Hair care

We Tried It: A Teensy Tiny Flat Iron

We know ... it's super cute. But can it straighten and style like a full-size flat iron?

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I never bother with hairdryers, styling wands, or curling irons -- the only thing I'll ever plug in for hairstyling is my ceramic flat iron. I use it to straighten my curly hair, curl my straight hair, and to get those artfully disheveled beachy waves that are somewhere in between. I wouldn't say I'm completely dependent on it, but let's just say it plays a big role in making sure I don't have a bad hair day. That's basically why I decided to try Cricket's Friction Free Mini Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron, $29 -- because I happily welcome any potential understudies for my full-sized flat iron (I dread the day it decides to give out). But after I plugged in the adorable palm-sized iron, I quickly realized I would be using this mini-me version just as often as it's big sister for three reasons.

1. I can't even begin to think of all the times I wish I had a flat iron when I'm anywhere that isn't my bathroom. Whether it was being umbrella-less that one time it actually rained in LA, or just discovering a stubborn piece that refused to lie flat ... I always kind of regret not lugging my flat iron around in my purse all day (not that it would even fit). This mini flat iron, however, is made for tagging along -- it can easily fit into any handbag or clutch. Its tiny half-inch plates are super smoothing and great for quick touchups on the go, like fixing flyaways or frizz post-commute and pre-interview.

2. What really won me over with this flat iron is how perfect it is for bangs. I love my bangs, but straightening them is the worst. I've always had a hard time maneuvering a piping hot, normal sized flat iron so close to my face -- I can never get as close to the roots of my hair as I'd like. But this mini version easily covers those hard to reach areas without burning my scalp, and the friction free plates leave my bangs super shiny and straight. I have a hunch Zooey Deschanel owns one of these.

3. Extra bonus: This mini flat iron is surprisingly handy for ironing out wrinkles in clothes. I always try to flatten out collars on my button-ups or iron out the wrinkles in my shorts with my full-sized flat iron, but as with my bangs, it's hard to get the right angles when the plates are so big. After using the Cricket to create some face-framing spirals, one of my fellow editors used it to touch up the pleats in her skirt and it worked like a charm.

The verdict: This only has one heat setting that goes up to 392 degrees (my other heat tools peak around 410 degrees), so I wouldn't recommend this for straightening all of your hair in one sitting, especially if you have thicker hair and a lot of it. But it's great for touch-ups on the go and a worthy sidekick to add to your normal heat styling arsenal.

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