Trial Run

What is it? The Powertraveller Cordless Travel Hair Straightener. It promises to turn frizzy locks into a sleek, sophisticated style while you are on the road.

Why do I need one? Ever wondered how those ultra-chic types emerge from a long-haul flight looking like they've spent 12 hours in a luxurious beauty spa, while you crawl off looking like, well ... like you've been on a long-haul flight? As any woman will tell you, if your hair is a mess your day is doomed from the start. Spend a few minutes smoothing your wayward tresses into a sleek mane and you will be sashaying about your travels with attitude.

How does it work? The rechargeable straightener has a simple on/off switch. Double heating plates fire up in about eight seconds so you can set about creating your look almost instantly. Three temperature settings and an easy-to-read LED window display allow selection of the temperature appropriate for your hair type. Coarse or curly hair needs a high temperature while fine locks will be straight within seconds, even on a relatively low temperature. The device cools down about 30 seconds after being switched off, so you can pack it almost immediately after use. A lock prevents accidental operation and a latch ensures the plates close fully for safe storage. The batteries take about three hours to charge and provide about 50 minutes of continuous use.

Other plus points? Lightweight and compact, the straightener comes with a pouch for slipping into a handbag. Also standard are an in-car charger and worldwide mains charger.

What's the downside? Over-use on fine or chemically treated hair could cause damage and split ends, so protect against any grooming catastrophe by using hair products designed for use with heating products. The Firm (tel: 2525 6696) recommends GHD's Iron Oil ($180), a thermal treatment that provides heat protection and helps to seal in the style.

Where can I find it? The Powertraveller Cordless Travel Hair Straightener costs #99.99 ($1,446) and is available from, which delivers to Hong Kong.