Straighten, curl, and add volume with the InStyler MAX

InStyler MAX
InStyler MAX

One single tool that solves every styling issue? It almost sounds too good to be true. With three women in my house who need hair styling tools, the bathroom cabinet is awfully crowded. I’ve got long, fine hair that I like to straighten or curl. My older daughter has long, extremely thick hair that she loves to put waves in, and my youngest daughter has shoulder length hair that needs straightening and volume. The InStyler MAX sounded like a solution to all those straightening/curling/heat styling tools in the bathroom vanity.                                                                                           *pr sample

The InStyler MAX is a rotating hot iron unlike any other styling tool. The patented design of the tourmaline ceramic polishing rotating cylinder combined with ionic bristles that separate your hair allow for lower heat and in turn won’t fry your hair like traditional tools – finally. Straighten, curl, smooth and shine your hair in minutes with one tool.

InStyler MAX

My version is the purple ¼ inch barrel ($99, available at Ulta and Walmart). All the goodies included:

Heated rotating barrel that goes in two different directions

Ionic bristles

Tourmaline ceramic floating plate

4 heat settings

Removable cool tip

30 second rapid heat up

Auto shut off

6 inch swivel cord

Removable heat protectant cage

Styling comb

Heat resistant mat

comb, cool tip, heat protecting cage, heat protecting mat
styling comb, removable cool tip, heat protectant cage, heat resistant mat

InStyler MAX

InStyler MAX

InStyler MAX

The removable cool tip is great – I put this in and see no reason to take it out. It allows you to hold the iron safely from the top without burning your fingers. The mat is nice because you need to set the iron down while sectioning hair for styling. It also comes with a heat protectant cage that you can snap on and off…I preferred it without the cage which just seemed to get in the way.

This device has a learning curve for sure. The barrel rotates in two directions, and you can switch between each easily. The barrel provides the heat while the brush provides the tension and shine. I recommend checking out some of the ‘how to’ videos on YouTube before using this.

Since the three females in my house have totally different hair we all gave this a shot and found it worked differently for each one of us.

I have mid-back length hair that is fine, but there’s a lot of it. I have very long layers. The InStyler MAX works really well for straightening my hair and for adding volume. I leave it close to my roots for about 30 seconds for a wonderful lift, and I like how I can rotate the barrel in the direction I would use to backcomb for volume without tangles and damaging the hair shaft. This is not my choice for curls, however. It gives me soft, beach waves but they don’t last long – my hair is just too heavy.

My oldest daughter has long hair that is very thick and heavy. She likes the InStyler MAX for straightening her ends and for correcting any weirdness or kinks that might have happened overnight. However, her hair is so thick and there is so much of it that it takes a very long time to do a full head treatment. Also, her hair is wiry and coarse, and the InStyler MAX just doesn’t hold her hair tight enough to really make a lasting wave or curl.

The InStyler MAX is perfect for my youngest daughter’s shoulder length, medium/fine hair. It gets rid of frizz and leaves her hair smooth and shiny. She can get a long-lasting curl or a head full of waves if she wants. It doesn’t take long to do all of her hair, especially when she sections it and works on the bottom layers first. Another bonus – the InStyler MAX is light so her hand doesn’t get tired, and it’s great to have all these styling options in one single tool.

InStyler MAX

Overall evaluation:  the InStyler MAX shines for all hair types as a hair straightener that also gives volume. Those with shoulder-length and shorter hair styles will love the wave and curls it can give. Those with longer hair styles may find their hair to be too heavy for long-lasting curls. The best results are found with medium to fine hair, while those with wiry or coarse hair will probably want something even more powerful. What do you think, is the InStyler MAX right for you?  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration


  1. Paula K | 12th May 16

    I have the original InStyler and to be completely honest I absolutely hate it. I have fine straight hair and have tried it on numerous different occasions at varying times and with different lengths of hair and I just really wasn’t impressed. 1 reason was the weight and the other was that it was pretty awkward to use. I really did try to love it because I spent an awful lot of money on it but it just didn’t work for me. So unless they have made major changes I will not be purchasing anytime soon.

  2. Tina Barker | 17th May 16

    I’ve always wanted an InStyler and it might actually work for waves in my angled bob. Thanks for the review!

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