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mdlondon Strait review: Lengthy lightweight straighteners

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £109
inc VAT

The mdlondon Strait tames frizzy hair fast but can these colourful hair straighteners outperform their popular rivals?


  • Long plates for quick styling
  • Range of temperatures
  • Lasting results


  • Trickier to achieve curly styles
  • Slower heat-up time
  • No locking system

mdlondon is a burgeoning player in the hair care industry and one of the tools on its original lineup is the mdlondon Strait. Rather than reinventing the wheel, it seems mdlondon is perfecting the basics with its hair styling tools. When I reviewed the mdlondon Blow hair dryer, I was impressed by its high power, lightweight build and quiet operation, so I was excited to try out the mdlondon Strait hair straighteners to see if they are equally as good.

This eye-catching hair straightener is lightweight and colourful and has a whopping eleven heat settings; though mdlondon claims there’s no need to use high heat on your hair, the range of heat settings makes it a good choice for all hair types.

In my tests, I was impressed with the Strait’s performance, but with such steep competition in the hair straightener market, I’m not convinced that these stand out from the crowd.

mdlondon Strait review: What do you get for the money?

The mdlondon Strait retails for £109. For that price, you can buy a good pair of mid-range hair straighteners, such as the BaByliss 3Q. Spend a little extra and you can break into the luxury market with the £139 ghd Originals. Both of these straighteners are versatile options that can effectively curl and straighten the hair, but the mdlondon Straight has larger heated plates and a greater range of heat options. That means it’s well placed to give its competition a run for its money.

Its heated plates are made of ceramic, which is fairly common in hair straighteners since it heats quickly and evenly, creating shiny healthy styles faster than the metal plates of old. Its hot plates measure in at 30 x 120mm – far larger than our current favourite hair straighteners, the ghd Gold, which are 26 x 90mm. That should allow you to straighten larger sections of hair at once, shaving precious minutes off your hair styling routine.

The main body of the straighteners is longer than average to compensate for the longer plate size; however, that doesn’t mean they’re bulky. The arms of the straightener are some of the thinnest I’ve ever seen. Since the straighteners only weigh 215g, they’re light enough to manoeuvre around the head without ever getting aches and pains. The long three-metre cord is also attached to the straightener with a swivel attachment, further aiding manoeuvrability.

As mentioned, the straightener has eleven heat options ranging from 130-230°C. These are controlled using buttons on the side of the straightener and the temperature is displayed on a clear LCD screen. This wide range of temperature options allows the user to set a suitable temperature for their hair. Those with fine or colour-treated hair may choose to use a lower temperature to preserve their hair health, while thicker-haired individuals may want to crank up the heat to get a straight style in fewer passes.

As with any good styling tool, the mdlondon Strait has an automatic safety shutoff that shuts the device down after 30 minutes to avoid accidental burns and, at worst, fires. You’ll also get a silicone heat-proof mat to prevent you from scorching furniture. Despite the lack of a locking system in the straightener, this silicone mat can be wrapped around the straightener to protect it during storage.

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mdlondon Strait review: What’s it like to use?

Overall, I found the mdlondon Strait incredibly easy to use. Its controls were simple to understand during my tests, with a power button, as well as plus and minus buttons for adjusting the temperature. As the LCD screen displayed the temperature, it was clear which setting I was selecting. A few seconds after selecting the temperature, the screen displays the current temperature of the hot plates to highlight when it reached the temperature I had set.

While this was a clear indicator, I would have liked an audible cue to signal this, like the bleep sound you get on ghds. This is especially true since the straighteners took 58 seconds to heat up to our test temperature of 180°C. That’s not terrible, but there are far faster options available, so it would be useful to have a noise to remind you to get styling.

When testing the straighteners, I used clean, dry hair and a heat protection spray. Taking inch-wide sections, the ceramic plates glided over the hair producing smooth and shiny, pin-straight results. Furthermore, since the plates were slightly larger than average, I was able to style larger sections of hair, shortening the time it took to get my hair styled.

Having used my standard test temperature of 180°C in the first test, I later tried styling my hair at a lower temperature of 150°C and got the same sleek results after a few passes. Since lower temperatures are better for hair health, the mdlondon Strait is a sensible option for those who have thin, bleached or damaged hair.

That being said, since the straighteners have a grippy matte plastic finish, I struggled to get the straighteners to curl my hair without lots of tension being put on the hair. This, alongside the flatter shape of the arms, made it slightly more difficult to create curly styles. While you can create good curls with practice, it wasn’t as easy to achieve snag-free as with other models that use hard plastic, such as the ghd Originals and the Cloud Nine Contouring Iron.

mdlondon Strait review: Should you buy it?

If you want a straightener that doesn’t reinvent the wheel and can straighten hair at lower temperatures, the mdlondon Strait is a sensible choice. It provides long-lasting, shiny straight styles while giving you less heat damage.

It’s got all the luxury finishes we’d expect to find on a hair straightener at this price point, including intuitive controls, a swivel cord and high-quality floating ceramic plates. It’s also lightweight and comfortable to use, and versatile enough to create wavy and curly styles too, even if it takes a bit of practice.

Unfortunately, it’s missing a locking system, which would help users travel with and store the straighteners more easily. Striking design aside, I’m also not completely convinced that the straighteners stand out from the competition. ghd Originals are quicker to heat up and have a better-designed shape for hair curling. However, the wide range of heat settings on the mdlondon Strait makes it a better choice for those with thin and fine hair.

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