Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
Unlike infrared saunas or even other hair straighteners on the market today that emit a blast of infrared heat, this Solano hair straightener was designed to slowly warm your hair similarly to how the sun warms your skin over time when you are exposed to its rays. The result is evenly distributed heat for superior hold without the shock of putting your hair under intense temperatures all at once!

If being limited to only a handful of temperature settings isn’t really your cup of tea, look no further than the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron! This lightweight flat iron features a whopping 50 heat settings for hair types of all shapes, styles, textures, and colors making it one of the most versatile hair straighteners on our list.
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.
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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!

Though it looks high tech with an LCD screen, this budget-friendly straightener has impressed Amazon reviewers everywhere. "I have very thick curly/wavy hair and in a matter of 45 minutes my hair was the straightest I’ve ever been able to get it by doing my hair on my own," wrote one reviewer from Florida, who said her straight hair managed to endure the state's humid climate.


Straighteners work because they have flat plates that get hot and touch together on either side of your hair. By doing that, they put heat through your hair follicles, trap in moisture and take out frizz. The plates on a flat iron can be made of several different materials, and they’re good for different uses. The best iron for you varies depending on the type of hair you have, the type of styling you want to do, and the amount of heat your hair needs.
“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.”

The plate material you choose can also make a big difference on your style results. Ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are the most common terms you'll come across. Ceramic plates hold heat well and provide even heat distribution, preventing any hot spots on the plates can cause damage. Ceramic is especially effective for fine hair that can be especially vulnerable to heat damage. While many hair straighteners have ceramic coated plates, plates made entirely from this material are more effective, as this coating can wear off over time. Tourmaline is a gemstone, but when crushed and used to coat the plates of a hair straightener, it has properties and results similar to ceramic plates.
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Many hair straighteners feature a visual interface to alert you when the device is getting a bit too hot for comfort or when it has surpassed the ideal temperature for your hair. With the T3 Micro Single Pass Flat Iron, you can expect the same visual cues with the bonus of sound alerts as well! That’s right; this flat iron will actually tell you when it reaches its ideal temperature or when it is about to shut off automatically after one hour. Now that’s some hot tech!

The Bio Ionic worked well on all of our testers’ hair, but it’s best on drier hair with a medium thickness. We spritzed testers’ hair with some keratin smoothing treatment, but the Bio Ionic did a lot of the heavy lifting to make our hair feel softer. The tool gets hot, but not too hot to grip, and it excels at creating the silky volume you want without making your hair pin-straight and flat. One tester put it perfectly: “[The Bio Ionic] is the Rumplestiltskin of hair straighteners. It’s turning straw into gold.”
“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.

The solution? Automatic shut off. That way, even if you do forget to turn off your hair straightener, you can be at ease knowing it will turn off on its own automatically. Not all hair straighteners come with this feature, and if you don't have an issue remembering to turn these types of things off it may not be necessary. Still, a little peace of mind and extra precaution never hurt.


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.
The Babyliss gets hot quickly and moves through hair fast. This is thanks to its thin, lightweight design and the fact that it stays consistently hot. Our testers were amazed that it passed through their hair so quickly and left it smooth without feeling damaged or fried. Plus, when being styled by someone else, our testers said it didn’t snag their hair.
Most reviewers on Ulta love the GHD Gold, praising how quickly it heats up, how it makes their hair feel, and how long this tool has lasted them. Some reviewers did feel that it was too expensive and didn't like the lack of control they had over the temperature setting. While those with very fine hair may find the 365-degree setting too hot, the lack of different settings, in this case, is to help prevent hair damage. The price is steeper than some, but it's also a straightener that's built to last, which helps justify the price.

Once you have purchased your new hair straightener and mastered the multitude of ways you can put it to good use, the only thing left to do is take care of it, so it lasts for years to come! Just like any luxury beauty tool, you will want to care for your hair straightener to extend its longevity and prevent corrosion (which can actually leak into your flowing locks…yuck!). Our top tips for caring for and cleaning your new hair straightener include:
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Available with either ceramic plates (good for all hair types) or titanium ones (choice for curly, thick, and coarse textures), this innovative styler features touch sensor technology that lowers the heat when it's not being used, then automatically brings it back up to temp as soon as it's touched. Translation: No more waiting for your iron to heat up in between passes. Use it for smooth and sleek styles, or take advantage of the round brush-esque attachments to create more of a bouncy blowout effect.
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