About Hot Locks Styler
Manufactured by Tristar Products, the Hot Locks Styler claims to combine a straightener, curling iron, round brush, and hair dryer into a single device that can provide you with salon beautiful hair at home. And by giving your hair body, shine, and volume, the Hot Locks Styler claims to “transform your hair from bland to beautiful in 3 minutes or less.”
In order to accomplish this, the Hot Locks Styler features an ion ceramic barrel that releases hydrating, healing, and frizz-fighting ion molecules, while the “exclusive black tourmaline finish” is claimed to pump up the volume of your hair and bring out its shine. In addition, the Hot Locks Styler is claimed to feature a curved brush with top-quality nylon bristles that are precisely spaced and softly tipped to prevent tangles.
According to the manufacturer, the Hot Locks Styler works on all hair types, includes 2 heat settings that go up to 400 degrees, is cool to the touch for 2-handed styling, and also features an automatic shutoff for safety.
At first glance, the Hot Locks Styler might seem like an amazing deal. But before you hand over your hard-earned money, consider the following:
What is Black Tourmaline?
Tourmaline is “a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium, that “is classified as a semi-precious stone” and “comes in a wide variety of colors.” However, the most common type of tourmaline (known as schorl) is black, which is what’s featured in the Hot Locks Styler (and many similar products, as we’ll discuss in a moment).
Although the Hot Locks Styler website doesn’t indicate why black tourmaline is included in the device, it’s very likely due to its magnetic and pyroelectric properties. However, black tourmaline is used in hundreds of beauty products, and is certainly not “exclusive” to the Hot Locks Styler.
What’s Up with Hot Locks Styler’s Ion Ceramic Barrel?
At their most basic, “Ions are atoms with extra electrons or missing electrons. When you are missing an electron or two, you have a positive charge. When you have an extra electron or two, you have a negative charge.”
When your hair is wet each morning, it contains positive ions. But when you begin styling your hair with heat (whether you’re using a blowdryer or another tool like the Hot Locks Styler), these ions are removed, which can lead to static buildup and the dreaded “hair frizz.” However, styling tools such as the Hot Locks Styler claim to help replace many of the ions lost from heat exchange, and to reduce static and frizz.
According to the UCSB ScienceLine though, “Coating the hair with gel or some kind of conductive conditioner would have a much stronger and lasting effect than ions, which only exist while the hair dryer is running. In the long term, ions are more reactive than other molecules, so they probably cause the hair and/or natural oils to be oxidized and the hair to become more brittle. But this is probably a smaller effect than the use of conditioners (good) or hot air (bad). More worrisome is that ionic generators generate ozone, which is good high in the atmosphere but bad here at ground level. Ozone contributes to smog and can cause lung irritation.”
Will the Hot Locks Styler Style Your Hair In 3 Minutes?
As you probably already know, how long it takes to style hair depends on dozens of factors, including the length, thickness, and coarseness of your hair; whether your hair is straight, curly, or mixed; if your hair is colored or chemically treated; and much more.
Because of this, unless your hair is very short and fine, it’s almost certain that it will take the Hot Locks Styler more than 3 minutes to appropriately style your hair.
You’ve Got Options
Finally, keep in mind that there are dozens of similar products as the Hot Locks Styler, including the Prestige Ionic Styler, Maximizer Styler, InStyler Ionic Ceramic, and the infamous Perfecter Fusion Styler. In fact, the Perfecter and the Hot Locks Stylers appear almost identical to one another (more about this next), except for the fact that the Hot Locks is priced at 1/5th the price.
Regardless of which option you choose though, most 4-in-1 hair products often fail to work as well as any of the tools they’re intended to replace.
Where’s All the Customer Feedback for Hot Locks Styler?
The Hot Locks Styler was a very new product at the time of our research (URL registered March 2015) and didn’t have any online customer reviews available.
However, the Hot Locks Styler is manufactured by Tristar Products, one of the biggest names within the “As Seen on TV” industry, who also manufacturers the Perfecter Fusion Styler and many other popular ASOTV products. In fact, except for a couple minor design differences, the Perfecter Fusion and Hot Locks Stylers appear to basically be the same product.
With this in mind, to date, 170 HighYa readers have provided their feedback for the Perfecter (as of 4/20/15) and have rated it an average of 2 stars, with common complaints citing poor quality (e.g. teeth quickly fall out, rendering it useless), failure to work as advertised, and poor customer service (difficulty tracking orders, problems processing returns/refunds, etc.). In fact, one HighYa reviewer claimed they received their Perfecter with a bunch of blonde hair wrapped around it!
Granted, you may not experience this with the Hot Locks Styler, but it’s something important to keep in mind.
From a company perspective, Tristar Products holds an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite having nearly 1,000 closed complaints (as of 4/20/15), most of which reference the same concerns noted above.
Hot Locks Styler Pricing & Refund Policy
One Hot Locks Styler is priced at $19.99 plus $7.99 S&H, although you’ll be able to purchase a second unit for an additional $7.99 S&H.
Regardless of the number you choose, each Hot Locks Styler will also include a travel bag.
The Hot Locks Styler comes with a 60-day refund policy, as well as a 60-day warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. However, in the event of a warranty claim, you’ll be responsible for shipping your Hot Locks Styler back to the manufacturer, and will also have to pay $24.99 to have it shipped back to you. In other words, in the event of a warranty claim, it will cost you nearly the same as purchasing a brand new product.
With this said, in order to request a refund or process a warranty claim, you’ll need to contact customer service at 973-287-5147.
Should You Roll the Dice on the Hot Locks Styler?
Chopping to the point: Based on customer feedback (here on HighYa as well as elsewhere online) for many of these 4-in-1 ionic stylers, it appears that you’re likely to be dissatisfied with your purchase, as well as your customer service experience should you decide to return your Hot Locks Styler.
On top of this, if you choose the BOGO offer, you could lose as much in S&H charges as you’ll receive as a refund.
Because of these concerns, we might recommend exploring local options before placing your Hot Locks Styler order.