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.
This BaBylissPRO porcelain ceramic straightening iron is made with porcelain ceramic, which distributes far-infrared heat evenly across the strands. Not only is it gentler and more healthy for your hair, but it can handle wide sections of hair at once because of its long barrel. The shape is rounded and sleek, so it’s ideal for curling, and it won’t catch or knot while you’re curling.
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.
If you have trouble remembering to unplug your flat iron before heading out, you’ll appreciate the Chi Air’s one-hour automatic shutoff. Since people have preferences regarding auto shutoff this wasn’t a criteria for us, but our testers thought it was helpful. One tester said she often leaves her flat iron on in the morning and invested in a timed switch to make sure it’s off. So if you’re forgetful when it comes to turning off your tools, then auto shutoff might be an important feature for you.
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.”
It comes with the most advanced heating element in this industry. Using a digital display, you can adjust temperature from 280F to 450F. This means that you can use it to style fine or very fragile hair as well as very thick and coarse. This is the model that is often recommended for women that have hair that is hard to straighten and difficult to keep straight. So if lower heats do not work for you, use the highest setting, and get pin straight results, like glass.
Size matters. With plates too big or too small, you’ll have to make multiple passes. This exposes your hair to high heat longer and increases the risk that you’ll do damage. According to Janine Jarman, owner and operator of acclaimed Hollywood salon Hairroin, a 1-inch-wide plate will do for most people, and if you want to use your iron for anything other than straightening, like creating curls or waves, you’ll need a 1-inch plate; anything larger won’t make the waves or curls tight enough. She also pointed out length is important too. “You need plates to be at least 3 inches long, or close to it, so you’re not spending a ton of time with small sections.”
“I’m in ‘ahhh’ at how awesome of a straightener this is. If you ask me, it’s a lot better than the high-end brands. It leaves my hair silky-smooth and shiny. I absolutely love its features, and you can watch the heat meter rise as it’s heating up. To me, five stars is not enough to rate this product. It’s definitely worth the money. I’m in love with this straightener. Also, the lock on it I found to be a awesome bonus.”
If Gisele's mane meets your #hairgoals, consider this iron created by her stylist Harry Josh. The wider-than-usual 1.25 inch plates allow contact with a larger surface area in order to speed up styling time, and the quick-heating ceramic-titanium plates (it takes only 45 seconds to reach 400 degrees) abolish frizz and boost shine for model-worthy strands.
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.
Not sure which temperature setting is right for your hair? We recommend starting slow and building up to higher heat settings gradually. Not only will you be able to perfectly identify the optimal heat setting for your hair, but you will also avoid overheating. After all, very few of us actually need upwards of 400° F to see the salon results we’ve always wanted!
Twist And Curl – The awesome folks at Good Housekeeping couldn’t have put it better than this: curling your hair with a flat iron is like curling ribbon with a pair of scissors. To do this, simply clamp your hair straightener around a piece of hair as you normally would when straightening, except flip the entire tool, so your hair is now wrapped around one of the plates. Holding the tip of your hair for support, simply glide the straightener down the entire length of hair and just like magic, you’ve made a curl!
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.