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.
Celebrity hair stylist Priscilla Valles’s go-to straightner is the classic GHD 1-inch straightener. “I start in the nape and bring down small sections, one row at a time and I use a GHD flat Iron with a comb in the other hand,” says Valles. “I place the comb in front of the iron while ironing at the same time in a slow motion all the way down. Never stopping cause that will cause dents in the hair. At the end a dime size of ouai rose from top to bottom just to add some shine and control any fly aways!”
You do not have to use a blow dryer. In fact, I recommend not using one at all, as it could save extra damage to your hair and the extra heat isn't needed. After a shower, you could put your damp hair in a braid, let it dry in the braid, and when you want to straighten, your hair won't be as puffy or frizzy. That ultimately leads to straight, sleek hair.
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!
GHD’s “styler” is permanently set to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which the company says is the highest temperature hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged. As a person who went from a dark brunette to blonde highlights, I can vouch for its straightening power on processed hair. And though I don’t typically think of “comfort” as a flat iron necessity, the springy hinge that connects the two plates really did make it easier to clamp and glide the tool down my hair with minimal effort.
If you have ever visited a luxury spa or wellness company, you have probably run across far infrared heat a time or two. Without going into too much science, infrared heat is the same heat you feel when the sun kisses your cheeks and warms your body from the inside-out. Far infrared heat, in particular, has been used by medical and wellness professionals for years to treat a variety of conditions from muscle pain to even cancer.
When you are looking for hair straighteners, flat irons are a popular option. Titanium, silver, porcelain and ceramic flat irons offer different degrees of heat and protection for your hair. You can choose how long and wide you want the plates, and whether you want a normal size or mini flat iron for shorter hair or travel. In a big hurry to get out the door? No problem. Choose an instant heat and recovery straightener to speed up your hairstyling routine. Walgreens.com carries popular flat iron brands like Conair and CHI.
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.
It becomes extremely hot – up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, and it holds that heat until you shut it off. Because of this, you can straighten any type of hair with Chi, including very thick and coarse tresses. So if you have such hair, this iron could be your best option. It is not only designed to straighten but also to curl hair. Thanks to its ergonomic design, you won’t strain the hands and wrists during use.
Just because you were blessed with a head of naturally straight hair, doesn’t mean hair straighteners aren’t for you! Hair straighteners are a great way to style the split ends that are all too common with straight hair types and can also give your hair a natural-looking curve for added volume! When shopping for the best hair straightener for your naturally straight hair, you will want to look for the following:
This styling iron has 1-inch plates, allowing it to do more than just straighten. It can also curl, flip, and be used to add volume if your hair tends to fall flat. It heats up in under 30 seconds so you can start styling almost right away, and there are a wide range of temperature settings from 250 degrees to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. While the high-temperature options make this straightener ideal for other hair types, too, if you do have fine hair you'll want to keep this in the lower temperature range.
For better or worse, we are B-U-S-Y nowadays. Running from meeting to meeting and trying to pick up our kids from carpool before soccer practice, it’s no wonder that we often place ourselves at the bottom of our daily priority list. This mindset typically carries over into our appearances and explains why more women than ever are rocking messy top knots and buns than ever before.
Automatic shutoff isn’t a feature we included in our criteria since people have varying opinions about it, but we liked that the Chi Elite has this. Especially for new users who might forget to turn off their flat irons. Like the Chi Air, the Chi Elite will shut off after one hour. However, if you’re working with kinky hair, auto shutoff may be a problem. Traditionally this hair type will take longer to straighten due to detangling and the fragility of the hair.
Most mid-grade and high-end hair straighteners come with plates that are 1” or 1.5”. If you are looking at one that is 2”, 2.5”, or even bigger, steer clear immediately. Not only does larger plates make it easier for you to accidentally over-iron (and seriously damage) your hair, but they also make it more difficult to get all of the way down to your roots. For anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, trying to use a large-sized flat iron would be far more trouble than it’s worth.