While the very best straighteners can allow us to straighten and curl our hair, we know the latter is easier done using the best hair curlers. Enter the Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro: the first straightener designed with curved floating plates to deliver seamless curls, waves and (of course) straight hair.
This innovative product comes at a price though, so I was keen to see how it matched up to the Cloud Nine Wide Iron and GHD Original Styler – two straighteners I’ve had regularly used on my hair for all of the above. Are the curved plates enough to justify its price tag? I put them to the test to find out…
Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Price and Availability
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro straighteners are available at Cloud Nine UK and Cloud Nine AUS for £299/AUS $549. They are currently on sale for £249 and AUS $449, however we’d take advantage of this deal sooner rather than later, as it won’t last forever.
Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Unboxing and Set-Up
As you'd expect from a premium brand like Cloud Nine, the packaging and straighteners are stunning, both in a deep shade of midnight blue. However, I felt this premium was slightly let down by the plastic material that they are made out of, as it just made them feel incredibly light and a little cheap. Although, their feather-like weight would be ideal for travelling.
Inside the box was also a royal blue silk heat protector mat and on the end of the straighteners was a plastic guard case to keep the plates together when not in use. The mat also has a white ribbon on either side, so that you can tie your straighteners up inside it for when travelling.
Setting up the straighteners was straightforward – you simply just hold down the on button which turns on the digital display. This is then super easy to use as its touchscreen, so you just tap the arrows to select what heat you want. They’re very speedy straighteners and took approximately 20 seconds to heat up to 190 degrees.
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Design and Features
What sets the Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro apart from its predecessors, and any straightener on the market in fact, are its curved plates. These have been designed to allow you to straighten, curl and wave your hair without the need for buying a separate curler. You may be thinking ‘but I can do that with any flat iron’, but the difference is these have been designed specifically to do it all and therefore should be a lot easier to use for waves and curls than a regular straightener.
Other features similar to its predecessor, The Original Iron Pro, include revive mode. This heats the straighteners up to 150 degrees and uses axial vibration technology where the straightener plates vibrate whilst you feed your hair between them. It’s meant to reduce breakage and be better for your hair overall, while still delivering results similar to that of a higher heat.
As with all Cloud Nine straighteners the temperature selection is vast. You have the option to select between 100-200 degrees in 10 degree increments, whereas its competitor, GHDs, are set controlled to 185 degrees. This therefore offers a lot more flexibility for different hair types and gives you more control over how much heat you wish to apply to your hair.
Other features include a swivel 360 degree cord, hibernation mode (where the straighteners automatically turn off after 30 minutes) and sericite-infused plates to lock in moisture and leave hair looking shiny.
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Performance
I tried the Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro to straighten my hair in normal mode, revive mode and I tried waving it.
As I previously said, these straighteners heat up very fast. There’s a white light around the end of them that flashes whilst they're heating which then stays solid once it’s reached the desired temperature, which I thought was very handy. I decided to start off by straightening my hair first with the straighteners set to 190 degrees. I thought the digital touch screen was very sleek, easy to use and really gives the product a luxe feel. Being a Cloud Nine fan and (as I expected) the plates glided through my hair and straightened it beautifully. It lasted all day, although when I woke there were a few kinks (I'm an awkward sleeper), but it was nothing that a quick glide over at 150 degrees couldn't sort.
The following week I tested revive mode – which heats the straighteners to 150 degrees in a matter of seconds and the plates vibrate as you straighten. While they did straighten my hair, I don’t think they did it as well as when they were at 190 degrees. However, it's worth noting I do have thick-ish hair and a lot of it. I did also have to go over my hair multiple times to get it super straight, so going forward I’d probably just stick to the higher heat for full-on straightening and then revive mode for top ups.
Next it was curling time. Now, I have to admit this is something I wasn’t that successful with, not because of the straightener, but because I’m still learning how to wave my hair with a flat iron. Those who are very good at it understand it’s a skill and those who aren’t probably feel my frustration and the struggle of not getting it right. That being said, I was definitely able to wave my hair with them, it just didn’t look as good as when my hairdresser does it with her Cloud Nines. Also, because the plates are quite narrow, and I have a lot of hair, it did take me around 30-plus minutes to do this as I could only wave small sections at a time.
I also purposely left the straighteners on to check out whether the hibernation mode works – which I can confirm it does – a great feature for if you’re forgetful, like myself.
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Verdict
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro is a beautiful looking, well working straightener, but one that comes with a hefty price tag. Do I think it’s worth £299? Probably not, especially for thick-hair girls who would find it far easier using their regular curling tool. However, for those with finer hair, and the cash to part with, it may suit you.
When you think about the price of a decent curler and straightener together, the 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro does work out cheaper. But I do think you can achieve very similar results with any flat iron. Ok, maybe not ‘tight curls’, but waves definitely. My hairdresser uses the Cloud Nine Wide Iron to wave my hair and these are almost £100 cheaper. Sadly, I think my sister's GHDs may also leave my hair feeling a little sleeker than the Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro too.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an excellent straightener and the plates do make it considerably easier to curl with, but not so much that I’d give up my curling tong and I don't think the price alone isn’t justifiable to get them simply for straightening.
The Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro review: Alternatives to consider
As I’ve mentioned above, the Cloud Nine Wide Iron is an amazing wide plated straightener that executes waves and straightens hair really well. It may also be a better option for those who have a lot of hair, as you’re able to grab more hair at a time. However, if you’re after something very similar to the Cloud Nine 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro, I’d suggest opting for the Cloud Nine The Original Iron Pro. It has nearly all the same features as the 2-in-1 Contouring Iron Pro, the only real difference is the curved plates and price (they’re £249).
The GHD Platinum+ Straighteners are also one of the best straighteners on the market and, again, are cheaper than the Cloud Nine’s. Their round barrel head also lets you create great curls with them too. For those on a tighter budget, I would opt for the classic, and one of my personal favourites, the GHD Original Styler, which are less than £130 (an absolute bargain). I’ve stolen my sisters many times and they’ve left my hair pin-straight, curly and wavy.