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Curling irons have always been a little foreign to me.
Having curly hair means that I can usually do some pretty stellar spirals by training my curls when they’re wet. But recently, I’ve been venturing more into curling iron territory when I’m looking to spruce up my hair a little or get a more uniformed look.
The GK Hair 4-in-One curling iron set ($195, amazon.com) has four different tourmaline barrels that allow for varying thickness of curls, and the heat settings range from 140 to 410°F. It’s missing the clamp that holds you hair down and instead comes with a heat resistant glove.
It takes some time to get the hang of using the iron, the curling iron set does have it’s advantages.
Be Careful About Temperature
You can crank up the GK 4-in-One Curling Iron set up to a hot 410°F; and while that might be just the kind of heat you’re looking for to get perfect curls, it’s well above the threshold for hair damage.
UV-rays may seem like the main cause of free radicals, but as it turns out, it’s not as much of a free radical increaser as heat. Researchers found that while free radical levels were raised slightly in UV-light, the increase was more marked in hair heated over 100°C which is about 212°F (Life Sciences).
But that’s a pretty lukewarm temperature for styling. So what’s a girl to do?
Think about using something with antioxidants to curb some of the free-radical damage you may be doing (Mibelle Laboratories). Mibelle Laboratory’s study found that a combination of oil- and water-soluble was a particularly effective combination.
GK 4-in-One Pros
One of the biggest benefits of the GK 4-in-One curling iron is that you can change the wide of the barrel with ease. Those four pieces give you a lot of options when it comes to your hair. It gives you the options of going from romantic waves to tight spiral curls with the same tool.
The GK 4-in-One also heats up super quickly and has a gauge to tell your how hot it’s getting. You can see the temperature climbing up several degrees every second. This is great for a few reasons. First, you can control the exact temperature of your styling. Second, you know when your iron is at the right heat.
While it doesn’t necessarily affect the styling process, the GK 4-in-One curling iron has a gorgeous modern design in striking white. It’s really a beautiful tool.
GK 4-in-One Cons
One of the biggest issues with the GK 4-in-One curling iron is that there isn’t anything to hold your hair with. That doesn’t seem like a problem in theory — after all, that part of the iron is often the cause of creases in hair. But without it, you’re force to use your hands to make sure your hair stays on the barrel.
This brings the second issue. The GK 4-in-One does come with a glove you can use to touch the barrel with. Unfortunately, it’s not heat resistant enough to make it comfortable enough to actually hold on to for a long time. It also makes it difficult to change the barrels mid-styling, as they don’t cool down super quickly.
Finally, it would be great if they sent two gloves, since the tourmaline barrel is very slippery and only having one hand is surprisingly difficult. One tip: When you’re using this curling iron and don’t have a second glove, it’s easiest to hold the iron above you pointed downward and wrapping your hair around it going from the base to the tip. That’s the best way to do it with one hand.
It takes a little time to figure out, but once you get the hand of the GK 4-in-One curling set, it’s a nice cross between a curling iron and curlers, because you have the option of several sizes.
Having the option of the clamp to hold on to hair or two gloves would make it more user-friendly, but over all, it’s a good experience. It would also make it easier to change barrels quickly. And having a more heat resistant glove would definitely improve the experience.
While the iron can go up to 410°F, it might not be recommendable to use it at that heat — particularly not without antioxidant products — because it causes free radical damage.
I felt it gave me a nice curl once I got the hang of it, and I like having the options in the four different barrels.