mdlondon STRAIT review: Super-slim and super-effective
£109

mdlondon STRAIT review: Super-slim and super-effective

20th April 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber
Verdict

The mdlondon STRAIT is a standout in the realm of hair straighteners, thanks to its innovative design and fantastic performance. Its lightweight, super-slim and long design not only makes it easy to handle but also versatile enough for both straightening and curling.

While there are minor drawbacks such as the lack of a memory function for heat settings, a long heat-up time, and cheap-looking digital display, these are overshadowed by the styler’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.

It allows for easy wrapping of larger hair sections, creating defined and long-lasting curls and sleek, straight finishes with body and movement.

Overall, the mdlondon Strait offers good value for money.

It straightens hair well and excels at curling thanks to its design. If you have thicker hair or prioritise curling over straightening, this straightening iron is definitely worth considering.

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Pros
  • Super-slim, lightweight design
  • Excels at curling
  • Wide range of temperatures
Cons
  • Long heat-up time
  • No memory function for heat settings
  • Cheap looking digital display
Where to Buy
mdlondon £109
Selfridges £109
Harvey Nichols £109
Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Michael Douglas has done it again – the mdlondon STRAIT is a fantastic styler with very minor flaws. Read more in my mdlondon STRAIT review below


In the crowded market of hair styling tools, mdlondon has carved out a niche for itself by offering innovative products that blend high-tech features with user-friendly designs.

Founded by celeb stylist, Michael Douglas, the first product to launch from the mdlondon brand was the BLOW hair dryer and this was quickly followed by the STRAIT – a super-thin, super-long hair straightener.

The STRAIT is designed to appeal to all hair types, thanks to its wide temperature range, unique design and versatile styling options that Douglas hopes will set it apart from its peers.

I’ve spent the past month putting the straightening iron to the test and in my mdlondon STRAIT review I see how it delivers on style as well as substance.

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mdlondon STRAIT Review

The STRAIT is a flat iron styler from mdlondon, the London-based hair brand from celebrity hair stylist Michael Douglas.

It was the second styler to launch from the brand, following the release of the mdlondon BLOW, and has since been succeeded by the mdlondon BRUSH range, and the mdlondon WAVE. The full mdlondon hair tool range includes:

  • mdlondon BLOW: The brand’s first launch, the BLOW is a high-performance hair dryer for fast drying and styling. You can read our full mdlondon BLOW review here.
  • mdlondon STRAIT: Flat iron straighteners that can be used for straightening and curling.
  • mdlondon BRUSH: There are four brushes in the mdlondon BRUSH range – Radial 1, Radial 2 and Radial 3 are barrel brushes ranging in size from Small, Medium and Large. Mdlondon also sells a vent brush.
  • mdlondon WAVE: The most recent release, the WAVE is a multi-styler for creating different hairstyles. Read our full mdlondon WAVE review here.

mdlondon STRAIT: At A Glance

mdlondon STRAIT hair straightener reviewmamabella | mamabella

The mdlondon Strait is a straightening iron with a sleek, ultra-thin design

What is the mdlondon STRAIT? The mdlondon STRAIT is a straightening iron with a sleek, ultra-thin design. It has a digital display and 11 temperature settings – ranging from 130°C to 230°C – to cater and appeal to different hair types and styling needs.

mdlondon STRAIT price: £109

STRAIT specifications:

  • Power: 48 W
  • Heating element: Professional metal ceramic heater (MCH)
  • Plates: Tournamline-coated aluminium with nano silver
  • Temperature settings: 11
  • Minimum temperature: 130°C
  • Maximum temperature: 230°C
  • Auto shut-off: 30 minutes
  • Dimensions: 75 x 125 x 360 mm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 946 g
  • Cord length: 3m
  • Box contents:
    • mdlondon STRAIT hair straightener
    • Heat resistant mat/wrap

Where to buy:  mdlondon | Selfridges | Harvey Nichols


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mdlondon STRAIT review: Design

mdlondon STRAIT review: Designmamabella | mamabella

I reviewed the green model and really like the bronze highlights on the plates with light caramel-coloured buttons and writing

The mdlondon STRAIT stands out thanks to its super slim, elongated shape and light build. It measures 11.5 x 1.25 x 1 inches (L x W x D) and weighs just half a pound.

Everything about its design is deliberate – from the grooves on the cool tips that make it easier to grip, to the notches along the edges that help give grip to the hair while curling and from the sunken buttons that make it impossible to accidentally change the settings mid-style.

I reviewed the green model and really like the bronze highlights on the plates with light caramel-coloured buttons and writing. The overall aesthetic across the mdlondon range is industrial and I’m a big fan.

Despite its longer length, the Strait is well-balanced. This not only makes it easy and comfortable to handle but helps add to the speed and precision. In particular, the extra room on the plates means you can style more hair on each pass, while the slim design allows you to get closer to your roots.

I have naturally curly hair so my roots tend to kink easily. The STRAIT helps me smooth and knock out this wave, especially around my face.

There are two design elements that let the STRAIT down somewhat. Firstly, while the digital display is welcomed it looks cheap and lets down the general aesthetic. Secondly, the design of the hinge traps the hair while you’re styling. It doesn’t happen every time, but it happens enough to notice.

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mdlondon STRAIT review: Features

mdlondon STRAIT review: Featuresmamabella | mamabella

This straightener offers a wide range of temperature settings, from 130°C to 230°C

The STRAIT is powered by what the brand calls “professional MCH heating with ultra-fast heat recovery,” a feature that sets it apart from the straighteners that use PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) technology because MCH has faster heat-up times, more uniform heat distribution across the plates, and improved energy efficiency.

This straightener offers a wide range of temperature settings, from 130°C to 230°C, which is great for short, fine and damaged hair that needs lower temperatures to keep it protected, as well as thick, long, coarse hair that requires higher temperatures to set their style.

The plates default to 180°C when you first turn the straighteners on and it takes 55 seconds to reach this temperature, which is more than twice the length of time than the likes of the GHD Chronos.

It’s easy to change the temperature using the buttons on the side but, sadly, the mdlondon STRAIT doesn’t remember your preferred setting so you need to manually change it each time.

Elsewhere, the STRAIT includes an automatic shut-off feature that activates if the straightener is not used for 30 minutes.


mdlondon STRAIT review: Performance

mdlondon straightener reviewmamabella | mamabella

It took just two minutes to straighten my long hair, handling most sections with just one pass at my preferred temperature of 190°C

I have fine, naturally wavy hair that tends to frizz easily and typically, when I straighten my hair, it smooths the frizz but leaves it looking limp, flat, and oily. I was concerned I might have the same issues with the mdlondon STRAIT yet I was pleasantly surprised. Not just by how much movement my hair still had after straightening it, but by the precise control I had during the process, thanks to its slim design.

It took just two minutes to straighten my long hair, handling most sections with just one pass at my preferred temperature of 190°C. Lowering the temperature meant longer styling times and less hold, while higher temperatures made my hair too flat and increased the risk of damage.

Though I don’t usually need varied temperatures for my hair, I appreciated being able to lower the heat for styling the more delicate front sections. People with damaged hair will appreciate the lower temperatures while people with much thicker hair than mine will undoubtedly welcome the higher heats.

When curling my hair, the longer, thinner design of the STRAIT again came into its own, not only reducing the time taken to curl from about ten minutes, on average, to just five, but also helping me create super defined curls quickly and easily. I was able to start the curls higher and handle larger sections of hair more effectively, akin to using a long curling wand.

This was made even easier by the fact the outer casing of the styler stays cool, even when the styler is ramped up to 230°C. This, coupled with the cool-tip grips and side grooves, make it a safe and enjoyable tool for creating waves and curls. Initially, I was sceptical about the longer, rectangular design being suited to curling but it actually produced excellent results, similar to those from oval wands.

A significant drawback for me, however, was the increased pressure required to fully close the plates. I had to apply more force than usual, which made my hand ache and seemed to affect how quickly and effectively the STRAIT worked. Granted it’s not a huge problem but if I failed to squeeze hard enough, the finish wasn’t as shiny and smooth. Speaking of smooth, the STRAIT glides through hair well. While it’s not the smoothest flat iron I’ve used – the GHD Chronos holds that title – it’s decent enough.

For both straight and curly styles, frizz was noticeably reduced. My hair looked shinier and although this didn’t last long outdoors, as the frizz quickly returned, it was nice to see.


mdlondon STRAIT Review: Verdict

The mdlondon STRAIT is a standout in the realm of hair straighteners, thanks to its innovative design and fantastic performance. Its lightweight, super-slim and long design not only makes it easy to handle but also versatile enough for both straightening and curling.

While there are minor drawbacks such as the lack of a memory function for heat settings, a long heat-up time, and cheap-looking digital display, these are overshadowed by the styler’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.

It allows for easy wrapping of larger hair sections, creating defined and long-lasting curls and sleek, straight finishes with body and movement.

Overall, the mdlondon Strait offers good value for money. It straightens hair well and excels at curling thanks to its design. If you have thicker hair or prioritise curling over straightening, this straightening iron is definitely worth considering.

BUY NOW

How I tested the mdlondon STRAIT

I’ve spent the past two months using the mdlondon STRAIT as my main styling tool. I’ve used it for straight, curly and wavy styles ranging from everyday looks to nights out.

I have long, thin, naturally curly hair that becomes frizzy and greasy easily and lacks volume.

At each stage, I assessed how well the STRAIT worked, how easy it was to use, and the impact it had on my hair texture and health.


How to use mdlondon STRAIT

Michael Douglas, the founder of mdlondon and stylist to the stars, has put together various guides and videos on how to use the mdlondon STRAIT on his website and Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by michael douglas (@mdlondon)


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