Unless you’ve been hiding your hairstyle in a cave, you will have noticed that straightening hairbrushes seem to be popping up literally everywhere. Whether you’re looking on Amazon.com or if you’ve been shopping on your local high street it’s hard to avoid them. Of course, when you get a new innovative hair tool appearing it’s never too long before other brands create their own version especially if the original product is popular and selling well. Sometimes brand names get their versions spot on but other times the new “rip-offs” aren’t quick as good; they don’t deliver the right results, they don’t have quite the same technology or they are cheap and cheerful versions to encourage customers to try them out.
While many brands do get it right the danger in choosing a cheaper or lesser known name is you run the risk of doing your hair a disservice and you could even damage it. It’s a good idea to remember that the original technology is usually better because it’s been in development for years. Those brands who rush to get a product onto the market to rival the original haven’t spent as much time researching their own version of the technology. They try their best to copy the brand leader’s technology quickly and that’s where they go wrong.
1. Dafni – the original ceramic hair brush straightener
The first product that arrived on the UK market was in 2015 and was the Dafni straightening brush. The first of its kind, it promised straight and smooth hair just by plugging in a heated hairbrush. The technology behind it was and still is brilliant, ceramic bristles delivering even heat distribution working very fast. While curly haired women were over the moon at this new innovation, at the time they weren’t too impressed with the price, initially £300. It has dropped significantly since then, to £190 but it’s still a steep price to pay. However remember GHD’s were the first to launch ceramic straightening irons and their product continues to be the market leader at a high retail price so you do pay for a certain quality. Some people will always be happy to pay this amount for a hair tool but others might not have the means to do this or want to spend this amount.
Brush straighteners vs straightening irons
Actually, the DAFNI hair straightening brush is far superior to straightening irons because it doesn’t clamp down onto hair – there’s no risk of frying hair. It glided through although contrary to what it says, I would strongly advise you section out your hair so you get right to the underneath, otherwise you can miss out areas and end up with kinks where you don’t want them. There are also plastic attachments on the top of the teeth of the DAFNI but don’t be deterred, these protect your head from the hot temperature and allow easier brushing; they definitely made a difference to me when I used this product! The cable on the DAFNI is great at 2.2 metres, I could move around easily while styling which is usually the opposite when I use my hair straighteners; I find the cables on those fairly restrictive.
If you have very curly hair roots, then a brush straightener might not be able to reach too deep and perfectly straighten them out, but it’s especially nice for touch ups, as it’s much easier to use than a straightener.
Branded vs non branded hair brush straightener models
As soon as the Dafni launched, cheaper models started to appear and most of them of a lower quality from China. They were retailing at £40 but along with the cheaper models came plenty of dangers and in fact one product was recalled (the Fast Hair) because of risk of electric shock! Others weren’t coated properly, with inferior materials so people experienced burnt and damaged hair. Some had poorly translated instructions and none of these models should ever have been brought to market. Now, just 12 months later big brands are starting to filter in their own versions of the original Dafni straightening brush. For example, the BaByliss Smoothing Brush, the Jose Eber Digital Straightening Brush and the Asavea – and while these are genuinely much better quality than the cheap Chinese models which infiltrated the market last year – do they work as well as the original Dafni?
Let’s take a look.
2. BaByliss Diamond Smoothing Brush
The BaByliss Diamond Smoothing Brush is endorsed by Fearne Cotton and of course she is paid to do this but remember, famous people don’t want to put their face to a product if they don’t think it works because they wouldn’t want to risk their own reputation. It retails at £79.99 so it isn’t a cheap product. If you’ve looked on YouTube you’ll find a recording of Fearne Cotton straightening out her hair using the Diamond Brush and while her hair isn’t very curly, it does smooth out her kinks and waves in one pass per section.
It’s also wide enough to cope with a large amount of hair at a time, a godsend for women with long or very thick hair. We think this is a very good quality product and one that delivers outstanding results but it is not suitable if you have extremely thick or Afro-Caribbean hair. Here’s a list of its features:
- Flexible bristles which move as you control the brush
- Frizz control and static control
- Outstanding shine
- Detangles hair and doesn’t snag
- Comfortable to use
- Large amount of different temperature settings so you won’t burn your hair as long as you use the right setting for your hair
- It gives volume rather than just brushing the hair straight and flat
We think the BaByliss Diamond Smoothing Brush is as good as the market leader and it’s a lot cheaper too.
3. Jose Eber Digital Straightening Brush
The Jose Eber Digital Straightening Brush is very new to the market and it’s not a well-known brand name so we were interested to see if it was a good brush to try out. It’s another good option to choose if you don’t want to pay £190 for a straightening brush and it has plenty of features just like the BaByliss. In just one pass per section curly hair is straightened and you don’t need to keep going over it. It’s good for curly hair and frizzy types too – even for some Afro-Caribbean hair types. We give the Jose Eber Digital Straightening Brush our vote!
Here are its features:
- Ceramic technology to tame static and frizz
- Moisture locking technology so it doesn’t dehydrate your hair
- Cool tip bristles so no scalp burn!
- Digital heat control so you can see what temperature setting its on at any time
- Temperature settings ranging from 80 Deg C to 230 Deg C (only use the highest if your hair is undamaged and thick)
- Lightweight so for those of you with lots of hair, you won’t hurt your wrist
- Fast acting so you don’t need to spend longer than 20 minutes straightening a good head of reasonably thick hair
This is definitely a contender for the Dafni straightening brush!
4. Asavea Brush Straightener 4th generation with anion generator
We also really highly rate the Asavea Straightening Brush especially if you are on a tighter budget. With the onslaught of straightening brushes there’s no doubt the cheaper models have been poorer quality but actually this one is different. It retails at half the price of the BaByliss and Jose Eber models at £35.99. It’s one of the number one rated hair straightening tools so other people have enjoyed their hair straightening experience using this brush too. It is different than a brush because it looks more like a comb but it does the same job. In fact, if you have very curly hair you will love the salon-style results you get from this brush because rather than flattening out hair it gives it plenty of oomph which means lots of volume – hair isn’t pancake flat. It heats up fast too and it won’t scald your head when you use it. It might be small but it is powerful and it delivers a beautiful looking head of shiny, healthy and manageable looking hair. So if you are looking for something which delivers straight hair with volume you won’t go wrong with the Asavea.
- Anti-scald technology so the bristles won’t burn your scalp
- Swivel cord so you can move around freely as you style
- Fast heat up in one minute to the highest temperature setting
- Digital temperature display
- High heat of 185 Deg C
As far as we can see, the Asavea delivers an excellent hair straightening experience, as good as the leading brand and at a fraction of the cost.
5. AsaVea Hair Brush Straightener Review
I thought it would be a good idea to try another straightening hairbrush at the other end of the scale with regards to price so I could really see if the DAFNI was worth the expense and the hype so I bought the AsaVea electric Compact Faster Heating Detangling Brush. Well I put it to the test on my mid length relatively thick wavy hair. My hair also has a tendency to frizz in the heat so I thought this would be a life saver! I bought it on Amazon.co.uk and it was a 1/4 of the price of the DAFNI – already a bonus! Both are very similar, both resemble a hairbrush with a cord and both are lightweight to hold.
I have to say, if I had to choose between the two brushes on this occasion the less expensive product of the two gets my vote. It’s not that it performed better (it gave very similar results) but more because it’s a fraction of the price of the DAFNI. The AsaVea heated up very quickly in less than a minute and the cord rotated so I didn’t get tangled up. I also liked the LED display so I could easily monitor the temperature, I don’t like to go too hot, this is when hair burns and the mistake many people make because they think hotter is better – it’s not, unless your hair is especially resilient.
Unfortunately there were no reviews on the DAFNI on Amazon when I purchased it but the AsaVea had 132 customer reviews and a total of 4.5 out of 5 stars. I can agree with the positive reviews, it didn’t burn my hair, it’s lightweight and it delivered good shine. It did take longer than the DAFNI though to straighten a whole head of hair but it gives the same results.
As far as negatives, I would say you do need to section out your hair despite what the instructions suggest on both, it took longer to straighten out hair than a set of hair straighteners, you need to brush your hair first to get rid of any knots or you do end up pulling hair unnecessarily which can be uncomfortable). I would also say that if you have extremely thick and unruly hair, don’t bother because the teeth on these hairbrushes (the DAFNI and the AsaVea) aren’t big enough to get right through so you would be spending an inordinate amount of time getting through your hair! Also do beware of fake models which seem to be on sale on Amazon – take time to research the retailer.
Still, overall, the brushes worked great but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the same results, buy the AsaVea!