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Cortex Flat Iron Review: Loved By Professionals, But Can Be Faulty?!

 Interested in the Cortex Professional Steamliner Vapor flat iron?

Why is this flat iron such a favorite among many professional hair stylists? The argan oil infusion, adjustable temperature, high quality cord, and ceramic-tourmaline plates do receive high praise from customers.

However, it’s not without its flaws.

Want to know the most common complaint customers have with this flat iron? Just keep reading.

We break down what sets this flat iron apart from its competitors, and help you decide if this model is a good option for you.

In a hurry? Click here to view this Cortex flat iron on Amazon

Quick Overview: The Cortex Professional Steamliner Vapor Flat Iron

  • Unique Moroccan Argan Oil Infusion For Shiny, Healthy Hair ✔
  • Steam Function Is Optional & Adjustable ✔
  • Ceramic & Tourmaline Plates Are Smooth And Reduce Damage ✔
  • Lifetime Warranty For Peace Of Mind ✔
  • Automatic Shut Off Function ✔
  • Dual Voltage For Easy Travel ✔
  • Steam Is A Little Faulty For Some (Avail Of The Warranty) ✘

Check Out This Cortex Flat Iron on Amazon Here

Key stats – Cortex Flat Iron

  • Full Product Name: Cortex Professional (International) Steamliner Vapor Iron
  • Inventory: Flat iron; steamliner infusion refill (the packaging of the argan infusion bottle can vary), 5 fl. oz.
  • Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 6 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Ceramic Flat Iron: 1 1/4 inch wide x 4 1/2 inch long
  • Dual Voltage: 110-240V, 50-60Hz
  • Temperature Range: 300°-450°F (150°-232°C)
  • Power: 60W (USA) / 60W (Canada)

In Depth Review: Cortex Flat Iron

Releases Nourishing, Hydrating Argan Oil While You Straighten

The Moroccan argan oil infusion sets this flat iron apart from many competitors.

The ceramic plates infuse your hair with Moroccan Argan oil while you use the flat iron. Argan oil is full of antioxidants, omega six fatty acids, linoleic acid, and vitamin A, C, and E.

Cortex promises shine and silkiness. The iron is developed with ionized technology to prolong the smoothness of your hair after use. The Argan infusion helps seal in nutrients so your hair look shiner and leaves it more manageable.

Sometimes when you straighten your hair, the static can create flyaways and frizz. Argan oil help tame the frizziness from that static –  leaving your hair smoother and neater.

Ever notice that your ends are brittle and dry after straightening? Maybe the top of your hair looks nice and healthy, but the dry ends ruin your look? Argan oil helps to nourish split ends so that they look more healthy.

Or you struggle with dry hair in general? This oil enriches and moisturizes all-over, for a hydrated feel and shiny look. The argan infusion can also enhance and brighten your color.

Argan oil acts as heat protection – perfect for preventing damage as you straighten your hair. Plus, it protects your hair from the sun when you’re out and about. Because you don’t need to add extra heat protection, it save you precious time in the morning. No need to wait for a spray to set in. Just straighten and protect in one step!

The Argan Oil Steam Is Optional and Adjustable

The steam from the argan infusion emits from the holes on the inside top plate. The flat iron has 2 steam settings to smooth and shine your hair. There’s an adjustment switch to control more or less steam (high steam, low steam, or no steam at all) to suit your preferences.

It’s easy to refill once the argan oil has run out. Press the unlock button and remove the plastic tank from the flat iron. Screw off the top of the argan oil bottle (this comes with the flat iron, but it’s also available to purchase separately).  Fill through the hole on the bottom of the reservoir and put the plastic tank back (it should automatically lock again).

You cannot use water or anything other than the argan oil in the steam compartment. Putting any other liquid in the steam compartment can break the flat iron.

♥ Tourmaline & Ceramic Plates For Smoother, Less Damaged Hair

The Cortex Professional Steamliner is a ceramic-tourmaline 1 1/4″ wide x 4 1/2″ long flat iron.

It’s not just a ceramic coated iron – the actual iron plates are ceramic. Unlike gold or aluminium, ceramic plates smooth through your hair without tugging or pulling which prevents damage or breakage while straightening. Ceramic heats much faster and provides evenly-heated plates throughout your styling session. So you won’t need to pass your hair through multiple times to achieve straight hair!

Ceramic plates with temperature control are especially great for fine, damaged hair. The combination of tourmaline and ceramic can work well for curly, thicker hair.

Tourmaline helps smooth the hair and minimize damage. It adds and seals moisture for shinier, healthier looking hair. The negative ions released by tourmaline help balance out the positive ions in damaged, dry hair for a smoother, silkier look. Tourmaline helps this ceramic flat iron produce a frizz-free straighten.

It’s easy to straighten with this model. Just clip a section of hair between the plates and slowly pull down. It should only take one pass through per section. There are cool spots on the iron to help prevent burning your hands while you use it for safety.

Quickly Heats Up To 450°F For A Fast, Powerful Straighten

If you’re strapped for time when you get ready in the morning, this quick speed straightener helps save some valuable seconds and minutes before you need to run out the door. After a keratin treatment, you’re advised to seal your straightened hair with 450°F degree heat for a longer lasting style. This flat iron heats quickly to the max temperature of 450 degrees – the keratin ideal.

Maybe your hair type requires a higher or lower temperature? If you prefer a lower temperature for safety or just to suit your hair type, it’s easy to adjust to your ideal heat. The Cortex has six temperature settings from 300, 340 , 375, 410, 430, to 450°F. When the green light stops flashing at your chosen temperature, your flat iron is ready to use.

Plus, it has an automatic temperature lock to keep the heat level consistent throughout your straightening session.

Because it heats to such a high temperature it’s important not to burn the skin on your head or hands while you use the flat iron. If you have it on the highest setting, don’t keep your hair on the plates for too long, or your hair could burn!

Ergonomically Designed With A 9 Foot Cord, Suitable For Salons

The flat iron is ergonomically designed to make styling comfortable.

It’s a dual voltage flat iron (110-240V, 50-60Hz) so it’s great for travel. When electronics aren’t dual voltage, they can blow a fuse and break completely if plugged into an international outlet. No need to worry about that with this straightener! Plus, it’s easy to wrap away when adding it to your travel case.

The cord looks almost like a bungy cord. It feels industrial level sturdy, and it’s burn resistant – so you don’t have to worry about it melting next to the hot plates!

Because the cord is super long (9 foot) it’s great for salon use, too.

Where it’s connected to the straightener, the cord swivels 360 degrees. This is great for using the flat iron on the back of your hair as it won’t get tangled.

A Limited Lifetime Warranty For Peace Of Mind

There’s nothing worse than investing in a new styling tool and having issues with it working beyond your control. Some flat irons don’t have any warranty protection at all. Others cover only the first year or two years after purchase (like the Sultra Wicked Wave & Straight flat iron).  Each purchase from a verified seller comes with a limited lifetime warranty that covers manufacturer defects.

You must register the purchase within 90 days of purchase to be covered under the warranty. Certain sellers online are authorized sellers of Cortex products. Full warranty information is available here.

Automatic Shut Off Function

Unlike other models, (especially less expensive flat irons like the GVP), the Cortex Steamliner features an automatic shut off function. Forget to turn your flat iron off? No need to stress about any potential damage – this Cortex shuts itself off for you!

Customer Reviews – Cortex Flat Iron

Overall, customers tend to like this Cortex flat iron with very high average reviews online.

Some general feedback includes:

    • Some said they like that you can choose your desired temperature.
    • Others liked that the plates are smooth and don’t pull on your hair, and work well to kink out bumps.
    • The time saving aspect is a hit. It only takes 30-45s to heat up to the full 430 degree heat. Plus, customers like that it’s powerful. Only one pass through each section is needed to straighten the hair.
    • Another review was impressed with the healthy, blow-out look that she achieved with the iron.
    • One customer noted that the straightener is quite heavy.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas of praise and complaint for this model.

Works Great For Curls – Especially Natural, Afro Hair

The tourmaline and ceramic plates work well on natural hair to evenly straighten while locking in moisture for a hydrated look and feel.

Many customers noted how well it works for their natural, curly 4A, 4B, or 4C Afro hair. One reviewer said her hair normally stays straight for 4 days. After using this flat iron, her hair is straight for 2 weeks!

A customer with 4A-4B hair liked that she didn’t notice any hair damage after using the flat iron set at a high 340 degrees. Others with natural hair noted it looked more shiny and hydrated after straightening. Some women with relaxed hair also said they really like the way this Cortex flat iron straightens their hair.

It’s not just for Afro hair – reviewers from other backgrounds also like this model. One customer with Irish curly hair said it works well to tame and prevent any frizziness for her.

The Argan Oil Helps Keep Customers’ Hair Hydrated

Overall, customers have positive reviews for the argan oil itself.

Some reviews noted that other flat irons can leave your hair damaged and with frizzy split ends. Unlike most straighteners (the RUSK CTC being a noticeable exception), argan oil is released as you use the Cortex Steamliner flat iron. A lot of customers attribute the argan oil to the superior results achieved with this flat iron compared with other models.

They like that the argan oil conditions and softens the hair. Some said they appreciated that it’s possible to control the amount of steam released. Others noted that it made their hair shiny, silky, and left their hair smelling great!

It works without the argan oil too, but the steam usually does makes a big difference. A few customers don’t use the steam setting, and prefer the look of their hair without it (but these are a small minority).

The steam can be intense and create a lot of heat near the scalp – it’s important to be cautious.

▼ It Doesn’t Come With The Oil?!

Although each purchase includes the argan oil, a few customers complained that they only received the straightener. They had to buy the oil separately.

The Steam Is Faulty For Some Customers

While customers like the argan oil/steam feature overall, a number of customers (though a minority) noted that it didn’t really work due to manufacturing faults.

Multiple reviewers had issues with the plastic oil container leaking. That part seems to be cheaply made. This is the biggest problem some customers have with the Cortex flat iron. It can create a bit of a mess, but even with the broken steam system, it usually still works as a regular flat iron!

One said she had it for 3 months and it doesn’t steam anymore. Another customer said the clip to lock the oil container into place broke. However, just like the Sutra Ceramic hair straightener, it does come with a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty when purchased from an authentic seller.  One customer said she contacted customer service with an issue and they weren’t that helpful.

Others didn’t like that the oil can change to a merky brown color with continuous use. This is obviously unsightly, but it doesn’t seem to impact the performance of the flat iron or the steam.

Positive Reviews From Professional Hair Stylists

A lot of customers bought this Cortex flat iron based on recommendations from hair stylists. Just like the Solano Sleekheat flat iron, it’s a popular model for many hair salons.

Some customers said it’s easy to tell why it’s a professional iron. One hair stylist said it’s her all time favorite.  It makes her clients’ hair shinier and softer than other flat irons.

Another hair dresser said her first Cortex flat iron lasted 6 years, and she loves this model for keratin treatments. Professionals like that the cord is long enough for salon use. If you’re a flat iron pro, you can create curls and waves with this iron, too.

How The Cortex Flat Iron Stacks Up To Competitors

One customer said the Cortex flat iron works better than the FHI straightener – it creates a shinier, softer look and feel to the hair (even on the ends).

Another said she used to use the Babyliss titanium iron, but prefers the Cortex because she found the titanium damaging on her fine hair.

A reviewer that tried multiple flat irons in the past (including CHI, Babyliss, and Nume) said that this Cortex model is her favorite.

One compared her Cortex iron to her GHD. She said the Cortex cut her flat iron time in half vs the GHD, and leaves her hair feeling shinier and healthier than the GHD.

 TL;DR – Is The Cortex For Me?

cortex flat iron

Overall, if you’re in need of hydration, and want a professional grade ceramic-tourmaline plated steam flat iron for sleek, smooth hair, this is a great option.

The biggest issue with it is the faultiness of the steam compartment – but because it comes with a limited lifetime warranty, you should be able to get assistance from customer service if you have any trouble.

A firm favorite among many hair stylists, this ceramic-tourmaline plated flat iron is pretty impressive overall.

The adjustable (and optional) argan oil steam is a time saver, and ideal for anyone looking for sleeker, smoother, and more moisturized hair.

The temperature is adjustable – heating up to 450 degrees (perfect for keratin sealing). The nine foot sturdy, burn resistant swivel cord is perfect for both salon use and straightening the back of your hair.

Many customers bought the flat iron on recommendation from their hairdresser. Customers with curly, frizzy hair (natural 4A, B or C, relaxed, or Irish curls) tend to really like this flat iron. A lot of reviewers say it’s a better flat iron than some of the competitors (like GHD, Babyliss, and Nume).

However, some customers have issues with the steam compartment breaking soon after buying. A few also didn’t receive the argan oil with their purchase. The argan oil plastic compartment seems pretty cheaply made overall.

It does come with limited lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects. If your argan oil container is faulty, you should contact customer service for help.

Click here to view the current price of this Cortex flat iron on Amazon

Not sure if this argan oil steam straightener is right for you? Want to compare multiple flat iron models? Check out our ultimate flat iron guide and top flat iron brushes list to find the perfect one for you! 

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