honestly, I think it depends on your hair texture...I have 3b/3c curls, and I've used HAI, CHI, Solia, GHD and countless drugstore flat irons (gold n hot, revlon etc) The solia wasn't bad, but the movable plates snagged my hair, the HAI was amazing and probably my second favorite. The chi left my ends FRIED regardless of using heat protection. The GHD has been a godsend for me and my friend (she has 3c and maaaaybe 4a curls). The GHD adjusts itself to your hair texture and can sense what temperature you need. Drugstore brands never really got my hair as straight as I liked, the GHD leaves my hair amazingly soft and shiny. My bf has seen me through 4 flat irons (CHI, HAI, solia, GHD) and he definitely noticed a change with the GHD.