If you’ve always struggled to curl your hair, Conair may have the answer for you. Their new Conair Infiniti Pro Half and Half Curl Secret is a step up from their original Curl Secret, and it offers the options of both a curling chamber and a flat iron–so you’re getting two tools in one.

The Curl Secret range

Conair launched their Infiniti Pro Curl Secret range in 2014, with the Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret Curling Iron. I reviewed the original Curl Secret back in January of 2014, but I haven’t used an automatic curler consistently since then.

The current Conair line contains four curl machines for barrel curls. The original Curl Secret heats up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit, with 3 timer settings and 2 heat levels. The Conair Fashion Curl sits at a lower price point, with 2 heat settings and no timer settings. The Curl Secret 2.0 is the most complex, with interchangeable 1 1/4″ and 1″ curl chambers, 2 heat levels going up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit, 6 timer settings, and 3 curl directions.

The Conair Half & Half Curl Secret, however, is a totally different ball game. It’s a brand-new model, and it’s not just a barrel curl styler. The Half & Half styler is part curler, part straightener.

How the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret works

The Conair Half & Half Curl Secret has a bit of a unique look for a drugstore-brand product. It has a matte black finish, and it’s detailed in copper. Like the other Curl Secrets, it has an “advanced brushless motor” that “sucks” your hair into the curl chamber, and it has a quick-heating chamber with auto-off functionality.

Both sides of the tool heat up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit, with ceramic coated plates. The ceramic coating (which is seen in most modern hot tools) emits negative ions as you use the product, minimizing frizz and damage. They’re smoother than traditional metal plates, which further minimizes damage by reducing friction.

The curling half of the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret has a slimmer profile than that of the original Curl Secret, which may make it easier for some users to correctly position the device. It has two heat levels and three directions: clockwise, counter-clockwise, and alternating. In order to use the curling half of the tool, the top toggle needs to be switched to “curl” (the squiggly lines).

The straightening half of the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret has a 1-inch ceramic plate. It’s quite short (about 2 1/2 inches), and sits next to the curling barrel. In use, you toggle the top switch to “straighten” (the straight lines), which heats up the straightener plates instead of the curl chamber – but it doesn’t actually turn off the automatic barrel. Each strand of hair is still sucked into the curl chamber before reaching the ceramic  straightening plates.

Conair Half & Half Curl Secret: before/after

My experience with the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret

It takes me 3-5 minutes to curl my entire head of hair with a flat iron. The results are very uniform, and they last 1-3 days. For a curling iron, it takes a little longer; usually around 8-10 minutes.

I can’t curl my hair at all with the straightener half of the Curl Secret due to its small size and the bulky shape of the curler, but when I use the curling barrel to do my hair, the results are inconsistent. I can’t achieve curls that are as uniform as I’d like, and at 12 seconds per curl and with the risk of tangles, it takes 14 minutes for me to curl my entire head of hair. The results relax noticeably by the end of the day, even when I take my time and section out only very thin sections of hair to curl at one time.

The frustrations, I believe, come from the curl chamber. It’s designed wider than a curling iron clamp so that it can “suck up” your hair, and that means that your hair is coming only very loosely into contact with the ceramic heating plates. It automates the process of curling your hair, which, yes, is awesome, but it also means that your hair is taking longer to heat and getting less heat overall than it would with direct contact.

As for the other “half” from this Half & Half? The straightener works well–but it’s very, very small. As I mentioned, it’s too small to use to perfect your curls, and the curl chamber mechanism never truly turns off. When using this as a straightener, your hair will still get sucked up into the curl chamber before going through the straightening iron; it just won’t be heated in there.

Due to the very small size of this hair straightener, I really do think it makes more sense to buy your curling device and straightener separately. It’ll cut down dramatically on the time you’ll spend straightening your hair, and it’ll make the process easier, too.

 

Who the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret is great for

I really enjoyed the concept of the Conair Half & Half Curler. As a consumer, I almost always prefer to buy multi-use products instead of single-function ones, especially when it’s something that I may not be using on a daily basis. It was really cool to be able to try out a Curl Secret without fully committing to a single-use Curl Secret.

But as a beauty writer … The Conair Curl Secret really isn’t made for me. Does it simplify the curling process? Totally. But it also lengthens it considerably, and it doesn’t produce professional-quality results.

The Curl Secret range is sort of the Slap Chop of the beauty world. Like a food chopper, it has its uses, and for some, it can be extremely helpful. But if you have the option of using a good knife and developing your knife skills instead, the results will be higher-quality, faster, and cleaner.

The Half & Half Curl Secret is a lot like that. For someone who can’t curl their hair, it’s a godsend. It means that you’ll be able to curl your hair at home, and the results will be good. Not great, but good. The Curl Secret products aren’t perfect, but like the Slap Chop, they’re amazing for people who lack the dexterity to curl their hair on their own. If you have an active hand tremor, for instance, the Curl Secret may make the difference between being able to curl your hair at home without burning yourself and being required to have someone else do it for you.

For people who just can’t get the hang of curling their hair on their own, the Half & Half Curl Secret is still a great find. Aside from a risk of your hair jamming in the machine (which does happen, and yes, it is as terrifying and painful as you would expect), there’s little to no risk in using it. It’s a lot harder to burn your forehead with this thing than it is to burn it with a curling iron, for instance.

If you can curl your hair with a curling iron or a straightener, however, or if you can set aside a half-hour to learn how, the results will be higher-quality, faster, and cleaner. Conair makes fantastic curling irons, and even though this product is well-made and extremely novel, I think a traditional curling iron is a better investment in the long term.

I would recommend the Conair Half & Half Curl Secret to anyone who cannot curl their hair through traditional means, no matter the reason. In addition, I would recommend it for families with younger children. It’s much harder to burn yourself with a Curl Secret than it is to burn yourself with a flatiron or curling iron, making this a safer choice for families with teens and tweens who are just beginning to play with how they can express themselves through stylistic choices.

Shop the Conair Metá e Metá Half & Half Curl Secret Curling Iron at Best Buy.