A long review + rant for Misikko and Hana

Note: this is the iron from the flatiron curls tutorial! (Feel free to skip the blog post and go right to the video by clicking here.)

What it is: Hana‘s 1″ Professional Flatiron, pink edition.

Arrival: The first thing that I have to say? Misikko, the online store that submitted the iron for review, has the cutest packaging — it comes with an adorable black-with-a-white-bow iron mat + storage pouch, and was packaged with an amount of care that I’ve never seen go into a package before. We’re talking fake roses, people! It definitely adds a luxe factor to the iron when it delivered that carefully.

Pre-use: What I like about the Hana Professional’s cord is that it’s nice and long (get your mind out of the gutter and stop laughing!) with a 360 degree swivel, so I don’t end up tangled and forced to hug the wall while using the iron. However, when I turn it on, the red light begins to flicker intermittently and without a pattern — sometimes, it’ll be on steadily for a few seconds, then go out altogether for a minute or two, and it’s never a constant red light.

[Sidenote: the site reads that the “LED indicator light remains steady when iron is heating up and will blink when desired temperature is reached. If the light is off but the switch is set to On, the iron is decreasing temperature to a lower setting.”]

My PR contact at Misikko says that the iron should flicker when the desired temperature is reached and insists my iron is fine, but I’m a little confused by this. Doesn’t that mean that it should not flicker when it’s heating up? And shouldn’t it go out when I decrease the temperature? Plus, on a scale from one to totally random, the flickering pattern of the light is easily a ten — no “blinking” here.

Additionally, I find that this iron takes quite a while to heat up — I have to leave it for a good five to ten minutes before it’s ready to impart even a wave to my hair. I mean, for the first three or four minutes, I can actually lay my hand on the plates without being in excruciating amounts of pain, which is new for me. It made me feel superhuman before I realized that the iron simply took longer to heat up than I was used to.

Anyhow, I initially attributed this to the fact that the iron may have simply been damaged in shipping, but the folks at Misikko seem to be convinced the iron is OK, so now I’m just… confused.

During and after use: If you manage to get past the initial problems of the iron, it’s actually pretty nice, structurally. The plates are smooth and curved, so it’s easy to use the iron to create different textures (not just straight.) Like any good iron, the plates glide over the hair shaft, without catching or getting stuck, and I have no troubles clamping or unclamping (which isn’t a word, but whatever,) the iron itself.

Odds and ends: My iron also came with a shine serum (which I will unfortunately not be able to review due to the ‘cones!) a lipgloss (which I am loving and will be reviewing eventually,) a few nail files, and a matching, square, pink, heat-resistant mat.  It’s not the most interesting thing to photograph…

… so I gave it a face…

(The other products in this photo have been featured here [the lipsticks] and here [the pigments.])

… and a hat!

Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of the pink (left,) so I ‘shopped it into the shade of I pink I think it should be. I mean, it would be exponentially cuter as a slightly-dusty baby pink, rather than a not-quite-hot-pink! :P
The verdict on the iron? Assuming that my iron is in fact faulty, I do think it’s a pretty solid tool. Structurally, it’s sound; the plates are lovely and I do like the iron once it’s been on for a (long) while. However , for $120, I do hesitate to recommend it — it’s not any cheaper than mass-market high-end lines, like T3 or CHI, and quite frankly, I trust the well-known brands more. This iron does come with a 2-year warranty, but even this doesn’t sway me in its favour, with all the troubles I’ve had.
—Note: the product review ends here.—
The verdict on the site? While there wasn’t any Doe-Deere-esque drammaramma, I wasn’t happy with the contact I had with Misikko. Without mentioning it beforehand, they insisted on having four specific links in the review after letting me know it had already been shipped. Normally I’d probably be okay with this, but my problem is that they’re not all totally… relevant. If I’m being sent a Hana iron to review, why do I need to link to “Chi straighteners” and “Corioliss flat iron[s]”? And if I’m linking to the Misikko site, it would make more sense (to me, at least) to link “Misikko” rather than “professional straighteners.” (Yes, I’m caving in and linking. I feel obligated; I’m sorry!) I was also asked to link to “best flat iron,” which is the only one that does make sense, as they have the Hana listed as the best overall. Still, I kinda felt like I had been in some strange sort of hit-and-run.
When I began having difficulties with my iron, it’s not like they cut all contact or anything. However, I didn’t find the communication very helpful, and even right this minute I am still unclear on whether or not I’m supposed to be writing a review! I did offer them the chance to pass on the review and do a giveaway instead, simply because I’ve heard very good things about the iron and would hate to knock a product just because I chanced upon a faulty one. Unfortunately, though, I still haven’t recieved a clear answer — rather, they just keep telling me that my iron isn’t defective*, over and over again.  They explain with the same terminology that the light is supposed to flicker when the iron has reached the desired temperature, and that’s all they really say, even when I told them that the iron flickers the whole time, no matter what, and that it wasn’t the only problem (as my iron also takes an unusually long time to heat up.)
Lastly, I’m ticked off by the fact that their BCA edition, above, (which is the exact same but touts $25 per sale being donated to Susan G. Koman for the Cure) is more expensive than their normal edition. The list price is lower than the normal price, but the “sale” price is $5 more. (The quotation marks are there simply because the Hana irons are always on sale, not because I’m trying to mock the price or anything like that.) I know it’s not a huge deal, or even a huge difference in cost, but it just seems very underhanded to me.
So um, yah. The supercondensed verdict is simply that I would not personally order from Misikko, and regret agreeing to review the Hana iron at all — I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it, which I think is both ridiculous and completely needless. They’re like that kid in the back of the class that you just do not like. It’s not like they punched your mom in the face, but you wouldn’t get in an elevator with them, and you definitely wouldn’t help them with their diorama.
(Does anyone else remember those? I miss doing dioramas!!!)
I suppose I should apologize to you ladies now, because after a review like this, I’m going to guess that I won’t be hosting the giveaway that we had been planning… but you know what? That’s okay! I’ll give away some B-Ray over the next week or two to make it up to you ;)

You know you love me.

*Um, if this isn’t defective, than I’m not very happy with my iron.

Edited to add: It’s nice (and not so nice) to know that I’m not alone! The brilliant Lisamarie & Christelle at Beauty Crazed have had troubles with the folks at Misikko as well (their iron broke after just one month!), as has my dear Rebecca at Almonds and Apples. While I wish their experiences would have been better… misery loves company, and a shoulder to whine on :P

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