely understand the glowing reviews it has received, with any product of this nature there are always risks of defects and manufacturing issues. Additionally, as stated on the website, boxes may vary (with the same accompanying products and accessories). Luckily, this device comes with a solid warranty, the risks of defects and malfunction issues seem to be quite rare, and the benefits in comparison to cost are amazing. It makes for a perfect low risk and high reward product investment.

With that in mind, here is a look at some main pros and cons to bear in mind prior to any prospective purchasing choice:

HSI Flat Iron Pros

  • Safe and suitable for those of all hair types and complexions (including wavy, unruly, frizzy, curly, coiled, and color-treated)
  • Multi-use benefits: can be used as a hair straightener for a polished look for day or night wear, and can also be used to achieve waves or curls in the hair, eliminating the need for a curling iron
  • Does not cause any frizz, split ends, breakage, or damaged looking hair (although the use of a heat protecting tool is always advisable)
  • Leaves the hair with a natural, sleek, shiny, and polished finishing aesthetic following use
  • To date, HSI is not only the best flat iron I have tried, but absolutely the best bang for your buck, and it is not surprising to see tens of thousands of glowing reviews, considering this is likely the best heat styling product in comparison to cost on the market
  • Only a very small minority of consumers have experienced defective products or manufacturing issues, which is quite a rarity in the category
  • The process is extremely fast, as it heats up within seconds and can straighten even very long hair within only a few minutes
  • Has different heat settings in accordance with preferences, although for maximum preferences it is always advisable to use lower or medium settings (though if you are in a rush, the highest settings can be helpful)
  • Comes complete with a heat protecting glove to protect the hands, an argan oil treatment for hair protection, and a carrying case for travel
  • Very portable and compact- travel friendly for those on the go and seeking a device that can be easily packed without damages
  • Very safe in terms of potential accidents with plate protection around the heated areas (with this in mind: with any hot tool you must always remember to properly turn off the device and ensure caution to protect the skin, novices in particular should begin slowly and utilize the provided glove)
HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Model blonde hair
Image Credit: HSI, Choppy Straight Hair

HSI Flat Iron Cons

  • As with the vast majority of heat styling tools, curlers and irons on the market, they are prone (often irrespective of price) to manufacturing issues and defects- while this product comes with a warranty, and (knocking on virtual wood) I have had no issues to date with this product for over a year, especially considering the price point, the best point to bear in mind here is that while this always remains a possibility- with this product you are at least making a low initial investment, as with high priced items, the losses can be highly discouraging upon defect
  • With any hot tools, especially when using maximum heat settings, it is extremely important to ensure safety precautions: make sure to always turn off the device after use, keep away from direct skin contact, and use gently and slowly if you are new to the process (with this in mind, I have personally only had these accidents when using plate-free styling curling wands which offer no plate protection at all, and only recommend them to those with a high degree of experience)
HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron model using product
Image Credit: HSI

Money-Back Guarantee

Especially considering the category (as many of us have often had issues in the past with hot tool devices, defects, and subsequent return issues), the return policy in this case may be a highly important factor for you.

The manufacturer, HSI, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or manufacturing issues, and this policy favors the consumer, both new and returning. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the flat iron, or if it does not work for your hair to provide suitable straightening or styling benefits, or you experience any product defects or manufacturing issues, you may elect to return it at any time.

*However, it is extremely important to note within this specific category, this policy is applicable to the one year warranty policy for returns and exchanges. Customers who experience defects following the end of one year can try to work with the company for returns, and may have some success, but it is crucial to always keep boxes, labeling information, and receipts*

HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Model Feature
Image Credit: HSI

Review: HSI Flat Iron (Best Professional Styling Tool Under $40?) 1

HSI Flat Iron: Is It Worth It?

If you are looking for a go-to daily straightening iron that provides multi-use benefits (including the ability to curly and wave), that leaves the hair with a sleek and polished finishing aesthetic and frizz-free, this makes for (in my opinion) the best option on the market with the lowest cost investment and lowest risk, especially in comparison to common defects and manufacturing issues that can occur with traditional products in the category.

In addition, it proves safe and suitable for a wide variety of hair types and offers a polished daytime work aesthetic as well as a sleek nighttime wear look (or for use prior to events).


It is highly unusual to find a product with this many benefits to use and this much portability and functionality within this price range, so if you are on the market for new hot tools, I would highly recommend this.

For novices, thee set is also complete with a heat protecting glove and I would recommend watching instructional videos prior to first time trial to avoid any accidents on the skin (however the plates on this product make it much safer than any traditional wand or curling iron, with room in between to prevent burning on the skin).

Highly recommended, for newbies and hot tool experts alike!

HSI Professional Flat Iron

Ease of use

Highly recommended!

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    1. Hi Valentina, We are happy to hear you enjoyed our review, there are a lot of great product options in this category to pick from! Thanks for commenting!

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