We loved the Bio Ionic’s user-friendly design. Two of our favorite features are its bright digital temperature control and the instructions stamped directly onto the tool. It also feels natural in the hand, and its matte finish provides a slight grippiness, but doesn’t pull at the hair when styling. Plus, the tool sports a uniquely shaped plate that’s curved at the tip and makes it really easy to get close to the scalp. One tester who is new to using flat irons said the Bio Ionic felt intuitive and even encouraged her to try harder styles, like creating curls and waves.
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.
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.
I've owned a Chi flat iron and I love this one much better! It heats up in 10 seconds and I like the dial that lights up on the side with the LED lights . You can see temperature settings easily because it's lighted. The ceramic plates on this iron definitely makes this a "one" pass straightener. It also is cylindrical so it curls your hair as well. I have very thick hair so I use the full 450 degrees.
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. Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb. 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.
Most of the hair straighteners we reviewed heat up in under a minute, but the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron has to be one of the fastest on the market! In as little as 20 seconds, this hair straightener transforms from cool to hot, hot, hot! With this model, there is no need to wait around for your hair straightener to warm up, which means you spend less time getting ready in the morning and more time getting on with your day.
With a maximum temperature of 450° F, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron can really pack a punch despite its otherwise small frame. One thing to note though: these heat settings are not pre-set like the CHI G2 hair straightener we also reviewed, and you will need to play around with them to find the right temperature for your hair. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a Saturday afternoon or two to kill, but may not be ideal for users that are looking for a flat iron with pre-recorded settings.
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.
The curling iron can also have either a spring-loaded, Marcel, or clipless handle. Spring-loaded handles are the most popular and use a spring to work the barrel's clamp. When using a Marcel handle, one applies his or her own pressure to the clamp. Clipless wands have no clamp, and the user simply wraps hair around a rod. Most clipless curling irons come with a Kevlar glove to avoid burns.
The nano ceramic plates in this straightener deliver far-infrared heat, a gentler alternative in and of itself. As if that weren't enough, there's also a reservoir where you can pour in some of the (included) argan treatment and thermal protectant, creating a conditioning steam that will strengthen and safeguard strands while you straighten. Admittedly an extra step, sure, but one that's well worth it.