There are 25 heat settings (200 °f-450 °f) that are digitally controlled. It heats up to 450 degrees almost in an instant, making it a perfect solution for maintaining keratin treatments. You can use it without the infrared lights and still get great results, but when you turn them on, you will not believe the change in your hair quality, that will be visible immediately.
Curling irons, also known as curling tongs, create waves or curls in hair using a variety of different methods. There are many different types of modern curling irons, which can vary by diameter, material, and shape of barrel and the type of handle. The barrel's diameter can be anywhere from .5 in (1.3 cm) to 2 in (5.1 cm). Smaller barrels typically create spiral curls or ringlets, and larger barrels are used to give shape and volume to a hairstyle.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the best curling irons, hair dryers, and even a certain curling iron used on the Victoria’s Secret Angels, here, we’re going deep on the best flat irons and hair straighteners on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
I started this site after I made the decision to get a new hair straightener. I am not a novice with irons by any means, and I’ve had just about every kind imaginable except for some of the newest options. When I realized how far the industry had come in the last couple of years, I decided it was time to try something new. A good flat iron can last for years, as long as you look after it and make sure you buy one that’s robust enough to take what you put it through. By doing your homework up front, you can make sure you not only get the right straightener for your locks, but you don’t end up spending an inordinate amount of money on something that doesn’t work for you. Believe me, I’ve been there!
When we first took the Babyliss out of its box, we were impressed by its super thin design. And when we put it to the test, the tool lived up to our expectations. It felt light, like the Chi Air, and manageable when gliding through hair. Unlike the HSI which felt rickety and bulky, the Babyliss’ design was sleek and professional. It wins as the flat iron we’d expect to see in a high-end hair salon.
“Being a mom of two, it’s hard to have time to get my hair done, but with this, I do my hair in 30 minutes, rather than over an hour. I haven’t bought a new straightener in probably four years, and I bought this with very little expectations. OMG! First of all, not only did it take half the time to do my hair, but it left my hair as amazing as I always wanted it! Super silky-smooth. I then used it to make some curls on my 8-year-old. In less than 15 minutes, I was done with her hair and she was in love with the curls.”
While you might think that a hair iron is only necessary to straighten curly hair, a hair iron is actually a great tool for styling straight hair. A flat ceramic flat iron can help smooth away flyaways and a add sleek shine to your hair. You can also use a flat iron to shape straight hair, and you can use it near your scalp to add volume to limp hair.
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:
The plates of the HSI Professional are made of solid ceramic that is infused with tourmaline. The combination allows for consistent temperature and gives hair a smooth finish. The wide range of heat settings, starting at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and going up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, gives you more control over styling and makes this an ideal straightener for multiple hair types.
With ceramic tourmaline technology, floating plates, and an extremely wide range of temperatures, the Berta Professional tourmaline ceramic flat iron is great for this type of job. It’s also got an elongated body so hair doesn’t slip off the end while you’re styling, and reviewers are saying things like, “I got the hair straightener to curl my hair and it does a great job. My hair never holds a curl but this flat iron did the trick.”
One of the biggest problems you will face when using a heated hair styling tool is overheating. We’ve all been there: you’re casually straightening your hair when a particularly funny scene comes up on the show you have playing in the background. After a solid minute or two of laughter, you realize (in utter horror!) that your poor hair has been sandwiched in between a couple of hot plates the entire time.
Those with fine hair can keep the straightener at a lower temperature, while those with thick hair can increase the temperature to ensure they'll walk away with the same smooth results. No matter your hair type, the floating plate design and the curved edges of the plates themselves prevent any snagging or damage so your hair will glide through smoothly.
This lesser-known brand made a great impression when it was available on Amazon (you can now buy it at TerresaBeauty.com), where the majority of reviewers gave it five stars. "It allows my hair to glide so smoothly through the plates, never snagging it," says one shopper. "I can straighten or curl with this straightener and it works great," says another.
The contents of the box included warranty information. There was no user manual which could have provided information on the items above and would answer many of the frustrations voiced by reviewers here. Overall, I feel this flat iron is a great value. I hope Xtava plans to make a 1" infrared flat iron. That is a product I would be very interested in!
Let’s face it: styling your hair is a 360° job. That’s why the folks at Cloud Nine have designed their Original Flat Iron with a swivelling 360° cord! No more tangled messes or twisted cords, with this hair straightener you can easily reach delicate fly-aways and seemingly invisible back sections without the hassle of a tangled or knotted cord ever again. When it comes to hair straighteners, the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron really proves that perfection is in the details!
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.
In addition to a fast heat-up time and multiple temperature settings, the 9-foot cord and 360 swivel make for easier styling and prevents and tangling. You can also travel with this styling iron thanks to the dual voltage settings. Anti-slip edges and floating plates allow your hair to glide effortlessly between the plates, with no pulling or snagging which can be especially damaging for fine hair.
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Be sure to protect your hair against heat damage with Xtava’s Heat Protectant Spray every time you style. Not only does our heat protectant coat your hair with a lightweight layer of protection, but it also repairs hair from the inside-out with broccoli seed and Brazilian pequi oils to replenish moisture, restore shine, and infuse essential nutrients.
Despite these downsides, the HSI Professional comes with plenty of positives, including extras not often found with other hair straighteners. Along with the straightener, you'll receive a carrying case, a heat-resistant glove for easier hair styling, a style guide, and a travel-size argan oil leave-in hair treatment serum to smooth and protect your hair. This is more than most high-end hair straighteners come with, all for a fraction of the price.
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.