Early hair straightening systems relied on harsh chemicals that tended to damage the hair. In the 1870s, the French hairdresser Marcel Grateau introduced heated metal hair care implements such as hot combs to straighten hair. Madame C.J. Walker used combs with wider teeth and popularized their use together with her system of chemical scalp preparation and straightening lotions.[3] Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb.[4] Heated metal implements slide more easily through the hair, reducing damage and dryness. Women in the 1960s sometimes used clothing irons to straighten their hair.
“I wanted a straightener I could use on wet hair, since I’m usually on the go and don’t always have time to dry it. With this Wet 2 Straight Hair straightener, I was able to straighten my hair after it was towel-dried and only had to go over my hair twice for it to be completely dry. Granted, I have semi-thin hair, so it doesn’t take too much to straighten it, but with other straighteners, I would have to go over it about three or four times and couldn’t straighten it when it was wet.”
An upgrade from their since discontinued Eclipse Styler, you won't be tempted to heat this flatiron up to 450 degrees, because the temperature dial is always stuck on one number: 365 (the ideal heat to mold hair without frying it, according to the scientists at GHD). Underneath each of those 365-degree plates are three fancy sensors that measure the density of the hair in the iron so that it can maintain consistent heat regardless of the chunk of hair you grab. The result? Silky, shiny hair with zero frizz.

When taming coarse, wavy or curly hair, sometimes you need a little to kick it up a notch. That’s why we love that the CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron can reach a maximum temperature of 475° F and heats up in under a minute! With this hair straightener, say goodbye to wasted time waiting for your tool to heat up, and get styled and out in the door!
These ultra-smooth plates are great for straightening stubborn strands like curls and waves and are also ideal for creating natural, finished curls (similar to a curling iron) and even beachy waves. By gliding effortlessly across hairs of all types, without pulling or breakage, the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron has the potential to leave your hair looking and feeling healthier after each use.
The glider plus is designed to protect your hair with integrated heat balance micro processors that continuously monitor the exact temperature across the surface of the plates and automatically adjust the temperature for evenly distributed heat. That means fewer passes are needed for silky results, while protecting your precious hair from over heat exposure.
Unlike the Bio Ionic’s handy digital temperature control, the Chi Air uses a small dial on the side of the tool that’s harder to read. The dial’s placement makes it not only more difficult to get an accurate reading, but also more prone to being hit by your hand and switching to a new temperature. That being said, most of our testers didn’t mind this minor inconvenience since they don’t expect to change the tool’s temperature often.
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.[2] 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.
A few swipes from a professional hair straightener can finish off a high ponytail, restore life to split ends, and give your natural curls a relaxed look for a night or two. No matter what your natural hair type may be, there is a hair straightener as unique as the gorgeous locks on your head! Here are just a few of our favorite hairstyles that can be achieved using a professional hair straightener like the ones we’ve reviewed here:
With so many models and styles to choose from, it can be hard to find the right hair straightener for your medium or long hair. That’s why we love the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron! This straightener is ideal for users with medium to long hair; this hair straightener can tame even the most stubborn tresses. Featuring 1-inch plates and low, medium, and high heat settings, this flat iron is ideal for anyone with thick or lengthy hair.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: As the only hair straightener we reviewed featuring Keratin-infused ceramic plates, the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener is our top choice for the healthy, shiny hair you’ve always dreamed wanted! With a unique, floating plate design and smart heat sensor, this hair straightener is ideal for a variety of hair types and reduces breakage and splitting by up to 50%.
Dylan also loves this Karmin iron. "The plates are coated in tourmaline which helps for an easy glide," he says. Fighting frizz with infrared ions, Dylan suggests that it "makes this iron better for super coarse hair." Bonus points: it also has different voltage settings for international use. The jetsetter in you will be thankful as you globetrot glamorously.
If you’re a hair straightening novice, you may be a little intimidated during the first few times you use your new flat iron. These feelings are totally normal (after all, you are putting 300+ degrees of heat right near your scalp!), but there is no need to worry. All you have to do is follow these simple steps and you will have the gorgeous, flowing hair you’ve always dreamt of in no time!
“I wanted a straightener I could use on wet hair, since I’m usually on the go and don’t always have time to dry it. With this Wet 2 Straight Hair straightener, I was able to straighten my hair after it was towel-dried and only had to go over my hair twice for it to be completely dry. Granted, I have semi-thin hair, so it doesn’t take too much to straighten it, but with other straighteners, I would have to go over it about three or four times and couldn’t straighten it when it was wet.”

My daughter is natural with 4b/4c. Her hair is very thick plus she is tender-headed (sensitive to anyone doing her hair). I have purchased numerous of flat irons in the past but none has stood apart from the Furiden stream iron. I was quite surprised at the outcome. It was definitely worth the wait. I love the fact that it less damaging to her natural hair and it does the job well, even my friends were shocked with the results. Oh, the comb like on the flat iron was an awesome ideal. I strongly recommend this flat iron to all my natural sisters. My only regret that I did not take before and after pictures of her hair.
“Infrared is so beneficial being that the wavelengths are longer and can penetrate deeper into the cuticle heating the hair from the inside out, keeping your hair's own natural moisture, leaving the hair smooth (and) shiny and keeping it extremely healthy, versus other conventional styling tools that actually pull moisture out of the hair, leaving the hair dry, brittle, dull and damaged,” said hair expert and stylist Gina Rivera.
Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1" - Nano Ionic - with Vibrating Plates The Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1 Inch is part of the Luxe Pro Styling Collection. Natural Volcanic Rock Minerals infused into the Bio Ionic Luxe Pro Styling Collection are uniquely refined to emit negative ions that drive tiny water molecules deep into the hair. Hair becomes hydrated and conditioned on the inside, while the outer cuticle layer lies flat and smooth, trapping moisture, giving it a vibrant shine.
While temperature control is typically a good thing to have in a hair straightener, it can also result in hair damage if you're keeping the temperature too high. The GHD Gold eliminates the chance of any user error, operating at an even 365 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature for most hair types, getting you smooth results without damaging your hair. The gold coated ceramic plates heat up quickly and maintain an even temperature, eliminating the chance for any hair damaging hot spots as well.

T3’s white and rose gold flat iron seems too pretty to reliably function, but hey, sometimes miracles happen. There are four temperature settings ranging from 260 to 410 degrees, and the tool heats up in about a minute. Its ceramic plates are infused with tourmaline, a mineral said to make hair extra smooth because it emits negatively-charged ions. There’s no scientific evidence to support this, but my unscientific bathroom study found that this flat iron does indeed make my hair look shinier.

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