We try it: the Dafni hair straightening ceramic brush video


Stuff.co.nz's style director Melissa Williams-King trials the new Dafni heated hairbrush.

Heated hairbrushes have been out of favour since the straightening iron boom of the 2000s. There are versions around that have a heated rotating barrel, such as the VS Sassoon Big Hair 1000, $99, which helps you roll smooth, bouncy waves. There are also versions that expel hot air, effectively working as a blow drier and brush in one (see the Jilbere Euro 1000 Volume Styler, $89). But these are not nearly as powerful or as popular as the ubiquitous straightening iron. 

However irons do have a few drawbacks, the main one being that they can be damaging to hair (especially the ones that heat up higher than 185C). Some women also find they don't have the dexterity of a hairdresser when it comes to using irons to create curls, waves and anything other than a slick-straight look. And for very curly hair, the straightening ordeal can also take upwards of half an hour. 

So enter the new Dafni ceramic heated hairbrush, $299.99, which has become something of an internet sensation, despite its slightly uncool name (is it just me or does it sound like some kind of feminine medication?). It's made in Italy, and was introduced to the world at Cosmprof six months ago.

The Dafni heated hairbrush.

The Dafni heated hairbrush.

Each bristle is heated all the way up, and so is the base itself. The makers claim the secret is the larger amount of heated surface area, which makes it achieve straightening results faster. You need to brush hair first with a regular brush to detangle it, then use Dafni to smooth out the texture of hair. 

Here's our verdict of the pros and cons:


It's a lot easier than using an iron or a tong – everyone knows how to brush their hair. 
It's reported to be less damaging than an iron, though I'd still advise using a heat protectant spray. (It heats to 185C.)
It works fast – you'd need a couple of minutes to do fine to medium hair, and probably five to 10 for very thick curly hair.
It's useful for defrizzing and smoothing, when you don't want stick straight hair, and is equally good for quick touch-ups.
It's much easier to use on the back of your hair than straighteners.

Before and after using the Dafni brush for a few minutes.

Before and after using the Dafni brush for a few minutes.


It's expensive – on a par with top-of-the-line irons. (But it is on sale for $249.99 until March 13.)
It takes about a minute to heat up – not long, but more than a modern straightener that only takes seconds. 
It's not dual voltage.
It doesn't have instant shutdown if you forget to turn it off.

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