Unlike the plain Jane ceramic plates of most hair straighteners, the tourmaline-infused ceramic plates in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron are designed to keep your hair healthy during styling. Specifically, the tourmaline helps to more evenly distribute the heat during use which, in turn, creates a higher number of negative ions for shinier and healthier looking hair with each use. This reduces the static electricity created, meaning you get a sleeker, smoother style.
For some people, automatic shutoff is a critical feature since forgetting to unplug your flat iron could lead to a fire. However, others aren’t fans of auto shutoff since that means their flat irons could turn off while they’re still styling their hair. If this is the case for you, we recommend investing in a timed switch. That way, you can program the switch to turn off at a specific time and your flat iron will shut off as well.
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
If you lived through this particular time in our world history, then you probably remember the super straight hairstyles that we all sported a time or two (bonus points if you took a photo of yourself like this in your bathroom mirror using a digital camera!). For reasons we may never know for certain, sharp and straight hair was the hairstyle of choice back in the early 2000’s giving the good old hair straightener somewhat of a bad reputation.
Though it looks high tech with an LCD screen, this budget-friendly straightener has impressed Amazon reviewers everywhere. "I have very thick curly/wavy hair and in a matter of 45 minutes my hair was the straightest I’ve ever been able to get it by doing my hair on my own," wrote one reviewer from Florida, who said her straight hair managed to endure the state's humid climate.
Sadly, the plates in the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener won’t begin to magically levitate on your bathroom sink! BUT they do float in the frame! They are specially engineered to deliver a consistent heat with a smooth glide, and their design enables a flexible grip on the straightener, giving you great results no matter how you hold it. Even better, it won’t tug or pull like so many others on the market. The result is pain-free styling in a fraction of the time!
FHI’s rounded edge allows you to easily curl or add waves without much effort. It’s almost as small as a travel flat iron, and I love that it straightens even the poofiest sections with just a single pass. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to Beyoncé (via InStyle): “I’m crazy about it! I can’t live without my flatiron! It takes me about an hour to do my hair, and the only time I don’t is when I’m on vacation.”
That’s what is so great about hair straighteners: these devices can give you salon-worthy curls or celebrity-inspired straight hair that can change just as easily as your mood if you’d like! So, the next time you find yourself wishing for something you don’t naturally have, try using your hair straightener to bring out the best of your natural beauty. Who knows, you just might love a change!
“I bought the HSI titanium tourmaline ionic flat iron and I was so impressed with it. It glides so smoothly down the hair without any tugs! The digital display screen lets me adjust the temperature without any problems, it heats up fast, and I love that it comes with a pretty purple pouch, glove, and argan-oil serum. I also own the digital HSI ceramic ionic flat iron from 2013, and it’s still going strong, but I do like the titanium iron better, and I see myself using for it for years to come. It leaves my hair shiny and soft!”
Straightening irons, straighteners, or flat irons work by breaking down the positive hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to open, bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture. Straightening irons use mainly ceramic material for their plates. Low-end straighteners use a single layer of ceramic coating on the plates, whereas high-end straighteners use multiple layers or even 100% ceramic material. Some straightening irons are fitted with an automatic shut off feature to prevent fire accidents.
Heat stylers, such as flat irons, get a bad rap for singeing hair beyond repair, but that doesn't have to be the case. The key to preserving your hair's health while using these hot tools is passing a quality straightener over heat-protected strands without letting the heat sit on one spot too long. Speaking of stellar straighteners, here are 11 of our top picks, ya know, if you're looking to upgrade yours.
Fine or thinning hair can easily become damaged under too much heat, so cooler temperatures (i.e., those under 300° F) are ideal for these hair types. If you have very curly, course, or thick hair, then higher temperatures upwards of 400° F may be more suitable to your needs. With the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron, you can cool it down to 265° F if need be and also crank it up to a whopping 450° F for textured styled.
Eight micro-sensors with HeatBalance technology are used to evenly distribute heat, regulating the temperature so that you spend less time applying heat. As a result, it takes less time to straighten hair, preventing it from damage when styling. Additionally, the 1-inch plate width is wide enough for any hair length, yet narrow enough to style your bangs.
“I’ve owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! There really is no tugging at all on your hair — so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair: It adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. It has always been coarse, wavy, dry, and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair.”
Sure, the drugstore flat iron you used on its highest setting back in the day was clunky and had a tendency to fry your hair if you glanced away for more than a second, and okay fine, your mom probably told you that you looked a little “emo” from time to time. Luckily, those days are long gone and hair straighteners have truly come a long way since the days of The Jersey Shore.
The two strips of silicone atop Bio Ionic’s flat iron plates seem silly, but they serve an important purpose. By buffering the outer edge of the plates, they reduce your chances of hair snags. They also force you to glide the flat iron more slowly through your hair (they are called speed strips, after all). While the slower technique maximizes shininess and smoothness, the speed strips can become a bit of an obstacle if your hair is thick.