I have very thick, long, curly hair. Most of the time I wear it up in a bun so styling really isn't much of a problem. But when I want to wear it down I like to wear it straight. Since I don't have the patience to use a brush and blow dryer to straighten it by hand I've tried several flatirons. The best I've tried is the Maxius Maxiglide Xpress. I first do my best to brush all of the tangles out of my hair (a major chore). Then I take a small section of hair, get the Maxius unit as close to the scalp as possible, and close the sides over the section of hair. Then I gently pull downward until I've done the entire length of hair - the Maxius has teeth through which the hair is drawn rather than just a flat surface, which helps get out any remaining tangles. It also uses steam to straighten the hair while I'm drawing it through the teeth (it has a small water reservoir that I fill before each use.) I do have to be careful not to use a burst of steam right at the scalp since it's pretty hot. Once I've finished with all the hair sections I'm done - and my hair is as silky and straight as can be. It is awkward to use on very long hair like mine and if you've got a friend who's willing to help things will go much easier and faster. On short hair, however, it's really easy (I let a friend of mine use it and with her shoulder-length hair things just zipped along.) It's easy to clean and so far appears durable. I haven't experienced any mechanical problems with the Maxius (although admittedly I only use it about once every six weeks or so). Effectiveness It makes my hair utterly straight and silky through the next shampoo. Durability It seems sturdy and I haven't had any problems with its function.